Virtual Reality mit Gondwana Collection Namibia

Was einst hauptsächlich im Gaming-Bereich beliebt war, bietet nun einen neuen Kanal im Marketingdschungel. Die sogenannte „Virtuelle Realität“ ermöglicht den Nutzer einen realistisch wirkenden Einblick in die Welt, die er durch die hochtechnologische Brille erkunden kann. Im Gaming-Bereich taucht der Nutzer in die virtuelle Ebene ein und bekommt den Eindruck sich wirklich in der Spielewelt zu befinden. Schon länger findet die virtuelle Realität ihr Einsatzgebiet bei der Pilotenausbildung in z.B. Flugsimulatoren. Überprüft wird auch die unterstützende oder vollständige Nutzung als virtuelle Rehabilitation bei Therapiemaßnahmen psychologischer, neurologischer und physiologischer Erkrankungen.

Auch wir bei Gondwana trauen uns den Schritt mit dieser neuen Technologie. Sich vom heimischen Wohnzimmer aus die Zimmer der einzelnen Lodges genauer anschauen. Auf der Terrasse den Sonnenuntergang hautnah miterleben. Beim Wasserloch der Etosha Pfanne stehend die trinkenden Wildtiere beobachten. Und doch bequem zu Hause sitzen. Diese neue Marketing Technik kann zukünftig unseren Gästen eine besondere Art der Vorfreude bieten.

Wir sind bereits Wege in die Visualisierung unserer Lodge-Darstellungen gegangen, wie die 360° Gondwana-Videos auf Youtube zeigen.

VR Glasses, Gondwana collection Nmaibia, Christiaan Jacobie

Testing the new VR glasses

Mit der VR-Brille wirkt die Darstellung allerdings noch realer und hat wirklich das Gefühl, live dabei zu sein.

Wir sind noch in der Entwicklungsphase, aber wir sind uns sicher, dass diese Möglichkeit schon bald eine Bereicherung für unser Unternehmen und unsere Gäste sein wird.


Gondwana’s new clean, green, glass crushing machine

The Gondwana Collection has acquired six glass crushing machines in order to address the environmental threat that discarded glass bottles are posing to the country.


Gondwana team receiving the glass crusher machines from Steven and James Hirst.

The leading brand in Namibian eco-tourism, The Gondwana Collection Namibia, is widely respected for its environmental entrepreneurship and green technologies employed at its establishments, all around the country.

With the introduction of six brand new glass crusher machines, they are doing their part cleaning up the environment and clearing it of littered glass bottles as well as managing the glass that originates from the Gondwana Lodges.

James Hirst and the glass crusher machine

James Hirst showing how the glass crusher works

The glass crusher machine weighs 95kg and can crush an estimated 120-150kg of glass an hour, grinding it into non-hazardous glass sand. The unique property of the glass sand enables it to be used as a mixture with cement from which decorative and various other practical pieces like table tops and tiles can be manufactured for re-selling and re-using.

A Gondwana staff member with a new glass crushing machine

A Gondwana staff member with a new glass crushing machine

Gondwana will initially deploy the glass crushers at six of the Gondwana lodges, in an attempt to reduce the amount of glass waste in their respective regions and also managing its own glass waste better.

Other uses for the glass sand is in the manufacturing of bricks from which Gondwana hopes to become self sufficient when conducting smaller projects at their lodges, which can be done by simply managing its glass waste more effectively.

Non-hazardous glass waste being handled by james hirst after being crushed by the crusher.

The non-hazardous glass sand after being crushed by the glass crusher.

The Gondwana Collection hopes that its small step in eradicating waste glass bottles can become a giant leap for Namibia in glass waste awareness and a cleaner environment through innovative and efficient disposal and use of new products.

The hope is that the glass crusher technology and the application of the waste products can become an income generator for disadvantaged and marginalized communities in the areas of the Gondwana lodges.

The user friendly machine is produced in Johannesburg South Africa and is distributed in Namibia by G-eco Glass. The father son duo, James and Steven Hirst, hope to start a trend of entrepreneurial opportunities, which can arise by cleaning up the country.

The first machine was taken to Namib Desert Lodge on the 04 March 2016, by Gondwana’s Environmental Officer, Quintin Hartung. He will be responsible to teach the staff at Namib Deseret Lodge the workings of the machine, so that they can get started as soon as possible, cleaning the environment and managing Gondwana’s own glass.

In doing so the hope of the Gondwana Collection is that Namibians in general will confirm custodianship over nature and the environment and maintain the reputation of the country as a world leader in the protection and sustainable use of its natural resources.


Fire & Ice team up for the Cape Epic

Two passionate mountain bikers from opposite sides of the globe, separated by 10 000km, team up for the legendary Absa Cape Epic. Piet Swiegers, the 48-year-old Namibian Veteran cross-country mountain-bike champion from Aus, in Namibia’s arid south-western corner, will join 55-year-old Swedish Masters mountain-bike champion, Atle Hansen, from Hölö, Sweden, to cycle the Cape Epic on the 13-20 March 2016. And, if past achievement is anything to go by, the team will provide stiff competition to other riders in their category.

cape epic participant

Piet Swiegers, training at 32° C.

Atle received a surprising email on the 23rd December from Piet inviting him to ride with him in the Cape Epic, after Piet’s previous partner had to withdraw suddenly from the race. Atle was deep in winter hibernation and had to quickly change pace to get into top shape.

While Piet has been training in the southern Namibia temperatures of around 30˚C, Atle has had a completely different experience. His training has been slightly more uncomfortable at temperatures of minus 15-18˚C. He reported: “It’s cold as Hell. It’s almost impossible to ride outside, my feet go white from the cold even in the special shoes I wear that have battery-operated heated soles – and two pairs of wool socks!”

Atle Hansen, training at -18° C

Atle Hansen, training at -18° C

One of Namibia’s top ten cyclists, Piet Swiegers came fifth in the World Veteran Cross Country race held in Pietermaritzberg in 2013, and fifth again in the Veterans race in the Rainbow Challenge XC Marathon held in Pietermaritzberg in 2014. His training comprises a 6-8hour weekly regime on the network of mountain bike trails he has created at Gondwana’s Klein-Aus Vista Lodge, a family run lodge in the rugged hills of Aus. He also initiated the Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge, which takes place annually in April/May, adding a fascinating 3-day-stage race, mostly on single track, to the MTB circuit. In preparation for the Cape Epic, Piet has been training 10-12 hours per week since December and will start to take it easier from the beginning of March.

Piet Swiegers (r) after the W2W Race in South Africa with his partner Ian Grassow.

Piet Swiegers (r) after the W2W Race in South Africa with his partner Ian Grassow.

His teammate, Atle Hansen, is a well-known cyclist on the European circuit who spends around 700-750 hours a year on a bike. Hansencame fifth in the World Masters Cross Country race held in Pietermaritzberg in 2013 and in 2014 came in second in the Masters race in the Rainbow Challenge XC Marathon. This is where the two cyclists met, while staying at the same lodge.

Atle Hansen (l) came 2nd at the Rainbow Challenge 2014 in South Africa.

Atle Hansen (l) came 2nd at the Rainbow Challenge 2014 in South Africa.

Atle will join Piet in Windhoek on the 4th March where they will train for the day before travelling to Sossusvlei, for a day’s riding to the dunes, heading back to Klein-Aus Vista to continue the rest of their final preparation on the Klein-Aus tracks. The ‘Klein-Aus MTB team’, as they call themselves, will depart on the 10thMarch for Cape Town to partake in the Absa Cape Epic Prologue a few days later on the slopes of Table Mountain. This 21km event incorporates a cross country course and a steep climb. Team Klein-Aus MTB aims to secure a start in Group B for the next day’s Stage 1 event.

The team’s intensive training programme will provide excellent preparation for the 13thAbsa Cape Epic, against 650 other teams. This gruelling 8-day event, attracting local and international mountain bikers, leads the amateur and professional cyclists through 800km of unspoilt scenery and 15 000m of accumulated climbing, over some of the Western Cape’s magnificent mountain passes. The route this year takes cyclists through the hilly Tulbagh area, with rugged ascents likened to sharks’ teeth, and over the old wagon trail in the Witzenberg Mountain Range and the Bainskloof Pass to Wellington. During the following days, five steep climbs lead cyclists towards Stellenbosch and wine god Bacchus’s garden with a view from the vineyards towards False Bay and Table Mountain, climbing Meerendal’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ before reaching the Cape Epic finish in Durbanville. Participants spend at least six hours per day in the saddle.

The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world. It is also the only eight-day mountain bike stage race to be classed as hors catégorie (a name given to the toughest climbs and listed as ‘uncategorised’) by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), making it a highlight on every professional cyclist’s calendar.

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Piet taining at Klein-Aus Vista.

Good luck Klein-Aus team!

Author: Ron Swilling