Mrs. Zelna Hengari, NWR’s Managing Director
Mrs. Zelna Hengari, NWR’s Managing Director

Windhoek, 22 November 2018 – As the year comes to an end, it is worth reflecting on some of the progress Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) made. The economic challenges that the country faces played a role in how the company fared. However, it was these trying times that showed how resilient the company is.

From a business perspective, NWR generated N$ 361 million in revenue for the 2017/18 financial year. This was fuelled by the aggressive marketing drive that the company undertook in addition to the introduction of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) tour package. This package alone attracted a lot of interest at ITB Berlin and the Africa Showcase: North America roadshow that NWR attended. The company also went on a cost-cutting drive that yielded very positive results. For instance, in 2013 the company’s cost of sales was standing at 72% and was brought down to 43% this year with next year's target being 35% which is the industry standard.

To reach these targets, NWR has been hard at work at finalising its Khorixas training institution. “The key focus of the institution will be equipping our staff members and other interested individuals on the best practices within the hospitality industry. The lodging will still be open to the general public and will be catered to by the students. We anticipate opening it at the beginning of 2019 officially”, says Mrs Zelna Hengari, NWR managing director.

Equally, NWR introduced its revised NamLeisure cards which for the first time started offering a 25% discount on meals and activities along with a student card. “Looking at the current interest on the cards,it is safe to say that they have tremendously assisted our domestic travellers to enjoy all that NWR has to offer at discounted rates. Over the past few months, we have seen a huge uptake from first-time buyers due to the additional discounts now on offer”, says Mrs Anna Onen, NWR sales and reservations manager.

It is a common fact the world over that, for any company to grow, it requires partners to help it expand its share of the market. NWR is fortunate enough to have good working relations with its tour operators who supply the business with a great deal of its clientele. It was for this reason that it held a function specifically to reward its top performing tour operators. “This event was a testament to the value that we place on our partners in addition to our appreciation of them,” says Mr Mufaro Njabulo Nesongano, NWR corporate communications and online media manager.

In solidifying its ability to host big tour groups, NWR undertook over 50 bikers through the KAZA countries (Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) in less than ten days. The tour aimed to showcase the most significant conservation area in the world as well as expose the bikers to the various communities within these areas. “To date, each time I speak with the bikers that were on this tour, all of them cannot stop talking about the Namibian part, which to them was the best of all. From our side, this tour showed us that we have what it takes to host big tour groups. Therefore, as we go ahead, this is going to be one of our key focus areas. It was just unfortunate that the man that spearheaded the realisation of the Tshwane Legend Bikers Club tour, Mr Ernest Mokganedi passed on in July. This was a big blow to the plans that we had. However, we made a promise to ourselves to ensure that we continue where he left off” says Mrs Hengari.

In giving back, NWR hosted some primary school learners from across the capital city at its Hardap resort under its Enviro-Kidz programme. The programme aims at educating learners on the importance of looking after their environment. “Due to the huge interest that we received, we will take in more learners and also include learners from around the country next year. We aim to afford them an equal opportunity to experience Namibia’s national parks and to learn about how important they are to us as a country”, says Mr Nesongano.