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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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Experience Africa like nowhere else. Discover what makes Namibia so special and as it should be, with Namibia2Go. Easy. Up close. Unforgettable. Explore Namibia your way with Gondwana Collection's new unbeatable self-drive safari package for two. Includes accommodation, 4x4 vehicle and a detailed on route map guide.

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Discover Namibia’s main attractions.

This package offers a four-wheel drive vehicle and a twelve day trip through the beautiful Namibian landscapes. Starting from Windhoek you will head south, into the Kalahari where your first night will be spent enjoying the sunset at the Kalahari Anib Lodge.


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Enjoy an active Namibian adventure.

Have an active adventure in Namibia with this ten day trip. See a new side of Namibia that includes a wide variety of activities. All from the comfort of a four-wheel drive vehicle that is included in the package. Starting in Windhoek you head west towards the coastal town of Swakopmund.


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Track Namibia's awesome wildlife.

This self drive safari includes a four-wheel drive vehicle and stopovers at all major wildlife-viewing sites. Starting from Windhoek you will head towards the famous Etosha National Park, where 3 nights will be enjoyed at the unique Etosha Safari Camp.


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Go Epic

Experience Namibia's famed locations.

Take ten days to discover Namibia in an Epic way. This self drive safari - which includes a four-wheel drive vehicle - will take you to the famous Namibian locations that will make you long for the vast open spaces long after you return home. Starting in Windhoek you will head south to the Kalahari Desert.


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Gondwana's Newsroom

Rhino Hunt results in the founding of Henties Bay

Avatar of inke inke - 05. January 2018 - Discover Namibia

Henties Bay in 2009. (Photo: Kirsten Kraft)

Inke Stoldt

Who would have thought that a rhino hunt in 1929 would result in the founding of one of Namibia’s most popular holiday resorts? The story of how Major Hentie van der Merwe discovered a deep valley of sand a few miles south of the Omaruru river mouth was first published on 29 April 1977 by the Brandwag magazine. It was a spot with more than enough fresh water and an abundance of game. Henties Bay was named after this Major. 

Major Hentie van der Merwe’s full name is Hendrik Stephanus van der Merwe. According to a report by well-known author Daniel Ferndinand “Doc” Immelman in the South West Africa Yearbook of 1974 the father of Major van der Merwe, a Captain, joined the British Army at the outbreak of World War I. He first served in Europe and then in South West Africa, where he settled with his family. Hentie van der Merwe attended school in Swakopmund and in Cape Town and then became one of the first students at Neudamm Agricultural College. In 1928 he became a car dealer in Kalkfeld, where he married Irene May McCulloch the following year.  

Hentie van der Merwe set out on a hunting expedition to Angola in 1929. There he happened to run into an American acquaintance of his, James A. Devilinger, who was a game expert. Devilinger told him that a museum in Pennsylvania was looking for a rhinoceros skeleton. They were prepared to pay up to 800 British Pounds. Hentie van der Merwe agreed to supply the skeleton.  

After his return to Kalkfeld he immediately started to prepare for the rhino excursion. He set off to Brandberg Mountain with a Ford bakkie and three Oshiwambo speaking helpers. After an arduous trip through wilderness terrain they eventually came across a rhino spoor. They bagged the animal with a well-aimed shot. They skinned and gutted it and scraped the meat from the bones. 

At some stage, however, their water supplies were so low that they could not remain at their ‘hunting grounds’ any longer. They loaded the smelly carcass onto the pick-up and drove on towards the coast. At Cape Cross they turned south to look for the mouth of the Omaruru River where they expected to find fresh water. But their hopes were dashed and they continued to struggle through the deep sand until at last they discovered a spring.   

The Brandwag quoted Hentie van der Merwe as saying: “Eventually we reached a deep sandy valley a few miles south of the [Omaruru] river’s mouth. I reckoned that this was a former riverbed. The carpet of green reeds immediately caught my eye, it was a sign of water. I liked this spot and so we stayed”.  

A few days later Hentie van der Merwe and his helpers continued on their way to Swakopmund. There the rhino skeleton was handed to a freight agency for shipping to the US.  

Around Christmas of the the same year Hentie van der Merwe returned to his sandy valley at the coast. He brought lots of boards and planks with him and built a hut for himself. He told others about his beautiful spot at the sea, where fish and game were plentiful. He took friends along on vacation, and over the years his holiday spot became popular with many others. Some followed his example and built little houses for themselves, others pitched tents or slept in their cars during summer. They called their holiday destination ‘Hentie se baai’ (Hentie’s bay). 

When World War II broke out Hentie van der Merwe joined the army and was responsible for recruiting and organisation in the 1st SWA Infantry Battalion. He was engaged in active service in North Africa and Italy and was promoted to the rank of Major. After winning a marksmanship competition in Cairo the ruler of Egypt and the Sudan, King Farouk I, asked him to teach his family the art of shooting. A close friendship developed between Hentie van der Merwe and Farouk I. The king was overthrown in 1952 and went into exile in Italy, where he died in 1965.  

Hentie van der Merwe was the mayor of Otjiwarongo from 1949 until 1952. In 1965 he retired and spent the last years of his life in Somerset West in South Africa.

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