Large and unusual visitors at our shores - 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.

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

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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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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.

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Large and unusual visitors at our shores

Avatar of inke inke - 07. February 2018 - Environment

An elephant seal at Pelican Point near Walvis Bay. This rather shy animal was discovered in the colony of Cape fur seals.

Dirk Heinrich

Something large and ungainly was lying just above the high-water mark on a beach in Skeleton National Park. Some vehicles had driven past, probably because the brown lump looked like one of the many tree trunks that get deposited on the beaches. But then the ‘trunk’ turned out to be a young bull southern elephant seal. The bulky marine mammal seemed unperturbed by the people around him. It simply lay there and watched the strange creatures with its big brown eyes. But when somebody touched the flattened tail of the more than four metre long animal it turned around with incredible speed and with its mouth slightly open looked the intruder straight in the eye. Nobody would have expected a sluggish looking elephant seal move so fast. He then flopped down again to continue sunbathing. 

A young elephant seal that was observed at Pelican Point near Walvis Bay a few years ago behaved differently. As soon as a vehicle approached the animal fled into the ocean waves together with the resident Cape fur seals. An elephant seal was last seen on our coast on 13 January this year at Baker’s Bay in Sperrgebiet National Park south of Lüderitz. That animal had already been spotted there a month earlier. Scientists say that southern elephant seals are rare but nevertheless regular visitors to our coastline. They are members of the earless seal family (Phocidae). By contrast, the Cape fur seals which are at home on our shores belong to the eared seal family (Otariidae). 

Southern elephant seals are the largest seals on the planet. Fully grown males may weigh more than four tons. The northern elephant seal is slightly smaller than its southern relative. The range of the northern and southern species does not overlap. Populations of southern elephant seals are found on the sub-Antarctic islands between the latitudes of 40 and 60 degrees south, where they mate and give birth. Females are much smaller than males. Pups weigh 35-40 kg at birth. They grow very fast, gain weight rapidly and are weaned within a few weeks. After mating, the adults take to the ocean to forage for food. Then they come ashore again to moult, which takes about two weeks. Some animals, especially young ones, roam far from their habitat and even end up at our coast. The elephant seal which was seen at Baker’s Bay was probably moulting and moved back south afterwards.        

A female elephant seal was spotted near Pelican Point on 8 August 1986. The large earless seal then stayed at Long Beach from 23 August to 4 September to change its coat, after which it was seen at Mile 14 on 15 October and near Wlotzkasbaken on 19 October. The next day it appeared at the mouth of the Omaruru River in Henties Bay. The same seal was seen again in January the following year near Horingbaai north of Cape Cross. In those days sightings of unusual marine mammals were reported by the public and registered by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Environment.  

Anyone who comes across unusual seals, tagged animals or carcasses at the coast can help by sending pictures with details to scientists Diina Mwaala and Dr Jean-Paul Roux. Posts to the Facebook page of Lüderitz Marine Research are also very welcome. 

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