How the Gondwana Lodges save water in Namibia’s drought

Water is a precious resource in the desert and semi-arid areas, especially in times of drought as Namibia is facing now. This also applies to the Gondwana Collection’s parks in Namibia.

Even though Gondwana prides itself in using water very carefully and do everything to keep consumption as low as possible. We installed waste water treatment plants at nearly all of our lodges.

Canyon Lodge Gondwana

Beautiful gardens made possible by the recycled irrigation system. Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

How they work:

The waste water is filtered to such an extent that it can be used for irrigation. Since the processed water conforms to the norms, surpluses may be discharged into the environment. Only 20 percent of the waste water is lost through evaporation. The sewage sludge which remains is dried and disposed of on a regular basis.

A plant consists of several components: a twin chamber septic tank separates raw solids from the water. After that organic compounds are removed by a trickling filter. Dead micro-organisms are disposed of in the settling tank and finally the clarified water is disinfected with chlorine.

The trickling filter is the heart of the plant. Micro-organisms settle on the filling material like a biological lawn. As the waste water is sprinkled over the filter it feeds the micro-organisms – this is purification the natural way. The biological lawn forms within a few weeks after the plant is taken into use. Once it is properly established, this bio-filter is easy to maintain. Controls are unnecessary. Only chlorine has to be refilled every month, and the twin chamber system needs to be cleaned about every two years.

The treated water is used for the lodge garden. The flora at our lodges largely consists of species which are indigenous to Namibia. The only remaining alien plants are the lawns and palm trees at the swimming pools – and our kitchen gardens, of course, for fresh fruit and vegetables.

All of this is well worth it. Indigenous plants are water-wise: they have adapted to the aridity and need less moisture. They also provide food and a habitat to native birds. And they lend character to the atmosphere. Therefore they contribute to making our guests’ experience as authentic as possible – right up to their doorstep.

Chalet at Damara Mopane Lodge

The vegetable gardens made possible through the recycled irrigation system at Damara Mopane Lodge. Photo : Michael Spencer

How do you save water? Send us an email to pr@gondwana-collection.com or write a comment below to let us know how you are saving water.

 

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#RoadTripNamibia : How German Youtube-stars experienced Namibia

Local Namboy and Kwaito Artist Eric (EES) Sell and his crew of 6 Youtube – stars have concluded their two week bus trip in the well known “Shaggon Waggon” through Namibia, ending their trip at the Namib Dune Star Camp on Tuesday, the 15th of September 2015. On various Social Media channels they have been broadcasting their impressions and sharing their experience in Namibia with the rest of the world under the hashtag #RoadTripNamibia. The trip will be followed by feedback vlogs, posted on their various youtube channels. The Youtube – stars are : EES , TC from Y_Titty , Jokah Tululu, Michael Schulte, Pesh from Digges Ding, MaximNoise, MrTrashpack.

With activities such as camping in the wild, campfires under the night sky, sandboarding and quadbiking in the Namib Desert, a safari through the Etosha National Park, viewing of the UNESCO world heritage centre in Twyfelfontein , boat tours and sundowner drives along the coast, this group definitely had a lot of impressions to share of their Namibian holiday.  Here are a few of their posts that reflect the impact Namibia’s surroundings and it’s people had on them :

Es wird glaube ich einer der Trips unseres Lebens !

A photo posted by Mann mit dem güldenen Haar. (@dertc) on

Day 8: Bei der Namib High School – IT WAS LOUD!!! Sehr LAUT!!! #RoadTripNamibia #ifnotwhynot

A video posted by EES (@eesmusic) on

Ohrwurm #RoadtripNamibia

A video posted by JokaH Tululu (@jokahtululu) on

 

woke up to this!☀️#RoadTripNamibia

A photo posted by michaelschulte (@michaelschulte) on

 

Meerblick. Deluxe. Damn. ✌️ #RoadTripNamibia #swakopmund #namibia #sunset

A photo posted by @peshdd on

 

 

 

Haben gestern eine Löwenfütterung erlebt. Richtig krasse Sache! #RoadTripNamibia

A photo posted by Philipp Betz (@mrtrashpack) on

 

 

As a special treat, here is their Q&A video about the trip :

This trip was made possible through Greensport, Namibia Tourism Board Germany, Air Namibia, Gondwana Collection, Zimmermann Garage, Hotel Thule, Gästefarm Elisenheim, Mushara Lodge

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Reviews Alert! What our guests say about the Gondwana Collection Lodges

We would like to share a few of the delightful reviews we have received from our guests. We appreciate all feedback we receive from our Gondwana guests as we would always like to know what your experience at the lodge was like.

Canyon Lodge :

Bungalow at the Canyon Lodge

Photo : Tripadvisor member Fractalactic

“Great Intro to Namibia”

The Canyon Lodge was a karakal farm in 1913 and the original farm house is now the main part of the lodge. It looks a bit Middle Eastern! The chalets are all stone and thatch so it is a bit schizophrenic, but we LOVED it! The welcome was lovely…..the Namibians are really friendly.

Our room (#24) was right at the edge of the complex with a great view of the desert. Some of the rooms are closer to the main lodge…..more for families….if you want privacy then 24 upwards are good. 28 seems to be a family room and is quite a bit bigger with a double bed…..one to ask for next time.

Our room was small but lovely. Two single beds pushed together with the BEST crisp linens ever. The room had an air conditioner which worked as a heater….useful in zero degrees! Next time we will take hot water bottles along…..all rooms have kettles! The bathroom was also rather tiny, but the water was hot and the pressure was good. Only complaint would be that the towels were rather small.

The food was excellent! The first night we were there the lodge was quite busy so we had a buffet. In SA we’ve battled to be served game at safari lodges…not here, we were served game on both our nights at Canyon Lodge!
On our first night, the two meats on offer were Springbok and pork ribs…both excellent. The veggies were great too. Dessert was served……orange sponge pudding with chocolate sauce, perfect for a cold evening. On our second night, as there were fewer guests, we had a set menu (with choices) …….pizza as a starter….wow, fabulous! Who would have guessed. Then there was Oryx..perfectly cooked and served with a pepper sauce. Dessert was an “apple strudel”. All excellent.
Breakfasts are hearty and excellent. Lots of choice and all well cooked too.

We did one “activity” when we were there….a canyon drive with Frans. Very good for seeing the canyon from view points other than the one used by everyone else without the “insider info”.
There is only wifi in the main area. The strongest signal is in the bar. But don’t plan on sending large files or downloading stuff as it is VERY slow.
Tip…..get a Gondwana card…..good discounts for SA residents on accommodation, meals and activities.
We were also mightily impressed with the after sales service from their head office: professional and on the ball. The South African hospitality trade could learn a thing or two from this organisation!

Canyon Roadhouse :

Old car at Canyon Roadhouse

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Back in memory”

This was a walk down memorylane, especially for my husband with all the old cars and equipment!! We enjoyed the bells that was ringing all evening??? And the Springbok Sirloin was the best ever!!! As well as the Amarulla Cheesecake… Thanks for a wonderfull stay!!

“Quirky but what a breakfast”

Stayed for one night before Christmas with my wife, daughter and son in law on a road trip around Namibia. In the middle of nowhere but a great experience. Nice bar surrounded by motoring memorablia, good rooms and food topped by the best breakfast I can remember, apart from all the normal cooked, fruits and continental the freshly baked array of just about everything that can be baked was astounding. A great experience

Canyon Village :

Pool Area at the Village

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Canyon Village to be recommended”

I hope this post will encourage someone to stay at the Canyon Village. As a first time traveller, I was unsure where to book and stay. I read reviews in order to assist with the choice. For me, this was an excellent choice and very good value for money.
The peace and quietness was amazing. The unique setting, friendly hospitality of the staff and willingness to assist, spacious, clean and comfortable rooms, food more than one person can ever eat, close proximity of the Fish River Canyon, all and all, just awesome.
Thank you Canyon Village for our very memorable stay!

Damara Mopane Lodge :

Chalet at Damara Mopane Lodge

Photo : Michael Spencer

“Lodge set in bush land overlooked by hills.”

The lodge was attractively set out with all the cabins having their own vegetable garden. The room and bathroom were comfortable and functional. Staff were attentive and helpful. We climbed the hill to the sundown deck for the sunset. The following day we climbed to the top of the hill on a well marked trail, getting great views and observing the birdlife. The walk took 3 hours. The restauant offered a very good buffet dinner. We stayed for two nights and it was a welcome rest from driving.

Etosha Safari Lodge and Camp :

Chalet at Damara Mopane Lodge

Chalet at Damara Mopane Lodge

“One of the best African casual camps we’ve ever stayed in”

What a place, loved it.
Stayed in a cabin which was clean, tidy and had a good bed, plus a view of the wilderness.The pool is down at the bar which is decked out as a shebeen with heaps of historical stuff from old Namibia or SW.All the staff were great and they live and breath the Gondwana credo. Not sure what that company does to the staff but they are so well trained.Pretty funny seeing three local guys playing guitars in the bar singing their songs as well as songs from the German, Afrikaans and engelsmens times.
One old silver haired Afrikaans visitor got up and started sing with them. That was a confusing sight, him singing their revolution/ struggle songs and them singing his war songs. All happy together now, brilliant.

Hakusembe River Lodge :

Chalet on the river at Hakusembe River Lodge

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Nothing too much trouble”

We stayed at this Lodge for two nights, it is set high above the river and is surrounded by bush, close by there is a heritage centre and the short walk to this is well worth taking. The bungalows all have balconies and overlook the river. Dinner is served on the terrace and is of excellent quality. I am vegetarian and on both evenings Freeda, the owner made sure that I had a lovely vegetarian meal, her vegetable pie on the second night was superb.

Kalahari Anib Lodge :

Pool Area at Kalahari Anib Lodge

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Another Gondwana Gem”

We have now stayed at every Gondwana Collection Lodge in Namibia, and Anib is like the rest of them, excellent. Well run, professional service, well equipped, very good food. What else does one need.Every Gondwana lodges has its own theme and character, which just adds to the positive story. As far as we are concerned, you just can not go wrong at any Gondwana Lodge.

Kalahari Farmhouse :

The rooms at the Kalahari Farmhouse

Photo : Tripadvisor member mmre

“Real Farm feel – loved it”

Absolutely loved this place – possibly my favourite of all the lodges I stayed at on my Namibia road trip, although its a tough call. The farmhouse theme runs throughout the rooms, with old enamel washbasins and mugs provided. the bed, with mosquito net was very comfortable and the gowns were an added surprise. Tea, coffee and hot choc were provided, as well as lovely lemongrass toiletries. Shower was large and water was hot. the room was very clean and homely with a fireplace and we enjoyed the friendly cat who visited on the porch. The pool was nice, the gardens were beautiful and lush and the food was truly the best in my whole trip. the 4 course dinner menu was top class and delicious, and the farm baked breakfast was great too. Staff was very helpful and friendly.
The farm is the “Gondwana Lodges Self Sufficiency Centre” where they make all their own meat and cheese and grow veggies etc for the other lodges belonging to the company. A great idea. We enjoyed a lovely sunset farm walk on the property as well.

Klein-Aus Vista and Desert Horse Inn Lodge :

Pool Area at Klein Aus Vista Lodge

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Something different to remember.”

Our room, called The Wall, part of the Eagles Nest was 7km from the dining room! And all the better for it. Now that is not a criticism of the dining room, where meals were good and food was plentiful.

Our little lodge had a huge boulder for a back wall, the rest of the structure being built around it. If you are frightened of being out in the dark this is not the place for you. At night it is dark like you don’t see anymore in Europe. Except that the stars were brilliant and I ended up taking some fabulous shots of the Milky Way from our front porch.

The room had a small, well equipped kitchen and the main hotel kindly prepared a barbeque pack for us, along with some wood and we had a pleasant bbq outside our lodge, before a quick cup of tea and bed.

Quiet, clean, comfortable, well equipped, unique. Highly recommended.

Namib Desert Lodge :

View of the pretrified dunes at Namib Desert Lodge

Photo : Michael Spencer

“A Welcomed Oasis”

The lodge is situated in a rather remote area and serves as an oasis for weary travelers. The lodgings are individual cabins surrounding landscaped grounds and a swimming pool. My two-night stay there was quite enjoyable. Much to my relief, I was able to get laundry done there, picked up in my room in the morning and delivered back to my room in the afternoon. The bathroom has a walk-in shower which I definitely prefer to shower-over-tub arrangement. The room was nicely decorated.
Dining was the usual buffet style but better than average offerings and tasty.
From Namib Desert Lodge to the actual Sossusviei dunes is about an hour’s drive so an early morning rise is essential in order to get any photos of the sun rising over the dunes. At 4:30 am, the dining room had tea and coffee for us as well as a box lunch for later in the day.
All-in-all, a very pleasant stay at Namib Desert Lodge.

Namib Dune Star Camp :

View at the Namib Dune Star Camp

Photo : Tripadvisor Member OffroadAdventurer

“A wonderful experience near Sossusvlei”

We had been told that Dune Star Camp was amazing and so with much anticipation we loaded up the 4×4’s and travelled through the red Kalahari sand with Chantelle (an amazing guide) to the camp.

There are 8 chalets on the dunes and a communal dining room with deck and BIG BBQ fire where the visitors gather to have a meal or watch the sunset/sunrise. Just below the lodge is a watering hole where animals such as Oryx, Springbok, Cheetah, Lynx and Porcupine come to drink.

The chalets are plain from the outside BUT the interior is spacious with a large bed (on wheels so it can be wheeled out onto the deck at night). I slept outside and was woken to the call of an Eagle Owl and the grunting of Oryx…it was really fantastic.

Another fun feature is the toilets at the lodge where the toilets all have floor to ceiling windows facing the watering hole. So you can drift into oblivion while doing your thing. This fascinated the members of our party but the windows are positioned so that modesty prevails.

The guide, Chantelle was amazing showing us the nests of the dune spiders, identifying the tracks on the dunes and identifying the calls of the birds.

The food was the best I have had in a week of exploring lodges. The main course and desert were truely 5 star.

We only stayed in the dunes for one night BUT it was my best experience to date.

Namushasha River Lodge  :

Hippo's at Namushasha River Lodge

Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

“Gorgeous – wish I could have stayed longer”

This was a fantastic place to visit – but far too brief. I was there with a large group, who were handled with calm and grace by the staff. The lodge is beautifully equipped. The rooms are comfortable, and the showers are very nice. The winner, though, is the view, looking over the reed beds in the lazy Kwando River. A game drive in Bwabwata National Park requires a boat ride through these reeds – many birds and even a sighting of a sitatunga (much excitement)! A very special place and I will be back.

The Delight Hotel Swakopmund will be opening its doors on the 2nd of November.

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Do you have any experiences at the Gondwana Collection Lodges you would like to tell us about ? Feel free to send us a message at pr@gondwana-collection.com

We would love to hear from you.

 

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