Gondwana adds Palmwag and Omarunga lodges to portfolio
Gondwana Collection Namibia earlier this week announced the addition of two attractive lodges to their product range as of 1 May.
The lodges formerly owned by Birgit and Fritz Schenk, are Palmwag Lodge, with its large concession area in Damaraland and Omarunga Lodge, located close to the Epupa Falls on the banks of the Kunene River in the far north of the Kunene Region.
While the Schenk couple will remain active in tourism with their tour company Camelthorn Tours & Safaris, new opportunities are opening up for Gondwana in a previously rather untouched and untapped part of Namibia.
“Our decision to part with Palmwag and Omarunga is based on personal reasons. We poured our lifeblood into the two lodges and invested a lot into the local communities and nature conservation as part of our sustainability concept. It pleases us to pass both lodges on to Gondwana, which has a similar corporate philosophy,” the Schenk couple said.
This is a great investment by Gondwana into community based tourism in Namibia as the lodges are two iconic destinations said Gondwana’s Managing Director, Gys Joubert.
Palmwag Lodge manages the surrounding concession area, a vast nature reserve that covers 5,500 km². The Palmwag Concession consists of the Torra, Anabeb and Sesfontein conservancies and borders on Skeleton Coast Park. With over 100 lions, cheetahs, leopards and brown and spotted hyenas Palmwag’s predator population is the largest outside Etosha National Park. Birdlife is prolific and diverse, and most of Namibia’s endemics are found there. The Palmwag Concession is home to a healthy population of the legendary desert-adapted elephant and black rhino.
On the other hand, Omarunga Lodge in the far north of the Kunene Region enchants with its unique location just 200 metres upstream from the spectacle of Epupa Falls. The Epupa area has much to offer: stunning sunsets, imposing mountain ranges, an interesting birdlife and a glorious riverine landscape. The Kunene is one of the iconic perennial rivers in Namibia. The area around Epupa Falls boasts richly coloured rock walls, a variety of trees including wild figs, baobabs and Makalani palms. Kaokoland is home to the Himba tribe who still lead a traditional way of life.
“We are looking forward to play our role in conservation and in bringing tourism benefits closer to the people on the ground by working closely with Torra, Anabeb and Sesfontein Conservancies at Palmwag and the Epupa Conservancy up at Epupa. At Gondwana we believe that in the long term tourism is not sustainable unless it is inclusive,” Joubert added.
Meanwhile, Gondwana will honour all obligations and bookings accepted by Palmwag and Omarunga. Terms and conditions valid before the sale will continue to apply until 31 October. The terms and conditions of the Gondwana Collection Namibia will come into effect on 1 November.