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Sport stars favour Namibia for breakaway

Ellanie Smit
The Land of the Brave is becoming a popular vacation spot for sport icons.

The country has always been a favourite among A-listers such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Prince William and even recently Will Smith as a quiet getaway opportunity.

Superstar British racing driver Lewis Hamilton landed in Namibia on Tuesday afternoon and proceeded to a chartered flight to Sossusvlei, one of Namibia's most spectacular landmarks, for holiday.

He is on a break from the demands of Formula One, which returns on 28 August in Belgium.

On Sunday, he ended second behind Max Verstappen in the Hungarian GP.

It is reported that that he did not hesitate to take a break and boarded a direct flight from Europe to Africa.

Speculations are that he is staying at an exclusive luxury private desert reserve which can cater to his dietary needs, which the star’s Twitter bio simply describes as “plant-based”.

According to reports, Hamilton has always been a bit of a wanderer who is fond of visiting new places.

In the lap of luxury

In June, celebrated football coach Jose Mourinho also visited Namibia and spent at least two days in the country on holiday. He was reported to be visiting several Wilderness Safaris lodges, but his primary accommodation was apparently the luxurious Habitas Namibia sanctuary, located about 70 kilometres east of Windhoek, which boasts diverse natural habitats and hundreds of rare wildlife species.

The 59-year-old is known for his love for Africa, having worked with a list of players from the continent.

Mourinho recently led Italian club, Roma, to the UEFA Conference League title and is considered one of the greatest coaches of the modern era.

In 2020, Swedish tennis maestro Roger Federer was in Namibia and during his short stay in Windhoek, he visited two projects run by the Church Alliance for Orphans.

Incognito

Hospitality Association of Namibia CEO Gitta Paetzold said visits to Namibia by VIPs are very encouraging, because it is proof that the country is a desirable destination of choice.

“At the same time, we must remember that the fact that VIPs can move almost incognito in our country is precisely the big allure. Here they feel safe and unbothered by paparazzi, and it is important that we respect that and ensure that they can make the visit a soulful, liberating, untouched and natural experience.”

Apart from being a popular destination for celebs, various international movies and TV shows have been shot in the country, including ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ as well as several seasons of 'The Amazing Race’.

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Namibian Sun 2022-11-27

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