Compiled by Marita van Rooyen
Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers takes its name from the ancient volcano outbursts on the Brandberg Mountain in Damaraland, referring to the remains you still find on the Brandberg Mountain today.
The story: Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers started out in 2008 with a second-hand blue Toyota Tazz – which wasn’t even air-conditioned – and a Volkswagen Kombi, with money borrowed from owner and initiator Julius Gawaseb’s mother. Julius always dreamed of ‘becoming a hot-shot tour operator’, but when he realised this was probably not the greatest of ideas, he began looking at alternative opportunities in the tourism industry. “I understood early on that it’s very important to be innovative in this business!”
The road to success: Soon after changing its business strategy from tour operator to transport company, Vulkan Ruine struck a deal with Air Namibia to become the airline’s exclusive transport service provider. Then the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino, Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino, Bank of Namibia, MVA Fund, and GIZ Namibia also climbed on the bandwagon, making Vulkan Ruine Windhoek’s top provider of staff transportation.
Facing challenges: “When we started out, the biggest challenge was to market ourselves and introduce our services to the industry. Only in the second year of operation did business start picking up. Until that point I was pretty much a one-man show!”
Highlights: “The day we moved into our very own premises, in December 2011.”
The situation today: Nowadays staff transportation constitutes more than 80% of the company’s revenue. Vulkan Ruine currently operates a fleet of 20 vehicles and is still growing as the demand for its services increases. “We recently upgraded our website, launched a business class Scheduled Airport Bus Shuttle Service, and tour bookings and requests are increasing all the time. Parallel to the scheduled airport bus-shuttle service, we have introduced the airport connect service, which connects other accommodation establishments not serviced by the scheduled shuttle service and residents and business travellers in Windhoek to the scheduled airport bus shuttle service or directly to Hosea Kutako International Airport. Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers has established itself as a provider of comfortable, convenient, affordable, reliable and safe service. We always strive to improve our service and provide the best for our customers. Without continuously striving for excellence in our service delivery, we would not have been here today.”
What sets Vulkan Ruine apart? “We provide the kind of business-class service in our buses normally available only when flying your favourite airline. Our rates are very favourable compared to the cost of using a taxi or luxury vehicle. We offer comfortable reclining seats with generous legroom, Wi-Fi capability and laptop plug-ins. Vulkan Ruine Tours and Transfers is committed to environmental initiatives and we ensure you of our awareness of environmental responsibility.”
MY NAMIBIA: “I am a Damara and my heritage lies in Damaraland. So Twyfelfontein and the Brandberg head my list of the most breathtaking places in this country. Sitting on top of the Brandberg and looking down at the natural beauty below – wow!”
This milestone was originally published in Travel News Namibia Autumn 2013 print edition.