Shark Island campsite renovations to be completed on 8 October 2021
Campsite to re-open on 1 November 2021
Total cost of renovation was N$ 3,163,859.47
Windhoek, 23 September 2021 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited, which initially planned to renovate its Shark Island campsite in the 2019/2020 financial year, had to postpone its plans due to Covid-19. However, the project commenced in April this year and is now set to conclude on 8 October 2021. The restoration saw all the ablutions blocks, the field kitchen and the Lighthouse undergoing renovations. The campsite will then officially re-open on 1 November 2021.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, says that “on this particular project we worked with Telios Namibia Consulting Engineers, Jaco Wasserfall Architects Incorporated, Britz Quantity Surveyors, and Geckoh Fifty-Eight Investments (PTY) LTD which are all Namibian companies to ensure that this historical site would get the much-needed attention it deserved than the dilapidated state before renovations”.
Mr Sunday Nelenge, NWR Senior Operations Manager (Southern Resorts and Coastal Facilities), stated that “with such a historical significance dating back to pre-independent Namibia, NWR took extra caution on the work that was being done at Shark Island. It was imperative that all work being done would be able to stand the test of time and be of high quality. In terms of the total cost of the project, we spent N$ 3,163,859.47”.
About Shark Island
Shark Island is located on Shark Peninsula in Luderitz Bay in Southwest Namibia. The resort overlooks the bay, town and harbour. Onlookers can spot the seals and pelicans that frequent the rocky areas around the site.
NWR honours Frontline officers
NWR offers a 50% discount to all Frontline officers in Namibia and SADC on renewing or acquiring a Namleisure card.
Each Frontline officer who renews or acquires a Namleisure card stands a chance to win a two-night stay for two people at any NWR Resort.
Windhoek, 13 September 2021 – Since March 2020, Covid-19 has altered the way of life for many of us. However, Frontline officers such as Health Professionals, Police Officers and Military personnel have been at the forefront of helping manage the impact of Covid-19. The high demand of their work has prevented some of them from taking a vacation to recharge their batteries. Considering this, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited came up with a special and a competition to honour each Frontline officer in Namibia and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that started in late August and will run until 15 October 2021.
Mr Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager, states that “it’s close to two years that Covid-19 dramatically changed everything about life. Yet, our Frontline officers have been steadfast in ensuring that we as a nation are taken care of. For this reason, we at NWR decided to honour our Frontline officers by coming up with a special strictly for them. Therefore, each Frontline officer qualifies for a 50% discount in acquiring or renewing a Namleisure card until mid-October 2021. With the Namleisure card, each Frontline officer will qualify for a cheaper rate off our current Special on accommodation and a 25% discount on activities and meals at any NWR resort for a year. To qualify for the discount, they need to provide proof of their frontline status during the application period. The other special, which is in honour of them, will allow Namibians and SADC residents an opportunity to book at any of our Eco resorts (Dolomite, Onkoshi and Sossus Dune Lodge) for two nights and get the third night for free”.
Through these specials aimed at honouring the Frontline officers, NWR hopes they will get an opportunity to feel appreciated. Additionally, each time a Frontline officer acquires or renews a Namleisure card, they will automatically get entry to a competition to stand a chance to win a two-night stay for two people at any NWR Resort on a Bed and Breakfast basis. “Every Frontline officer is worthy of being honoured and celebrated for the unmeasurable sacrifices they have been making and continue to make. We thus hope that this gesture from us can accord all our frontline officers in Namibia and SADC an opportunity to rest and recuperate when time allows as they have surely sacrificed a lot for all of us,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.
NWR proceeds with salary cut
NWR implements salary reduction for all staff members
Salary and hours reduction were undertaken as per Labor Act, 11 of 2007
Windhoek, 26 August 2021 – On 9 July 2021, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited communicated to the Nation the need to cut the salaries of all its employees as a last resort after it had exhausted all other cost-cutting measures it had instituted over the past 16 months.
Being one of the first State-owned Enterprises to undertake this route, there was a misunderstanding created within the media that this was an illegal decision being taken by the company. However, it is important to note that the Labour Act makes provision for an organisation to enact a salary cut and reduce employee working hours accordingly for a period not longer than three months.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, states that “NWR is probably the first public sector institution to take such a measure. This in itself is not surprising because the tourism sector was devastated by the impacts of Covid-19. Some other organisations were not so lucky and had to close down due to the pandemic”.
Furthermore, Dr Ngwangwama stated that implementing the salary cut was one of the most difficult decisions he has had to take since assuming the Managing Director role. “It is not something I took pleasure in doing, but in the current circumstances, the options were limited. Contrary to what some stakeholders indicated, reducing remuneration and hours is not “unlawful” but regulated in the Labour Act (Act No 11 of 2007). Stakeholders should familiarise themselves with and try to understand the provisions of the Labour Act rather than make harmful statements that, in the end, may harm the reputation of the company. I request that all company stakeholders support the measures that management is trying to implement to ensure the company’s survival and longevity”.
NWR is, however, pleased to observe that some of those who were initially critical of the company’s stance to enact a salary cut have come to understand its move, which is geared towards securing the livelihoods of its more than 600 staff members.
Rosalia Mwahangange Kudumo uses her Voluntary Separation Package to fulfil her Entrepreneurial journey
Rosalia Mwahangange Kudumo
Voluntary Separation package and savings used to assist Mrs Mwahangange Kudumoin Entrepreneurial journey.
Dr Ngwangwama proud of Mrs Mwahangange Kudumo determination.
Windhoek, 22 August 2021 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited embarked on various cost-cutting measures over the last year and a half. One of these measures was NWR offering its staff members the opportunity to separate from the organisation voluntarily. Out of NWR’s total staff complement of 844 in the FY 2019/2020, 130 employees took up the offer to voluntarily separate from the organisation by 31 December 2020.
One of these employees was Mrs Rosalia Mwahangange Kudumo, who started as an intern at the organisation and was permanently employed as a Financial Assistant in 2014. At the end of last year, she took up the offer to voluntarily separate from NWR after seeing the possibility of finally realising her entrepreneurial journey.
According to Mrs Mwahangange Kudumo, “I have always been inspired to be an entrepreneur. Capital, experience and other requirements were always the missing pieces to pursuing my dreams. After seven years of work experience, I became more prepared. I did this by saving money, doing research on the business I was to embark on, and towards the end of 2020, somewhere around September, we were informed that the company was offering us the opportunity to separate from it voluntarily. I saw this as an opportunity to help me as I could use my pension fund, savings, and voluntary separation package to finance my business. That was the sign for me to separate, and I can surely say that it came at the perfect time”.
When she reflects, her upbringing greatly contributed to her taking a leap of faith. Originally from the Onengali Village and the firstborn in her family, she has always been the first to do everything. Her parents, who are business-oriented, made an example of her to her siblings. After school, she went straight to her parent’s shop to work until late, and this is where her entrepreneurial journey began. Her practical knowledge was further aided when she came to Windhoek in 2008 to study towards a Bachelor of Finance and Accounting Degree at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), the former Polytechnic of Namibia.
“In my view, some of the benefits of taking the voluntary separation package are that it helped me with my immediate financial needs. Equally, it allowed me enough time to do the actual work that I always wanted to do. While at the same time, I was able to offer jobs to some unemployed youths,” says Mrs Mwahangange Kudumo, who now proudly has a staff complement of four permanent employees and two casual workers at her business, which she took over from her parents.
When it comes to those that want to undertake the voluntary separation package Mrs Mwahangange Kudumo advises that “it’s a personal decision, everyone has their plans in life and depending on what your dreams are. There are a lot of business opportunities, and I believe that when you are determined to achieve what you want to achieve, and you are ready, this would be a perfect opportunity to take a chance on your dream as you have that little push to propel you financially to pursue your dreams.”
In conclusion, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, states that “it is fulfilling to hear about positive stories, such as that of Mrs Mwahangange Kudumo, who voluntarily separated from the company. What might have been seen as something negative has turned out very positive for her. What is even more pleasing to hear is that a former NWR employee has been able to offer employment to formerly unemployed youth using the voluntary separation package that the company offered. I am thus very proud of her journey and wish her all the best for the future”.
NWR’s Raven Ntjamba shares 10 tips on what makes great customer service
10 tips on the importance of customer service in the hospitality industry
Windhoek, 17 August 2021 – Customer service in Namibia does not often get positive reviews. However, different organisations and individuals have invested in several ways to improve on it over the years. Thus using her six years of experience from Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited, Raven Ntjamba would like to offer what she has learnt over the years through her time at the hospitality group.
1. Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life!
Having a passion for what you do makes everything else so effortless at work. You get excited about everything regarding work; coming to work becomes a joy. Even challenges are tackled in such a positive way. It’s what makes you go the extra mile; it is what makes you that unique person. It is all about making sure that another person feels that they can trust you enough to open up to you; her sister once said to her, “hospitality is when someone feels warm in your presence”.
2. Be a few minutes early at Work
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s so priceless to be at your workstation on time. Being on time makes you efficient because you are the one to help the first client of the day.
3. Be Approachable/Kind
When a client walks into your establishment, be the first to greet them. This will avoid the client having to figure out who to talk to. By this, you make them feel welcome and important. Equally, introduce yourself and ask them what you can help with. You are the representative of your company, and that is a big role to play.
How you dress, the way you talk to everyone (clients and colleagues), and act is important. It doesn’t matter what you are going through personally, be mentally and physically present at work. Make sure your outfit is neat and intact. Having an attire/uniform for the job is the best; nothing beats everyone looking the same at the office.
5. Take no Offence
Nothing that happens at work should be ever personal. The focus should be on delivering the best service possible. If a client is rude or loud and difficult, it might be because you are not meeting their need. So when working, keep that in mind and move on to the next person when it’s all over without feeling the need to pass the attitude onto the next client or even a colleague. When the supervisor or a colleague is giving you a hard time, find out why sit and talk it out instead of taking offence and making assumptions.
6. Be Respectful
The environment you work in must be peaceful and a place where you can be productive. To be so, you must respect each other in every aspect. Be considerate and mindful of your colleague’s as well. It is essential so that there is teamwork and peace. Treat every colleague with respect, regardless of their position.
7. Be Teachable
Every manager or supervisor wants someone adaptable and easy to teach. Be the kind of person chosen to do a task or be requested to train or test others. The attitude you have will either make you or break you. Be ready to assist anywhere, get dirty if you have to, be the chosen one; it’s really up to you, you can make yourself visible, you can make yourself invisible too, it all depends on your attitude. Be apt and willing to learn always.
8. Elements of Hospitality
Generosity, presence, empathy, optimism and confidence. You can never make it in this industry without the five. They must be on your mind all the time when you are dealing with a customer. If you are weak at it, learn to master them. You must apply the five daily.
9. Honesty is Critical
Don’t promise what you can’t give, don’t say you can do what you know is wrong. Being trusted is more important than impressing someone for a minute at the expense of your integrity and job. Be very clear about the protocol of your establishment; if something supersedes you, let the necessary authority take over and be truthful at all times, it is vital if you want to be at the top.
10. Be a Referral
Bask in the fact that you are a good referral. Having heard your name already, many clients should come to you because they have been told to seek you when they come to the office.
In conclusion, customer service is not easy because one must completely forget about themselves and focus on what the customer needs. One must have a passion for serving people along with a kind and patient heart.
Raven Ntjamba is currently an Assistant Sales Consultant within the Marketing Department at Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited. She has a Certificate in Travel and Tourism from Lingua College and a Certificate in Front Office Operations from Namibia Training Authority (NTA). She has also done a Customer relations course at DI Consulting.
At the moment, she is pursuing a Certificate in Office Administration at NTA.
Windhoek, 5 August 2021 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited has effected changes within its operations. These changes were necessitated to prepare the organisation for the remainder of the year and beyond. Thus resort managers at Dolomite, Halali, Onkoshi and Waterberg have been reassigned. At the same time, the organisation’s operations have been split between two Operational Managers, with one having oversight over the Northern part of the country and the other over the Southern resorts, inclusive of the Coastal areas. Equally, the organisation enhanced its in-house maintenance capacity, leading to maintenance-related matters being attended to internally at various resorts.
“To improve operational efficiencies and provide growth opportunities to our team members within the organisation, we decided to reallocate some of them. Thus Mr Elly Nuule, the former Halali resort manager, has been reassigned to Waterberg. Mr Johannes Pitji is now the Halali resort manager after previously heading the Sesriem campsite. Ms Foibe Kapofi was transferred from Onkoshi to Dolomite, whilst Mr Coster Shakwa was moved to Onkoshi after being the Khorixas rest camp manager. At Mile 108, Mr Albert Awarab is now the camp administrator,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.
At the same time, the following camp/resort managers have been appointed in an acting capacity. Mr Salomo Kuwa is now acting Gross Barmen Resort manager, and Mr Morris Mbeha is the acting Khorixas rest camp manager. While Ms Betty Kavangu is the acting manager at Naukluft camp, and Ms Sophia Burger is the acting Hardap Resort manager.
Operationally, Mr Sunday Nelenge, who previously served as the Hardap Resort Manager, is now the Senior Operations Manager for Southern resorts inclusive of coastal facilities. Ms Rebekka Horaes, who headed Gross Barmen resort, is now the Manager of Operations Support at the Head Office whilst at the same time also the caretaker Senior Operations Manager for the Northern Resorts. All these changes were necessitated by the departure of the previous Chief Operations Officer, Mr Sebulon Chicalu, who has taken up the position of Director of Tourism in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
Likewise, to reduce maintenance costs, an in-house maintenance team headed by Acting Maintenance Manager, Mr Simeon Amakutuwa, has been developed. Thus far, they have attended to maintenance issues at various resorts. “Recently, the Halali swimming pool, campsite braai stands and sitting areas were repaired by them with the assistance of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism”, says Mr Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, Manager Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships.
“All these efforts are aimed at ensuring our ability to withstand the current challenging times but equally prepare for the future ahead. Therefore, I would like to congratulate each team member that has been reassigned and wish them the best of luck in their new roles. I know that we will better serve our clients with the new deployments, especially with the lifted travel restrictions. Lastly, I also want to encourage our Nation to take advantage of the opportunity to see our beautiful country once again,” says Dr Ngwangwama.
NWR implements further cuts to ensure sustainability
Reduction in basic salary and hours for all NWR employees
Continued engagement with stakeholders to map the way forward
Windhoek, 9 July 2021 – The last 16 months have been the most challenging period that any tourism company has ever experienced. Each company within the sector took various measures to safeguard its operations and its employees’ livelihoods. Being a State-owned enterprise Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited equally embarked on uncharted waters when it cut their Board, Managing Director and Senior Management basic salaries, with the Patterson E-grading, by 25%, in September 2020. At the same time, NWR and NAPWU agreed on suspending salary increments for 2019/20, suspending normal overtime, Sunday and public holiday payments, and other allowances and benefits from 27 March 2020 up to date.
All these efforts were made to safeguard the well-being of its employees and the business. However, with the further challenges that the industry continues to endure, NWR has had to look at other additional measures to sustain its business. On this basis, NWR, in line with section 12 (6) (a) and (b) of the Labour Act, 11 of 2007, will be reducing the remuneration and working hours for its employees from job grades A1 – F1 for operational reasons and, for a period not exceeding three months starting in August 2021. In the case of NWR, only the basic salary will be affected as per the table.
Basic salary % cut
Hours of work reduction
A1 – A5
A 10 % reduction in hours (which translates in 48 minutes, rounded off to 1-hour reduction per day).
B1 – B5
A 10 % reduction in hours (which translates in 48 minutes, rounded off to 1 hour reduction per day).
C1 – C5
A 15 % reduction in hours (which translates in 72 minutes, rounded off to 1-hour reduction per day).
D1 – D5
A 20 % reduction in hours (which translates in 96 minutes, rounded off to 1 hour 30 minutes reduction per day)
E – F
A 25 % reduction in hours (which translates in 120 minutes hours, rounded off to 2-hour reduction per day)
“This decision was not an easy one to make since we had hoped that our previous measures and a possible uptick in travel during our high season would improve the situation. However, in the current circumstances where cases are rapidly increasing and affecting Namibia as a travel destination, we do not foresee a marked improvement anytime soon. Therefore, the reduction in hours and basic salary is geared towards giving us some leeway to continue operating under these challenging times,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director. At the same time, NWR is continuing to engage the Ministry of Public Enterprise and its key stakeholders to see how they can assist it during this period.
199 submissions for NWR social media influencer programme
10 social media influencers to collaborate with NWR for the next four months.
Each Influencer to receive complimentary accommodation, meals, and activities at five different NWR resorts.
Social media influencers to post about their experiences on their social media page/s and tag NWR using the #NWRMoments.
Windhoek, 1 July 2021 – Between 24 May – 31 May 2021, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited provided Social Media Influencers with an opportunity to submit a two-page proposal highlighting why NWR should collaborate with them from 1 July 2021 to 31 October 2021 on its first-ever Social Media Influencer Programme. A total of 199 submissions were received from various social media influencers.
Out of the 199 submissions, each one was subjected to the following criteria: the authenticity of the social media influencer, the overall quality of social media posts by the influencer, the demographics the social media influencer has and lastly, their level of engagement on their social media platforms. Additionally, and very critically, each social media influencer had to highlight an alignment to NWR’s values before they could be considered. These values are Accountability, Integrity, Passion, Excellence, Innovation and Environmental Awareness.
“Due to the significant number of submissions, we ended up selecting ten social media influencers with whom we will collaborate with for the next four months. It truly pains us that we could not choose more influencers due to the high quality of submissions we received,” says Mr Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager.
The ten social media influencers that NWR will collaborate with are: Ms Elizabeth Amunyela (IG: @__ndapandula), Mr Lourens Gebhardt (IG: @louxthevintageguru), Ms Li Rossouw (IG: @lirossouw), Mr Kyle Lewin (IG: @kylelewin_wildlife_photography), Ms Pukuu Rijatua (IG: @_pukuu), Ms Maggy Lenga (IG: @mlmaggy), Ms Tjuna Kauapirura (IG: @ tjunak), Ms Marsy Rita (IG: @ ladymarsela), Ms Elizma Burger (IG: @elizma.burger) and Ms Nakanyala Ndapewa (IG: @ndapewakoneka). “Each one of these influencers bring a unique aspect that will greatly benefit us. As NWR, we made sure not to limit ourselves to just established influencers but to look at individuals that embody our values and most importantly have something unique and innovative to offer,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.
For the duration of this programme, every influencer will have an opportunity to visit any five NWR establishments under the different classifications NWR has. Each influencer will receive complimentary accommodation, meals, and activities, excluding drinks. In return, the influencer will be expected to post about their experience on their social media page/s and tag NWR using the #NWRMoments. “It is unfortunate that our industry was so negatively impacted by Covid-19 because we would have wanted to remunerate each influencer for their time and transport costs they are going to put towards the realisation of this programme. We are thus very grateful to each one of them for accepting our offer and seeing an opportunity to further build their brand with us,” says Mr Nesongano.
Black Friday booking extension allowed – NWR
Black Friday voucher clients with bookings made before 17 June 2021 can amend their reservations before their arrival date until 31 August 2021 (Terms and Conditions apply).
Unredeemed Black Friday voucher clients have until 30 June 2021 to make their booking and travel before that date (Terms and Conditions apply).
Windhoek, 22 June 2021 – Throughout the past 15 months, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited needed to find innovative ways to sustain its business. Through various specials, such as its Black Friday promotion in November 2020, NWR managed to do so, seeing several domestic travels occurring to its resorts.
However, with the travel restrictions that His Excellency, President Hage G. Geingob, announced on 15 June 2021, which restricted exit and entry into the Windhoek-Okahandja-Rehoboth Local Authority Areas from 16 June 2021 – 30 June 2021, several clients with Black Friday vouchers were affected. “These measures by the President are there to safeguard our Nation, and as NWR, we are in full support of them. That’s why, based on this, we have decided to allow our Black Friday voucher clients that made their bookings before 17 June 2021 the ability to move their reservations until 31 August 2021,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.
NWR further encourages clients who had not redeemed their vouchers or made their booking before the President’s announcement to do so and travel before 30 June 2021. Otherwise, they will, unfortunately, forfeit these vouchers as per our terms and conditions. “To ensure that this process is smooth, we would like to appeal to our clients to send their written adjustment requests to the following booking offices (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) or where their original booking was created,” says Mr Epson Kasuto, NWR Chief Marketing Officer.
Michael !Goreseb Namibia Wildlife Resorts snake handler
Michael !Goreseb showing one of the snakes he recently caught
Windhoek, 9 June 2021 – The mere mention of the word snake sends chills up some people’s spines, however for Mr Micheal !Goreseb, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited snake handler, these species fascinate him. Having worked at NWR’s Namutoni resort for the past 14 years and recently relocated to Okaukuejo resort in the last two months, Mr !Goreseb has come into contact with all types of snakes over the years.
Mr !Goreseb is originally from Otjiwarongo; however, he grew up and schooled in Tsumeb, where his mother moved to when he was younger. He got introduced to snake handling from an early age by his grandfather, who was also a snake handler. As he grew older, he continued sharpening his skills, thereby making it easier for him to catch all types of snakes.
“When I was a young boy, I started to catch these venomous snakes and all other types of snakes. That’s how I got into catching snakes,” says Mr !Goreseb. He further adds that “when one catches a snake, one should release back into the wild. This helps maintain the ecosystem. However, if you kill it, you will disturb the ecosystem”.
Over the years, he has gotten better at identifying the different types of snakes to the extent that he sometimes allows some of them to bite him, but he is quick to add that “I know the differences between the different types of snakes, so I’m always trying not to be bitten by the venomous ones but the mild venomous ones. Because when they bite you, the spot that would have been bitten will swell up and subsides after a few days”.
When he recalls the most venomous snake that he has caught, the black mamba comes to mind. Thus far, he has caught three black mambas, with the latest one being 3.6m long. His future plans are to grow in his profession to the point that he is recognised throughout the country as one of the best snake handlers around.