Stage Audio Works Namibia Brings Unforgettable Conferencing to the Namibian Bush

Namibia, March 2024 – Etosha National Park is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking the warmth of Southern Africa. The wildlife sanctuary in Namibia sprawls across a landscape of golden sunsets, sheltering endangered species and the renowned Etosha Pan – Africa’s largest salt pan that attracts over 250,000 nature enthusiasts and adventurers every year.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your trip to Etosha National Park, you’re in for an unforgettable stay at Mokuti Etosha Lodge, with options ranging from authentic campsites for safari lovers to exclusive villas and luxury five-star lodges. The lodge is just a few minutes away from the eastern entrance, the Von Lindequist Gate, and offers guests incredible wildlife encounters within a tropical oasis, making it one of Namibia’s most popular downtime destinations.

The luxurious Mokuti Etosha lodge, owned by the O&L Group, has recently undergone an extensive audio-visual transformation, expertly designed and installed by Stage Audio Works (SAW) Namibia. As a long-standing client of SAW Namibia, the O&L Group entrusted them to completely re-imagine Mokuti Etosha’s conference space while also enhancing the surrounding pool and bar areas with an easy-to-use audio and lighting control solution. The outcome is truly remarkable and has elevated the overall experience for guests and visitors.

“O&L Leisure is a loyal client of ours and we wanted to assist them in offering their guests the highest level of audio and visual services,” advises Johadrie de Villiers, General Manager at Stage Audio Works Namibia. “Whether there is great sound quality when guests are shopping for souvenirs in the gift shop, lounging next to the pool, dining in the restaurant, attending an event or when they need to conduct a video conference call whilst on holiday, Mokuti Etosha now has the technical infrastructure to offer its guests all of this and more.”

SAW Namibia devised a conferencing solution leveraging cutting-edge technology from Crestron, Sennheiser, Xilica, and Audac, crafting a distinctive experience tailored to the lodge’s needs, while enabling seamless connectivity even in remote locales. The existing conference center at Mokuti Etosha was demolished to make way for the new solution, which comprises a stand-alone experience center providing wired and wireless presentation capabilities, bring your own meeting (BYOM) video conferencing and basic room control that utilizes a touch panel to control lights and the display power.

The conference experience centre features Crestron’s wall-mount touch screen and a Poly Studio video conferencing solution. A Samsung QB 75-inch Class HDR 4K UHD professional display smart LED screen is used to display content.

Additionally, a brand-new, multi-purpose divisible conference room with multiple camera angles also required BYOM video conferencing and local Bluetooth audio playback, all controlled from a wall-mounted touch panel in the two conference rooms. SAW Namibia automated room configuration changes in divisible environments using Crestron Cresnet partition sensors linked to a control processor. This streamlined operations, enhanced efficiency, and optimized space utilization without manual intervention. The system also provided energy efficiency benefits by adjusting environmental settings based on occupancy, showcasing the power of automation in improving functionality and user experience.

One of the biggest changes to the conferencing space was the addition of camera tracking. SAW Namibia installed three 1Beyond AutoTracker 3 Presenter high-quality intelligent PTZ automatically tracking cameras together with three 1Beyond PTZ cameras and four Sennheiser Team Connect Ceiling 2 microphones, which are controlled via a wall-mounted touchscreen. “We selected Sennheiser and Crestron for this project due to our longstanding partnership and unwavering confidence in their audio and video solutions respectively, particularly for conferencing” de Villiers enthuses. “The inclusion of Crestron’s 1Beyond camera tracking technology significantly enhances the lodge’s event offerings, particularly with its automatic video tracking capabilities.”

“The conferencing venue is quite spacious and it was a concern that the attendees seated furthest could have difficulty seeing the speaker at the end of the hall,” she continues. “When streaming or recording of a conference was needed, Mokuti Etosha didn’t want to hire in an additional camera crew. What we have supplied ensures that all event attendees can both see and hear the speaker clearly from anywhere in the room. It also improves the inclusivity for remote participants.”

Together with the overhaul of the lodge’s conference offering, SAW Namibia designed and installed new sound and lighting control systems for the pool bar and restaurant at Mokuti Etosha, as well as a distributed background music system across the extended retail and pre-assembly areas. The pool bar benefits from multiple Audac six-inch ALTI surface mount loudspeakers and Crestron’s SAROS eight-inch in-ceiling loudspeakers, which are powered by an Audac CAP424 amplifier. The sound is easily controlled by a Xilica Lucia 2 wall controller that fits discreetly into the lodge’s stunning aesthetics. Additionally, the Xilica Solaro QR1 DSP (Digital Signal Processor) was incorporated into the system to provide advanced audio processing and optimization capabilities, ensuring top-notch sound quality and flexibility in managing the audio environment.

For the restaurant, SAW Namibia supplied a Crestron DALI interface, managed by the VC4 Crestron Virtual control system with a Crestron Cameo keypad for centralized lighting control. The retail and pre-assembly areas both feature two Audac CIRA eight-inch ceiling loudspeakers each, alongside a Xilica Lucia 2 for control. “Aside from the conferencing technology, Mokuti Etosha wanted a reliable, high-quality system for background music, which is what we supplied using reliable technology from Audac, Crestron and Xilica,” explains de Villiers.

“The lodge is one of the most magical places to stay close to the Etosha National Park and the solutions we provided ensure that guests can get the utmost from their trip whether they’re staying for business or pleasure. The project was not without its challenges, but we persevered and the client is thrilled with the end result.”

Sven Thieme, Managing Director of O&L Leisure and Executive Chairman of the O&L Group expressed immense satisfaction with the services provided by Stage Audio Works Namibia. He remarks: “The refurbishment has truly elevated the entire authentic Mokuti Etosha, Africa reimagined experience. We aimed not only to cater to holidaymakers and sun-seekers but also at enhancing the experience for conference attendees, wedding parties and any other special events hosted at Mokuti Etosha. The essence of Africa reimagined extends far beyond leisure; it’s an experience fit for royalty, transcending the boundaries of traditional holiday destinations.”