Quarter century for Etosha Safari Boys band wooing guests
One of the most special icons in in the Gondwana Collection stable, is the famous Etosha Safari Boys, the resident band at Gondwana’s Etosha Safari Camp who has been playing and singing for visitors for 25 years.
Gondwana said it is not every lodge that has its own resident band, but the Etosha Safari Camp is not like any other lodge. It has a shebeen restaurant, where every evening the Etosha Safari Boys delight diners in the courtyard with melodic tunes.
“No one can quite remember where the name ‘Etosha Safari Boys’ came from, but it arose naturally over time as several musicians came together to form an in-house band at the camp and began to jam in the courtyard, building a repertoire of gentle melodies,” said Gondwana.
The tourism group explained that initially the musicians that found their way to Etosha Safari Camp were required to work in other areas during the day, gardening or cleaning, but this proved unsuccessful as was soon dropped. “The artists were left to rehearse and write new songs therefore the band quickly brought new life to the restaurant where dinner has become the highlight of any visitor’s stay.
The band gradually built up a repertoire of over two hundred songs with musicians like Richard Redecker, joining them at times to share their experience and musical knowledge.
“Performing at Etosha Safari Camp’s Okambashu-Naantu restaurant has become the band members’ profession and they play on their days off at weddings and funerals. They also play at the Godwana stall at previous tourism expos where they have become one of the events major attractions.
Not all the members are trained musicians and many had to pick up the trade over the years while rehearsing as a group. Today their repertoire includes some very popular tunes like ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and several of their own compositions.
Definitely the vibe is back at Etosha Safari Camp, ready for all the visitors who will make a pitstop at this waterhole.