Campsite owner determined to reach greater heights

ROCK FORMATIONS … Brandberg Elephant Rock Campsite owner Monica Areses took a group of journalists on a tour of the area on Tuesday. Photo: Absalom Shigwedha

Although her business faces stiff competition from other tourist facilities, Brandberg Elephant Rock Campsite owner Monica Areses is determined to reach greater heights.

The campsite, located in the Daures constituency of the Erongo region, is challenged by water shortages and a lack of marketing.

The campsite currently gets water from Uis, which is a costly exercise, says Areses, and although she advertises on ‘Where To Stay in Namibia’, tourists are reluctant to stay at an establishment that does not have Wi-Fi.

Internet connectivity would allow the campsite to create its own website for marketing purposes, she says.

Areses is hopeful of meeting some of these challenges through funding from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s (GIZ) Biodiversity Economy Project (under the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism).

She plans to use the funding to build a borehole for the campsite, which opened its doors to visitors in 2016 and currently has four employees.

Areses says she pays a certain percentage of the campsite’s profits to the Daures Traditional Authority and the Tsiseb conservancy as a member.

A group of journalists visited the campsite on Tuesday to learn what has been achieved with the funding, as well as what is planned in future.

The campsite, located 39km West of Uis, offers camping accommodation, meals on request, drinks and braai, as well as showers with warm water.

Areses says her future plans are to build a swimming pool at the campsite, as well as to have tented rooms.

The Biodiversity Economy Project started in 2019, with funding of 5 million euros and is planned over five years.

The aims and objectives of the project are to develop the biodiversity economy in four selected landscapes and to benefit inhabitants through the sustainable use of biodiversity.

The four chosen landscapes are Etosha West and South, Brandberg/Geopark, Waterberg and Ombone People’s Park.

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