Current track



NWR are ‘liars’ and ‘irresponsible’

Written by on May 6, 2024

The minister of environment, forestry, and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, says Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has been disqualified from being considered for a 25-year contract to transport tourists into the Namib Desert.

This is due to the late submission of the state-owned tourism company’s bidding document, he says.

Shifeta last month told The Namibian NWR is dishonest and irresponsible.

He disputed the company’s claimed profit of N$175 million and alleged it is operating its shuttle service in the Namib Desert without a permit.

Shifeta said he has selected a private company to stop NWR’s unauthorised operations in the Namib-Naukluft National Park.

He said the state-owned management of the park is inadequate and is causing environmental damage.

“NWR was late to submit its tender and this shows irresponsibility. No operator or bidder is going to receive a tender just like that.

“They all go through the same vetting process. Why is NWR lying that it is making N$175 million?
“We have decided no more freelancing in the park, they are damaging the environment. The generation to come is going to blame us for this carelessness. When you are given the tender for the concession, you also take on the responsibility of taking care of the environment.

“If you do not take this responsibility seriously, we can terminate the contract,” he said.

The environment ministry has awarded a concession to About Africa.Co, trading as About Adelt Sossusvlei Management, which is set to gain a minimum of around N$250 million in 25 years to guide travellers in the Sossusvlei area.

The concession will also give the private company the right to operate a campsite, conduct guided hiking trails and develop and operate a kiosk in the area.


“What NWR is doing in the park is illegal. They were not given a permit and how they were transporting people is illegal. It is not allowed in the park. It does not mean when you are a government entity, or when you are working in the government you can break the rules,” he said.

Shifeta’s decision to give the deal to an outfit owned by one Heiko Dorgeloh has been criticised by communities saying they have not been consulted and that the contract should be cancelled.

The concession is located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and is earmarked to benefit the Karkhoen and Maltahöhe communities in the Hardap region.


Documents seen by The Namibian show that the two involved communities agreed that the concession be given to a private company through Hardap governor Salomon April.

“On behalf of the Karkhoen and Maltahöhe communities, l would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the ministry of the favourable consideration of the communities’ application.

“This awarding of concession rights will go a long way in alleviating some of the economic challenges the communities are faced with.

“My office is ready to ensure that the communities are empowered and indeed unlock the full benefits of these concessions. We seek assistance from the ministry to secure a joint venture partner to work with the communities towards the implementation of the community concession,” April wrote in a letter.

Shifeta’s decision has left NWR complaining about possible financial losses.


Responding to Shifeta’s allegations, NWR spokesperson Nelson Ashipala last month said the company has made efforts to discuss the matter with the environment ministry to be solved internally.

“For any issue pertaining to the bid, NWR has made efforts to discuss the matter with the ministry of environment, forestry and tourism. It is a matter that can be solved internally between the two organisations – not in the public domain.

“Our goal is to maintain our status as a leading force in the tourism sector by consistently providing exceptional service. Should there be any concerns from the ministry, NWR is dedicated to addressing them promptly.

“We value our relationship with our mother body . . ,” he said.

Two years ago, The Namibian reported that Shifeta handpicked a company owned by Swapo-aligned businessman Laban Kandume to transport travellers to the Sossusvlei area – a decision which was later shelved.

Kandume supported Shifeta’s failed bid for the Swapo vice presidency.

The concession was subsequently advertised in various newspapers in November last year and handed over to About Africa.Co. in January.

This comes after Teofilus Nghitila, the executive director of environment, forestry and tourism, informed NWR in 2020 that it would no longer have the exclusive rights to transport tourists to Sossusvlei.

The post NWR are ‘liars’ and ‘irresponsible’ appeared first on The Namibian.

Current track