The Namibian

Ministry says Bwabwata park now safe

News – National | 2018-03-14

by Staff Reporter

Romeo Muyunda

THE environment ministry says Namibia remains safe for tourists to visit, despite a shooting incident that took place in the Bwabwata National Park in north-eastern Namibia two weeks ago.

This was said in a statement issued by environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda earlier today.

The shooting, involving two German tourists and an anti-poaching unit, happened on 26 February.

It is alleged that the tourists were driving in a Toyota double cab bakkie in Bwabwata when they were approached by anti-poaching unit officials who requested to search their vehicle. Muyunda said the tourists, while having the necessary entry permits for the park, were driving on a road meant for wildlife management purposes exclusively.

The tourists did not stop as they thought or presumed that the officers were people who wanted to rob them, Muyunda said. When they continued driving shots were first fired into the air, before one shot was fired at the vehicle, he recounted. The rear window of the bakkie’s canopy was damaged when it was struck.

The tourists were not injured.

Muyunda said the environment ministry regretted the incident and would be putting measures in place to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

He added that a meeting was held between the security forces at Bwabwata and the ministry to discuss measures that needed to be put in place to prevent similar events from occurring.

Muyunda told The Namibian that measures under discussion include the educating of tourists to familiarise them with how officials in the park could be identified.

“We want to educate tourists upon arrival at the park how officials and security personnel would look like so they do not mistake them for robbers and may comply with what is required from them. This will help avoid such an incident from repeating itself,” he said.

Bwabwata National Park was safe for visitors and tourists to enjoy, Muyunda said.