by Ron Swilling
Imagine white marquees in a landscape of desert dunes and shimmering bamboo lanterns. Enter Willie van Wyk from Africa Leisure Travel, whose engaging logo is ‘Experience your Expectations’.
Africa Leisure Travel offers destination management as the cream of its products list. The company also provides transfers to the airport and hotels, takes day tours to Cape Cross and the Moon Landscape, and acts as an agent for Europcar.
Destination management involves organising an itinerary for a group, including everything from airport transfers and hotel accommodation to activities. An Africa Leisure Travel speciality is a dinner function in the desert, Swakop River course or on the beach, either as a function on its own, or for weddings, prize-givings, year-end functions, special birthdays, anniversaries, and as an exciting and memorable supper option for tour groups.
Belly dancing and marimba music
The desert dinner features white marquees, carpets, chairs, tablecloths, bar, electricity and toilet facilities. To make the desert dinner a truly special affair, Willie offers interesting and exotic options, such as camels, belly dancers, marimba bands, drums, snake charmers and fire spinners. Large spotlights light up the dunes and all tents are open in the front for the guests to feel the atmosphere of their surroundings.
Willie’s experience with destination management began with Afro Ventures, where he worked first as a tour guide and then in management, gaining experience with the desert-dinner functions that were arranged in conjunction with the Swakopmund Hotel. In 2001, when the company moved back to Windhoek, Willie decided to take over where they left off, continuing to offer desert dinners and event management in the coastal town.
Willie says he and his staff are flexible and can set up anywhere from Halali in Etosha to Sesriem and Sossusvlei. “A special event should be like a puzzle where you can put in as many pieces as you want, whether a sundowner at the Moon Landscape with skydivers descending to offer ice-cold champagne, or a surprise lunch in the desert. Once set up, it can only have a wow effect.”
This article appeared in the Dec ‘10/ Jan ‘11 edition of Travel News Namibia.