NWR sets N$16m aside for resorts restorations

Obrein Simasiku

The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has set aside a budget of N$16 million to renovate some of its major resorts that are aging and dilapidated to keep up their appearance.

“The biggest challenge for Namibia Wildlife Resorts has been its aging infrastructure. Most of our customer complaints were more on our aging infrastructure. We needed to craft plans that will allow us to revitalise our assets after the halt on all expenditure as a result of the impact of COVID on our cash resources. This new chapter will allow us to offer a return to a high standard of look and experience across most if not all our resorts” said NWR’s communications manager Nelson Ashipala.

“Some of the resorts such as Okaukuejo are already complete with renovations. Major work will mostly be carried out at Onkoshi and Sossus Dune Lodge where decks and roofing types will completely be changed. Some of the resorts still to be refurbished are Ai–Ais, Waterberg and Hardap Dam Resort.”

In addition, Ashipala said, the resorts will be fully operational during the renovation process, which is anticipated to run until end of October. “Our concern is with our tourists who might view such improvements as an eyesore, however this is a temporary upscale inconvenience,” he said.

When asked about Fort Namutoni, which has been in a dilapidated state, he said, minor works have been done to the outside walls, and nothing much could be done to the whole structure as it is a heritage site. Visitors are barred from entering the premises, but are allowed to tour around it. Media reports in December 2020 revealed that the Fort was in a dilapidated state with debris clustering the interior of the facility. That was, however attended to by the relevant stakeholders following the exposure.

At the time, NWR managing director Mathias Ngwangwama was quoted by The Namibian saying, “it would cost at least N$20 million to restore the historic monument to its former glory. However, NWR does not currently have the funds to do so.”

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