A new tourism route has emerged with the opening of the newly constructed Dolomite Camp in the western part of Etosha National Park.
Access to the Dolomite Camp is through the Galton Gate, in the previously restricted tourism area.
Western Etosha is a pristine wilderness area, as the biodiversity and ecological systems are still intact.
This is because it has never been opened to the general public or tourists in the last 100 years.
Dolomite Camp is the second accommodation facility to Onkoshi Camp built in the Etosha National Park after the company’s turnaround strategy.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba opened the camp over the weekend.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, said since the opening of the camp in June it has already hosted over 1 000 guests.
Another unique feature to the camp is the historical Bushman paintings that visitors can view.
A direct investment of N$34 million was made to build and operate the camp, while the total construction cost was N$27 million.
Forty-two permanent jobs have been created with the opening of the camp, while over 200 temporary jobs were created during the construction phase.
“Thus creating significant economic value and benefits to the surrounding communities outside the park,” the minister noted.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the direct project capital investment underscores the value and importance government has placed on the industry to increase tourism value to overnight tourists, GDP and employment creation.
“Travel and tourism is expected to create 32 000 direct and indirect jobs during the MTEF period, making up 7,4 percent of total employment in Namibia,” the minister stated.
The sector’s total contribution to GDP is expected to reach N$16.2 billion during the same period, which constitutes 19.9 percent of GDP.
In addition, the country expects international tourist arrivals to exceed one million compared to 984 099 in 2010.
The camp is built on elevated wooden decks on and around the outer edges of a dolomite ridge.
An artificial waterhole provides great game viewing and photography opportunities, for game such as black rhino, black-faced impala and Hartmann mountain zebra.
Rolling hills, plains, saline pans and dolomite outcrops are part of western Etosha’s geology, and ancient rock art and more than 10 waterholes surround the camp.
Source: New Era