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Namibia: Domestic Tourism Picks Up in Etosha

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Despite the negative impacts stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic tourism has been reported to have picked up with more locals visiting the Etosha National Park compared to international tourists.

Etosha is one of the largest national parks in Africa, one of the oldest, and is considered as Namibia’s flagship tourist destination.

However, local tourism has been hard hit by the pandemic, which was compounded by job losses and loss of income.

During September, Namibia opened its borders via Hosea Kutako International and Walvis Bay airports as well as its three land borders for leisure travel.

The Katima Mulilo, Ariamsvlei, and Noordoewer border posts, as well as the Walvis Bay harbour, are also open subject to applicable health regulations.

In an interview with Etosha National Park deputy director Martin Kasoana, he said domestic tourism has picked up since the Covid-19 state of the emergency lapsed and borders opened.

“During the lockdown, Etosha was also on lockdown. But when the situation changed, we saw a lot of improvement in tourists coming in. The tourists coming in are mostly local tourists. We still have challenges with international tourists. This means we have now started appreciating our local tourism,” Kasoana said.

However, he said, the peak is only during weekends as many Namibians work during the week.

He attributed the increase by local tourists to Etosha as a result of reduced discounted accommodation prices by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR).