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Rundu’s popular Ngandu Lodge launches BON Hotels’ expansion strategy to grow their Namibian footprint

Rundu’s popular Ngandu Lodge launches BON Hotels’ expansion strategy to grow their Namibian footprint

When Oswald Theart obtained the Permission to Occupy for the site where he envisaged to build his dream lodge on the banks of the Okavango river, little did he realise that almost thirty years later his iconic establishment will become part of an intra-African network of hotels and lodges.

This week, South African-based hotel group, BON Hotels announced that it has formed an alliance with Oswald and Corry Theart to operate and manage their prime venture in Rundu, Ngandu Lodge, and its smaller sister establishment, Ngandu at Sea, in Walvis Bay.

Where the sprawling Ngandu Lodge toady occupies a prominent rise above the Okavango, when the Thearts gave their first tentative steps in hospitality in 1990, there was nothing other than a splendid view of Calai, the Angolan town on the opposite side of the river. Today there is a whole campus of bungalows, a massive dining hall, a famous bar, a camp site and an outdoors activity centre. It has become Rundu’s landmark stay-over for business people coming from and going to Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ngandu at Sea that developed later as an extension of the ethos of its owners, is on the site of the house that Oswald, a Walvis Bay native, grew up in. Today, Ngandu at Sea comprises two developments in close proximity, and is a favourite boutique hotel for business travellers

BON Hotels cut their teeth on the Namibian hospitality market with their wholly-owned BON Hotel in Swakopmund which was opened in 2014. Taking charge of the two Ngandus is the next step in what they see as an expanding Namibian footprint.

BON Hotels Operations Director, Pieter van Eck, said “Growing our Namibian presence is a strategic approach in expanding our African footprint. Entering the fourth year of BON Hotel Swakopmund’s existence, we now have a good understanding of the Namibian market and we have identified the areas offering growth opportunities in Namibia. Adding two Namibian properties to our portfolio allows BON Hotels to increase our offering to our loyal guests, travel partners and BONami loyalty members.”

The group’s Chief Executive, Guy Stehlik, commented “Namibia has experienced significant growth in its tourist numbers in recent times. In fact, statistics provided by Trading Economics reflect an increase from about 80,000 tourists in 2006 to over 1,4 million a decade later. The country is attracting many new visitors from Europe, as well as South African travellers.”

BON Hotels owns or operates 37 hotels throughout Africa.


Caption: Team Ngandu did not win the annual May angling competition in 2011 which used Ngandu Lodge as a base camp, but they did bag the prize for the team with the best spirit. From the left, Oswald Theart jnr, Daniel Steinmann and Sebastian Theart. This week BON Hotels announced it has formed an alliance with the Theart family to operate their two Namibian hotels, Ngandu Lodge in Rundu and Ngandu at Sea in Walvis Bay.


 

About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at www.economist.com.na. It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. Daniel Steinmann is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional jourlists. He regularly helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to daniel@economist.com.na

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.