/Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa set to open soon

 

Windhoek, 7 April 2021 – On 11 January 2021, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) closed its /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa after it experienced flash floods that resulted in the rivers along the resort overflowing, causing damage to the resort and its campsites. NWR had initially anticipated the rehabilitation work on the resort being finalised before 1 April 2021. However, due to ongoing internal processes, the resort will remain closed until 30 April 2021 and is set to open on 1 May 2021.

 

NWR is cognisant of the number of travellers that frequent the resort, especially those that undertake the Fish River Canyon Hike. “This is why our internal team has conducted minor renovations to some of the areas with the limited resources at our disposal. It is just unfortunate that the camping sites were badly affected and will thus remain closed once we open,” says Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager.

 

Furthermore, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, states that “we greatly appreciate the understanding of our guests who had their bookings moved to later periods. We, however, are working hard internally to have the areas that we can fix done before we welcome them from 1 May 2021. At the same time, we will continue with the internal processes to finalise the rest at a later period,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

NWR increases customer focus

 

Windhoek, 28 March 2021Just over a year ago, Namibia, along with the rest of the world, was confronted by the devastating impact of Covid-19. During this period, the tourism sector was one of the hardest-hit sectors. Being the sector that Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) solely operates in, the company was forced to look at innovative ways to sustain its business over this period up to date. This situation presented an opportunity for NWR to further enhance its domestic offering, which it had been doing so before the outbreak of Covid-19. Some of the incentives NWR offered the domestic market were discounted rates for Namibians and pensioners. Special rates for periods such as the Independence month and the festive season period, including a discount card (Namleisure Card) that provides a discount on accommodation & activities at its resorts.

 

These offerings presented NWR with the base to realise relative occupancy, ensuring that its operations did not come to a standstill. For instance, during the financial period, 2018/2019, NWR averaged an occupancy of 49%, whilst during the financial year 2019/2020, NWR averaged an occupancy of 21%, which is 5% better than the average industry occupancy of 16% for the similar period. A great deal of these occupancies came from the domestic market. “It goes without saying that since we had more domestic travellers visiting our resorts, a few complaints were raised on various platforms. Our assessment shows that the two major areas that we needed to look into urgently were our response time, both via our emails and telephone lines, especially during the periods we offer our special rates, such as the Independence special or the festive season where many people would want to call us to make bookings. Another challenge was maintenance-related matters at some of our resorts,” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

These two challenges provided NWR with insight into what their clients wanted to see the organisation improve on. Thus, earlier this year, NWR introduced a Peer Review and Quality Assurance Unit (PRaQAU) consisting of NWR team members from across the organisation to tap into their experience, allowing NWR to pick up customer service-related problems and address them before they get out of hand. The second initiative was the NWR call centre. “The call centre will reduce the time clients have to wait to get in touch with us and also act as an information-gathering centre for possible improvements to customer service. Thus, these initiatives are geared towards our efforts of furthering our customer-centric approach as well as picking on matters we need to look into to avoid our clients not getting value for their money,” says Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate, Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager.

NWR provides the weekday break at 70% off

 

Gross Barmen premier chalet
Gross Barmen premier chalet

Windhoek, 3 March 2021 – Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) is once again proud to announce that it will be running its 70% Independence discount during weekdays for March 2021 in commemoration of Namibia’s 31st Independence anniversary. The discount will be running at all its operational facilities spread across Namibia.

 

Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager, says, “our travelling public can look forward to paying low rates during the week to visit our resorts. Resorts such as Gross Barmen, Namutoni and Terrace Bay will cost as low as N$ 234, excluding meals. Dolomite, Onkoshi, Popa Falls and SDL will cost as little as N$ 396, excluding meals. After the support we have received over the years for this special, we could not wait to offer it once again. For those members of the public that might not be able to make use of the special during the week, they are more than welcome to make a booking on our special rates that have equally been heavily discounted and include meals”.

 

NWR’s Managing Director, Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, says that “last year when we ran this special most of our guests could not use it as Covid-19 caused so much uncertainty and the National lockdown that ensued. To appreciate the resilience of the nation during this challenging period and their support, we decided to run this special once again”.

 

At the same time, NWR would like to acknowledge the various comments it has received on all its social media platforms about some of our resorts’ status and service levels that need improvement. “It is obvious that the nation holds NWR at a high premium considering their direct shareholding through the Namibian Government. Therefore, as an organisation, we have taken all these comments seriously and, consequently, constituted a self-assessment and peer review team that has already started visiting our resorts to assess each establishment’s status to act on basic and minor things do not require huge monetary requests. This intervention also aims to ensure that going forth; our resorts will be in a state that we as Namibians can all be proud of.

Ransomware attacks NWR Windhoek server

Dr. Matthias Ngwangwama – Managing Director

Windhoek, 10 February 2021 – On 7 February 2021, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) Windhoek server was attacked by ransomware. This attack resulted in the NWR booking system – Innkeeper and its email server being unresponsive.

Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, said that “on Sunday we were unfortunately attacked by a Ransomware. The ransomware negatively affected our booking system and our email server. Over the past two days, our IT Team has been hard at rebuilding and restoring our booking system and our email server. Thus far, we have been able to restore our booking system; however, our email services should be restored before the end of the week. We would like to thank our clients for their understanding during this period”.

Fort Namutoni National Heritage Site

Windhoek, 20 January 2021 – Fort Namutoni was declared a national heritage site on 15 February 1950 by the then Historical Monuments Commission of South West Africa (HMC). The HMC is the National Monuments Council’s predecessor, which later became the National Heritage Council of Namibia (NHC) in an independent Namibia in 2004.

The protection and preservation of Namibia’s national heritage resources, and its listing on the National Heritage Register, is an important national assignment. Thus, the National Heritage Council of Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR), as the responsible managing authority of Fort Namutoni, strongly recommits that Fort Namutoni, and all other heritage sites, maintain their heritage significance through annual condition assessment exercises and periodically address identified areas of concern as required.

In preparation for the Etosha National Park Centenary celebrations in 2007, renovation works were carried out at various NWR facilities, including Namutoni Resort. The works done at Namutoni Resort included alterations and renovations to the Namutoni Fort after permission was granted by the NHC. In particular, the Fort was transformed into a one-stop-shop for all client activities, such as shops, bar, restaurant and curio shops. However, these changes were not positively received by the market and, as a result, numerous complaints from the clients and the public were received. The Fort was then closed to the public in 2013, and all client services were moved out to the current resort restaurant and shop areas. The rationale was to restore the Fort to the previous state before 2007 in line with customer demands. However, due to budgetary constraints, NWR could not execute the envisioned plan of restoring the Fort. Thus, the Fort was closed off from public access until a time these renovations could take place.

At the end of last year, in December 2020, photos circulated on social media depicting the purported condition of the Namutoni fort. Upon physical inspection, it came to light that only a few rooms were not in good condition. It also came to light that, even though the rooms in the Fort was inaccessible to the general public, forced entry was made to gain access to the rooms, especially the rooms from which photos were taken and circulated. Constructive feedback and criticism are valuable. However, criticism with malice, intended to destroy or achieve a specific plan cannot be accommodated because it can result in unintended consequences such as destroying that which is dear to all of us, namely, the country’s national assets treasures.

/Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa closes due to extensive rain damage

Windhoek, 12 January 2021 – On 5 January 2021, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa experienced heavy rains and flash floods. These flash floods resulted in the rivers along the resort to overflow, causing extensive damage to the resort and campsites.

 

Ai-Ais Hotsprings and Spa campsite

 

Mr Robert Hailume, /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa Acting Resort Manager, narrated his experience “the rain was quite heavy and caused extensive damage to the resort and campsites. Though the resort experienced severe damage, I am grateful that all our clients that were camping that evening were successfully evacuated and are safe”.

 

In light of the damage to the resort and campsites, NWR had no other option but to temporarily close the resort to visitors for the next three months starting from 11 January 2021 until the end of March 2021. “We will soon commence with the repair work. This will ensure that the resort can begin to operate as soon as possible” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

About /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa

 

/Ai-/Ais which literally means “fire” or “burning water” in Namibia’s Khoekhoegowab language, is situated in Southern Namibia’s //Karas Region at the base of the Great Karas Mountains, about 128 kilometres West of Karasburg and 224 kilometres South-West of Keetmanshoop. The /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa is located in the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, near Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world and the main attraction in Southern Namibia. The Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail is ranked as one of the best hiking trails in Southern Africa.

The state of the Namutoni Fort

The Fort Entrance has now been officially closed off to avoid public access up until it is renovated
Windhoek, 14 December 2020 – On 13 December 2020, Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) took note of photos that circulated on social media depicting the condition of the Namutoni fort which was, and is, closed off from general public use. The fort has been closed off for several years with the intent to renovate it to its former state for both the domestic and international market. Returning it to its former state entails the relocation of accommodation facilities back to the fort as was the case in the past. It also involves replacing the wooden deck at the viewpoint.

 

Inside the Fort

 

The envisioned renovation is estimated to cost about N$ 20 million, of which NWR does not have at the moment. However, it has been proactively engaging different stakeholders with no success. It is for this reason that the NWR management team a few years ago opted to close off the fort up until they could secure the necessary funds to realise the project. “Though, as NWR, we do not condone the filth that has accumulated within the fort. The removal of dilapidated structures and cleaning is something that has been addressed immediately and going forth we will do periodic cleanups up until we have renovated the fort” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

Entrance to the viewpoint at the Fort that is closed off from the public

 

NWR welcomes constructive criticism. However, the company is also aware of lobbyist groups pushing for privatisation of the country’s resources, such as parks and resorts, for a self-serving agenda. It is in this light we would like to inform those with such interest that there should be no need to pull NWR down to achieve the above agenda as public-private sector co-operation can be accommodated under the Public Procurement Act (Act No:15 of 2015), Public-Private Partnership Act (Act No: 4 of 2017), State Finance Act (Act No: 31 of 1991).

Thank you Namibia

Customers lined up early to ensure that they got their Black Friday vouchers before everyone else

Windhoek, 13 December 2020 – When Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) conceptualised its first-ever Black Friday Special that started from 27 November 2020 up until 2 December 2020, little, did they anticipate the overwhelming response they would receive from the Namibian nation. Over six days NWR sold well over 10 000 vouchers to over 3 000 customers.

 

“At the time of coming up with the Black Friday Special, we intended to provide every Namibian with an opportunity to visit our resorts at an affordable price. This is why clients could either buy a voucher for the Eco resorts or Classic resorts or both. In our assessment, our agreement with web tickets enabled us to reach many of our clients who could not make it to our Windhoek or Swakopmund reservation offices. From the data that we analysed, our customers bought an average of three vouchers each. In our view, this is a testament of the loyal support from the Namibian market as well as the interest our nation has in visiting our resorts” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

Here is a group of friends that undertook the #Myfriendsarecoolerthanyours package recently at Sossus Dune Lodge

 

One lesson that NWR learned from Covid-19 was never to place its focus solely on the international market. During the Black Friday Special, NWR saw that there is a great opportunity in developing and focusing on the domestic market. However, NWR believes that first, one must understand the needs and wants of the local market and, subsequently, respond accordingly since their needs are much different from the international market. “Besides the Black Friday Special and other specials, we have been running, we started offering tour packages. The current package that has gained substantial interest is called #Myfriendsarecoolerthanyours, which has been primarily targeting Namibians who would like to visit Sossusvlei or the Etosha National park” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

A group of friends at Sossusvlei that went on the #Myfriendsarecoolerthanyours package

 

Lastly, NWR has equally made great strides in improving operational efficiencies at its resorts to be in a position to welcome its guests this festive season. “This is why we have allocated the necessary resources to ensure that when our guests arrive at any of our facilities, they will be welcomed by our friendly staff and much-improved resorts/camps. Equally, we would like to advise our guests that should they not receive the service they so desire, they should approach our resort management team on the ground to remedy the situation” says Mr Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media & Sponsorships Manager.

 

A group of friends undertook the #Myfriendsarecoolerthanyours package recently.

NWR overhauls website

Dr. Matthias Ngwangwama – Managing Director

Windhoek, 3 December 2020 – If anything that 2020 demonstrated is the importance of an online presence. This presence allows for seamlsess and faster communication between organisations and clients. Thus Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) once again took it upon itself to overhaul its web presence with the sole intent of creating a better user experience for its guests. During the past few months, NWR, with the assistance of a professional web developer, Mr Samuel Kapembe of StalinKay, worked tirelessly to ensure that going forth guests would be in a position to interact, share and book their accommodation with ease and convenience.

“Hence when users log onto www.nwr.com.na they will see how simple yet informative our website has become. Resorts have now been listed under the various National parks they fall under. Guests will now be able to easily share their greatest moments with us via #NWRMoments, which will then appear on our website. At the same time, our specials of which we have become known for are easily accessible. Equally, guests will be able to chat directly with us from the site without the need to call or send an email. These changes are aimed at ensuring that anyone from across the world can find all things NWR at a centralised place” says Mr Mufaro Nesongano, NWR Corporate Communications, Online Media and Sponsorships Manager.

Since the last revamp of the NWR website, several changes have occurred in the industry. One of the major shifts has been for clients to plan and book their accommodation online. Therefore on the overhauled website like on the previous one, clients are going to be able to do this. Also, some of the establishments have 360-degree videos that will allow guests the opportunity to immerse themselves at some of the facilities. Similarly, visitors will have the opportunity to subscribe to our Newsletter in order to be the first to know when the company launches something.

Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director, who is a firm advocate for institutions and countries to embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution so that they remain relevant, is pleased with the work that was done on the website. “Although a lot of time and effort was spent on overhauling the website, I am glad that we took this long time to provide a world-class website to our customers. The disruption caused by Covid-19 once again presented us with the opportunity to ensure we remain digitally relevant through our new website in addition to our other digital platforms such as our mobile application which is also undergoing subtle touch-ups”.

 

NWR prepares Miles for holiday season

Preliminary work being done at Mile 108 for the new self-containing camping sites

Windhoek, 18 November 2020 – With a few weeks left before the festive season begins, several travellers are looking forward to taking a long-deserved break after the challenging year that 2020 has been. Namibia Wildlife Resorts Limited (NWR) is pleased to notify the travelling public that Jakkalsputz, Mile 72, Torra Bay will start welcoming guests as from 1 December 2020 while Mile 108 is currently open to the public with new developments currently underway.

Hardap Resort

 

Mr Sebulon Chicalu, NWR Chief Operations Officer, says that “I am quite delighted that the Miles will once again open to the public. It is also pleasing to note that we are currently adding self-contained campsites at Mile 108 that will cost N$ 400 per site/per day for 1 – 4 people staying less than ten days and only N$ 300 for 11 days and more. Additionally, for those guests of ours that would like chalet rooms, they are welcome to book at Terrace Bay resort”.

/Ai-/Ais Hotsprings & Spa

 

Over the past few months, NWR has been offering its /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa, Hardap and Waterberg facilities for isolation services to the Ministry of Health and Social Services. “With the easing of travel restrictions from our Government and the decline in individuals requiring isolation facilities, we have decided to allow the travelling public to make bookings at /Ai-/Ais Hotsprings and Spa, Hardap and Waterberg as from 1 December 2020. The past few weeks saw an increase in guests wanting to stay at these resorts, especially with the steady opening of borders throughout the SADC region” says Dr Matthias Ngwangwama, NWR Managing Director.

 

Waterberg Plateau

 

For those looking to make bookings, they are advised to send an email to reservations@nwr.com.na or call the Central Reservation Office at 061 285 7200.

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