A Story from the Heart – Gondwana Collection Namibia - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection

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

Special online offers in February

If you want to get out of the daily grind and experience something different, our February bargain is just right for you! 50% off all Gondwana accommodation and 29% discount on a Namibia2Go rental car with camping equipment. Book online now for February 2020! more 

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)safari2go.org | 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

A Story from the Heart – Gondwana Collection Namibia

Avatar of inke inke - 08. November 2019 - Gondwana Collection

The story of one of the most successful lodge groups in Namibia began where all things of value begin: with a heart and a dream. The company had humble beginnings - a handful of like-minded people who envisioned a conservation area in the Fish River Canyon surrounds. The year was 1996, six years after Namibian independence when hope floated effervescently in the air and the first international visitors started to enter the country to see what was on offer in the semi-arid reaches of southern Africa.

Sheep farmers whose farms had been devastated by years of extreme drought were selling off their barren land and moving to the towns in the hope of better prospects. This did not deter the small group who dreamed of rewilding the land to its former natural glory. The key and only sustainable way to fund such a dream was to offer accommodation to these intrepid travellers in this extraordinary setting. The first farm was Karios and the first lodge, Canyon Lodge, slowly took shape with little funds, but great determination, inspiration and passion. It was all hands-on. The MD camped on the building site during construction and one amusing tale relates how he once even sold oranges in the nearby towns to purchase fuel for the journey to Windhoek where he hoped to placate an anxious bank manager. Directors meetings were held casually against the striking backdrop of the Fish River Canyon. Heart and soul were added to mortar and the personal touch was ingrained in the foundations of what would grow into the Gondwana Collection Namibia.

The dream grew over two decades of nurturing. Keeping its values firmly in place along the way, the Gondwana Collection continues to embrace social and environmental commitment, as well as service excellence – a very successful formula. Gondwana stands out above the norm with its lodges that have stretched imaginations and delighted guests with their innovation, warmth, stories, décor, hospitality and charm.

From its first lodge, Canyon Lodge, snugly built among the granite boulders with its reception housed in a century-old Bavarian farmhouse, to its latest state-of-the-art desert pod, The Desert Whisper, perched on a small hill in the Namib Desert like a spacecraft about to lift off, Gondwana has enchanted its guests, who return year after year to savour the sweetness and to enjoy the ever-new surprises and warm welcome.

The conservation dream didn’t end there. Over the subsequent twenty-year period ten adjacent farms were purchased in the canyon surrounds, the fences dismantled and wildlife that once populated the area gradually reintroduced. The wildlife is now free to follow the patchy rainfall to green grass, unhindered by a maze of fences. Under Gondwana’s careful management, the land slowly regenerated and the area grew into the 130 000-hectare Gondwana Canyon Park, one of the largest private professionally-run nature reserves in Africa.

Gondwana Canyon Park

Canyon Lodge was the first in a collection of twenty lodges that are now dotted throughout the country from the Fish River Canyon in the south to the lush Zambezi Region in the far north-east, and from the Namib Desert in the west to the Kalahari in the east.

The quirky light-heartedness and joie de vivre of some of the lodges is infectious and invariably raises the traveller’s mood. Eating a Roadhouse burger and enjoying a slice of Amarula cheesecake at Canyon Roadhouse with its bevy of classic automobiles and colourful detail from yesteryear is an entertaining experience. It didn’t take long for the Roadhouse to become an iconic stop for those visiting the Fish River Canyon.

Damara Mopane Lodge

Moving north to Damaraland, en route to the Twyfelfontein engravings, Damara Mopane Lodge’s chalet gardens filled with a selection of vegetables and herbs have proven popular for their green-fingered charm as well as their fresh produce. And Etosha Safari Camp’s Shebeen restaurant, modelled on a pre-independence tavern, with local musicians strumming guitars nightly in front of a fire in the courtyard has become a firm favourite.

Integral to the hospitality Gondwana offers is storytelling – and Namibia has many wondrous and intriguing tales. These add depth and value to an experience, providing guests with a deeper understanding of the country, its attractions and its people. The company has published a series of books about Namibia’s history and characters, stories that were on the brink of disappearing for the lack of telling.

As the company grew, even more emphasis was placed on staff training. The competence and welfare of the staff contingent has always been paramount, and the staff body united through the strong shared philosophy has been instrumental in the company’s reputation as a leading service provider in the hospitality industry. The Gondwana Training Academy has been established to ensure that the Gondwana team of more than a thousand people from different ethnic groups receive annual skills training and partake in enrichment programmes. It’s always been a Gondwana motto that to be successful you need to make others successful – and this inspiring philosophy endures. Staff members have the opportunity to - and do - progress through the company, from gardeners and waiters to managers. In 2017, all Gondwana employees became shareholders on a loyalty-based incentive scheme, transforming employees from staff members to co-owners, and raising the team to new and greater heights.

Over the years Gondwana’s strong environmental focus received further expression with solar panels being erected at the lodges, water-treatment centres installed and recycling facilities established. An ‘It’s up to us’ project was initiated, promoting environmental awareness to create a cleaner and more sustainable country. On the social responsibility side, an important leg of the company, Gondwana’s Care Trust is involved in community projects, recycling and waste initiatives, and food kitchens. Gondwana collaborates with Bank Windhoek on the MealForTwo project, in which every meal enjoyed at a Gondwana lodge sponsors a meal for someone less fortunate. The concept of giving back and making a difference is a valued concept as the company acknowledges its role as a custodian of the planet.

Manni Goldbeck (l.) passing the baton to the current CEO of Gondwana Collection Namibia, Gys Joubert.

After twenty years at the helm, the Managing Director Manni Goldbeck stepped aside for younger blood in 2016 and Gys Joubert took the helm as CEO, infusing the company with new energy. Manni Goldbeck continues to express his passion as the Brand and Marketing Director, putting his innovative creative energy into these departments. He and his energetic team have sped ahead with social media on the various online platforms, offering fascinating content and a range of video clips for their followers, developing a strong community.

The community database is now more than 200 000 people and the Google reach is between 600 000 and 1 million views per month. Through the online platforms and the newspaper (print and online) ‘Namibia Focus’, the company keeps the Namibian adventure alive long after guests return home. A French website called ‘Aux 4 coins de la Namibie’ has also been created to reach this niche market.

Welcoming a range of travellers from different streams of life, Gondwana’s more recent lodges The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund, The Desert Grace and The Desert Whisper (60km north of Sesriem), Zambezi Mubala Lodge (near Katima Mulilo) and Namushasha River Villa, a floating exclusive villa on the Kwando River, have added style and elegance to the Collection, making it more international. At the same time safari tented camps have been established at several of the lodges to appeal to the more down-to-earth traveller.

Zambezi Mubala Lodge

Online travel agency, Cardboard Box Travel Shop, has been added to the Collection to ensure a smooth and efficient reservation service. Boxed2Go self-drive packages along the classic routes in in a feisty Nissan NP300 or robust Toyota Hilux are also now available, as is Namibia2Go car hire and the Safari2Go guided tours to Namibia’s top destinations.

Gondwana continues to be a forerunner in the industry with its innovative concepts. The Gondwana Card (with over 75 000 members), offering 50% discount to locals and 40% to South Africans, has made travel accessible and affordable for local people for the first time.

This ripple effect of positivity that is generated by the company radiates outward as Gondwana not only promotes their own lodges but Namibia as a destination. Websites like Namibia Weather, Namibia Outdoor - with information about the environment and outdoor activities - and Namibia Nature Parks - with all the necessary information about Namibia’s nature parks and conservation areas - are aimed to reach all travellers.

The Collection continues to charter unknown waters and to be a forerunner among its peers. Its newest lodge, Etosha King Nehale, is set to open on 1 May 2020 on the Andoni plains near Etosha’s most northerly gate, opening up this area to mainstream tourism and making the routes from the Kunene to the Kavango regions more accessible.

Gondwana's newest lodge Etosha King Nehale will open its doors on 1 May 2020.

“We have a purpose to be custodians of the future, architects of tomorrow, stewards of society, and we have undertaken to do that with respect, humility and excellence.”

This mirrors the sentiment in Gondwana’s very first business plan written in 1996, in which the original partners included this quote by Kuki Gallman, setting the ethos for the future:

I spoke from my heart.

So often I had thought about that very point. ‘I do not feel like a landowner. I cannot believe that we really own the land. It was there before us, and it will be there after we pass.

I believe we can only take care of it, as well as possible, as trustees for our lifetime. It is for me a great privilege to be responsible for a 
chunk of Africa.’

As stated boldly on the Gondwana website: ‘Take our hand and let us introduce you to this awe-inspiring country.’

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