NWR announces improvements in its 2021 financial performance.
Announces dawn of new strategy through innovative ideas and new
Shareholder expresses appreciation to the NWR board for setting an
example by being selfless in cutting board fees
Windhoek, 18 May 2022 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) announced improvements in its financial performance at the recently concluded Annual General Meeting (AGM) that took place on 17 May 2022 in Windhoek.
While announcing the importance of compliance with the Public Enterprise Act 2019 (Act 1 of 2019), through timely production of Annual reports and the publishing of Annual Audited Financial Statements, the Managing Director of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Dr. Matthias Ngwangwama announced that the Namibia Wildlife Resorts reduced its losses from N$ 174 million in the year 2020 to N$ 97 million in the financial year 2021, an improvement of 44% or N$ 77 million.
“We have devised a strategy that will allow us to return to profitability. The strategy involves moving beyond just providing facilities. The launch of our NWR camera at the waterhole has created a huge interest in our resorts. We hope with the new innovative ideas and customer experience initiatives that we aim to implement, such as enhanced digital and online presence, group packages for families and runners’ clubs, and other planned activities at our resorts, will enable us to increase our occupancies and enable us to make greater revenue than currently” Dr. Ngwangwama said.
The improved performance is attributed to, amongst others, the reduction in staff complement through voluntary separation exercise and having the senior management and board members to take a 25% cut on their salaries and board fees respectively.
“From a cost-cutting perspective, we continued to implement various cost-cutting measures in 2021, including a reduction in employee costs through voluntary separation. I am in no doubt that the company is now in a position of generating a larger profit than that recorded in 2019” said Ms. Janet Wilson- Moore, Vice-Chairperson of the NWR Board.
On the same occasion, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Honourable Maureen Hinda-Mbuende expressed her appreciation to the NWR board for setting an example by being selfless in cutting their board fees and for seeing through their two three-year terms which comes an end in June 2022.
NWR’s first bi-annual marathon off to a great start
Windhoek, 23 April 2022 – Over 300 runners braved the cold weather of Windhoek to take part in the inaugural NWR Bi-Annual marathon.
The race, which aims to become one of the country’s largest marathons, had both elite and social runners from all walks of life testing their lungs against the elements. Good times were recorded on the day, with the winner for the 21 Kilometer race coming in at 1 hour 34 minutes, that is Ms. Helena Iipinge. For the Male category, Mr. David Salomo won the 21.1 Kilometers with a time of 1 hour and 15.
The 10 Kilometers race was won by Yvonne Shelikita and the male category by Kudumo Mbathera.
After the race, the Managing Director of NWR, Mr. Matthias Ngwangwama, expressed his joy in seeing the participants’ huge turnout. “When we started with this initiative, we aimed to work on customer experience. I am glad this is the route we are taking and that we can eventually see more of this,” he said.
All the runners got medals for their participation, while all category winners got vouchers for the value of N$80 000.
NWR embarks on route inspections in anticipation of the famous Fish River Canyon Hike
Fish river canyon hiking season starts
Route markings to be done by NWR and METF as from 12 April
Windhoek, 3 March 2022 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism will embark on a route marking and route inspection exercise in the Fish River Canyon from 12 to 17 April 2022 in anticipation of the start to the famous Fish River Canyon hike.
This joint effort between the two institutions marks the beginning of the Fish River hiking season that will see throngs of tourists undertake the 4-5 day guided or unguided hike into the canyon with a total hiking distance of about 86 kilometres.
Route inspections in the canyon will make navigation easier for tourists and nature lovers as well as to make sure that the canyon is fit for hiking. Since the rainy season came to an end, one was not really able to determine the amount of water that has flown into the canyon. Inspections will allow NWR to advice tourists on the safest routes and the depth of the pools within the canyon.
The hiking season runs from 1 May to 15 September every year and for this year alone, the hiking list is already full. This year we expect more then 4000 tourists to descend in to the canyon.
About the Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon worldwide after the Grand Canyon in the USA. The Canyon forms part of the state-run Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfontier Park.
The Fish River is 800 kilometres long and thus the longest river of Namibia. It has its source in the eastern parts of the Naukluft Mountains.
After being retained the Fish River does not carry water continuously, only during the rainy season the river might turns into a torrent. During the dry season sporadic pools supply water to many animals.
NWR launches live waterhole camera in Etosha
NWR launches camera in the Etosha National Park
Windhoek, 3 March 2022 – The Namibia Wildlife Resorts on 3 March 2022 launched a 24/7 live webcam at the Okaukuejo Resort water hole within the Etosha National Park in what is termed “virtual tourism”.
The camera that is found at one of the busiest waterholes in the Park aims to allow Namibians and the world at large to experience nature and wildlife within the comfort of their homes by viewing and experiencing first-hand animals within their natural habitat.
Virtual tourism presents viewers with an immersive experience of an activity, location, or destination through the use of video technology format to provide an experience of a destination that a user cannot get through images or a website alone.
Viewers can access virtual tourism content using a virtual reality headset for the most immersive experience, but they can also usually view the content on a normal computer or even a mobile device through the NWR social media page on Youtube, of course, at no extra cost.
The benefit of this innovation is that viewers can see and experience a destination without traveling to it, which means they aren’t limited by available flights, travel logistics, safety concerns, and whether destinations are open.
The other huge benefit for viewers is cost. Virtual tourism makes destinations accessible to millions of people who may otherwise not be able to afford to travel to them. Other water holes within the park will be covered soon.
NWR bemoans tourist behaviour at Deadvlei
NWR condemns the behaviour of a group of tourists in Sossusvlei.
Calls for responsible tourism from all visitors in our country.
Windhoek, 18 February 2022– The Namibia Wildlife Resorts on the 17th of February 2022, took notice of images circulating on social media, of tourists posing on top of the “dead trees” in the Deadvlei, a tourist destination within the Sossusvlei.
The dead camelthorn trees, also known as the Vachellia Erioloba, found in the Deadvlei are known to be over 900 years old and were formed by a change in climate after the dunes encroached the pan, preventing water from reaching the area where the trees are found. Decomposition of this nature’s wonder was however not possible because of its dry climate.
Seeing tourists climb these rather symbolic trees is not only despicable, but it goes against the notion of Responsible Tourism. It is required that operators, hoteliers, government, locals and tourists take responsibility and take action to make tourism more sustainable.
With this said, NWR would like to, in its strongest terms condemn the irresponsible behaviour of this group of tourists that decided that not only is it enough to pose near these trees but rather a good idea to climb on them and take pictures.
Namibia’s beauty is characterised by its well maintained and respected tourism sites. Seeing individuals destroy it through unbecoming behaviours spells what we as Namibians stand against as a tourist destination.
We urge all visitors to our tourism sites to please respect all park rules and not to take action that will end up wiping away our beautiful artefacts.
NWR aims to improve service delivery
NWR Appoints staff to mitigate complaints and enhance quality of service across all of our resorts.
Windhoek, 19 January 2022 – With a growing number of concerns from the public on the quality of service and food at our resorts across the country, the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has appointed a staff member, Mr. Karl-Reinhold Risser, to assist with food and beverage menu, customer service training and the enhancement of customer experience at all of the companies resorts.
NWR has always pride itself in offering good quality service to its customers. However, the company took notice of an increase in customer complaints across all its lodges. These complaints range from food quality to service delivery amongst others.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, showed his excitement in welcoming Mr. Risser to the team. “Since we welcomed Mr. Risser to NWR, we have already seen a change in quality of service at Gross Barmen resort, one of our busiest places. Our plan right now is to move him across all of our resorts so that he can assist our resort staff in implementing new ideas and strategies and capacity development”.
Mr. Risser has been in the hotel and tourism industry for most of his working career and has worked for several high-profile hospitality companies, both locally and internationally.
Globally, Mr. Risser worked at some notable hotels in Frankfurt and Germany such as Hotel Gravenbruch and Atlantic Hotel in Hamburg. He has been employed at the NWR since December 2021.
His specific assignment at NWR includes assisting in costs management, customer relationship management and the enhancement of the food and beverage experience. Some notable accolades locally includes having worked at Gocheganas Nature Reserve and Wellness Village as General Manager and Wolwedans Dessert Academy as trainer.
NWR social media giveaway
NWR gives away three Namleisure cards (Family, Plus & Solo cards) to reward its social media followers.
Online Namleisure special aimed at appreciating the Namibian nation for sustaining NWR.
Windhoek, 5 November 2021 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited ran a social media giveaway competition from 15 October 2021 to 28 October 2021 on all its social media pages. Participants had to enter by liking NWR’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, tagging five friends and sharing the post. The giveaway saw Kaarina Esther Muule win the first prize of a NamLeisure Family card, while Jo-Ann Katamila and Elia Mukundu won a NamLeisure Plus and NamLeisure Solo card, respectively.
Mrs. Elizabeth Johannes, NWR’S Online Media Officer, says, “the social media giveaway was our way of rewarding our social media followers that have been following us over the years. The giveaway assisted NWR in its continuous effort to promote the brand and raise awareness of our Namleisure cards”. Mrs. Johannes further stated that “the giveaway helped us grow our network and build an audience that boosted NWR’s social media engagement. Our Instagram gained 900 new followers. While competitions post reached 47 000 people on Facebook and had over 56 000 impressions, Twitter reached 26 000 people and had over 2000 engagements”.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, says that “Namleisure cards are created to encourage the Namibian nation to travel and learn more about their beautiful country. With December approaching, we are currently running an online Namleisure special for Namibians and SADC members. With this special, clients purchasing Namleisure cards online will get a 20% discount on the card. The card offers you 50% off on accommodation, 25% off on meals and activities. With Covid-19 still amidst us, this is a way of thanking the Namibian nation for having sustained us during these difficult times”.
Social media influencer programme generates great interest in NWR establishments
NWR collaborated with ten social media influencers on its first-ever social media influencer programme to create awareness of its resorts to a younger demographic
The programme provided each social media influencer with an opportunity to visit any five NWR establishments to create content for various NWR social media platforms
Windhoek, 27 October 2022 – Initially, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited aimed to commence its first-ever social media influencer programme on 1 November 2021. However, due to the travel restrictions, the programme officially started on 1 August 2021 and will end on 31 October 2022. The programme saw NWR collaborate with ten micro and macro social media influencers who brought unique aspects to the programme. Each influencer had the opportunity to visit any five NWR establishments under the different classifications offered by NWR. Through the collaboration, NWR offered each influencer complimentary accommodation, meals, and activities; in return, they created relevant content that was shared on the various NWR social media platforms under the hashtag #NWRMoments.
“NWR is pleased to have collaborated with the social media influencers. They assisted us in providing insights into our resorts and drove sales from their respective social media followers. We must equally acknowledge and thank each social media influencer for availing their professional services at no monetary cost. We truly appreciated their understanding though we recognise that we will have to look at ways of remunerating them in the future,” says Mr Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager.
The ten social media influencers that NWR collaborated with were: 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).
The social media influencers were also excited to have been part of this journey with NWR. Ms Nakanyala Ndapewa says, “being an influencer for NWR allowed me to explore Namibia to such great lengths. I got to see breathtaking places such as Dolomite, Onkoshi and Sossus Dune Lodge. Whilst at SDL, I managed to see some amazing sunsets. This was one of my favourite moments. Something that stood out was that I got to explore the Sesriem canyon. I enjoyed every moment at SDL, and I must say they have excellent customer service”.
Ms Elizma Burger went on to say that “travelling with NWR was a wonderful journey. I had the opportunity not only to experience the beauty of Namibia but also to meet wonderful people. My trips were wonderful. I certainly created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life”.
On the other hand, Ms Marsy Rita stated that “being a part of the NWR Influencer programme was a privilege. Discovering Namibia again during the pandemic made me appreciate what the tourism industry had done and is still doing to keep afloat. The program was fun, though what was even better was knowing that my posts sparked some interest in Namibia and outside of Namibia. A few of my friends from Europe enquired about my trips to Etosha and cannot wait to travel to Namibia to have an #NWRMoment too!”
Mr Lourens Gebhardt said, “my experience visiting the NWR establishments was a memorable one. I had the chance to explore the beauty of some NWR facilities. This now provided me with the knowledge on how to sell the tourism industry well. I must commend the NWR staff for being so friendly; I will surely visit them again”.
“For the duration that we worked with the influencers, they were very much dedicated, accountable, and passionate about their assignment, which ensured a good working relationship. During the same period, we and the social media influencers held a competition between 6 September and 30 September 2021. The social media influencers encouraged their followers to make and fully pay for their booking at any NWR facility before participating in the competition. This then allowed their followers to be entered into a draw where they stood a chance to walk away with an accommodation voucher valued at N$ 3 500. Nacky Tours, Ms Hildeberta Luyango, Ms Helen Extine, Mr Timo David, Ms Mariah Aron and Ms Hilaria Shuudifonya were the lucky winners,” says Mr Nesongano.
NWR establishes solid waste management team and observes Arbor Day
NWR, along with volunteers from the Hai-//om community and MEFT staff, have come up with a Solid Waste Management team
NWR commemorates Arbor Day in the Etosha National Park by planting 40 trees in Okaukuejo, 25 trees in Olifantsrus and 14 trees in Namutoni
Windhoek, 26 October 2022 – Namibia is known for its pristine environment and landscapes that attract substantial tourists; therefore, the lack of solid waste management if unattended may lead to significant environmental problems such as soil/land, water, and aesthetic pollution. Therefore, to ensure that the environment is well managed within the Etosha National Park, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), the Hai-//om community have come up with a solid waste management team.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, says that “the solid waste management team is a great initiative as it offers an opportunity for different individuals within the Etosha National Park to work together. Because without managing our solid waste, we as Namibia risk our reputation of being the destination of choice for various tourists”.
He further states that “although the solid waste management initiative is only running in the Etosha National Park, with the involvement of volunteers, I hope that the current volunteers will turn this initiative into a business enterprise that will run across all the National Parks in the country. I equally want to appreciate Rent-a-Drum, one of our long-standing partners in managing our solid waste. At the same time, I am also encouraging more stakeholders to join us in tackling solid waste, which will then see an improvement in our environment”.
At the launch of the solid waste management team that took place two weeks ago, NWR equally marked Arbor day. Ever since 1992, Namibia has been observing Arbor Day to create awareness on the importance of conserving trees and discouraging human activities that threaten the sustainability of Namibia’s trees and forests, such as deforestation and land degradation.
Mrs Fransiska Nghitila, NWR Environmental and Compliance Specialist, says, “celebrating Arbor day was fun, and the team enjoyed planting new trees. The day saw us planting 40 indigenous trees to replace the aging ones in Okaukuejo. We also planted 14 and 25 trees in Namutoni and Olifantsrus, respectively. As the popular quote by Warren Buffet states, – “someone is sitting in the shade today because someone decided to plant a tree”. It is, therefore, important that we all observe this day for our future generations”.
NWR and MEFT partner on Electrical metering project
NWR and MEFT install new electricity meters (conventional and pre-paid) within the Etosha National Park
MEFT pays N$ 2,792,982.00 towards the realisation of the electricity meter project in the Etosha National Park
Windhoek, 20 October 2022 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) have further cemented their longstanding relationship with the installation of new electricity meters (conventional and pre-paid) within the Etosha National Park. Later, the same work will be undertaken in the Waterberg Plateau, Von Bach and Daan Viljoen National Parks.
The first phase, which was to realise the electrical work within the Etosha National Park (Halali, Namutoni, Okaukuejo, Ombika and Lindequest gate), commenced in November 2021 and was finalised in August 2021. MEFT and NWR contracted Central North Regional Electricity Distributor (Cenored) to do the work.
Mr Teofilus Nghitila, MEFT Executive Director, says, “the metering project within the Etosha National Park cost the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism N$ 2,792,982.00. NWR is expected to reimburse us 20% of the total cost for meters installed after the project. We are very happy with the work that has been undertaken thus far”.
Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, says that “the relationship and partnership between NWR and MEFT is historical and longstanding and should be strengthened and continued. When one considers the impact COVID-19 has had on NWR and the entire country, the ability to come together and use minimal resources at our disposal should be encouraged. The metering project within the various National Parks will ensure that we can effectively start saving on our electrical bill since each of us stationed within the National Parks will be responsible for our total usage. I sincerely thank the MEFT for their valuable assistance in these projects and should equally thank our employees who have had to adjust to these new measures”.