27 Feb 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 27 FEB (NAMPA) - Barely a month after the owners of Erindi announced that the local, private game reserve is up for sale for a staggering N.dollars 1,3 billion, an offer to buy it has been received from a Cape Town-based law firm.
The owners of one of the biggest privately-owned game reserves in southern Africa are brothers Paul and Gert Joubert.
Gert Joubert informed members of the media in Windhoek on Thursday although the offer was received in writing, they have no idea who the client is.
He also told Nampa two other parties have shown an interest in acquiring the game reserve.
I have two parties flying in - one from the United Kingdom who is a diamond dealer and the other a group from South Africa who also owns lodges there, he said, although he declined to name the prospective buyers or when they are expected in the country.
Joubert however added that the Namibian Government is still the preferential buyer should it show an interest in acquiring the land. He noted that when he took up the proposed deal with the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, lands minister Alpheus /Naruseb said Erindi is considered a national asset and as such he would prefer that the reserve stay in Namibian hands.
No decision has however been taken in this regard yet, and the ministrys Public Relations Officer Chrispin Matongela told this news agency earlier this month it is a yes and a no that Government will buy it, adding that due process will now be followed.
Joubert on Thursday also told reporters that they are busy preparing for a game auction scheduled for 05 April.
We expect Erindi's blue wildebeest and kudu bulls to achieve the highest prices ever on auction, he said.
Around 800 heads of game are expected to go on auction on the day. The auctioning of the game will not influence the selling price of Erindi as the animal population will not be affected, he said. The game reserve is home to about 10 000 animals, including around 100 elephants that were acquired at a cost of around N.dollars 5 million last year. When asked if tourist numbers to the game reserve have been negatively affected since the announcement of its sale at the beginning of February, Joubert said the opposite has happened and the number of visitors has increased as many people are coming to Erindi to see what the most expensive private game reserve in southern Africa looks like.
Erindis OtjiHerero name means Place of Water. The farm of 70 719 hectares has been in the Joubert family for more than 30 years, serving as a cattle farm during the 1970s and 1980s, and later being converted into a hunting farm and game reserve.
The owners decision to sell was based on the fact that the development of Erindi as a successful private game reserve, including infrastructure, biodiversity, lodges and as a national and international eco-tourist destination had been achieved.
Another reason for selling was that the reserve needed to be developed to the next phase, where emphasis should be placed on upmarket international tourists.