The People of Namibia’s Eastern Zambezi Region

At this year’s Windhoek Show Gondwana Collection presents its new book The People of Namibia’s Eastern Zambezi Region by Antje Otto and Mannfred Goldbeck.

It is available in the Gondwana hall at the Windhoek Showgrounds or at the Gondwana offices in Klein Windhoek (42 Nelson Mandela Ave, access from Gevers St).

Antje Otto, Mannfred Goldbeck: The People of Namibia’s Eastern Zambezi Region

At this year’s Windhoek Show Gondwana Collection presents its new book The People of Namibia’s Eastern Zambezi Region by Antje Otto and Mannfred Goldbeck.   It is available in the Gondwana hall at the Windhoek Showgrounds or at the Gondwana offices in Klein Windhoek (42 Nelson Mandela Ave, access from Gevers St).    Antje Otto, Mannfred Goldbeck: The People of Namibia’s Eastern Zambezi Region (ISBN 979-99916-896-7-8, 250 N$)  Namibia’s eastern Zambezi Region, formerly known as East Caprivi, is home to the BaSubiya, BaYeyi, MaFwe, MaFwe-MaMbalangwe, HaMbukushu, MaTotela and Khwe people. Once dominated by foreign rulers such as the BaLozi and MaKololo, as well as different colonial powers, they today proudly represent a unique cultural heritage shaped by their multi-faceted history.   Various traditional crafts are still practiced and supply the demand for most material needs. Many people also possess a profound knowledge of the indigenous plants utilized during building and manufacturing processes or traditional healing practices.   The first issue of ‘Gondwana Heritage’ presents a compact introduction to this remote and lesser known part of Namibia, its people, history and heritage. It is the first ever published account of the superb crafts produced by the people over generations.

(ISBN 979-99916-896-7-8, 250 N$)

Namibia’s eastern Zambezi Region, formerly known as East Caprivi, is home to the BaSubiya, BaYeyi, MaFwe, MaFwe-MaMbalangwe, HaMbukushu, MaTotela and Khwe people. Once dominated by foreign rulers such as the BaLozi and MaKololo, as well as different colonial powers, they today proudly represent a unique cultural heritage shaped by their multi-faceted history.

Various traditional crafts are still practiced and supply the demand for most material needs. Many people also possess a profound knowledge of the indigenous plants utilized during building and manufacturing processes or traditional healing practices.

The first issue of ‘Gondwana Heritage’ presents a compact introduction to this remote and lesser known part of Namibia, its people, history and heritage. It is the first ever published account of the superb crafts produced by the people over generations.

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Construction work on the Gondwana Hotel in Swakopmund in full swing

“We come in peace” proclaims a board at the building site on the corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and Nathaniel Maxuilili Street in Swakopmund. The 4072 m² plot is the location where construction of the Gondwana Collection’s new hotel started on June 1st.

Model of the front of the hotel on the corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and Nathaniel Maxuilili Street. (Sven-Erik Staby)

Model of the front of the hotel on the corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and Nathaniel Maxuilili Street. (Sven-Erik Staby)

It will be bright, fresh and trendy, and it will perfectly fit the urban image of the coastal town. Architect Sven-Erik Staby has made provision for plenty of green space and parking. The hotel will sport 54 double rooms, which does not seem a lot compared to the size of the grounds.

“When we planned the hotel complex it was very important to us that it should be bright and spacious”, says Gondwana’s Operations Director, Alain Noirfalise. “The rooms are larger than average and they are fully air-conditioned to ensure that our guests will be comfortable whether a bergwind or a stiff southwester is blowing.”

A 3D model of the Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund. (Sven-Erik Staby)

A 3D model of the Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund. (Sven-Erik Staby)

Hotel guests will be treated to a scrumptious breakfast but no other meals will be served. “There are so many good restaurants in walking distance that we decided against offering dinner”, Noirfalise explains.

The Development Bank of Namibia DBN supports the project with 50 million N$. “Tourism is one of the areas where DBN expects to make an impact, as noted in its 5-year strategic plan till 2018, says DBN Head of Lending John Mbango. “The new hotel in Swakopmund exemplifies the type of project that DBN seeks to finance. The hotel is expected to create 32 permanent jobs, but the development benefits extend further than this. Immediately during the construction phase, the hotel will create employment opportunities in the construction industry, as well as income generating opportunities for enterprises.”

And the furnishings? After all, Gondwana is known for the interior decoration themes of its lodges. Gondwana’s interior designer Janine Botha smiles: “We have many ideas but we haven’t made a decision yet. The sea, the beach and the sun will play a role. We will do our best to create an ambiance that will make our guests feel at home.”

OJ Construction will take about 18 months to complete the building project. The new Gondwana hotel in Swakopmund is scheduled to open towards the end of 2015.

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund (Sven-Erik Staby)

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund (Sven-Erik Staby)

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund(Sven-Erik Staby)

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund(Sven-Erik Staby)

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund (Sven-Erik Staby)

Gondwana Collection’s new hotel in Swakopmund (Sven-Erik Staby)

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