Friday, April 20, 2012

Fish River Hike opening postponed

Opening postponed … The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has announced that due to the strong flow of the Fish River, the canyon will not be opened on 1 May, as is usually the case. The new opening date is 15 May, 2012, depending on the level of the water. The canyon is now considered unsafe for hikers and because of the serious safety hazard, visitors will have to wait a bit longer to access one of nature’s great wonders.
Derived from: New Era

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Namib dunes in contention for global heritage status

Namibia has submitted the ‘Namib Sand Sea’ for nomination as a World Heritage Site.
If successfully listed as a World Heritage Site, the Namib Sand Sea would be the second in the country, after Twyfelfontein, which was declared as a World Heritage Site in 2007.
The Namibia National Commission for UNESCO has submitted the Namib Sand Sea Nomination Dossier to the World Heritage Centre.
Although the entire Namib Desert, extending over 2, 000 km from South Africa through Namibia to south-western Angola, exemplifies elements of the natural criteria worthy of inscription, their integrity and management are not all as well developed as that of the Namib Sand Sea.
The boundary of the Namib Sand Sea lies within the Namib Naukluft Park, south of the Kuiseb River in central Namibia.
Starting from Sesriem in the centre of the eastern boundary, the envisaged site boundary extends southwards to a point where the boundary of the Naukluft meets the border of farms Kanaan and Kamaland.
It further extends west-southwest to Gibraltar on the coast before following the coastline north to the Sandwich Harbour Ramsar site.
The northern boundary then heads inland to the Kuiseb River, skirting an area earmarked for bulk water production boreholes, from where it bends along the southern bank of the dry Kuiseb riverbed before turning south, encompassing a small extent of gramadullas with incomparable vistas over the sand sea, past the Gaub River tributary to Sesriem.
The identified site is considered to be essentially pristine dune-scapes, entirely encompassed within the Namib Naukluft Park under the management of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
The southern extremity of the Namib Naukluft Park and the Namib Sand Sea were excluded from the proposed property based on the presence of active Exclusive Prospecting Licences, the fossil aquifer, which supplies water to the town of L├╝deritz and the intention to leave some of the area available for potentially destructive adventure dune tourism.
The Namib Sand Sea encompasses vast panoramas of majestic dune-scapes, strikingly crystallised in sharply silhouetted forms continually transformed with wind and time.
The Welwitschia Mirabilis is the next in line, which could be nominated as a World Heritage Site.
The plant can only be found in Namibia and some parts of Angola.

Derived from: New Era

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rising Kavango River closes Lodges

RUNDU - Lodges situated along the Kavango River have temporarily halted business operations due to threatening floods.
Most of the lodges are either surrounded by water, flooding some of the infrastructure, while others are worried that the situation may become uncontrollable.
National water utility NamWater said last week that the water levels have reached 8.07 metres, sparking fears that floods will soon reach some of the town’s accommodation facilities, especially those situated along the river banks.
The Sarasungu and Hakusembe River Lodges have already suspended operations, as roads leading to the lodges are flooded.
Currently all bookings are cancelled and tourists are referred to other accommodation facilities at Rundu.
Meanwhile, other lodges have sought alternatives to lessen the impact of floods on their businesses.
The Operations Manager at the Nkwazi Lodge, Peter Peypers, said they had started filling up the premises with sand since last November.
Peypers explained that all 13 rooms, the dining area and the bar are above the water level and only the camping site is affected.
He further pointed out that although it is a low season for tourists, those visiting the lodge are ferried in by boat.
Derived from: New Era