Namibia – Behind the scenes Namibia – Behind the scenes
Conservancy tourism is a term that is being increasingly used by the media and tour operators but what does it mean, and what is the value to the visitor? In fact, Conservancy Tourism is the fastest growing sector in the international travel and tourism industry. Other ways of describing this form of tourism are “Ecotourism”, “Sustainable Tourism” & “Responsible Tourism”. What this means to you the traveller is that it is possible for you to interact with nature, wildlife & communities without intruding or leaving a negative impact. Many countries make the claim of being pioneers in the fields of conservancies & conservation; however no country can compete with the excellent achievements of Namibia.
Namibia’s Communal Conservancy Tourism
Namibia’s Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector Namibia’s Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector (NACSO) is achieving conservation and community benefits at a scale never before seen in Africa. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government has reinforced this by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. Today there are 59 registered Communal Conservancies covering 16.8% of the land area of Namibia, or 130,000 km2 of prime wildlife habitat. Some 29 joint-venture lodges and campsites operate in partnership with conservancies, a vibrant and growing part of the destination’s tourism profile. The result may well be ‘the greatest African wildlife recovery story ever told’ • In 1995 only 20 lions roamed freely in Northwest Namibia – today that number is more than 130! • In 1982 the Black Rhino was almost extinct – today Namibia has the largest concentration of free roaming Black Rhino in the World! • Other wildlife such as giraffe, kudu, springbok etc have gone from being less than 1000 - to today being over 10,000! There are a lot of private operators in Namibia who are also dedicated to the cause of conservation...
AfriCAT Foundation Namibia is currently featured on ITV1’s “Cheetah Kingdom”. This series is following the amazing work done by the team at The AfriCat Foundation (www.africat.org) in running the largest cheetah and leopard rescue-and-release programme in the world. Namibia is home to approximately 25% of the world’s cheetah population of which 90% live on farmland. Namibia’s other large carnivores, namely, leopards, lions, wild dogs and brown and spotted hyenas, are not believed to consist of such large percentages of the world’s population; however, they also reside on the unique farmland ecosystem. It is the inevitable conflict with humans on commercial and communal farmland that created the demand for the establishment of the AfriCat Foundation. Elephant Human Relations Aid Namibia’s desert elephants living in the Kunene regions are a source of great interest. What makes the desert elephants living in the Kunene Region so special is the fact that they are free roaming – their movement is not restricted by a fence, like it would be if they were living in a National Park. Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) is a Namibian registered non-governmental organization (NGO), which runs an elephant conservation and volunteer project in Namibia. EHRA aims to find longterm sustainable solutions to the ever-growing problem of facilitating the peaceful cohabitation between the subsistence farmers, community members and the desert adapted elephants. Through concerted efforts, the population of desert dwelling elephants in the region has grown from as low as 52 members to a current population of over 600 elephants.
If you would like to experience firsthand some of the success stories mentioned while combining it with an experience of a lifetime, then you can travel with either of the following:
Namib Lodge Safari 14 days from £2997pp (inc.f lights) A classic safari through the scenic landscapes of northern Namibia. Travelling by safari truck and staying in lodges you’ll explore the huge dunes at Sossusvlei, experience the game at Etosha National Park and discover rock art at Damaraland.
For more information please call 0844 499 0901 or visit www.explore.co.uk/namibia
Namibia’s Untouched Wilderness 13 Day Escorted Tour from £3695pp (inc.f lights) Enjoy luxurious accommodation and fully escorted game drives. Visit the magnificent Namib Desert sand dunes, Swakopmund and the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast. Experience the wildlife of Damaraland & Etosha, ending your journey at the Cheetah Conservation Fund. 3 night extension to Okonjima from £695pp For more information please call 020 7873 5000 or visit www.coxandkings.co.uk /namibia
Win the Holiday of a lifetime in Namibia! Win a 12 night self-drive safari for 2 in Namibia including a backstage pass to ITV1’s “Cheetah Kingdom”! Namibia Tourism Board and partners are giving a lucky winner two return overnight Economy Air Namibia flights to Windhoek, a ten night itinerary through some of the best areas of Namibia including a two night stay at Okonjima Lodge home of AfriCat. Here they will be given a special visit to meet the stars of the TV series. Courtesy of the Namibia Tourism Board, Air Namibia and Naturally Namibia.
For your chance to win visit www.travelnamibia.co.uk