June 2015 – Wilderness Safaris Namibia and Ongava Game Lodges have enjoyed a very beneficial and fruitful partnership dating back to 2002.
The success of this union, which consisted of a lodge management contract as well as a marketing, sales and reservations agreement, was based on a shared understanding of sustainable tourism and the determination of both parties to develop one of the country’s premier ecotourism operations, while at the same time making a significant contribution to Namibian conservation.
After some fourteen years, and in an amicable process, both parties now agree that this business has reached a level of maturity and success that enables it to be managed independently by the Ongava team. Accordingly, a joint decision has been made not to renew the management agreement which terminates towards the end of 2015, meaning that Ongava will become independent of Wilderness Safaris.
This parting will necessarily be staggered as both parties determine the best-planned and smoothest transition. For instance, while Ongava will from mid-June begin independent and active marketing of the camps, all bookings will continue to be made through Wilderness Safaris until such time as Ongava has set up and comprehensively tested a new booking system. This is anticipated as being towards the end of 2015, or even early 2016.
Thus, existing contracts will remain in place for the immediate future and there should be no impact on current and future bookings. In addition, Ongava has agreed to honour the rates of all bookings in the system at the date of the formal handover.
Stuart Crawford will continue as General Manager of the Ongava Game Reserve, while Rob Moffett, formerly of Wilderness Safaris, has been appointed to head up the Marketing and Sales team.
Reflecting on the partnership, Wilderness Safaris Namibia Managing Director Mike Wassung said, “We have had an excellent run with Ongava over a mutually beneficial fourteen years and we wish them every success with both their ecotourism and conservation activities in the future.”