AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators


29 Jan 2015 - Visit with Expert Africa: first UK operator to feature Namibia

On 21st March 1990, Namibia (formerly German South West Africa) became independent. Chris McIntyre, MD of Expert Africa, was in the country at the time, completing his research for the first Bradt Travel Guide to Namibia and Botswana (he is now busy with the fifth edition of the Bradt Travel Guide to Namibia). He arrived back in Windhoek just in time for the independence ceremony and celebrations.

“I was accredited as a member of the press for the ceremony”, remembers Chris. “I stood in the stadium as the country became independent. We then partied in one of the townships that night…it was quite a party! And the guide was published later that year”.

Later that same year, Noel Josephides, founder of Sunvil Holidays (parent company of Expert Africa), met the first President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, and joined him and his entourage for Christmas lunch at Terrace Bay – a place Nujoma liked to fish.

The following year, Expert Africa became the first UK operator to sell holidays to Namibia. Today, Expert Africa remains the largest specialist operator to the country. Members of the team travel regularly to the country and possess incomparable knowledge of its regions and understanding of its people.

Today Namibia is a constitutional democracy with an entrenched Bill of Rights – important, given the country’s hugely varied population. Despite this diversity, there are only a little over two million people in a country that is larger than the UK and Germany combined.

Namibia is an extraordinarily exciting destination. It is, quite simply, unlike anywhere else on earth. Namibia’s key attractions are relatively under-visited, so you’re unlikely to encounter more than a handful of like-minded others as you explore. Activities are endless; here are just a few:

• Climb the world’s tallest dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park
• Watch lion stalk huge herds of game in Etosha National Park
• Observe elephant and black rhino by floodlight in Damaraland
• Try an adrenalin sport in Swakopmund (small Germanic town surrounded by desert and ocean)
• Kayak in the ‘bird paradise’ of Walvis Bay
• Hike in the mountains and desert
• Engage with local tribes
• Visit Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-largest canyon
• Drive yourself through wilderness along the Skeleton Coast

Travelling within Namibia is very easy: distances can be daunting but the roads are excellent and the scenery otherworldly. For those with limited time, a fly-in safari is ideal. There are many fantastic lodges along your way. Expert Africa has handpicked the best: rustic or luxurious, each is an experience in its own right.

Expert Africa (020 8232 9777, also covers Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, the Seychelles, the Cape of South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Ends – 29 January 2015

Press: For further information call Mischa Mack or Sarah Belcher at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email /

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