About us

Our Philosophy

Honouring the past

Dreams were discovered and history unravelled when the first Gondwana lodge was built on the farm Karios. Retaining the quaint century-old German farmhouse as the reception area, Canyon Lodge exudes the warmth and passion felt by its creators, the Schanderl brothers. Deported after WW1, they tried in vain to return to their beloved home. A bedstead, fitted by the brothers in observance of Bavarian tradition, still stands on the roof of the building to inform ladies that a bachelor is in residence.

Over the years, Gondwana acquired adjacent sheep farms to establish the expansive 126 000 hectare/1260 square-kilometre nature reserve, the Gondwana Canyon Park. As fences were dismantled, the wildlife began to recover and as the land healed, the remnants of the people who once lived on the farms were discovered: old shepherd shelters, engravings, implements, graves and buildings that had been taken over by nesting birds. Stories were recounted under trees, in huts and farmhouses over time, and the tales of old were woven together to provide a clearer image of life in the arid Karas region.

These tales and others - the stories of the Namibian people, their struggles and triumphs over the years and their fascinating traditions, have been collected and recorded in the treasure-house of history, adding to the geological masterpieces that enrich the land.

Honouring Nature

A seed was planted when the first piece of land was investigated near the Fish River Canyon nearly twenty years ago. This was a vision of a large conservation area. It would take many years to come to fruition. As sheep farmers put up their land for sale, discouraged by drought and the unfeasibility of farming in the inhospitable south, farm after farm was acquired. Fences were dismantled, waterholes established and wildlife reintroduced. The area evolved into the professionally-run Gondwana Canyon Park, one of the largest protected areas in Africa, administered full-time by park wardens and monitored through annual game counts. Slowly, animal numbers increased and the flora regenerated as the land was 'rewilded' and brought back into balance. Gondwana's dedication didn't stop there. As the Collection grew, three more reserves were created in other parts of the country, totalling 1 970 square kilometres of protected area.

This attention to conservation and sustainability, and determination to tread lightly on the Earth has extended to our lodges, where water-recycling plants enable this precious resource to be used to water gardens, solar panels harness natural energy, recycling minimises waste and a Self-Sufficiency Centre grows fresh produce for our guests.

Most of our lodges have received top honours in the Eco Awards - the environmental seal of quality.

Honouring People

An important pillar of the Gondwana Philosophy, and one that stands sturdily with that of Conservation, is our commitment to the Namibian people. Our 600 staff members mirror the cultural diversity of the country and are an integral part of the company. Acknowledging their value, we invest heavily in staff training offering avenues of advancement. The training department provides a comprehensive programme including computer and language courses, service training, HIV education and provides awareness of the need for family planning, old-age provision and health-care.

The Gondwana staff complement includes service, guiding and managerial staff at the fourteen lodges and one hotel; administration, marketing, managerial, human resources and technical staff in Windhoek; Self-Sufficiency Centre staff who grow produce for the lodges and run the butchery in Stampriet; and the well-qualified team of park rangers who monitor the fauna and flora, conduct anti-poaching patrols and support research projects.

Visitors to the Gondwana lodges immediately experience the feeling of self-assurance and well-being radiating from the staff, stemming from their awareness of being part of a greater whole.

Welcome to Gondwana. We greet you with a smile and a warm handshake.

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