Things are definitely looking more positive than this time last year (or the year before!). Last year it was a December of travel-bans and Omicron doom.
We’re a company that always look forward and to the future but in this case it might be good to take a quick look backwards, reflect and see how far we’ve progressed this year. Long-haul travel to Southern Africa hasn’t recovered fully but it has certainly improved from a year ago. We look forward to the continued improvements into 2023.
A major hindrance to the full recovery in some of our key source markets is airlift – but it looks like the situation will be much improved by the end of Q1 2023 based on recent announcements from some airlines.
As we continue on the recovery road of tourism we will stay true to our ethos of service excellence. It is not always easy in a country such as ours but we remain committed to a reputation and proven track record built on many years of service excellence.
I’ve just returned from a 10-day site visit to Namibia. It has been way too long since my last visit and an update was thus overdue.
Namibia is an exceptional country of stark contrasts and unique natural beauty. It is however also a huge country that is sparsely populated with arid and challenging living conditions. For many photographers and nature enthusiasts a dream destination – but it is also a destination only for the hard-core and hardy with a keen interest in the specific sights and scenery of Namibia. Distances are vast and road conditions rough (to put it mildly) making road travel arduous. I know most of the clients in our key source markets will find it too uncomfortable to endure. Luckily there is the option of flights with small aircraft – but this naturally comes at a cost. It would however most certainly be worth the splurge for those who want a truly unique experience. Namibia will never be a mass-market destination and should be seen in that context. Namibia might be easier to reach than Patagonia, the Galapagos Archipelago, the Okavango Delta and Svalbard but the destination should be seen in similar context with regards to remoteness, logistical and operational constraints and the truly unique scenery and experience it offers.
I covered a large swath of the country and stayed and inspected a broad spectrum of accommodation. Often the premium properties are not all about the luxury aspect but also about the unusual and remote locations with limited access. A premium price is more than just the thread count of the linen….
Most tourists will visit Namibia only once they’ve been to South Africa and some of our other neighbouring countries on earlier visits. I therefore have to advise our partners that service levels in Namibia is not quite the same as in South Africa. Although always friendly and still of high quality, the anticipatory aspect and attention to detail that is ingrained at the top South African properties is mostly lacking in Namibia. Many aspects of Namibia will exceed your expectations, the service levels might not.
Carnivores will love the cuisine in Namibia – you’re likely to be offered at least one choice of some venison at dinner besides the normal meat options. I had one of the most mouth-watering Eland fillets ever in my life at one of the lodges! Unfortunately Vegetarians might struggle a bit in experiencing the same level of exceptional dining. I think most Namibians still consider chicken a vegetable…. Dietary requirements and specifically vegetarianism is of big concern to many of our source markets and therefore my comments. It will be a challenge even if properties are notified beforehand – I travelled with 2 vegetarians during my trip and saw their struggles.
Namibia can naturally also be done in a more affordable way on self-drive basis – but it is only recommended for tourists that have the time (at least 12-14 nights), are hardy travellers with self-drive experience, willing to rough it a bit and with a keen interest to experience the rugged beauty Namibia has to offer.
For the right clients Namibia will be an exceptional destination that will leave them awestruck with its many & diverse landscapes and scenery.
As usual my comments are brutally honest and unapologetically blunt. But our long-time partners should be used to that by now.
We recorded my Namibian travels with our regular Facebook and Instagram postings. Those that missed the postings, please follow the links to get a taste of the destination.
I’ve also created a video-clip itinerary based on the properties I stayed at. Most of our partners have seen the impact these video clips make on clients who travel with us. We make a tailored video clip of the proposed properties in their itinerary that they can visualise what to expect. A picture paints a thousand words….
I managed to view a multitude of properties during my visit and will gladly share my views on these on request basis.
- AM Weinberg
- Windhoek Luxury Suites
- Sossusvlei Lodge
- Dead Valley Lodge
- Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
- Swakopmund Luxury Suites
- Strand Hotel
- Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp
- Mowani Mountain Camp
- Camp Kipwe
- Ongava Lodge
- Little Ongava
- Ongava Tented Camp
- Anderssons at Ongava
- Etosha Oberland Lodge
- Onguma – The Fort
- Onguma Bush Camp
- Onguma Forest Lodge – Etosha Aoba
- Onguma Tented Camp
- Camp Kala
- Mushara Lodge
- Mushara Outpost
- Otjiwa Mountain Lodge
- Okonjima Plains Camp
- Okonjima Bush Camp
- The Villa – Okonjima
- Kwessi Dunes Tented Camp
- Hoodia Desert Lodge
I would like to wish all our partners around the world a merry, joyous and peaceful festive season at the end of the year.
May 2023 be a bumper year for the tourism industry and all our partners have a year of prosperity, fulfilment and many joyous occasions!
Best wishes and tourism greetings!