11 Sep 2023
With the help of its WhatsApp group, the Namibian travel industry reacted quickly to the misbehaviour of tourists. In one case, motorcyclists paid a fine, in the other case, self-drivers apologised for their reckless driving.
The first incident occurred yesterday in Dorob National Park south of Swakopmund. A group of about 10 bikers rode around on a gravel plain at the dune belt despite prohibition signs.
Chris Nel, who offers tours in the area with his company Living Desert Adventures, photographed the escort vehicle of the motorbike tourists. In the evening, he posted the photos on a travel industry WhatsApp group.
Tour operators, tour guides and accommodation providers who knew about the group or had seen it during the day responded immediately. It was quickly clear where the bikers were staying that evening. This morning, the owner of the South African tour company who accompanied the group contacted Nel.
"The group turned themselves in to the park authorities, apologised and paid a fine of 2,400 Namibia Dollar per head," Nel told Namibian.org. "In addition, the owner announced to me that he would inform his guests more about aspects of conservation in the future and also add a page about this topic on his website."
The second case took place this morning: On the way from Sesriem [https://gondwana-collection.com/en/the-namib-experience] to Walvis Bay, a group of self-drivers in two SUVs and two 4x4 double cabs were travelling at 120 km/h on the gravel road. According to the message of a tour guide on the WhatsApp group, other cars were being overtaken recklessly. They were literally forced to pull over to the side of the road. The higher the speed, the more stones are hurled up.
The car rental company reacted immediately. Its staff reached the drivers by mobile phone and confronted them. As the company reported back on the WhatsApp group, they had apologised and promised to strictly follow the traffic rules from now on.
The car rental company is known for the thorough briefing of its customers. In this case, too, its staff had pointed out the speed limits: Maximum 120 km/h on tarred trunk roads and no more than 80 km/h on gravel roads. The rental cars are also equipped with speed warning signals and tachographs.
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