Our History

Ondjamba Safaris is a fully registered Namibian tour operator.  The firm was founded over ten years ago by Dieter and Dongina Risser to bear witness to Dieter’s love for nature. He has traveled extensively through Namibia and neighbouring countries and, with his adventurous spirit, learnt several routes, which are little known to mass tourism.  He has a preference for the (as yet) unspoiled parts of the Kaokoland and Damaraland.  Because of word by mouth recommendations by past clients, leading to an ever increasing interest in what he offered, he 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.  A further testament to Ondjamba's success is the number of repeat clients who by now know almost every corner of Namibia, and yet still keep coming back!

Our Vision

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. They are booked into hotels and lodges that can cater 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 alas, we know how little of the REAL Namibia they see, and how short a time they have to make contact with the local people and to find out about their traditions and beliefs. The most scenic landscape and the free ranging game, the interesting mixture of the various ethnic cultures of the Himba, Bushmen and others, the diversity of our fauna and flora – all this they miss for sure! The trend is then to come back as self-drivers and to discover in more detail those areas found most interesting on the first visit.  Much more can be seen and learned this way. Excellent guidebooks and maps on Namibia help you to find your way around safely.

We go one step further by going deeper into areas not travelled often and using mostly roads and tracks not found on any map, nor described in any guidebook. A lot of our routes are only accessible by 4x4 vehicle, and with intimate knowledge of the area - combined with our expertise on subjects such as desert elephant, desert lion and our established bonds with many of the more remote Himba villages - makes this an unforgettable adventure. We concentrate on eco/ethno safaris and tours. As we are allergic to big buses, we prefer campsites and lodges that cater for smaller groups. 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.

Share our vision of a safari off the beaten track where nature predominates and the soul is revitalized by the touch of Africa at its purest.

Our Team

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.
We also 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.

Dieter’s wife Dongina prepares delicious recipes to mouth-watering perfection to complete a perfect bush experience. Daughter Dana Risser-Wheeling mans the office in the Brauhaus Arkade in Swakopmund and will try her utmost to ensure that all your booking requests and wishes are met to your satisfaction. Daughter Dione Dichtl is responsible for the creative work such as websites and marketing material.

Along with Dana, Dieter is becoming more involved in the behind the scenes work as he uses his wealth of knowledge to help with the planning of tours as well as in developing more exciting products to ensure our long list of repeat customers always have something new to experience.  Of course, the draw of the bush is too strong to be completely ignored and he often still finds himself on tour.

As you can see, Ondjamba Safaris is a family business – maybe this is why we are so successful with our personal touch!

Our Cars and Equipment

Our primary safari vehicle is custom-built to be wider, higher and longer than the standard 4x4s. It has large front and side windows, 5 comfortable bucket seats with safety belts, 2 fridge/freezers with second battery, extra diesel tank, freshwater tank, 2 spare wheels, and much more. This car can also be used as back-up vehicle for our premium safaris.

We are planning another custom-built vehicle soon, this one mainly for carrying up to 6 guests and their luggage for premium safaris and lodging tours and transfers.

As needed, we also rent other vehicles from companies specialising in safari vehicles with similar specifications to our own.

Our large dome tents for 2 persons measure 3 x 3 x 2.8 meters and have good mosquito gauze on windows and doors. The numbered bedrolls have a double mattress, safari-look linen, duvet, blanket, pillow and numbered towels. We also provide a complete set of excellent camping equipment – tables and chairs, kitchen equipment, toilet, lighting and lamps, 12 V to 220 V inverters for charging batteries etc., and whatever else you need in the wilderness. This includes a Satellite Telephone and GPS (in case of emergencies), and for our guests, maps and books on nature. With 2 or more vehicles, we hire VHF radios.

So join our team on a leisurely drive down the dry white-sanded riverbeds of the Kunene Region with its amazing variety of flora and fauna.  Huge shady trees and bushes, with the occasional open water holes, provide an ideal habitat and food supply for the Ondjamba, the desert elephants.  We love and respect these amazing giants, and know how to approach them without disturbing or stressing these animals in their natural habitat. Or, if you would like to experience Namibia on your own steam, we can arrange that for you too, all completely tailormade to your wishes!

registered with Namibia Tourism Board member of the Coastal Tourism Association NamibiaAir Namibia


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