NEW LODGE TO OPEN IN REMOTE KAOKOLAND NAMIBIA Comments Off on NEW LODGE TO OPEN IN REMOTE KAOKOLAND NAMIBIA 525

South African-based safari company Natural Selection has announced it will open the Hoanib Valley Camp in the remote and wild Kaokoland in northwest Namibia in May. The camp is a joint venture between Natural Selection, the local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.

Located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy, the camp sits on the banks of the Obias River, just outside the Palmwag Concession and overlooks the ephemeral Hoanib River.

From the camp, guests can track elusive desert-adapted lions, elephants and black rhinos, enjoy cultural experiences and discovering more about the desert-adapted giraffes that are the focus of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s work in Hoanib.

Hoanib Valley Camp features six guest tents that are raised on large decks and all have views out to the Hoanib River valley beyond.

Rates at Hoanib Valley Camp start at $580 per person, per night, inclusive of accommodations, meals, daily activities and locally brewed beers and wines from the region.

CONSERVATION

Hoanib Valley Camp is a joint venture with the local community and with the NGO the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). GCF are the longest running giraffe conservation charity in Africa and are the leaders in cutting edge giraffe research. In Hoanib, their research not only focusses on the desert-adapted giraffe in the area, but also helps to monitor elephant and general game.

Very few people realise the giraffe are endangered and they are often over-shadowed by the larger (sexier!) species such as rhino and elephant. Through their genetic work, Dr. Fennessy and the GCF have discovered four distinct species of giraffe across Africa, instead of what was formally thought to be sub-species – crucial information concerning the future of giraffe populations across the continent. Interested in finding out more? When in camp there are opportunities to meet the researchers and learn about the critical work going on in the area, and it’s also possibly to spend time in the field with the team for a donation of US$ 500.

Natural Selection donates 1.5% of their gross revenue to conservation, and the GCF is one of the partners who receives funds. We’re delighted to have partnered with them, and to be contributing to their research and project work.

WILDLIFE

The wildlife of the Hoanib Valley is perfectly at home in the arid environment, and learning about their survival techniques is fascinating. Game drives will reveal desert-adapted elephant, as well as stately desert-adapted giraffe, and, if you’re very lucky, desert lion. Zebra, klipspringer and kudu move freely through the mountains, and you’ll find hardy herds of springbok and oryx, as well as steenbok picking their way across the dust-blown landscapes. The region is home to the largest population of free-ranging black rhino, and a day (or even a morning or an afternoon) tracking the magnificent beasts is an absolute must. Bird watchers, keep your eyes peeled for Monteiro’s hornbills or Ruppell’s korhaans in the valleys, and the imperious Verreaux’s eagle in the mountains.

THE LANDSCAPE

Deep in the north-western corner of Namibia, Kaokoland is one of the most remote, wild and marvellously unique areas of the country. It’s a land characterised by rolling dunes, rocky mountains and desert plains all criss-crossed by ancient, dry riverbeds, the roads of the area. Temporary Himba settlements dot the landscape, and scattered herds of desert-adapted elephant and giraffe are a common sight.

Hoanib Valley Camp itself is located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy, our joint partners in the area. The camp sits on the banks of the Obias River, just outside the private 500 square kilometre Palmwag Concession, and overlooks the ephemeral Hoanib River that teems with resident elephant, giraffe, oryx and springbok. Although parts of the land have been designated ‘concession areas’ tourism is still limited, making a visit to this unspoiled corner even more memorable.

Sources: Travel Weekly | Natural Selection

Author – Marc Anthony Johnson

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WTA AFRICA AND INDIAN OCEAN 2019 WINNERS 0 26

The finest travel brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Mauritius. The elite of the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort to find out who amongst them would be crowned best of the best.

Winners at the red carpet reception included Kenya, home to some of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’. Meanwhile the lush forests, wild waterfalls, unique wildlife and paradise beaches of Mauritius helped it lift the title of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination’, as well as the new category of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’. Hundreds of the leading travel industries figureheads from across Africa and the Indian Ocean attended the ceremony at Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort, which borders the vast sands of Flic-en-Flac Beach.

Graham E. Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “Our inaugural ceremony in Mauritius has proved an incredible success. We have had the privilege of recognising the leading destinations, hotels, resorts, airlines and travel providers from across Africa and the Indian Ocean and my congratulations to each of our winners.”

Honorable Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, SC, Minister of Tourism, Republic of Mauritius, said: “It was a big honour and a great privilege for Mauritius to host the WTA Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019.

“Such a glittering event would not have been possible without the dedication and unwavering support of my good friend, Mr. Graham Cooke, and his wonderful team. Thank you for making 1 June 2019 such an exciting and memorable evening.”

In the aviation sector, Ethiopian Airlines was voted ‘Africa’s Leading Airline’, whilst ‘Africa’s Leading Airport’ went to Cape Town International Airport. In the Indian Ocean, Air Mauritius claimed the titles of ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline’ and ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Airline – Business Class’.

South Africa’s Table Mountain was named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction’. Kenya enjoyed a strong showing, with Kenya Tourist Board named ‘Africa’s Leading Tourist Board’, capital Nairobi winning the new category ‘Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination’, and Kenyatta ICC picking up ‘Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’.

In the Indian Ocean categories, the Maldives cemented its reputation as the definitive romantic nation by being named ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination’, whilst Seychelles picked up ‘Indian Ocean’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination’.

Hospitality winners included Hilton Hotels & Resorts (‘Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand’), Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa (‘Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel’), Thanda Island, Tanzania (‘Africa’s Leading Luxury Island’), Pangolin Chobe Hotel, Botswana (‘Africa’s Leading New Hotel’), Legend Golf Resort & Spa, South Africa (‘Africa’s Leading Sports Resort’), and Transcorp Hilton Abuja (‘Africa’s Leading Business Hotel’).

The ceremony marked the third leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world. Other 2019 regional ceremonies include Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Madeira (Portugal), La Paz (Bolivia), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).

Find a full list of winners click here on the official WTA website.

The WTA 2019 MAURITIUS WINNERS 0 51

Congratulations to all the local winners.

Mauritius’ Leading All Suite Resort 2019 Sands Suites Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Beach Resort 2019 Sugar Beach, A Sun Resort, Mauritius
Mauritius’ Leading Boutique Hotel 2019 Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Car Rental Company 2019 Avis
Mauritius’ Leading Conference Hotel 2019 Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Destination Management Company 2019 Mautourco
Mauritius’ Leading Family Resort 2019 Sofitel Mauritius L’Imperial Resort & Spa
Mauritius’ Leading Green Resort 2019 Constance Belle Mare Plage
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel 2019 The Oberoi Beach Resort, Mauritius
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel Residences 2019 Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita
Mauritius’ Leading Hotel Suite 2019 Ocean Suite @ One&Only Le Saint Géran
Mauritius’ Leading Luxury Hotel Villa 2019 Villa One @ One&Only Le Saint Géran
Mauritius’ Leading Luxury Resort 2019 The St. Regis Mauritius Resort
Mauritius’ Leading Resort 2019 Constance Prince Maurice
Mauritius’ Leading Travel Agency 2019 BlueSky

For the full details follow this link.