The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, in collaboration with the Ondonga Traditional Authority, is gearing up to host the Etotha Carnival next year.
Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda says the carnival will be hosted in an effort to revitalise the tourism sector after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Having learnt the hard way from the Covid-19 experience, the event aims at diversifying tourism products, offerings and new markets to attract more local travellers, and at the same time increase international tourist arrivals and regional spread,” he says.
Muyunda says the carnival presents an opportunity to celebrate and showcase Namibia’s cultural and heritage diversity.
The event is planned to be held at one of the Etosha salt pans, locally known as Kangonde, at Onanke village in the Oshikoto region in July next year.
“Ahead of this, a series of gala dinners are planned to raise funds for the successful hosting of Namibia’s first-ever cultural carnival in the Onanke area,” he says.
The first gala dinner is planned to take place on 28 October at the Ondangwa Trade Exhibition Centre.
“The ministry is inviting contributions from the business community, the tourism sector and individuals by purchasing tickets to reserve tables for the gala dinner at N$20 000 for a platinum, N$15 000 for a gold, and N$500 for an individual ticket,” Muyunda says.
He says in addition to showcasing the country’s cultural diversity, the carnival is expected to host an exciting array of activities, including skydiving, cultural performances, and Namibian traditional gastronomy.
Other activities are a cook-off competition, horse riding, a totem parade, boma storytelling, traditional games such as owela, and an Oshiwambo traditional homestead showcase.
The carnival is being hosted as part of the implementation of the National Sustainable Tourism Growth and Development Strategy 2016-2026 and the Namibia Tourism Sector Recovery Plan 2022-2024.
Muyunda says the strategy recommends the creation of new tourism routes and the expansion of tourism products, including cultural and heritage tourism development to attract domestic tourists to the region.
“The ministry will thus work in close collaboration with the Namibia Tourism Board and other identified key stakeholders to come up with activities to improve the livelihood of the local communities,” he says.
Source : Namibian