Eco tourism on bicycles is becoming popular among tourists who previously saw the townships in buses. Instead of only being able to interact with a township through the windows of a bus, tour founder Nande Junias decided to show off Mondesa to his clients on the backs of bicycles.
As we have discussed previously in The Logbook, this was an idea the Swakopmund native conceived to offer a greater experience to tourists wanting to get a feel for the local culture of a place.
“To truly experience the warmth, friendliness and humanity of a township like Mondesa,” Nande says, “ You have to walk its streets, see the children play, hear the people’s voices, smell the pavement barbecues and taste the locally brewed beer.”
Nande wanted to create a situation where visitors could see different cultures and meet local people in Mondesa, get to know Namibia better and learn about the different tribes in the country like the Aavambo, Damara, Herero and the Ovahimba people.
“Our cultural township tours are all about the people,” he says.
NANDES’ TOUR COMPANY
Nande, who is now thirty one, began his career as a tour guide fifteen years ago with Hata Angu Cultural Tours at the harbour town. Then, in 2018 he began his own tourism company, named Nande Junias Explorer Tours. Quickly proving to be a winning idea, his company was nominated as one of nine organisations from across Africa for the African Responsible Award during the same year. This award recognizes the African organisations that demonstrate how tourism can benefit local people, the environment and destinations.
At first his township tours were done via foot and car, but after listening to his clients he decided to go the eco-tourism route and began including cycling. Eventually, he employed twelve people including seven permanent staff. He also works with a number of freelance guides and his tours can easily handle up to twenty people on bikes through Mondesa and the DRC townships. Tourists are taken to the open food market in Mondesa and are able to walk the streets and visit local schools and kindergartens.
The tour also takes guests to visit the DRC informal settlement and a local family that runs a community arts and craft centre. Here it is clearly seen how the tours benefits the local community through encouraging businesses that sell arts and crafts to travellers. Guests get the chance to learn about herbs of the Nama people and practise the click language test.
Planning to expand his routes to Swakopmund town and Walvis Bay, Nande has become an inspiration to local aspiring young entrepreneurs seeking to break into the tourism industry. One of the messages he sends out is that it is important to start businesses in their communities first, before expanding to other areas.
The company also offers historical township church visits on Sundays, township home cooking experience with a local family, tours to Cape Cross, Welwitschia and Moon landscape day tours, sand boarding and private safaris.
ADDRESS:210 OB Street Mondesa Swakopmund Namibia
TELEPHONE NUMBER:+264 812134443 +264810456310
*As seen in The Logbook
*All adventures, risks, challenges and good times undertaken by our readers are solely their own responsibility. Before choosing please read our Responsible Usage.
Township Historical Cultural Tour N$600 pp
Cycling Township Historical Cultural Tour N$550 pp
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS AND PRICES:
Historical Township Church Visit (Sundays only), pick up 8h45 with traditional lunch included N$500 pp
Township Home Cooking Experience with local family N$700 pp