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Eco Awards recipients recognised at HAN Gala function Friday 22 June 2018

Eco Awards recipients recognised at HAN Gala function Friday 22 June 2018

Eco Awards recipients were awarded their certificates at the HAN Gala function held on Friday 22 June 2018.

From left to right: Mare Steenekamp from FNB (Eco Awards Sponsor); Hazel Milne – Program Coordinator; Claire Gall - Chameleon Backpackers and Guesthouse; Thalita Horn – NWR Sossus Dune Lodge; Thomas Skrywer – NWR Duwisib Castle; Jesaja Kohima – NWR Namib Naukluft Lodge; Ulf Grunewald on behalf of Buellsport Guest Farm; Rainholdt Stanley – Gondwana Anib Lodge and Damara Mopane Lodge; Jason Nangolo Wolwedans Collection.

World Water Day

World Water Day turns 25


As Namibia is celebrating its 28th year of Independence, herewith a reminder that this week is dedicated to another major milestone, with the 22nd of March commemorated as World Water Day for the 25th time.

Water, as most Namibians are aware, is one of our most valuable natural resources, and while some of our regions are currently suffering flash floods and washed-away roads, Namibia's South is suffering what seems to be the worst drought in decades, with even the businesses along the banks of the now fickle Orange River called upon to save water.

Unfortunately, being part of the ‘consumer generation’ we keep on producing waste, much of it being discarded carelessly at dumpsites, from where it could end up in riverbeds, rivers, and oceans.

As part of our joint campaign of a "Cleaner Namibia", by joining hands and linking brands, Eco Awards Alliance, HAN and the Recycle Namibia Forum is working on a number of exciting projects at the moment, and befitting to the events of this week, celebrating our beautiful country and its Independence, as well as World Water Day, we decided to give you a glimpse of a campaign to be launched next week….:

May this small message make a big influence on the use of plastic straws… one of the standard,  but often superfluous items on the tables at cafes, restaurants and hotels. Apply your mind and join us to REDUCE, RE-USE and RECYCLE, where ever possible.

Some general information on World Water Day:
World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. The theme for World Water Day 2018 is ‘Nature for Water’ – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution.

Take action today - Wherever you are and whatever you do on March 22, make it about nature and water.

  • Every drop of water is on an endless journey through the sky, the soil and streams…through our lives…and back into nature.
  • In many places, our environment is damaged, leaving us with polluted water or no water at all.
  • Nature is green infrastructure. A system supplying us with the water we need to survive and thrive.
  • Healthy forests and fields prevent soil and chemicals being washed into rivers.
  • Lakes, wetlands and floodplains store, purify and control water.
  • This World Water Day, explore nature-based solutions to our water challenges.
  • World Water Day 2018 – The answer is in nature.

May we call on all of you to join hands to act and operate more consciously, by keeping the aim of a "Cleaner Namibia" in mind.
Small things do matter, (as per the motto of this year's Tourism Expo coming up at the end of May), - and amending your practices by reducing the use of plastic straws for instance, - could go a long way in preserving the rivers and oceans!

JOINING HANDS & LINKING BRANDSFor a cleaner Namibia 2018!!

ECO AWARDS LOGO with catchphrase.jpg   HAN30thlogo.png   recycle namibia logo.jpg

Excellent Eco Awards assessment for Kalahari Anib Lodge

At Kalahari Anib Lodge a water recycling plants provides the water for the gardens

“Congratulations!! You scored 5 Eco flowers (92%)!!” Gondwana’s environmental officer, Quintin Hartung, who accompanied the Eco Awards Namibia inspectors to Kalahari Anib Lodge in late November 2017, rejoiced with the lodge management and staff at the fantastic score.

The five desert flowers for Kalahari Anib Lodge represent a high score in terms of among others conservation and guiding, waste, pollution and sewer, staff and health, legal and NTB compliance, management, building and landscaping and social responsibility. Furthermore they are a tremendous improvement on the two desert flowers awarded in 2014. Special attention was given to environmental protection and design during the extensive construction and renovation work at Kalahari Anib Lodge in 2016. With success.

Similar to the star-rating system for tourist accommodation, the environmental initiative awards up to five flowers for sustainability. Participation in the Eco Awards is voluntary. Lodges that register for evaluation receive an extensive catalogue of possible measures for introducing eco-friendly ways to their operations. Participants are free to decide which steps they want to take. An independent evaluator inspects the lodges and sends his report to the panel who then decides on the evaluation.


Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards

Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards

Press release by Namibia Media Holdings:

Following the recent celebration of our 2017 RTA Winners:

  • Tourism Accommodation: Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Jackalberry Tented Camp, Ongava Tented Camp and Etosha Safari Lodge,

Namibia Media Holdings invites entries for the 2018 Responsible Tourism Awards.

The winners of these prestigious awards will be selected from two entry categories:

1) Tourism Accommodation Establishments

2) Tour Operators (including car rentals, shuttles etc.)

The first pre-requisite is that all entrants MUST be registered with the Namibia Tourism Board as an individual entity.

Please also note that there need to be at least 6 entries in each category. All the qualifying Tour Operators in Namibia may enter, since there was no winner in 2017.

For the Accommodation Establishments, there will be a 3-year gap for the previous winners, which means that Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge (2016 Winner) and Wilderness Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (2017 Winner) will not be able to enter again this year.

Each entity who would like to be considered for this prestigious award needs to provide evidence of excellent performance, measured against the principles of sustainable tourism.

The criteria include: Sustainable Management, Natural Resources, Waste Handling, Building & Landscaping, Staff, Safety and Legal Compliance and Social Responsibility Initiatives Aimed at Poverty Eradication.

Proof of a successful routine assessment by Eco Awards Namibia (achieving at least 4 Eco-Flowers) will be the minimum entry requirement. If an establishment or operator has not yet been audited, an assessment needs to be arranged and completed by November 2017.

(More information regarding the Eco Awards Assessment can be obtained from Hazel Milne, Programme Coordinator at Eco Awards Namibia:

Finalists in each category will then be selected for a more extensive evaluation, where the criteria will be based on the theme for the 2018 Tourism Expo: “Conservation – small things matter”.

There will be three winners in each category with prizes in editorial and advertorial coverage as follows:

  1. N$250,000
  2. N$150,000
  3. N$100,000

These prizes include N$100,000 in cash for community upliftment in the areas which the winners operate in.


Entries for the Tour Operator awards is open until 15 November 2017.

Entries for the Accommodation Establishment Awards is open till 15 November 2017. Judging of entries will take place from end 2017 till April 2018. The three finalists in each category will be announced early in 2018. The winner in each category will be announced at the 2018 Namibia Tourism Expo.

Applications are available online: follow this link -

Tourismus Namibia will feature regular updates on these prestigious awards.

Issued by Maggy Mbako,

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp wins NMH Sustainable Tourism Award

The finalists of the 2017 NMH Sustainable Tourism Awards

Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp was announced as the winner of this year’s prestigious Responsible Tourism Awards during the opening event of the 2017 Namibia Tourism Expo.

Eco Awards Namibia selected the finalists – the entrance requirement for the competition is certification with at least 4 Eco Awards Flowers.

The finalists were:

  • Gondwana's Etosha Safari Lodge
  • Ongava Tented Camp
  • Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
  • Jackalberry Camp

The final winner was then selected from a secondary assessment, with criteria based on the theme of this year's Expo – Safe Travel. Eco Awards Namibia received great exposure and recognition during the event. Hon. Minister Pohamba Shiveta handed over the prestigious award. Congratulations again to all finalists, and to Wilderness Safaris' Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp!

Damaraland Camp Wins Silver African Responsible Tourism Award


Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Camp has won a Silver African Responsible Tourism Award (ARTA) in in the Best Accommodation for Social Inclusion category. The camp is a pioneering example of a successful joint venture between a Namibian community and leading authentic and sustainable ecotourism operator, Wilderness Safaris. This partnership has resulted in increased employment, thriving wildlife – and the hugely successful Torra Conservancy.

"We are extremely proud to have received this prestigious recognition from some of the word’s experts in responsible tourism, especially considering Damaraland Camp was the first joint venture agreement of its kind in Namibia", said Lena Florry, Wilderness Safaris Damaraland Area Manager.

According to Harold Goodwin, Chair of the ARTA judging panel, "The Gold and Silver Award winners should be particularly proud of what they have achieved; they have been recognised as being leaders in a Responsible Tourism movement where more is expected each year."

ARTA Founder and managing director of Better Tourism Africa, Heidi van der Watt, further pinpointed what made the Award winners leaders in responsible tourism in Africa: "Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa."

Originally signed 20 years ago, Damaraland Camp's joint venture partnership gave the Torra Conservancy an equity share in the camp, as well as capital to participate in the business and build another camp. The majority of camp staff are from the community, with many of the original members having moved on to positions of responsibility elsewhere in Wilderness Safaris and the tourism industry over the years.

Thanks to this partnership and the implementation of a viable ecotourism model, around 350,000 hectares (865,000 acres) of land are under the protection of the Conservancy, wildlife populations have increased and employment is up, benefitting the local economy. There has been a shift in mind-set towards large species like elephant, rhino and lion, which are now viewed as precious resources that can bring in additional money through ecotourism when protected and conserved.

“The success of this venture led to the Torra Conservancy becoming the first self-sustaining community conservancy in Namibia; a model that has since been replicated across the country and elsewhere in Africa. Damaraland Camp and the Torra Conservancy are proof that when ecotourism and local communities join forces, the result is tangible benefit for people, a change in attitudes and an increase in wildlife numbers”, added Florry.  

Click here to see the full list of 2017 ARTA winners, or to watch an inspirational video about Damaraland Camp’s partnership with the Torra Conservancy, click here.

Indigenous plant sales day on 25th February 2017

Indigenous plant sales day on 25th February

Botanical Society of Namibia & Namib Trees cc will be holding an Open Day and Plant Sales Day.

Events: Plant Sales  - Indigenous trees and succulents. Also stalls, books and cards for sale.

Refreshments:  tea, coffee, cool drink, hotdogs &  brötchen

Date:    25th February 2017

Time:    8:00 am – 13:00 pm

Venue:    corner of Tunschel and Aschenborn Street, Pioneerspark  (enter via Ramblers main gate)

Enquiries: Diana Thompson 08 128 9031; Carol Steekamp   081 127 3958

AGM & Conference of the African Alliance for Sustainable Tourism Certification

Some of the newly elected members of the Alliance EXCO

During the recently held Annual General Meeting of the STCAA, the Executive Committee was elected/re-elected. Pictured are some of the newly elected members of the Alliance EXCO, with Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

From left to right: Nivashnee Naidoo from Fair Trade Tourism (Alliance member and Secretariat); Heidi van der Watt - Better Tourism Africa (Alliance Member); Hazel Milne – Eco Awards Namibia (Alliance member and re-elected Vice Chair); Greg McManus – Heritage (re-elected Alliance Chair); Randy Durband – GSTC CEO (Alliance Member).