Namibia lacks tourism dry ports

New Era Newspaper Namibia
Official Logo for New Era Newspaper 2016 version


The director for tourism and gaming in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Sem Shikongo says there is a huge need for Namibian towns and cities to establish tourism dry ports that are well equipped with restrooms, restaurants and security for tourists travelling by road.

He said such services are currently only extended to visitors at airports using the air mode of travel, hence the need to encompass such services to road users as well.

Another issue is that Namibia has very limited public service transport for either domestic or foreign visitors, he added.

Therefore, Shikongo highlighted, it’s important that the transport master plan for Namibia takes into account the needs of the tourism sector in terms of road, air, rail and port access and other supporting infrastructure.
Currently, Namibia has many illegal loading zones, where local travellers and foreigners alike go through bad experiences when their luggage is often roughly handled by bus loading masters – in many cases resulting in their losing their belongings or incurring damage.

Several of the loading zones furthermore have no ablution facilities, resting or restaurant amenities.
These include the Monte Cristo loading zone for northern destinations, and the open area near Wernhil Park Mall for the north-east and neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Other areas are Rhino Park service station for coastal destinations and the open space at the Single Quarters mainly for Angolan nationals en-route to Oshikango.

“The question is are there toilets, waiting rooms, schedules, restaurants and lockers if I come there, even at night, at those places? What if it rains? Tourists currently don’t know where to go if they want to travel to other towns because there is no central place. If you travel by plane, you know that you will go to Hosea Kutako or Eros airport, but if you are to travel by car, where do you go? Where is the information?” he queried.

He suggested that every town and city should look into creating tourism dry ports for visitors.
He said the idea is a national strategy that forms part of the National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Investment Promotion Strategy 2016-2026, adding that its implementation will create lots of jobs.

“The strategy was approved by Cabinet. So if there is someone out there with money to invest, they can approach the city and town or village councils to take up such projects. Or the city can say, no, we have the money we will do it ourselves,” Shikongo said.


  1. A GRAND PROJECT and a bold proposal to stimulate the local economy, provide jobs and become a southern flagship attraction. I ask you to consider: a tourist attraction that rises from the desert sands. A large amusement park with lodges, kinder rides, roller coaster, water park, authentic Nama Village, shops, game, petting zoo, museum(s), travel agents, transport to southern attractions.
    There are a few places that might be suitable including the small town of Blouwes just north of Keetmanshoop and part of the !Khob !Naub Conservancy. Right on the B1, it could include two or three levels of accommodations and dining. All of this could be close to the existing Quiver Tree Forest, Giants Playground, Cheetah preserve and the B1/B4 crossroads to Windhoek, Luderitz, Fish River Canyon and Cape Town. Less than a half hour drive to nearby Keetmanshoop will provide the resources of commerce, modern malls and events that may not be available at the start in Blouwes.
    In July we concluded two years of volunteer service in Namibia, but I leave you with this vision.


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