Pieter Mostert, the big guy with the friendly grin, is as much part of the Namibian landscape as high dunes, Welwitschia mirabilis, and potjiekos. After a multifaceted career focusing on conservation and tourism, he offers his own special brand of holiday travel, one that reflects his vast resource of specialised knowledge.
Pieter and his wife Tessa launched their venture in 2000. Blue Sky Namibia Tours is a small company that caters essentially for the connoisseur who enjoys a leisurely tour in the company of like-minded friends or family members.
Pieter, who is truly a man for all seasons, says that the accent should be on quiet enjoyment and savouring each day, instead of launching into a headlong rush to see as much of the country as possible. “Namibia is simply too big to see in one go. For the full range of enjoyment, come back on a return visit,” advises this specialised tour guide.
To add to this atmosphere of timelessness, he suggests an itinerary that highlights people and places not included in major tourist routes. He recommends a stopover of at least two nights in out-of-the-way spots, where local personalities can share their special knowledge of the area with guests. Pieter says this form of travel has now become easier because of an increase in accommodation facilities in isolated places.
“Nothing spoils a holiday as much as poor accommodation and poor food,” says Pieter. Catering mainly for the English-speaking market, he enjoys his dual role as tour operator and guide for groups of guests with whom he can share his passion for the country.
He likes to introduce his guests to various aspects of Namibia, for instance a crafts tour for guests to view the products where they are made and meet the craftspeople of this burgeoning sector. Another option is a tour catering for artists who wish to portray Namibians in a traditional and rural lifestyle. A local artist accompanies the arts tour.
As an enthusiastic young nature conservator, Pieter joined the Department of Nature Conservation (now the Ministry of Environment and Tourism), where his first assignment was assisting the veterinarian in charge of the game capture unit. In a career spanning 13 years, he worked as Research Assistant, Field Officer and Principal Nature Conservator. He was stationed in many different parts of the country, giving him the opportunity to explore the scenic beauty and familiarise himself with the historical and environmental aspects. It was also a good opportunity to meet the people living in these areas, and was the beginning of his involvement with Namibian youth through environmental conservation tours.
Another interesting chapter in Pieter’s professional career was 12 years spent with the Rössing Foundation. As conservation and youth officer, he continued to work with young Namibians. He was appointed National Co-ordinator of the Namibia Youth Awards Programme, which is affiliated to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme. Another challenging aspect of his work, and one in which he is still involved to this day, entails taking prominent personalities such as senior government officials, directors of companies and ambassadors on the Rössing Conservation Trail.
This article appeared in the April ‘05 edition of Travel News Namibia.