Charly’s Desert Tours started operating in 1966.
A long history of creating memories and of pioneering spirt has since made
Charly’s Desert Tours an established and trusted brand. Ownership changed a few
times over all these years but the brand stood the test of time.
The name originates from the founding
owner, Charly Gürtel, who was endearingly called “Charly the Desert Fox”. In October 2013, Gerald Kolb became the
proud owner of the legendary Charly's Desert Tours.
Gerald has been working in the tourism industry since 1997, initially guiding
private camping safaris in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This gave
him the background knowledge of the tourism industry, and the experience of working with guests from many different cultures under many different and
Eventually working for one of Namibia's leading DMC's, Gerald became involved
in planning and coordinating inbound incentive travel, event management and
conferences for many years.
Changing circumstances awakened his old passion for guiding, which led to him starting a small company called Travel Time. The company offered interesting and
informative half day tours in the Swakopmund area, where guests learned about the
desert ecology and how the ancient cultures utilized many of the plants which are found in the Namib Desert. After successfully building up "The
Desert Tour", Gerald started Travel Time's second product, the "Swakopmund City Tour".
When the opportunity presented itself to take over Charly's Desert Tours,
Gerald combined Travel Time and Charly's Desert Tours and is now trading under the grand old brand name of "Charly's Desert Tours".
Today, Charly's Desert Tours is the leading
Swakopmund day tour / activity operator and booking office. We no longer offer
overland tours through Namibia, but instead became experts in the day tour
market for the central coast.
We operate a number of these day tours and
activities ourselves, and we partnered with carefully selected suppliers for
some of the activities. Today we are a true one-stop booking office, offering a
wide variety of experiences at the central coast.
Come visit us in the Brauhaus Arcade in
Sam Nujoma Avenue, opposite Nedbank.
Gerald, as owner
of the company, does a little of everything. He oversees the day to day
operations, handles all the sales and marketing, looks after the fleet of
vehicles and equipment, guides some desert and kayaking tours at times and
oversees the general office operations.
brain behind the company, Rene is responsible for all accounting and
Ernst is an
experienced guide and at his most comfortable out in the dunes. His trained eye
finds all the life in the dunes, no matter how small, and he shares this with
great passion, making sure you get the pictures of a lifetime. His intimate
knowledge of the local area and his friendly smile makes it a pleasure to
travel with him.
speaks English, Afrikaans, a few words of German and Damara.
call Johnny "Captain Eagle Eye". Johnny's ability to identify and
discover even the smallest sign of life in the soft dune sand is truly amazing.
Reading tracks of little creatures that are blown over by the wind is quite an
art, but Johnny with his no rush attitude and relaxed personality will find
English and Afrikaans and Oshiwambo
the desert, and he knows it well. He is a gentleman with great respect for the
desert, with excellent knowledge and a love of working with people; all the
qualities we at Charly's appreciate and look for in our guides. Kooitjie is
from the Topnaar community who still live in the desert environment today.
English, Afrikaans and of course his mother tongue Nama.
Ruth is German
and has been living and farming in Namibia for many years. Her agricultural
background has been a great advantage for guiding tours out in nature,
especially our Welwitschia tour that focusses a little more on plant life. But
it is no surprise to see her in the dunes guiding out Living Dunes Experience,
sharing her knowledge and passion about the Namib Desert. Here she is seen on
one of our kayaking trips.
German, English and a few words of Afrikaans
been with the company for many years. As senior activity consultant, Couzette
is responsible for managing all bookings and reservations. She is well connected
in the day tour market and understands our supplier, guides and operations very
From time to time our guests may be guided
by a few other handpicked guides like Nick Philander, Eckhard Demasius, Joachim von Wietersheim and of course
also Gerald Kolb himself.