Quiver Trees And Alternative Energy At Canyon Village

15 Dec 2020

Nestling at the base of a rocky mountain, Canyon Village brings to life the local Nama culture through the paintings on the walls, the donkey cart that takes guests luggage to their rooms and of course the staff. 

The staff of Canyon Village are local residents with their heritage deeply entrenched in the southern out-backs of Namibia. 

The near endemic garden at Canyon Village has a number of Quiver Trees (Aloidendron dichotomum), which are a protected species and form an icon of southern Namibia.  

Canyon Village is situated within the 116 000ha Gondwana Canyon Park, where at the Park’s base of operations, a nursery grows endemic plant species such as the Quiver Tree. From there, the quiver trees are planted within the park, as well as at the other Gondwana Lodges. The first quiver trees were planted at Canyon Village in 2006, and still stand strong today. Some of the rangers at Gondwana Canyon Park, who started planting these trees all those years ago, are still proud members of the Park department, to this very day. 

Epafras Akwenye (left) and Simon Iihelele (right), two of the original members of the Gondwana Canyon Park team, standing in front one of the quiver trees that were planted in 2008.

Having a near endemic garden is just one facet used to showcase eco-tourism. Monitoring water and electricity usage are additional factors which include ways to decrease usage or seek alternative options. 

Current Canyon Park Team (from left), Epafras Akwenye (Park Ranger), Mathias de Koker (Park Ranger), Simon Iihelele (Park Ranger) and Mathias Tsameya (Park Warden).

The Namibian climate is optimal for using solar as an alternative energy source. 

This is what Canyon Village has implemented into their daily operational procedures. Situated directly behind Canyon Village are the 382 solar panels which produce up to 50% of the Lodge’s electricity requirements for operational purposes. Any supplementary electricity that the solar plant produces is fed back into the national grid.  

At the Namibian Tourism Expo, as well as with regards to the Responsible Tourism Awards (RTA), alternative energy was this year’s theme. The Expo and Awards Ceremony was hosted from the 4th – 7th of November.  

To qualify as a candidate and possible recipient, lodges are assessed by Eco-Awards Namibia on their environmental sustainability protocols and application methodologies and implementations. Finalists are then interviewed with questions based on the theme of the Expo and RTA.  

In 2020, three Lodges qualified as finalists; Huab under Canvas (managed and owned by Ultimate Safaris), Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (managed and owned by Wilderness Safari) and Canyon Village (managed and owned by Gondwana Collection Namibia).  

A massive `Well Done` to Canyon Village for winning this year’s 1st prize and being the second lodge of Gondwana Collection Namibia to win this prestigious award within the past five years. 

The Responsible Tourism Award was handed over to the Canyon Village Team. (from left) Mathias Tsameya (Gondwana Canyon Park Warden), Stephanie de Lange (was representing Canyon Village at the Expo and handed the award over to them), James Babadi (Canyon Village Assistant Lodge Manager) Rudi Stain (Canyon Collection Manager).


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