Making a difference – Namibia with heart & soul - News - Gondwana Collection


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Making a difference – Namibia with heart & soul

Avatar of inke inke - 13. May 2016 - Discover Namibia

What a celebration! Who could have imagined such a wonderful (and challenging) journey when Gondwana began humbly twenty years ago - inspired by the spirit of a new Namibia - with just a handful of people and a dream.  

The vision to make a difference – to both people and nature – led a group of like-minded friends to purchase our first farm east of the Fish River Canyon, with the intention of creating a conservation area. Our first lodge, Canyon Lodge, opened its doors in 1996 to help fund the dream. Over the next two decades, as more people who shared our conservation philosophy came on board, we were able to purchase several additional farms bordering the Fish River Canyon. Research was undertaken to ascertain which animals had previously lived in southern Namibia before the mass decimation of wildlife in the 19th century, and animals were gradually reintroduced to the denuded, drought-stricken land. Hundreds of kilometres of farm fences from the later era of intensive sheep farming were dismantled, so game could once again follow the scattered rainfall prevalent in the area. The vegetation began to re-establish itself and the wildlife flourished as the land was slowly re-wilded. Gondwana Canyon Park grew into a 127 000-hectare nature sanctuary, one of the largest professionally-run, privately protected areas in Africa. 

Canyon Lodge, our first and flagship lodge, was followed by another 14 properties positioned throughout the country in close proximity to Namibia’s major tourist attractions. Over the years we have retained the excitement of our first lodge and our essence – warmth, love and spirit, our vision and our innovative zest for life. We were able to build a strong staff complement and a solid company, well-balanced on solid environmental, cultural and financial foundations. From the first farm, Karios, we grew over time to become one of the leading tourism enterprises in Namibia, the Gondwana Collection.  

Intuitively, we became story tellers as we recognised the rich history around us, starting with Canyon Lodge’s century-old farmhouse and the story of the beloved Karios farm. This was coupled with the wish to offer our guests an exceptional experience of Namibia with heart and soul. It naturally led to our brand essence: Have a story to tell, which was incorporated into our rebranding two years ago. We would like our guests to take home more than just photographs; we would like them to have a memorable experience that will last a lifetime - to have a story to tell.

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