The 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.
The Sheltering Desert by Henno Martin
In 1935 Henno Martin left Germany with his friend and colleague, Hermann Korn, for geological research in then South-West-Africa. In 1940, facing internment by the South African government, Martin and Korn decided to move into the desert and wait out the war, where they lived for two and a half years. The Sheltering Desert describes the intense physical and mental hardship they endured, the challenge to survive in the vastness of the Namib Desert, and their gradual adaptation to the Bushman lifestyle. This is a must read for anyone considering a hiking adventure in Namibia. The book can be found on Amazon, but keep an eye out for it in good second hand book stores as well.
An Arid Eden by Garth Owen-Smith
Garth Owen-Smith is has been regarded as a ‘conservationist extraordinaire’ and ‘the man who saved Kaokoland, home to Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants’. He is also a gifted writer with a highly unusual and gripping story to tell of his forty years living in the field in Namibia’s Kaokoland. An Arid Eden introduces a vivid cast of characters from Namibia's diverse cultures - including the Herero, Himba, and Damara. Through his trials and tribulations, Owen-Smith uncovers what can be considered a blueprint for successful conservation in Africa. It is a tremendous read for wildlife enthusiasts and anyone interested in conservation. Available at Amazon.com with a preview of the first chapter.
Skeleton Coast by Amy Schoeman
Once an area feared and shunned because of its treacherous coastline, Namibia's Skeleton Coast is now prized as a place of solitude, beauty and tranquility. In the early 1980s, Amy Schoeman took a deep and penetrating look into the strange and elusive visual qualities of this remote and dynamic desert wilderness. Skeleton Coast will delight visitors intrigued by the history and mystique of Namibia's coastline. Order directly from the South African publisher, or find a used version at Alibris and Amazon. If you can't get a copy of the book - go directly to the source: the Schoeman family still operates private tours of the Skeleton Coast
An Elephant’s Life by Caitlin O'Connell
This unique and intimate immersion into the life of the African elephant blends stunning photography with a deep and passionate understanding of one of Namibia's most majestic creatures. Elephant Life up-close and personal look at elephant society, narrated by Caitilin O'Connell, a world-renowned field biologist who has been researching and photographing elephants in their natural habitat for two decades. A must read for visitors wanted to gain a better understanding into one of Namibia's most fascinating animals. Click here to get an inside look and order.
A History of Namibia by Marion Wallace
Marion Wallace’s A History of Namibia is highly praised by academics and historians who specialize in African history. This book offers visitors a more indepth look into Namibia's history than those found in a typical guide book, begining with the first human footsteps by ancient peoples, years of colonization by European powers, and the creation of a new nation. Visitors to Namibia will quickly appreciate this book's ability to provide context to this rich and culturally diverse nation. Order it here.
One of Namibia's most iconic desitnations, the Fish River Canyon, is more than just a must-see travel destination. It is an adventure and a challenge. For years, the 84km trail that descends through the canyon has served as a race course for elite runners.
The Fish River Challenge Race invites athletes from all over the world to tackle extreme conditions and terrains. In 2003, Namibians Russell Paschke, Charlie du Toit and Coenraad Pool set a record time of 10 hours 54 minutes to complete the run.
Today, that record has been shattered by ultra trail runner Ryan Sandes who finished in 6 hours and 57 minutes. Read more about Ryan's accomplishment here.
Fish River Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in the world, and the largest in Africa. Set in a harsh, stony plain dotted with drought resistant succulents, such as the distinctive quiver tree or kokerboom, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon.
Formed over 500 million years ago, Fish River Canyon was created by the collapse of the valley bottom due to movements in the earth’s crust. It drops vertically by half a kilometer without any warning. As with most rivers in Namibia, Fish River is generally dry except during the rainy season, from January to April.
Unlike Ryan, you may choose to explore Fish River Canyon at a more leisurely pace. The Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail is generally a four-day, 86km expedition open from May to September. Even if you're not planning on racing through, hiking the trail still requires a doctor’s approval. With no services except for at the beginning and end, it’s obviously not for the faint of heart.
To book a trip to the Fish River Canyon, contact Namibia Wildlife Resorts.