This month we're kicking off our #GoBigNamibia campaign. This campaign is all about showcasing the excitement and wonder Namibia holds for travelers who are willing to go the extra mile. We have selected five adventure seekers from around the world to experience Namibia's sweeping landscapes, cultural diversity and high adrenaline adventure activities.
The 20th of August 2013 marks the beginning of Namibia Tourism Board’s Adventure campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the various and unique activities found all over Namibia. In order to achieve this four bloggers and Namibia's very own EES have been invited to take part in the ultimate Namibian adventure holiday experience: The Go Big Namibia roadtrip.
For eleven days these lucky travelers will journey through game parks, desert dunes, deserted coastlines and wildlife sanctuaries. Traversing the countryside in a specially designed Go Big Van these travel writers will be going on the trip of a lifetime.
Hit the road and explore the Land of the Brave.
As we mentioned there will be four bloggers and one musician travelling around Namibia together; let’s get to know them a little better:
Emeritta Lillo - The Local
Hailing from Namibia Emeritta has also spent many years living abroad. Even though she has travelled through several continents Emeritta is most excited about being able to see parts of her home country that she has not yet had a chance to visit.
Essential Item: Vaseline for dry lips
Follow Emeritta: @NamibiaHorizons
Rachel Lang – The South African
Living in Namibia’s neighbour South Africa has given Rachel a deep appreciation for wildlife and the natural world. Inspired by discovering new things, Rachel wants you to follow her on twitter and be inspired by the beauty she is sure to find in Namibia.
Essential Item: Her new iPhone
Follow Rachel: @africageo
Liz Eswein – The New Yorker
Liz hails from the hustle and bustle of New York City and she does not like vegemite. She is most excited about the animals she will encounter on the trip.
Essential Item: Her camera
Follow Liz: @newyorkcityliz
Laurel Robbins – The Canadian-German
Laurel has lived in and traveled through more countries than most. She is looking forward to a friendly encounter with one of Namibia’s cheetahs and having dived with sharks, sans cage multiple times, we’re sure that Laurel can handle most situations on this adventure holiday.
Essential Item: Her camera and its enormous lens.
Follow Laurel: @Laurel_Robbins
EES – The Kwaito Star
EES is most excited about coming home to his native Namibia so that he can show the rest of the world just how amazing his country is. He hopes to be able to communicate the energy of Namibia to the rest of the world through his new television show, EES TV.
Essential Item: His video camera.
Follow EES: @eesyees
The Go Big Roadtrip begins on the 23rd of August and concludes on the 2nd of September and in the true spirit of adventure holidaying everyone can get involved. Through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and their own personal blogs the Go Big travelers will be able to keep you updated on all their experiences as they move through Namibia.
Now this is not to just make you jealous as you see their updates from behind your computer screen. Every day for the duration of the Go Big Namibia roadtrip we will be posting a quiz on our Facebook page and anyone who answers the question correctly will be added to a lucky-draw and the winner of that will be sent a prize courtesy of Namibia Tourism Board.
If you find yourself in Namibia between the 23rd of August and the 2nd of September then you can also take part in another competition. Our Go Big Namibia van is going to be driving through Namibia and if you see it and can get a photograph of you standing next to the van then Namibia Tourism Board will send you a prize. In order to win this prize you will have to upload the picture of you and the van on to our Facebook page.
Namibia has long been considered an adventure travel hotspot, but many people do not know exactly what adventure tourism is.
Adventure tourism is any travel that combines physically demanding activities, cultural exchanges and authentic engagement with the natural environment. Adventure tourism is not only getting off the beaten path but is rather about meaningful interactions with locals, wildlife and nature.
Members of the Himba tribe performing a traditional dance.
The average tourist will be content to simply fly into Namibia, take some photos with their expensive camera and fly back out again having experienced very little of the richness that Namibia offers. This in itself is not a terrible thing but it does lead to largely meaningless interactions between tourists and locals. Adventure tourism attempts to bridge the gap between the locals and the tourists and get them involved in each other’s lives.
Tourists learning about the local flora of Namibia.
Pictured above is a quiver tree.
(Image courtesy of MCC)
Adventure tourism means stopping in the small towns that most drive through; hiking up the trails most are too tired to, and helping with human interest and conservation projects around the country. This kind of tourism is then the manifestation of many visitors’ desires to be more than just a tourist scratching at the surface of a country’s culture. Adventure tourism uplifts and builds local communities in meaningful and lasting ways. Through volunteer programs or conservation projects adventure tourists are helping to uplift and improve the countries they visit.
Volunteer projects and conservation efforts are part of what makes
adventure tourism a meaningful experience for locals, tourists and wildlife.
Obviously, this is in stark contrast to traditional tourism models. As we all know most tourists seem intent on going into a country in massive crowds of tour groups and collecting knick-knacks and photographs so that these can be horded on mantelpieces and in display cabinets.
Get off the beaten path and find your own adventure in Namibia.