30 August 2009
The spa complex, nestled in the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and at the southern tip of the Fish River Canyon, one of the main tourist's attraction area in the dry and rugged southern parts of Namibia, was refurbished at the cost R34 million.
The resort owes its name to the sulphurous Ai-Ais hot spring, a Nama language for 'burning water.'
The springs date back to 1850, the hot springs were discovered by a Nama herder, searching for his lost sheep.
Water from the springs at Ai-Ais is pumped into the thermal baths at a temperature of 65 degrees Celsius.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony the Chief of the Bondelswarts traditional authority Kaptein Joseph Christiaan said the water in those springs are rich in fluorides, sulphates and chlorides and is said to relieve rheumatic ailments and illnesses of the nervous system.
"Ai-Ais as a source was not only directly used for watering and for drinking cattle but for ritual, healing and spirituality," said Christiaan, who is chief of the Bondelswarts, who reside in the surrounding areas.
He further said those water points and river courses were strategic routes for laying ambush for enemies, during the fight between Namas and Germans.
As part of turnaround strategic plan introduced by the managing director of NWR Tobie Aupindi in the past three years aim to addresses the systematic improvement of all facilities in the NWR portfolio and to improve service delivery, the government decide to re-furbished Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa and made it an excellent place to relax in and around the thermal baths & heated swimming pool.
Aupindi said the camp created 300 fulltime jobs for people living at that area.
He further said the new tourism facilities such as Ai-Ais hot springs spa not only create new jobs but also boost the local and national economy through the purchase of goods and services.
"Furthermore, tourism creates significant opportunities to benefit local and marginalized communities, through provision of local crafts, agricultural products, services such as laundry or cultural tourism," he said.
Aupindi said allows visitors to experience the tranquility and splendor of the Ai-Ais springs spa and its wildlife treasures.
The newly redeveloped NWR Camp, which is situated within /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld transfrontier park at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon, also boasts refurbished Mountain View and River View double rooms, Premier Family chalets, exquisitely redesigned Spa facilities, an expanded Restaurant and a neatly landscaped Camping area.
The Southern Times - 30 AUgust 2009By Lahja Nashuuta
9 May 2016Moutain biking in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
The first Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour for 2016 was held from 18-24 April, with 74 people from Namibia and South Africa, aged between 13 and 65 years of age, participating. The event proved especread more
8 April 2016A unique adventure – Desert Kayak Trails
During the Easter weekend, the Desert Kayak Trails hosted the first large group of participants down the magnificent Orange River, within the parameters of the /Ai /Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Parkread more
16 October 2015Desert Knights tour now a permanent feature
The second Desert Knights tour of 2015 was held in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park from 24-30 September. The demand has been such that the park's management committee, the hosts of the touread more
5 October 2015Wildlife species return to the Richtersveld
September saw the re-introduction of more wildlife to the South African component of the /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. This year was an especially exciting one, as red hartebeest were returead more
11 September 2015Wildrun™ crosses borders
Next year, the Richtersveld Wildrun™ will be the first cross-border trail running event in the world; a challenging five-days from South Africa to Namibia in the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Trread more
20 April 2015Desert Kayak Trails set to be launched
Plans are afoot to officially launch the fully-guided and catered Desert Kayak Trails in June this year.read more
26 January 2015Cross-border school visit
The /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park experienced a first when prefects from a primary school in Oranjemund in Namibia came to visit from 16 - 18 January.read more
23 October 20142015 Desert Knights Mountain Bike Tour
The annual Desert Knights mountain bike tour was held for the fifth time in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park from 7-13 September this year. This unique adventure consists of five days of cread more
30 June 2014Richtersveld Wildrun™
The rugged mountains of the Richtersveld National Park proved to be the perfect backdrop for the 57 trail runners who set out on the inaugural 150 kms Richtersveld Wildrun™ which was held over fourread more
10 March 2014Joint training in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
The /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park's management committee is always looking for innovative ideas to lure visitors to the park and the idea of kayak trails was mooted. The image of kayak trailread more