Wine tasting is an attraction in Namibia, which got me curious to know more about this destination.
My love for wine falls beyond words, most preferred is red wine, like they say “red wine is good for the heart”. I crush on an itinerary that includes wine tasting any time any day. Although I am yet to tick Namibia off my bucket list, I was happy to connect with one of Namibian finest tour operator for that “try before you buy” experience.
Joseph Kafunda is the operational manager at Rafiki Tours and Safaris based in Namibia, through his mind eyes, he took me on a tour to a great wine tasting experience. What to expect? Join me as we fly to Namibia.
Namibia is a country in Southwest Africa, home to diverse wildlife, amazing landscape and desert along its Atlantic ocean coast. The country was colonized by Germany and got her independence from South Africa in 1990, the capital is Windhoek.
The official spoken language is English, population around 2.4 million with 21 dialect. The legal currencies are Namibian dollar and South African rand. Like most countries in Africa, there are 2 seasons in Namibia, rainy and dry season also known as winter.
Tell us about Joseph?
My name is Joseph Kafunda, a Namibian and I have been living here since 1992. I joined the tourism industry in 2004 when I changed course of learning from Journalism to tourism out of my love for the industry. I wanted something adventurous and unscripted, like an adrenalin rush, only tourism could give me that.
My fluency in French got me my first job with a tour company, after which I left 9-5 paid job to own my business. Since then, I have been operating as a National tour guide in Namibia, what I do is based on passion not income, you have to love the job first before money.
Which market are your primary target?
Our major market is Europe, with high inflow from France, Germany, Italy and English speaking tourists. During the lockdown in 2020, we joined forces with other tourism experts in Africa to focus on servicing the intra-African travel market. Right now, we are promoting several tours and designing systems to cater to the new add-on market.
Tell us about the Wine tour for 20th March.
Namibia is an arid country with 4 commercial wineries located across the country. They are Erongo mountain winery, Thonningi winery, Neuras winery and Kristal Killeri winery. We have 4 red wines, 7 white wines and other spirit. Namibia offers space, silence and the chance to get away from it all. Its the second least densely populated country on the planet, with only 2 people per square kilometers.
If you don’t associate Namibia with fine wine, you have the unique opportunity to see what is there. You can dine and enjoy the Namibia best produce wine in the region surrounded by landscape so vast and empty that at times you feel like you are on the edge of the planet. Its safe to say that, this wine tour will be going where no wine tour has gone before. And it involves wine tasting of the undiscovered!
Local Insights, as always
The best way to fully experience a new city or country is through Wining and dining to get first-hand, local insights. Food and wine are the most amazing ways to understand and experience a new culture. It is often the lens through which we try to understand the world, how we relate to particular cultures, and how we remember certain experiences.
Its a 3 days tour to start from 20th March to end in 22nd March, 2021. Tourists will depart from Windheok on day 1, and drive to Omaruru with a tour guide. There will be accommodation, food, nature tours and wine tasting at the winery for the tour duration.
What are you doing to prepare for the return of tourist?
My team and I have received training on covid-19 protocols for travel. We are working on several tours for this year to welcome tourist from around the world and ensure they have a pleasant experience with a guarantee on safety. We use social media to communicate with our market and consistently building our brand visibility. In collaboration, we have done several lovely videos with great messages to boost confidence in tourists to come visit Namibia. We are using technology to stay relevant.
How does your company promote tourism for the African market?
The cost of intra-African travel is expensive, and then we have unfriendly entry policies around visas. Restrictions like this are manmade barriers preventing the growth and expansion of tourism in Africa. What we are doing on our part is to increase sharing and exchange of market information. For instance, we run bi-country tours with Ethiopian, this is how its done. We design tours that combine attractions in both countries and then promote these tours not just in both markets but across our borders.
What is unique about the African culture?
The dance, music, people, fashion and food. Songs like “Jerusalem” dance like “azonto” and artists like “Yemi Alade” I love Africa.
We just have to visit Namiba!