Holidaymakers who have not yet secured accommodation for the festive season at the coast could end up paying as much as N$5 000 a day just to snap up the available accommodation, as almost all hotels, bungalows and bed-and-breakfast establishments at the coast are already fully booked.
The soaring heat in the hinterland and towns in the interior will in all probability result in many thousands of holidaymakers retreating to the coast, where temperatures are generally cooler.
Over 7 000 local, as well as South African and overseas visitors are expected to arrive at the coast from December 15 for the festive season, at Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Henties Bay in particular.
With accommodation prices’ skyrocketing over the festive season some holidaymakers are said to be willing to pay more than the normal price to secure accommodation.
“People will pay anything to come to the coast at this time of the year and don’t expect cheap accommodation, as peak season prices can sometimes be three times the off-peak season prices, a booking officer at Swakopmund said yesterday.
Swakopmund municipal bungalows reservation office said they are already fully booked, with only a few chalets available on 28 and 29 December. According to the booking officer, most of the reservations were made in June.
The municipal bungalows can accommodate at least 500 people at a time. Some tourists also re-book just before they depart for the coast and visitors also pay a 50 percent deposit upfront with all their bookings to secure their accommodation.
The classy and pricy Seaside Hotel and Spa at Swakopmund also indicated that they are fully booked, with only a few rooms available after on January 3 and 4. Bookings at the hotel are also made well in advance.
Maria Thiindi of Amanpuri Travellers’ Lodge in Swakopmund similarly said they are fully booked for the duration of the festive season. She said most of their clients also book in advance. “Our clients are mostly foreigners, but we have a quite a few locals that make use of our accommodation facilities.
“We normally require our guests to make an upfront payment to make sure we don’t lose out. According to her they can accommodate about 200 people. “People can make last minute enquiries to find out if there was any cancellation,” she explained.
The Swakopmund Entertainment Centre reservation office indicated that they still have rooms available. They are positive though that they will be fully booked within the next few weeks, as some clients always seek accommodation at the very last minute.
As for Walvis Bay, Ezelle Hans of the Lagoon Chalets, situated along the lagoon – as the name suggests – says they are fully booked from December 18 until January 3. The Esplanade Park at Walvis Bay is also fully booked, including Dolphin Park, Langstrand and the Caravan Park. Holidaymakers are encouraged though to make enquiries, as there might be last-minute cancellations.