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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).