VILLA MARGHERITA JOINS NATURALLY NAMIBIA
Naturally Namibia is a collection of independent thinking, character-filled properties with enviable locations. We had identified what we believed to be the best in the country back in 2003 and yet it took until now to find a coastal property that was a perfect fit for the collection. It wasn't that the vast array of properties scattered throughout Swakopmund were bad, they just failed to measure up to the company they would be keeping. If you have arrived after three days of trail walking in Etendeka with two decades of experience echoing in Dennis's stories, you would want to stay somewhere that became part of the overall memory of your journey, not just a stop over as you head South.
Villa Margherita is housed within a classic piece of colonial-era architecture. The antique building has seen scores of European settlers come and go at a time when Swakopmund was a port of arrival for farmers, miners, soldiers and dreamers. The coastal outpost has long since developed into a major tourist attraction with a protected marine habitat and surrounding desert to explore. As the town evolved, so this prominently located villa was brought back to life and turned into a highly individual retreat with bespoke room designs and an emphasis on individual service. The German history remains in the building, whilst the soul of the experience is now a mixture of modern Namibian and Italian. That means big welcoming smiles and warm service. The villa has a restaurant which serves authentic Italian cuisine and a wide selection of wines. However you fill your day in Swakopmund, you return to a home, not just a hotel. Another reason we fell for the charms of Villa Margherita is the entirely sensible profit share programme that the staff benefit from. A sense of ownership always makes a difference and it is a corner stone for Naturally Namibia.
Visit the Villa Margherita website.
Okonjima Reserve Goes Live!
Live video feed from the Okonjima Reserve is now being transmitted to all three camps from 8 video cameras located across the reserve. Two of the cameras are portable which means they can be set up at a main game-trail, a fresh kill, or an active den. This creates fantastic opportunities to continue watching the wildlife activity after you have left a sighting. It will also allow guests to see what is active during the night as the cameras are equipped with infrared. The bulk of the equipment will be located at busy waterholes. Guests have free access to the various camera feeds and can select different cams to view.
Whilst this technology is especially useful to the AfriCat research staff who need to monitor cat welfare and animal numbers in general, it will be an exciting alternative to an early night for anyone curious about nocturnal activity in the African bush.
Okonjima Nominated in the Responsible Travel Awards
The hard working team at Okonjima and the AfriCat Foundation have once again been nominated for a major award. This time it was the Responsible Travel Awards which are announced each year at WTM in London. Okonjima was highly commended in the category for 'Best for conservation of wildlife & habitats.'
The Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. The Awards rest on a simple principle – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.They celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism – the individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity.
You can learn more about the awards here.
- The Sheltering Desert & Fairy Shrimps
- Etendeka Wildlife Report, August 2011
- Etendeka Mountain Camp Going Greener!
- Leopard Cubs at Okonjima
- Olive Exclusive First Images!
- Simple Solutions from the NamibRand
- AfriCat wins the coveted 'Best Wildlife Organisation' award from the Good Safari Guide
- The Etendeka Experience
- Mushara Lodge
- Exciting Discoveries in the Erongo Mountains