Most first time visitors to Namibia book the standard route offered by the large tour operators in Europe and elsewhere. They travel by bus from Windhoek to Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Twyfelfontein, and Etosha and back to Windhoek and are booked into accommodation made for this type of mass tourism. It gives them a fair impression of what Namibia looks like, and they probably enjoy their stay in our beautiful country. But while this type of tour works really well for many people, Ondjamba's strength and popularity lie in its offering first time and repeat visitors something more than the standard tour.
From the start of contact to the point of departure, Ondjamba strives to offer a personalized experience by tailoring each safari or tour to our clients' wishes. Alternatively, we try to provide as much information as possible on our website and our cooperation with Leisure Times to give you the information you need to tailor make your own tour!
We know many lodges that provide a personal touch where you can sit around the fire or dining room table and chat to the hosts about the country and the everyday lives of its people. We also know at which lodges the price-performance ratio is best! Lodging does not have to be expensive for you to still get top quality food and service.
As we are an independent company, we are not limited to only these choices and can offer many other options to fit your planned budget and preferred style. You can choose from ready made tours based on previous client's itineraries, or adapt those same tours to your own preferences, or just pick a few places you want to visit and ask us to base a tour on those just for you. This way you can be as involved in the process of planning your dream vacation to Namibia as you want to be.
Ondjamba Safaris is a fully registered Namibian tour operator. The firm was founded in 1998 by Dieter and Dongina Risser to bear witness to Dieter’s love for nature. Dieter has traveled extensively through Namibia and neighbouring countries and, with his adventurous spirit has discovered the best routes, most genuine Namibian lodges and the best spots to find game. He knows where everything is, and the routes we provide are based on his extensive experience. Word of mouth recommendations by past clients has led to an ever increasing interest in what he offered, and so Dieter realized he needed to expand, while still holding true to what Ondjamba stood for – small, personalized safaris and tours with a passion for wildlife and landscapes. First daughter, Dana, and then daughter, Dione, joined the Ondjamba team and today they continue to follow their father's vision. Dana's husband, John, publisher of Leisure Times, is also a partner in the business.
Dieter is a NATH educated tour guide with an elephant diploma. Yes, he is crazy about elephants – some of his guests refer to him as ‘the elephant whisperer’ - Dieter knows most of the dominant bulls and matriarch cows in the Kaokoland by name. Long years of theoretical and practical experience with the behaviour of the desert elephant enable us to tell you much about these incredible desert-adapted animals. While Dieter has been mostly retired from full time guiding since 2013, he does offer specialized desert elephant tours from time to time.
For all guided safaris, we use a carefully selected group of experienced guides to conduct our tours. We have developed close working relationships with like-minded individuals who share our style and passion for Namibia.
Daughters Dione Dichtl and Dana Risser-Wheeling have taken over the reins as the tour consultants at Ondjamba and handle all enquiries from past and new clients, ensuring that all booking requests and wishes are met to our client's satisfaction. Dieter still provides advice on routes as well as admin support. Dana's husband, writer and entrepreneur, John R Wheeling, has joined the team. His company, Leisure Times, works in close cooperation with Ondjamba Safaris. While Ondjamba provides the tour operator function and expertise, John provides great content with his writing and the photography of Karl Andre Terblanche.
As you can see, Ondjamba Safaris is a family business – maybe this is why we are so successful with our personal touch!
- Day tours & activity bookings mostly in Swakopmund and surrounds
- Short 2-3 day guided tours from/to Swakopmund
- Classic guided safaris - camping, lodging or a combination
- Specialized guided safaris into remote areas
- Self-drive tours - we call these "Arrive & Drive"
- Guided self-drive tours - for the more adventurous who want to drive themselves into remote areas, but prefer to have a knowledgeable guide along to enrich the experience
- Transfer tours - especially good for repeat clients who want to spend quality time at each location
- Film & photo groups wanting expert local knowledge
- Namibia - all areas with special emphasis on parts of Damaraland and Kaokoland
- South Africa