Namibia - Sustainable / Responsible Tourism: Supporting BBEE & BBEE Businesses

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Sustainable Tourism & BBEE
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private business sector of the
Namibian Tourism Industry


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Sustainable Tourism in Namibia is amongst others about creating business opportunities for those who previously hardly had any and to equip them with the right kind of skills and knowledge to succeed. It often takes more practical guidance in how to get a new business going than is readily available, rather then financial support.

This section is dedicated to established Namibian tourism & tourism-related businesses, organisations, and individuals, and the Broad-based Black Empowerment (BBEE) Projects they co-operate with in various, possibly little structured, yet still meaningful and therefore important ways.

Many do so in a private capacity, in their spare time, at their own expense, in the absence of formal agreements between the parties involved, with no shareholding in the BBEE projects supported, and with no intension of attracting publicity.

It is however crucial to the overall success of Sustainable Tourism activities that experiences are shared, not only amongst those who received and provided support but also with the Namibian population and the public at large.

Here are the first profiles of companies & individuals co-operating on BBEE Projects: would like to invite BBEE project leaders and their  project supporters to present the ways, purposes, and results of their co-operation to our readership.

Your submissions will be published free of charge, if provided ready-made in style and amount of text similar to that of the example further down on this page.
Up to 3 images may be included.

Please send your submission to:

with the subject line provided intact.


Cultural Tourism
today is one of the many economic empowerment opportunities especially for young African entrepreneurs:


TTC, a privately owned tourism development consultancy based in Windhoek, supports selected BBEE Projects within the Namibian Tourism Industry, next to its various day-to-day business activities.

Expertise in tour operations as well as business management, training and marketing in this field made it a natural choice to assist two emerging indigenous enterprises specialising in Cultural Tours. Their respective owners had earlier received support from other established organisations regarding e.g. tour guide training but experienced great difficulties in obtaining practical advice on how to meet all requirements for arranging and conducting guided tours, in line with the existing legal framework and tourism industry standards.
The lack of training material and practical guidelines also in other areas of a tour operator business and the complexities of the tourism trade in general make the start-up phase very challenging for every newcomer.

Thanks to the great determination of both these young entrepreneurs to succeed and their willingness to work hard, the initial hurdles were eventually overcome.
Since then, both companies carried on under their own steam, while TTC continued acting as mentor and giving practical support on request only.

Uakii Wilderness Survival specialise in facilitating inter-active cultural and wilderness experiences with Herero, San, Damara, and other ethnic communities in Namibia's eastern regions.
Uakii's offices are based at the Tourist Info Centre in Gobabis / Omaheke Region.

Both businesses, Ombahe Tours and Uakii Wilderness Survival, are registered with the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) and fully licensed to operate tours and excursions throughout Namibia.

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Ombahe Tours mainly concentrate on facilitating close encounters with the Himba culture throughout the Kaokoveld and northern Damaraland in north-western Namibia.
Ombahe's offices are based in Opuwo/ Kunene Region.


Uakii Wilderness Survival is owned and managed by Peter-Hain Uaakisa Kazapua, an active member of the Namibian tourism industry, since 1995.

The company's re-naming in 2007, after three years into its existence (formerly Easy Travelling Ways), went hand-in-hand with the broadening of the range of activities concerning cultural tourism and a re-location from Windhoek to Gobabis in Namibia's eastern Omaheke Region, where Peter-Hain grew up.
Both made it possible to co-operate more closely with the ethnic communities that feature in Uakii's excursion, tour, and wilderness training programmes, as they could now be visited more easily from a base situated nearer to their rural settlements.

Like all tour operators concentrating on geographical areas that previously saw very little tourism activities, Uakii initially did not have access to a wide variety of readily available tourist products and services but often had to take the lead in developing and refining them. This process hardly ever ends, as visitor demand for cultural experiences is still growing in Namibia, and as more rural communities wish to explore the new employment and income generating opportunities.

Gobabis is well positioned on the Trans Kalahari Highway for travellers from/to Botswana and South Africa, and only about two hours' drive from Windhoek's Hosea Kutako Intern. Airport. It is an ideal base from
where to explore particularly interesting yet off-the-beaten-track parts of Namibia.

While some of their cultural and historical as well as natural attractions can be experienced during self-drive tours, the true splendour of Omaheke only reveals itself when travelling in the company of an experienced guide who knows this remote and sparsely populated region intimately and speaks most of the prevailing indigenous languages, next to English and Afrikaans.

Apart from offering a variety of guided tours and day excursions, Uakii Wilderness Survival also assist self-driving tourists in making advance bookings for accommodation and activity services throughout the Omaheke Region and the remainder of Namibia. Travellers just passing through Gobabis are most welcome too to visit them at the Gobabis Tourist Info Centre located in the centre of town, next to the Municipality building, and to enjoy a cup of coffee while obtaining travel information and perusing brochures.

Uakii's own product range includes amongst others:
- Ready-made local sightseeing & day excursion programmes running from/to Gobabis that cover sites of historic and cultural interest, various community development projects, and visiting a Herero village in the communal farming area of the Kalahari.

- Transfer services from/to Windhoek, its International Airport, and Gobabis respectively for guests wishing to spend a few days at one of the game lodges in the Omaheke Region, some of which offer activities surrounding the San (Bushman) Culture.

- Tailor-made guided overland tours ex Gobabis or Windhoek for a minimum of 2 participants that concentrate on guests' special interests. These tours are arranged for any duration and budget, and may include any destination within Namibia. Combining cultural experiences in the Omaheke Region with those available in the Tsumkwe area is possible as well, and may include travelling on 4x4 routes through remote parts of the Kalahari.

- Step-on guide services for individual travellers and tour groups planning to visit ethnic communities, historic sites, and development projects in remote locations.
Uakii can also assist tour operators and organisations in making regional arrangements for special interest groups, e.g. for visiting cattle breeding farms and other agricultural production units.

Contact details and information on Uakii's specialised inter-active wilderness and cultural experiences as well as the philosophy behind their activities can be found on the company's own website: 

Ombahe Tours became a NTB-registered business  in 2006, with the explicit purpose of making the Himba Culture of Kaokoland more accessible to foreign visitors, while supporting Himba communities and also creating education and income opportunities for the family of its owners, John and Gerson Kasaona.

These two brothers were the only members of a large Himba family thus far who had  received formal education, with John later on becoming the driving force behind his younger brother's further training as tour guide. He himself kept working as an employee of a large non-governmental organisation involved in establishing communal conservancies, until today. John's income also provided the financial backing for the set up of the Ombahe business, which Gerson manages on a day-to-day basis, since resigning from a full-time job with an established tour operator.

Having lived and worked in the vast wilderness areas of the remote Kunene Region for most of their lives, Gerson and John know every corner and most of its ethnic communities intimately - from Khorixas and Twyfelfontein in the south to the Kunene River on Namibia's northern border with Angola.

They often know in advance about special traditional festivities, e.g. weddings and funerals, taking place in the bush villages of the Himba, and will try to adapt travel itineraries even at short notice to incorporate such events.

Ombahe's office in Opuwo serves as the main starting and ending point for guided day excursions to Himba settlements located in the greater environment of this economic and administrative centre of the northern part of the Kunene Region. Traditional villages regularly visited by other tour operators and self-driving tourists are usually avoided, as many of those are unfortunately already losing authenticity. Instead, Ombahe Tours take their guests to places off the beaten track where communities agreed to share their every-day routines with a small number of guests at a time.

Ombahe Tours operate overland safaris in 4x4 vehicles throughout the Kaokoveld and Damaraland as well, tailor-made in duration and programme to meet customers' interests and budgets. These longer tours include accommodation in lodges and tented camps throughout the region, and may commence/terminate at any point in Namibia.

Guests using charter flights from/to Kaokoland have the option of taking a one-way tour with Ombahe between Opuwo and Fort Sesfontein, by prior arrangement.

On request, Gerson is also available as step-on guide to coach groups and individual travellers.


More information on Kaokoland, the Himba Culture, tour and excursion offers as well as the company owners and their contact details are available at:



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Last Update:  June 2010