Conservancy Safaris run outstanding trips to Kunene, but as the company is 100% owned by the local Himba and Herero communities, it’s the ultimate in responsible travel, where every guest makes their footprint count, by directly aiding conservation and local communities, whilst enjoying an inspirational journey of a lifetime.
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KUNENE WILDLIFE AND CULTURE
NAMIBIA CONSERVANCY SAFARIS
NAMIBIA CONSERVANCY SAFARIS – SOMETHING SPECIAL!
Conservancy Safaris run outstanding trips to Kunene, but as the company is 100% owned by the local Himba and Herero communities, it’s the ultimate in responsible travel, where every guest makes their footprint count, by directly aiding conservation and local communities, whilst enjoying an inspirational journey of a lifetime. The five conservancies are : Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatas, Okonjombo and Marienfluss. That’s an area of 13,500 sq km and a population of only 1800, located in north-west Namibia. With backing and support from IRNDC and WWF, these local people have done much to protect the region with the long term goal of conservation. These magnificent safaris help ensure they are able to continue doing so....
If you would like a truly “off the beaten track” experience in the company of absolutely exceptional guides ....look no further than this range of ideas in Namibia.
Your participation in these safaris does not just generate much needed income for the Conservancies; it also serves to provide employment opportunities, capacity building and hope.
They are excursions into a vast untamed land to give the discerning traveller a once in a lifetime insider’s view of community-based conservation in action. We invite you to join our experienced team on rutted tracks, across dry riverbeds and rugged mountain passes with a stunning backdrop of ever-changing desert scenery, inhabited by a diversity of fascinating plants and animals.
Learn how the well-being of semi-nomadic herding people and wildlife are linked in the 50 000 square kilometre Kunene Region where lions, elephant, giraffe, black rhino, gemsbok and kudu have all adapted to life in this ancient desert. See the highest diversity of commiphora species (myrrh) in the world and a number of endemic birds, trees and shrubs.
Depending on which safari you choose, search for black rhino or perhaps go on a plant trail with Himba women. Spend quality time with your Herero and Himba conservancy hosts and gain insights into the highs and lows of living together with wildlife in this arid environment devoid of park boundaries, fences and convenience stores.
Enjoy desert camping in comfort with a back-up crew who will round off your eventful day with mouth-watering bush cuisine. Savour a good wine and immerse yourself in the sounds, scents and flavours of an African night before retiring to your tent and tailor-made bedroll.
Experience stress relieving solitude; know that your presence is making conservation sustainable, enhancing livelihoods and improving quality of life.
Created to give you the best of the north-west. 6 days and 6 nights
Maximum of 9 participants
Please note that activities in the conservancies described on particular days are flexible and interchangeable as these are not “staged” but depend on the current day to day activities and events of the communities themselves
We meet and camp at Wereldsend, historic base camp of IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) from where the now national community-based conservation program was piloted in the early 1980s. See the graveyard of bones, a reminder of the massive commercial poaching of the 70s and early 1980s that came close to wiping out the desert adapted elephant, black rhino and other megafauna. Hear how rural communities turned this situation round.
Dinner is included at our tented camp.
An early start with Torra Conservancy game guards looking for desert-adapted black rhino and other fascinating animals and plants. This might entail covering some of the terrain on foot.
Later we head north via the village of Sesfontein (which means six springs). The route takes us through typical basalt hills, a signature feature of Damaraland. We travel north via Sesfontein and into the dry bed of the Hoanib River, a linear oasis with majestic Ana, Leadwood and Camelthorn trees marking its course.
The remainder of the day is spent exploring, searching for elephants, lions, giraffe, oryx and other wildlife which seasonally use this ephemeral river’s resources.
In the late afternoon we climb out of the river bed and make our camp at the foot of high hills providing us with a fantastic view across the Hoanib Valley.
Our morning will be spent searching for elephants, lions, giraffe, oryx and other wildlife which seasonally use this magnificent ephemeral river’s resources.
We then head north, across magnificent landscape, towards the 3568 square kilometre Puros Conservancy. This vast area, with a population of less than 300 Himba and Herero herders, is one of the conservancies that own our company and we will be hosted here tonight. Spend the evening around the campfire in the Puros Conservancy Campsite, where elephants may stroll past your tent.
This is a good opportunity, if you are interested, to obtain insights into the real conservation problems and their local solutions.
We take a scenic drive up the Hoarusib River, cross the flank of the Etendeka Mountains and descend into the Khumib dry riverbed. Our route, through dramatic landscapes, passes small Himba settlements and we may see goats browsing with springbok nearby or a line of ostrich high-stepping past peacefully grazing cattle. Our destination for the next two nights is “Etambura Camp”, Namibia’s first Himba-owned camp, on a hilltop with views that will take your breath away.
Relax in comfortable accommodation units, each with an en suite bathroom and private deck area. KCS guests have exclusive use of this camp! Meet our conservancy hosts and spend an interesting evening at the fire talking to Himba game guards or conservancy staff.
Today’s emphasis is on the interesting and intricate culture of the local Himba people. A member of the conservancy will give us an insight into the collection of resin/myrrh.
In the months of December to April, Himba women harvest resin from commiphora wildii – the perfume plant or myrrh made famous by the Bible’s three wise men. Hear how IRDNC, the local support NGO, has assisted conservancies to earn a regular annual income by sustainably harvesting and marketing this valuable product to international cosmetic companies. Understand the challenges of living in an arid and harsh environment and see the fascinating adaptations that one needs to make to survive as an individual and society in such circumstances.
Overnight again at Etambura Camp.
After a hearty breakfast, we head south, traversing vast and silent plains. We once pause briefly in Puros, before following the course of the Gomatum River and cross the spectacular Giribis Plains with its mysterious Fairy Circles.
We overnight at Sesfontein Conservancy’s Ganamub Mountain Camp built on a hillside among granite boulders. Immerse yourself in the sounds, scents and flavours of an African night around a crackling campfire, knowing your presence is making conservation sustainable for the people and animals who share this vast region.
After a leisurely breakfast we travel via Sesfontein and past the game-rich Palmwag Concession area back to Wereldsend.
Note: 1. Community based activities vary from trip to trip as these depend on the seasonal nature of conservation activities and on the events currently taking place in the host communities.
2. Our itinerary remains flexible because of environmental, climatic and human factors.