Once upon a time, in the year 1996, a group of Namibian dreamers celebrated the end of yet another beautiful day on African soil with a sundowner drink at the very edge of the Fish River Canyon.
They had grand ideas for sustainable tourism and environmentally sound practices. Their optimism outweighed their finances 10 to 1, but their sheer determination and pioneer spirit soon attracted attention on an international scale.
Fast forward almost 25 years later, Gondwana Collection Namibia proudly represents Namibia as a true way of life.
This lifestyle is based on impressive flora and fauna, captivating expanses, and the variety of cultures across the country that form the base of our brand essences is among one of the reasons people from all corners of the world visit us. Hence, each Gondwana property reflects and honours the various traditions and cultural practices through its interior design and curio shops.
For over 20 years, Gondwana has been collaborating with local artisans and producers in creating souvenirs that embody long lasting mementoes of the travellers’ experiences in Namibia. Many women gather in groups for basket weaving, painting, or sewing, and found a platform and market for their products. This allowed them to become self-sustainable on a scale that is not to be underestimated. Moreover, their children could start and complete their education, which enabled the entire families to flourish and grow.
The year 2020 abruptly stopped everyone’s life, whereby livelihoods came under threat and affected everyone. The Tourism industry, that had allowed constant economic growth especially for the underprivileged, ceased to exist.
Looking inward, we realised that we were given a special gift; the gift of time, to stop and smell the desert roses. The speed with which we were racing through a timeless desert, with no realisation to halt and re-evaluate whether we were on finite or infinite path, impeded our Namibia.
In times of hardship and economic recession, true and meaningful actions always reach the furthest. It is in this spirit that we could not be idle and felt responsible to bring Namibia to the global community and offer a broader marketplace to our loyal crafters and producers. Their stories are intertwined with ours and we are super stoked to bring you The Narrative. Since our story comes a very long way and its legacy will remain, our credo “you can only be successful if you make others successful” is relevant and will continuously be echoed.
Written by: Sonia Noirfalise