Namibian Economics to the Point – November 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.

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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

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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

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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

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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 – November 2017

Avatar of inke inke - 01. December 2017 - Economics

It was a month of mixed fortunes for Namibia’s economy, with improved rankings in two international ratings but a downgrade by Fitch. Parliament approved an additional budget of N$4.1 billion (about 61.5 million Euros). Inflation for October dropped to 5.2 percent compared to 5.6 percent in September. Only a few rainfalls were recorded in November, after good rains a month earlier. Total vehicle sales came to 1,100 units in October, 63 units fewer than in September. 

Rankings and ratings

Namibia’s ICT-Competitiveness improved to rank eight in Africa, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) announced. Namibia gained two notches in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report from rank 108 to 106. Similarly, Namibia moved up from rank ten to rank five in the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Namibia showed improvement in governance, despite some poor scores in social welfare, accountability, infrastructure and good business environment. 

However, the rating agency Fitch also downgraded Namibia’s creditworthiness to junk status (BB-), after Moody’s did so on 11 August. 

Tourism industry upbeat

Namibia’s’ tourism sector contributes 15 percent to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) said Manus Grobler, Head of Strategic Banking at Standard Bank. Grobler said this during an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN). The Association celebrated with a record number of 130 participants during its AGM and trade forum in November. At a glittering gala event the annual eco tourism awards were announced. Anett Kötting of Hotel Zum Kaiser in Swakopmund received the ‘HAN Personality of the Year’ award, Tristan Böhme of Okonjima Lodge was elected as ‘Hotel Manager of the Year’, Wessie van der Westhuizen, MD of Namibia Breweries Ltd received the ‘Tourism Personality of the Year’ award. Gondwana Collection’s Namib Desert Lodge received the ‘Five Flowers’ eco award, which equals five stars. 

Gondwana Collection expands

The tourism company Gondwana Collection issued shares to employees who were permanently employed 12 months or longer by 1 November 2017. CEO Gys Joubert called this move a milestone in the 22-year history of the company. Gondwana reports 15 percent growth and a 67 percent average room occupancy for 2017. A brand new lodge, ‘The Desert Grace’ is currently under construction in southern Namibia.

The company opened a new lodge in the Zambezi Region in November. The Zambezi Mubala Lodge (former Kalizo Lodge) is situated about 40 km east of Katima Mulilo. 

NAPHA against canned hunting

The Namibia Professional Hunters’ Association (NAPHA) criticised a decision by the South African Association for Professional Hunters to allow canned lion/predator hunting. Canned hunting means that lions and other predators are bred in captivity and released for trophy hunting in bush camps. This method is regarded as unethical by conservationists. NAPHA does not condone canned hunting among its members. Trophy hunting in Namibia has 15,000 direct and indirect jobs and generates some N$450 million (about 30 million Euros) on commercial farms and N$50 million (about 3.4 million Euros) in communal conservancies. 

Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta attended the AGM of NAPHA on 28 November and declared he did not support canned hunting. The Minister announced that a new Wildlife Management Bill was being drawn up and a new code of conduct for hunting. 

This month Minister Shifeta also inaugurated an anti–poaching camp inside the Etosha National Park. The cost of N$1 million was co-funded by the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the government of Japan. Sadly, three more rhinos were poached in November, all on private land, bringing the total number of rhinos killed by poachers to thirty. Shifeta further noted that a second project for climate change resilience in Namibia was approved by the UN Convention Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC). Namibia receives N$155.9 million (about 10 million Euros) from the GEF over five years to implement integrated (rural) landscape management in the Zambezi and the two Kavango Regions.

Russian oligarch wants more farms

Russian billionaire oligarch Rashid Sardarov, who owns a 48,000 hectare hunting lodge (Marula Game Ranch) near Dordabis, wants to add another 18,000 ha land to his property. In a full page newspaper advertisement his local law firm offered donations of N$24 million to various government institutions, if the government grants him permission to buy more farms. Foreigners are not allowed to own farms in Namibia, only up to 50 percent in partnership with locals.

More investments

The De Beers subsidiary Debmarine Namibia, commissioned the construction of another diamond mining ship for US$ 142 million (about N$2 billion). The ship will be 176 m long and is to be completed in early 2021.

The Windhoek municipality will invest in a new water reclamation plant next to the existing Gammams plant. Estimated costs to be N$1.1 billion (about 73 million Euros). Water scarcity and population growth mainly necessitate this investment.

At Walvis Bay, the Ehika Fishing Company invested N$27 million (about 1.8 million Euros) in a horse mackerel processing plant and cold storage facilities. Ehika will process horse mackerel into fish bread and fish sausages. 

Meanwhile Russian, as well as Chinese, investors toured Namibia to look for investment projects, no details were disclosed. The National Planning Commission signed agreement with a Chinese company for the construction of a dual highway from Windhoek to the Hosea-Kutako-International-Kutako- Airport.

A local commercial bank now offers services at Automatic teller Machines in local languages, apart from English. The additional languages at Bank Windhoek ATM’s are German, Otjiherero and Oshiwambo. 

Two milestones reached

The karakul industry celebrated 110 years of existence, since the first karakul sheep arrived in Namibia in 1907. Despite ups and downs, the karakul industry persisted and the pelts are internationally known under the Swakara label. 

Similarly, the Salt Company in Swakopmund celebrated its 80th anniversary. Founded in November 1936 by Rudolf Klein, it is still run by the family, joined by the fourth generation. The company produces 120,000 tons of salt per annum, mainly for export. 

More jobs and development

National Planning Minister Tom Alweendo, published the final report on the NDP4 (fourth National Development Plan), which ran from April 2012 to March 2017. Some 75,544 jobs were created, the aim was 90,000 jobs. Per capita income during NDP4 increased from N$42,000 to N$47,000 (some 3,334 Euros) annually. Absolute poverty was reduced from 28 percent to 18 percent of the total population since 2010. Namibia’s population stands at 2.3 million according to the latest demographic report. Only 52 percent of the population still lives in rural areas, 48 percent live in towns. Forty percent of housing in urban areas are shacks. 

Changes to economic strategy

The local daily newspaper The Namibian, reported on 9 November that the ruling SWAPO party apparently decided at its monthly politburo meeting to change the party ideology from capitalism to socialism. The future socialistic economic path is to “reflect the Namibian character”. This decision was to be brought before the SWAPO elective congress, which was held from 26 to 28 November. No details could be obtained. SWAPO elected a new party leadership. The land question was also discussed. Outgoing SWAPO Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba revealed that all land issues would be discussed at an extra-ordinary SWAPO congress “hopefully in 2018”. 

Coastal changes 

The skyline of Swakopmund might change drastically if plans for a 40 metre skyscraper close to the historic lighthouse go ahead. The Urban and Rural Development Ministry approved a submission of the Swakopmund municipality to allow new buildings up to 40 metres high. Many residents are against this and are collecting signatures for a petition.

Similarly, the quiet Langstrand beach front area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay will change. The Walvis Bay municipality plans a beach road in front of the residential properties, the owners are up in arms.

Brigitte Weidlich

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