Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Road to Nkasa Lupala Lodge


Note that the road from KONGOLA to SANGWALI is 90% Tarred and will be completed in the next weeks.

The road from Sangwali to Linyanti (direction Katima) is completed 100%.
Linyanti Katima is not ready yet and at Linyanti take the turn of to the B8, direction Sibinda.

We suggest in any case that everyone should use the Kongola road to get to the lodge.
From Divundu or from Katima.

Open top bus tour - Victoria Falls

A 'Greet the People and Historic Bridge Tour', using an open top double Decker red bus will be operating between 8am and 4pm. This trip is meant to show off Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Bridge. The tour is approximately 2 hours in duration.

New stone factory in Walvis Bay, Namibia

The largest dimension stone factory in Africa - about seven kilometres outside Walvis Bay - is expected to start production within the next three months.
Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein will be introduced to the Yu Tian Stone Product Factory today. The factory is part of the Chinese international corporation Best Cheer Stone Group.

The Walvis Bay municipality in its 2014/2015 capital budget said it allocated land to the factory to promote industrial development in line with the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).

This will apparently be the first factory where dimension stone (or granite, not marble) will be processed into a variety of final products, which include dimension stone tiles, table tops, mosaic and other commercial products specifically for basic building material to building decoration. Even the sludge-waste from the processing will be recycled into dimension-stone bricks.

A 30 000m2 ‘hangar’ on the road towards the Walvis Bay international airport is evidence of the enormity of the plant, which is expected to process up to a 1 million tonnes of dimension stone every year.

Granite blocks of up to 30 tonnes a piece are brought via low-bed truck from several of the company’s quarries around the country and in the Erongo region.

They will be sawed, filed, cut and polished into the various products at the factory.

“We are going to make Namibia an important country for the final product in dimension stone,” said general manager Mike Cai to The Namibian in an exclusive interview.

He said Namibia has good quality dimension stone that will offer international markets quality products. The fact that the port of Walvis Bay is being developed into an important regional import and export gateway, was also an attractive incentive for the investment into the Yu Tian facility.

Yu Tian in the Chinese language means something like ‘great joy’.

“It will make everyone happy; from the investor, to the workers, to the Namibian government; to the clients across the world,” Cai said.

While there are several granite plants in Namibia, Yu Tian has the advantage of having direct links to foreign markets.

It is expected that about 1 000 people will be employed at the plant, and according to Cai, “sustainable skills development” is key to ensure that Namibians are not just employed there but are also partners in the business.

New addition to Namibian tourism industry

Kanaan N/a' an ku sê Desert Retreat, where dune-dwelling reptiles submerge and swim through aerated sand anytime of the day, became the latest addition to the tourism industry.

This retreat, formerly a farm, now offers thousands of hectares of unspoiled nature, contrasting landscapes and never-ending breathtaking photographic opportunities. Owners of the latest addition to tourism, medical doctor and conservationist Dr. Rudie van Vuuren and his wife Marlice, made the announcement last week on Wednesday during the official launch party in Windhoek. The Van Vuurens, owners of the popular Utopia Botique in Klein Windhoek, the N/a' an ku sê Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary and the Neuras N/a' an ku sê Wine and Wildlife Estate on the edge of the desert, said retreat is situated on 33 000 hectares of unspoilt nature close to the world renowned Sossusvlei. Van Vuuren said the desert retreat will focus on the rehabilitation of the land to serve a further purpose of conservation and protection of wildlife and the environment. "Marlice will focus on the 33 000-hectare nature reserve which is home to free-roaming mountain zebra, kudu, springbok, ostrich, oryx, hyena and jackal. She will also do research on the brown hyena," said Van Vuuren.

"Kanaan offers an ideal addition to the fields being explored by our research team, giving them the opportunity to extend their work to this magnificent and ecologically vital area. "The main focus of the projects at Kanaan will be ecological and conflict research on the large carnivores, including cheetah, leopard, brown hyena and spotted hyena," he said

He said capturing and collaring resident large carnivores, in order to monitor their movements and activities in as much detail as possible, will form a vital and integral part of the ongoing research at Kanaan. "To further strengthen the results achieved by the research team, we are currently negotiating possible collaborative work with the Brown Hyena Research Project," he stated. Namibia's magnificent herbivores will not be forgotten, with the carnivore research being supplemented with herbivore counts, species inventories, camera trapping and other relevant assessments.

During the launch Van Vuuren said the farm is situated 35 kilometers from the Namib Naukluft Park with its breathtaking photogenic dune belt to the west and the Tiras Mountain range to the east that will offer tourists an incredible opportunity to exprience rustic and comfortable en-suite rooms, homely meals and refreshing drinks. It is understood that the ambassador carnivores from the Conservation Project that include cheetah and caracal give photographers the chance to capture great shots in the oldest desert. They however caution that Kanaan N/a' an ku sê Desert Retreat isn't a typical mass tourism destination. "We try to do things as ecologically sustainable as possible therefore electricity is provided by solar power. Guests are welcome to take a dip after a hot day in the desert, in the icy cold water of the farm dam close to home," Van Vuuren said.

Not far away in a little valley close to the Tiras Mountains with its spectacular view, lies Camp 707. This campsite offers complete silence, rest and peace. Facilities, Van Vuuren said, include a warm water shower, toilet and basin. Guests are invited to climb the Tiras Mountains and visit the Quiver Tree Forest, or visit the endless magical red dunes during the sundowner drives.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

32 students face expulsion from Russia

More than 30 Namibian students face expulsion from universities in Russia after the Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) failed to pay for their tickets to return home for internships.
The students, most of them doing medicine and engineering, may not be allowed to return to their universities if they fail to do internships, which is a prerequisite for proceeding to the next academic year.

Some students said yesterday that most of them had travelled for about 36 hours by train to the airport on Friday after NSFAF had promised to have their tickets ready by last week.

They further said it is NSFAF policy to buy tickets for third-year students coming for internships.

“We had already arrived at the airport when NSFAF communicated to us that the Fund is not in a financial position to buy our tickets. Now we are stranded as we have no other alternative arrangements,” said one of the students, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.

The students said they have already communicated their plight to the Minister of Education, David Namwandi, who said he could only attend to their plight today by inquiring from NSFAF what the problem was.

He told The Namibian yesterday that the NSFAF was an autonomous institution and he did not want to appear as interfering in their affairs. However he said he was aware of the plight of the students in Russia. Namwandi said their predicament could have been brought by the fact that NSFAF had spent about N$4.5 million on students who were brought home from Ukraine in May when the political crisis in that country intensified.

“That money was not budgeted for,” Namwandi said adding that he sympathised with the students and that they had not been forgotten.

Meanwhile, the students said they have now been forced to squat with other students since they have nowhere else to stay. They also fear that they may be deported because they are expected to leave the country by 10 July 2014.

“The dilemma we are facing is the fact that this was communicated to us at the last minute when we could have made other arrangements with our parents,” the student said.

In a letter addressed to the students dated 3 July 2014, NSFAF chief executive officer Hilya Nghiwete said the Fund was not in a position to support the exercise, advising the students to apply for the tickets next year.

“In the meantime, NSFAF will try its utmost to do proper planning for next year’s internship support, meaning NSFAF will first give priority to those students that are about to graduate,” she said.

Nghiwete also said the decision to withdraw funding for tickets was not only limited to students in Russia, but also those studying in Algeria, Cuba, Ukraine and China.

“It is against Russian federal law to exceed one’s stay in the country. We had already notified the authorities that we would leave on the 10th and we will be in trouble with the law if we do not leave by that date,” said the student.

The student said they may be fined if they do not leave the country by the 10th.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Amani Lodge has been reopened!

Amani Lodge offers:

1 x family suite – 1 queen bed + 1 single bed + 1 coach
1 x honeymoon suite
9 x double thatched stylish bungalows
2 x standard double rooms (attached to the main house)



·       FOOD / DRINKS.

A la carte- Light lunch and light dinner can be provided, if ordered in time!

·       LAPA.

·         During the day, sleeping guests may enjoy our beautifully decorated thatch Lapa and order some drinks. The Lapa will be closed at sunset.


·        Guests are welcome to enjoy relaxing and resting around our swimming pool, next to the Lapa.


CHEETAHS – Together with our Ranger, Tame and wild cheetahs can be seen and beautiful pictures be taken. Timing to be advised according to the season.

No children under 10 years old

o       GUIDED BUSH WALKING TRAIL - Walk our mountains at 2.150 meter altitude; enjoy our beautiful 360 degree panorama, Different distances and levels offered. Soft drinks inclusive.


·        Any transfer can be organized.


·         Conference room with projector
·         Capacity 16 participants.
·         Full board with coffee breaks

Friday, 4 July 2014

Okonjima Bush Camp renovations

Okonjima Bush Camp will be closed for renovations for the period 05.01. – 30.04.2015.

Time change in Namibia

Every year on the first Sunday in April, Namibian time changes from UTC +2 to UTC +1 and on the first Sunday in September, back to UTC +2.

Botswana dry port started operating on 01 July 2014 in Namibia

The Botswana Dry Port being developed in Walvis Bay at Atlantic coast of Namibia is expected to be operational from July 1, the Namibian Press Agency (NAMPA) reported Friday.Quoting Botswana Railways commercial manager Mthulusi Lotshe, NAMPA said the dry port was expected to reduce transport and logistical costs for Botswana exporters and importers by slashing the distance to the port.

“The other objectives of the dry port include improving cargo processing through co-ordinated operations; facilitating collection and distribution of local, regional and international transport; and integrating Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region with the Walvis Bay port,” Lotshe said.

The dry port would offer facilities such as cartage services, container handling, stacking, storage, break bulk terminal, a general purpose warehouse, empty container park and value added services such as customs clearance.

The 36,200-square metre Botswana Dry Port was constructed at a cost of more than N$60 million (about US$5.7 million).