Gondwana's Newsroom

Hoodia - Hardy Plant of the Desert

25. November 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

The Hoodia, a true desert bloom crowned in the springtime by large disc-shaped crimson flowers, has been the focus of much attention over the years, not for its ability to store moisture and thrive in arid areas or for its exquisite blooms but rather for its properties as an appetite suppressant. During the last decade it has been universally acknowledged that the San/Bushmen, the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, own the rights to the indigenous knowledge of the plant, but that has not always been the case.

Hoodia - Hardy Plant of the Desert

Five flowers for “green” Gondwana Lodges

19. November 2016, inke - Gondwana Collection

Eco-friendliness comes naturally at Gondwana’s lodges. Their efforts to save water and electricity and their responsible waste disposal have once again been acknowledged with the highest seal of approval in the Eco Awards and was accepted with joy. The Eco Awards 2016 were handed out at the Gala evening of the Hospitality Association of Namibia HAN on 18 November. All the Gondwana lodges which were reassessed scored the highest number of points and were awarded five desert flowers each.

Five flowers for “green” Gondwana Lodges

Benevolence in the Omaheke

18. November 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

War halts lives, draws people to new continents and changes destinies. All would be true for Albert Lemcke from Mecklenburg, Germany. But, from once being a protagonist in a war he believed in, the tables turned when he later became a victim of the mechanisms of war, losing everything he had worked for his whole life. The heart-wrenching story took an interesting twist, however, when kindness was repaid in the arid wilderness of the Omaheke, bordering the Kalahari Desert.

Benevolence in the Omaheke

Around the world in a vintage car

16. November 2016, inke - Tourism

If you come across a vintage car on the streets of Namibia, with an elderly lady at the wheel, you can expect a special rendezvous. In her Hudson Model Great Eight Coach (built in 1930), the Berlin-based Heidi Hetzer is following the tracks of the early world traveller Clärenore Stinnes. In 1927, a male-dominated era, this strong woman travelled to a vast 23 countries. Over the past two years, Heidi has driven through Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and South America, in her “Hudo”. And now she is travelling through Namibia. 

Around the world in a vintage car

Porcupine - The ultimate hairdo!

11. November 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

Amongst the animals that have developed ingenious adaptations for survival and defence, the porcupine stands out for its spiny quills, which make it challenging prey, even for its known enemies, lion and leopard. With hair and spines erect, and rattling the hollow quills at the end of its tail, the porcupine definitely is a contender for the ultimate – and most fearsome - hairdo in Africa. Porcupines are seldom seen, except by night-revellers. 

 

Porcupine - The ultimate hairdo!

The first Gondwana Lodge opened its doors 20 years ago

11. November 2016, inke - Gondwana Collection

Exactly 20 years ago, the Canyon Lodge received its first guests. A few months earlier a group of businessmen with a love for nature in southern Namibia acquired several farms at the Fish River Canyon and established the Gondwana Canyon Park. The group decided to finance nature conservation with income generated by the hospitality business. The Canyon Lodge opened its doors on 14 November 1996 and became the beginning of Gondwana’s success story. By now the Gondwana Collection consists of fifteen accommodation establishments all over the country. 

The first Gondwana Lodge opened its doors 20 years ago

Canyon Lodge, a place rich in history

04. November 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

Lodges don't look like this. When you travel through the vast landscapes east of the Fish River Canyon on your way to Canyon Lodge and suddenly see the main building rise between massive granite boulders, you will marvel at the unusual architectural style. Once you have come close enough you will recognize the iron structure which adorns the ridge of the roof and seems to represent a bed. If up to this point you haven't sensed that the unusual building is part of an extraordinary story you will be certain of it now.

Canyon Lodge, a place rich in history

Namibia copes with drought

04. November 2016, inke - Economics

Namibia has been hit hard by severe droughts over the last three years. Crop harvests have reduced as a result, cattle and other livestock died. Even wild animals compete for dwindling water resources and grazing. There is good news however - the latest weather forecasts at the end of October point to a higher likelihood of normal rainfalls during the October 2016 to April 2017 season, according to the FAO. Central Namibia and the capital Windhoek are also affected. While some rainfall was received, the rivers in and around Windhoek hardly flowed and the dams have not received inflow.

Namibia copes with drought

Lappet-faced Vultures are nesting close to Namib Desert Lodge

03. November 2016, inke - Gondwana Collection

They are scruffy, they look somehow strange, and they are scavengers making a living from others' misery - Vultures aren’t necessarily the birds with the best reputation. Well, a trip with MET’s Holger Kolberg and the Vultures Namibia team to the remote parts of the Namib Desert may change your mind. On the eastern boundary of the Namib Naukluft Park and just around the corner of Gondwana’s Namib Desert Lodge the untouched habitat is the breeding ground for many of Namibia’s Lappet-faced Vultures. Once a year Holger and his team - equipped with a Landcruiser and a long ladder - pay a visit. 

Lappet-faced Vultures are nesting close to Namib Desert Lodge

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