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2013 Namibia Tourism Expo: Join in!


2013 marks the 15th Annual Namibia Tourism Expo, and this year is set to be bigger and better than the last. At the heart of this year’s expo will be ADVENTURE… in honour of Namibia having been selected as the first African country to host the 2013 Adventure Travel Summit.

The expo is all about bringing together the people of the hospitality industry, getting the word out about new and exciting products and services, as well as being a place where local Namibians can revel in all their beautiful country has to offer.

There are a few stalls that have built a name for themselves over the years, and it’s always a surprise to see what new ideas (and treats) they’ve got in store. There are also a variety of well-known restaurants that will operate at the Expo, so you can enjoy the gastronomical delights of Namibia as you meander through the stalls.


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What to see & do

Join us as we celebrate the best in outdoor & adventure travel:

Local, regional and international establishments

Luxury lodges and tented camps

Interactive Chef’s Demonstrations

Namibian Arts & Crafts Exhibitions

Namibian travel media & publications

Food, beer & wine tasting

And a host of other fun activities for travellers


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JV Song Competition

Also part of the Expo is the highly anticipated Joint Venture Song Competition. Every year, staff of the JV lodges across Namibia (who often spoil visitors with their beautiful song as they work) enter the competition to see who will be crowned best of the best and win great cash prizes. Just listening to the contestants sing is sure to light a fire in your soul. Don’t miss it on the 30th of May at 17h00 in the Events Tent, Windhoek Show Grounds. 

Wedding Exhibition

And if you’re interested in getting married in the middle of nowhere (click here for some Namibian wedding inspiration), then make your way to Hall A where all the wedding destination exhibitors will flaunting their goods. You’re sure to find some of the most spectacular wedding destinations in the world. 

The Bank Windhoek – Republikein Motorshow

Any traveller knows that half the journey is getting there. So take a look at what’s new at the Bank Windhoek-Republikein Motorshow. Apart from the amazing cars, there is sure to be some clever accessories and fancy camping equipment that will leave you wanting more!


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What's your favorite part of Expo2013?

Let us know what you love most about Expo 2013 via Twitter with the hashtag #expo2013. We're pretty sure at least some of you will be planning your next Namibia vacation before long!


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Namibia Tourism Expo



Windhoek Show Grounds


29th May – 1st June 2013

 Show times

Trade Day

Wednesday, 29th May 2013 - 15:00 to 22:00

Public Days

Thursday, 30 May 2013 - 12:00 to 21:00

Friday, 31 May 2013 - 12:00 to 21:00

Saturday, 01 June 2013 - 10:00 to 17:00

Gates close 1 hour prior to expo closing times


Adults: N$ 40.00

Children: 6 – 12 Years: N$ 20.00

Children under 6 and Pensioners – Free of charge

Advance ticket sales only available at the standard rates and only available via Computicket


 From Hosea Kutako International Airport to Windhoek Show Grounds

1. Head west on the B6 from Hosea Kutako International towards Windhoek (40.8km)

2. Turn right onto Sam Nujoma Drive (950m)

3. Take the 3rd left onto Jan Jonker Street (2.9km)

4. Turn left onto Lazarett Street (350m)

5. Take the 3rd right onto Bell Street (23m) 

 More info

Official NTE website


Desert Perfume - Beauty Secrets of the Himba


For many visitors to Namibia, its vast desert landscape is the subject of striking photos, a backdrop for wildlife watching, a giant playground for off-roading, sandboarding and trekking. But for those who have lived here for centuries, the desert is their larder, their hardware store, their pharmacy… and even their cosmetics counter.

Strewn throughout the arid terrain are valuable plants which produce scented resins, moisturising oils and soothing balms. Himba women – widely regarded for their beauty and incredible hairstyles and body adornments – favour a myrrh resin from the commiphora plant, which they call omumbiri. The resin is gathered during the dry season, mixed with red ochre and animal fat, and stored in small containers made of cow horn. The women rub this paste into their bodies, giving them their characteristic red skin, and the rich, warm aroma of myrrh.

Himba woman covered in ochre

The Himba women stain their skin with the red paste, scented with myrrh, Photo by Mikael Castro

But now the secrets of the Himba perfume are being shared with the world. The Namibian Essential Oil Challenge competition was launched in order to encourage Namibians to create cosmetic products from omumbiri. Working with communities including the Himba, who know how to harvest the resin sustainably, the innovative participants produced an enormous range of products just from this one essential oil, including lip balm, soap, body scrubs, skin oils, body butters, incense and air fresheners.

In order to bring these delicious smelling products to a wider audience, a small factory has been opened in Opuwo, Kunene, to extract the myrrh oil. A visitor’s centre is also under construction, which will educate visitors about the harvesting and extraction process and offer a tour of the factory. There will also be a shop selling cosmetics, oils, incense and soaps produced by Namibian artisans.

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A Himba woman grinds ochre to make the traditional perfumed red paste, Photo by Mikael Castro

The project continues to monitor the harvesting process to ensure that it is being carried out sustainably and that the plants are not being over-exploited. At the same time, the income supports local communities who have little other means of income generation, and encourages them to manage their natural resources and environment so that harvesting can continue into the future.

More cosmetics to sample in Namibia

  • !Nara seed oil: The !Nara melon is harvested as a valuable food source by the Topnaar people living along the Kuiseb River. The seeds of the melon are pressed to extract the rich oils – which have been used for centuries by these desert-dwellers to protect their skin against the harsh, arid climate. !Nara oil is now available in various products such as soaps, creams and skin peels – so you too can benefit from the ancient moisturising secrets of the Topnaars!

  • Baobab oil: This characteristic African tree is more than just a pretty sight – the oil extracted from its seeds is rich in vitamins and extremely moisturising. It is also used to treat mild skin complaints, and some women in Africa may use it to treat their hair.


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!Nara seed oil products on sale in Swakopmund

Further information

  • The competition was organized with financial support from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-Namibia) and the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich.

  • The winning products – Sophia Snyman’s “Desert Secret” and Tamarind Nott’s  - ‘Rare Scent” will be handed out to delegates during the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit, held in October in Namibia.

  • Shop for Namibian essential oil and resin products in Windhoek’s Craft Centre and Maerua Mall, and Swakopmund’s Kubatsirana Arts and Crafts Shop.

How 44 People Can Spread the Word about Conservation


How can 44 people in Switzerland spread a message about conservation in Namibia?

1) Give them matching shirts – because matching shirts mean togetherness.

2) Give them music.

3) Make sure they are from Namibia!

Namibia's 42% campaign at the ATWS in Lucerne

Team Destination Namibia recently took the Adventure Travel World Summit in Lucerne,
Switzerland by storm, with their simple message: 42%.

42% is the amount of land under conservation management in Namibia – more than
any other country in the world. This number is a testament to Namibia’s innovative
conservation policies that put conservation in communities’ hands.

Team Destination Namibia sported t-shirts with 42% across the front, and were armed with
maps to show delegates from around the world exactly what 42% looked like and meant to
Namibians. The Director of Tourism, Mr. Sem Shikongo, was right, when he invited the 700
delegates to Namibia, and said “I know we can inspire you.”

Namibia’s passion was contagious, and on the closing night, hosted by Namibia, when the
choir performed, the music literally brought tears to peoples eyes. Not just the Namibians,
but delegates from Egypt, Mexico and Switzerland said they were moved by the authentic
voices resonating through the concert hall.

Watch a video about the 42% here.

Namibia to Host Adventure Travel World Summit in 2013


ATWS1.001 resized 600The Adventure Travel & Tourism Association announced today that it has chosen Namibia to be the site of its annual Adventure Travel World Summit in October 2013. 

Namibia is excited to welcome nearly 600 of the world's leading tour operators, travel agents, destination managers, outfitters, and media professionals for an engaging five days of networking and learning focused on adventure travel. 

The Summit will take place in Windhoek and Swakopmund, Namibia's adventure capital, including several opportunities for delegates to explore the country with pre- and post-Summit activities.

The Summit will be an opportunity to highlight Namibia's incredible adventure assets, such as biking, hiking, endurance racing and camping - as well as some more uniquely "Namibian" adventures activities such as dune skiing and sandboarding. The summit will also highlight Namibia's exceptional conservation record and its global leadership in promoting conservation through smart tourism.

When ATTA President Shannon Stowell visited Namibia in June of 2012, he stated:

Namibia offers one of the most compelling success stories in tourism today, one of joint venture tourism and partnerships between communal conservancies and tourism enterprises. Namibia’s model of conservancies, joint venture partnerships and conservation is a model that we should put on display. It’s a story that should be told. I’d previously heard the discussions, watched the films and I still didn’t understand it fully it until I came and saw it in action. Our delegates are sure to gain immense insights from their experiences in Namibia.

This will be the first time the summit has been hosted in Africa. Namibia is excited to show the adventure travel tribe the kind of hospitality and excitedment the continent is known for. 

Read the official statement from the Ministry of Environment and the Namibia Tourism Board here.

Conservation Hero - Chief Mayuni


Chief MayuniA traditional leader from Namibia’s Caprivi region who has travelled the world sharing his innovative approach to conservation and development, Chief Mayuni has been described as a leader, a visionary and a motivator.  A tireless champion for conservation and community development, Chief Mayuni is a Conservation Hero. 

The Chief was one of the first to realize that tourism was the key to conservation and the recovery of wildlife numbers in the Caprivi, after years of war and poaching. By negotiating joint venture agreements with lodges he helped to increase employment in the area and to secure the funds needed for conservancy game guards.

As a result, poaching was radically reduced and wildlife numbers recovered, but that brought problems. Elephants trample and eat crops. Predators take livestock. Tourism provides jobs, but that doesn’t help the farmers. Chief Mayuni’s response was to negotiate a compensation scheme with one of his lodge operators, so if a lion took a cow, the lodges would pay compensation. It became the forerunner of a nation-wide scheme that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has embraced where communities are encouraged to use their income to pay those farmers that have suffered at the hands of wildlife.

As an advocate for conservation, community development and its links to tourism, Chief Mayuni participated in the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit. In 2007, the Namibia Nature Foundation named Chief Mayuni their Environmentalist of the Decade.

Find out more about how tourism is helping to preserve wildlife in Namibia in the video below.

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