Namib Sky goes above and beyond just taking flight above the desert.
Working together with about 25 people (ground crew & catering team) and four pilots, the family business started in 1991 by Eric and Nancy, has now been carried on to the second generation, Denis and Andreia Hesemans.
When you have been doing this for as long as they have, you learn and understand that the lifeblood of your ‘Bucket-Tick’ Balloon business relies on honouring and nurturing your environment and those within it.
This is why Namib Sky Balloon Safaris truly cares about their environment. They strictly adhere to eco-friendly principles; whilst at the same time, create greater environmental awareness to both visitors and the local community.
It is paramount that their environmental impact is kept as minimal as possible. The Namib Desert is very sensitive and they make sure, while on safari and off it, that their team has the most eco-friendly behaviour. All retrieving vehicles only drive on existing tracks and before returning to the base, they even broom away their footprints in the sand.
The balloon base and employees’ accommodation are completely powered with solar energy and only bio- degradable cleaning materials and products are used. On top of this, they have their own nurtured vegetable garden that supplies all herbs and fresh produces they require and they are fastidious about making sure as little water as possible is required.
Waste management is another top priority to Namib Sky where everything is always sorted and transported to recycling companies in Windhoek.
In addition, the local community benefits socially and economically.
Employees are encouraged and sponsored to follow courses that will improve their living standards.
Helping the local community Soar
10 years ago, Namib Sky Balloon Safaris created a trust to help the community in the Sossusvlei area and founded the Namib Sky Community School, the first Early Childhood Development and Primary school in the area. Beginning with 4 local children and Denis and Andreia’s young daughter, Namib Sky Community School now miraculously hosts up to 50+ kids, fetching them by bus every day and driving them back after school, doing over 100km within the Sossusvlei area in order to ensure all children have access to education.
All the kids are given 3 meals a day, where they have created a nutritional programme for the best Brain Food on offer. On top of this, they now have four teachers and a computer centre, which doubles up to teach the adults computer skills after school hours.
Namib Sky has also taken this to further heights with the Namib Sky Community Foundation, where they teach the adult community skills such as sewing, knitting and other handwork and art expertise. The finished products are then sold via craft centres and curio shops, and the profits are pumped back into Namib Sky Community School. Namib Sky’s mission to introduce a safe, healthy and stimulating child-friendly environment for quality Early Childhood Education in the local community of Sossusvlei is something they can be very proud of and the advantages and skills they are teaching the older generations with accessibility and knowledge for all, should be commended.