Omaheke has great tourism potential – local entrepreneur

GOBABIS: The Omaheke Region has great potential as a tourist destination, but little is done to promote most of its untapped tourism capabilities.

According to Peter-Hain Kazapua, a local tourism entrepreneur, the Omaheke Region has a lot of historical, cultural and geographical locations that could be used to advance the region as a formidable tourism attraction.

Kazapua, who owns Uakii Wilderness, a tour company based in Gobabis, said such locations however needed to be developed and regularly upgraded to attract visitors.

He highlighted the Aminuis Salt Pans, the trail of the Dorsland Trekkers and the exit point which was used by founding President Sam Nujoma to escape into Botswana during Namibia’s bitter struggle for liberation, as some of the prominent landmarks and locations that needed development.

“We have all these historical sites but little is known about them because we do little marketing and information campaigns on them. If we promote these sites, we will have more people coming to the region,” said Kazapua.

He noted that due to the fact that the Omaheke Region does not host a popular landmark or tourism attraction such as the Etosha National Park, the region needed to expose its own natural beauty and historical sites.

“We may not have the Etosha National Park here, but we have our own sites and locations that are equally viable as tourist attractions. All they need is some development,” Kazapua said.

The Omaheke Region has fared relatively well in cultural tourism, as well as community-based tourism, due to its tribal diversity. At least four different local languages – two of which are indigenous to the area – are spoken here.

The various tribal groups also provide a rich diversity which paves the way for cultural tourism.