NWR refurbishes popular resort

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Selma Ikela
Hobas

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has pumped millions of dollars into the upgrade of Hobas camp, which is the entry-point to the world-renowned Fish River Canyon. The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia.

Hobas is situated in the south of Namibia in Karas Region, some 644 kilometres from Windhoek. Previously, Hobas was merely a campsite, but after recent extensive refurbishments, six rooms, a restaurant and an additional swimming pool were added at a cost of N$6 million.

Hobas camp is widely known as the main starting point of the canyon hiking trail, where hikers would camp before embarking on their trekking adventure. The spacious chalets offer two single beds, a sleeper couch, toilet and bathroom. Prices for the rooms are now N$1,080 for a single person and N$880 per person for two people sharing.

Hobas camp administrator Eric Gubula said the main attraction of the camp is the hiking expedtions, which run from May to September. It generally takes five days to hike from Hobas to Ai-Ais. Gubula said prices for camping are as follows: for foreigners its N$170 per night and for Namibians N$127.50. Pensioners pay less. There are also park fees to be paid.

Gubula said the camp was established because they noticed in the past that when people visited the Fish River Canyon they often had no intention of camping, but when they saw the camp they would decide to overnight.

Gubula said this is the case because Hobas is the nearest to the Fish River Canyon viewpoint and visitors did not want to camp further than this. He said the place attracts many tourists during high season: May to September. He added that it also accommodates many South African learners during school holidays. “If the schools are closed in South Africa, learners take over. They come and hike,” he said.

Director of Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa Ernest Mokganedi added that in SADC countries there are 18 transfrontier conservation areas, which house some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

“You are at one of the second largest undisputed canyon, the largest one is in the US,” he enthused. The Fish River Canyon is in the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier area.

Mokganedi, who is also a shareholder in Hobas camp, said they want guests to come again and want to travel to the South African component. “My expectation from the colleagues here is that the standards we are giving must be the kind we cannot experience anywhere around the world, especially if you match the service standard and the beauty of the landscape,” he remarked.

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