Namibian Economics to the Point – May 2017 - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

COVID-19. Status quo in Namibia.

It is with regret that Gondwana Collection Namibia has learnt that the COVID-19 virus has reached Namibia. On 14 March 2020, President Hage Geingob confirmed the first two cases. On 17 March, the President declared a state of emergency.

On 24 March 2020, the additional measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have been announced. They include a lockdown of the Khomas and Eronogo regions from 27 March until 16 April 2020. For regulations and guidelines please click here

Gondwana is fully aware of the current situation and continues to monitor the spread of the virus and the resulting changes to our industry. In view of the state of emergency and the additional measures ordered by the government, employees at Gondwana House in Windhoek will be working from home. Due to international and regional travel restrictions Gondwana has reduced its operations at the lodges as far as possible. Most employees have been sent home, at full pay. 

The Ministry of Health has made availability for a toll-free phone number within Namibia for queries with regards to COVID-19. The toll-free number is 800-100-100 or alternatively 911.

Namibia with Heart and Soul: Take our hand and let us introduce you to this awe-inspiring country. Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.


Where the Namib Desert stretches languidly from the Atlantic Ocean and wild land extends into infinity, dreams become real. At this place where fantasy meets reality, you'll find the Gondwana Collection safely positioned.

Take our outstretched hand and let us introduce you to our extraordinary country, Namibia. From the massive chasms of the Fish River Canyon, the fossilised dunes of the Namib Desert and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert to the waterways of the Kavango and Zambezi, there are countless marvels to behold. Explore this awe-inspiring wilderness from the warmth of our lodges, created with conservation cognizance and ample character. And return to relax after an exciting day of discovery.

This is the Gondwana feeling: Namibia with heart and soul.

Come and stay with us, experience Namibia.

About us

Namibia2Go Car Rental

Experience Africa like never before. Explore Namibia your way with our well-maintained and fully inclusive rental vehicles. NAMIBIA2GOEasy. Hassle free. Unforgettable.

We offer a comprehensive travel service including car rental, accommodation, safaris and self-drive itineraries and day trips. Interested?

Cardboard Box Travel Shop

Cardboard Box Travel Shop is a renowned tour operator in Windhoek that specialises in Namibian tours, either self-drive or with an experienced guide. The comprehensive (online) travel service covers among others car rental, accommodation, domestic and regional flights, safaris and route planning, including destinations in Botswana, Zambia (Livingstone) and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls). more

Safari2Go - The easiest way to travel the country!

3 Day / 2 Night – Sossusvlei Safari Shuttle
Exciting adventures await those who partake in this exhilarating safari to Sossusvlei, one of the most spectacular sites in the world. The magnificent star dunes are a photographer’s dream and the spectacular landscape will leave memories to last a lifetime. more

10-Day Namibian Highlights Tour
Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits to the Kalahari and Namib deserts – including the famed Sossusvlei dunes, the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and Etosha National Park. more

7-Day Northern Namibian Adventure Tour
Enjoy Namibia’s most popular destinations on this compact guided tour that incorporates visits the intriguing coastal town of Swakopmund, the Twyfelfontein rock engravings which received the UNESCO world heritage status in 2007, and the legendary Etosha National Park. more

Further information and booking enquiries: info(at) | Tel: +264 (0)84 000 9900

Boxed2Go Self-Drive Safaris

Let us spoil you with Gondwana Collection’s exceptional self-drive safari packages including accommodation, vehicle and a detailed route map guide. Make use of our comprehensive travel services to book an unforgettable safari. Discover the spectacular secrets Namibia holds. more

GO EPIC - Experience Namibia’s famed locations (11 days)
GO BIG - Discover Namibia's main attractions (13 days)
GO WILD - Track Namibia's awesome wildlife (12 days)

Namibia Road Map 2019/20

Anyone touring Namibia should definitely take our road map along. It is available from Gondwana free of charge, or as pdf download. This map features fascinating experiences plus recommended accommodation. At the same time it is an ordinary road map with all the essential information of the official Namibia road map by Prof. Uwe Jäschke and the Roads Authority of Namibia.

Gondwana's Newsroom

Namibian Economics to the Point – May 2017

Avatar of inke inke - 02. June 2017 - Economics

The 'Lego' type brick system of Germany's PolyCare company was showcased at the investment conference in Windhoek in November 2016. (Photo: B. Weidlich)

May spelled the end of the rainy season in Namibia, during which some areas recorded above average rainfall. High-ranking visitors from abroad looked at investment opportunities, while several statistics were released in this month.

Investors from abroad

Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, who only took up office in March, visited Namibia on the first leg of his maiden African trip. Ferreira told President Hage Geingob that Brazil’s economy was recovering. His country wanted to rekindle trade relations with African partners, Ferreira said. Namibia’s transport organisation, Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) has an office in Sao Paulo. Since 2012 a direct shipping line between Brazil’s Santos, one of the busiest container ports in Latin America, and Walvis Bay has existed. Namibia acquired several of Brazil’s Embraer jets, which its national carrier Air Namibia uses for local and regional flights. Many of Namibia’s navy cadets and naval officers receive training in Brazil. 

Visitors from afar

A delegation from Iran visited Namibia to explore investment opportunities. This could include a tractor assembly plant in northern Namibia and a natural gas storage facility at the coast. “We discussed investments such as auto-manufacturing, a tractor assembly line, the pharmaceutical industry and Namibia’s need for healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics,” said Farhad Zargari after meeting President Geingob. Zargari is board chairperson of Iran’s State-owned Foreign Investment Company (IFIC). The delegation also had a meeting at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. The Iran government since 1976 - through its IFIC - owns a 15 percent share in Rio Tinto’s Rössing uranium mine near Arandis in Namibia.

The Russian delegation also offered its Sukhoi jets, helicopters and fishing trawlers. Russia is interested to export grain, animal fodder and fertilisers to Namibia. Other trade opportunities like diamond mining and mechanical engineering were also discussed. 

Royal visit

Africa's last absolute monarch, King Mswati III of Swaziland came to Namibia in his capacity as chairperson to the world’s oldest existing customs union. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) was founded in 1910 and its secretariat is seated in Windhoek. Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa are SACU members. Namibia joined after its independence in 1990. The SACU revenue sharing formula is to be revised, King Mswati III said. He told President Geingob that Swaziland would also like to increase trade with Namibia. Swaziland produces sugar among others. Namibia produces salt, dried (fresh water) fish, mutton and beef.

Brick factory for Namibia

Thuringia’s Premier Bodo Ramelow briefly visited Namibia. Thuringia is one of Germany’s 16 federal states. Ramelow inspected a prototype house in Windhoek constructed by the Thuringian company PolyCare. The bricks appear similar to Lego bricks. PolyCare developed the technology to mix a special resin with sand. Houses can be built faster and much cheaper than with conventional methods. The company considers investing in a brick factory in Namibia.

More tourism development 

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism launched an Advisory Council to improve Namibia’s competitiveness in the tourism sector. Some Council members were also selected from the private sector. Tourism Director Sem Shikongo explained that Namibia’s tourism sector was in need of transformation. Rural areas should benefit more from tourism.

 The second body launched was an inter-ministerial tourism committee. Government officials from each Cabinet ministry and the Office of the Attorney General serve on this committee. 

Air Namibia has big plans

The US Department of Transport recently granted Air Namibia approval to fly passengers in and out of the USA. Only a few other African airlines have such approval: South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Moroccan Royal Air Maroc and Cape Verde’s TACV airline. 

“This approval will be used for revenue generation out of the USA in collaboration with our code-share partners,” said acting MD of Air Namibia, Mandi Samson. “This brings to an end, the days when Air Namibia could not book and issue tickets for flights to and from the USA”.

Air Namibia was also awarded certification to fly to any EU member state. In March the national airline finally completed the important International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) re-certification audit process, which started in 2013. The airline could thus renew its Air Operating Certificate.

Air Namibia flights to Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia were recently separated into two destinations to optimise the utilisation of its aircraft. During a stakeholder meeting this month, Samson noted that three new African destinations would be introduced this year. “We are just waiting for government approval then announcements will follow,” she said.

Samson further told stakeholders that return ticket fares for domestic flights would cost N$3,999 maximum. “If any one gets priced more than N$4,000 you must call me personally,” she said. 

Employment, inflation and vehicle sales 

The National Statistics Agency (NSA) released the latest employment figures in May. Namibia’s population stands at 2,32 million, of which 1,02 million (69.4%) people could be economically active. Only 676,885 (66%) of employable people are employed. A total of 349,383 (34%) people are unemployed. “Compared to the previous labour survey done in 2014, the 2016 survey shows that unemployment increased by 6.1 percent from 27.9 to 34 percent, the NSA’s Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni disclosed. Youth unemployment - persons aged between 15 and 34 years – increased from 39 to 43.4 percent. While 220,519 young persons had no work in 2014, this increased to 246,262 jobless youth.  

Inflation in Namibia dropped from 7 percent in March to 6.7% in April, according to the NSA. This is a small but welcome relief for consumers who will have to brave an 8 percent electricity tariff increase soon. The Electricity Control Board (ECB) granted the government power utility NamPower an eight percent hike to charge bulk electricity consumers. 

Vehicle sales in Namibia slowed

Vehicle sales dropped considerably in April. Only 946 new vehicles were sold, 32.5% down from the 1,402 vehicles sold in March, according to the financial institution IJG. “Lower government spending, specifically on capital assets had a direct effect on vehicles sold. Slower economic growth means that consumers will have lower disposable incomes. Many consumers reign in their spending as a result,” says IJG. Also, the Credit Agreement Act was implemented in August 2016. It stipulates a 10 percent deposit on all vehicle loans. Repayment periods are limited to 54 months.

Economic hardships

The Construction Industries Federation (CIF) said that 63 percent of building companies that are CIF members, surveyed said they would close down. Once again, the CIF urged government institutions to pay arrears for work done and to consider local contractors when building projects materialise. A Chinese company constructing a tar road between Grootfontein and Otjinene had to retrench 300 labourers as the government failed to pay for the work done.    

Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein announced that the African Development Bank granted the government a loan of N$10 billion over two years to be paid out in 2 tranches. N$6 billion will cover the 2017-18 budget deficit of N$6.1 billion. The remainder will be used for infrastructure, Schlettwein said. 

Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua with his delegation had a first ever meeting with President Geingob at State House. Government institutions owe the City N$105 million in unpaid municipal bills. This money is badly needed for infrastructure requirements and water supply improvements, Kazapua said. He requested a financial subsidy from the government for the municipality. President Geingob said project-based financial support might be considered.      

Brigitte Weidlich

Comments are disabled for this post.


Explore the Gondwana Blog

Subscribe to our blog and receive email notifications of all our latest articles & stories.

View the Blog

Romantik Hotels & Restaurants

200 hospitality establishments in the most beautiful locations in Europe - enjoy, relax and experience.

Read more

Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter Sign up Today