Namibia Ecotourism - Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve, Africat Foundation, Impalila Island

Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve

Located north-east of Mariental is the 23,000 ha Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve. With a wide variety of game, bird, tree and grass species typical of the Kalahari red dune eco-system, it represents a traditional Bushman hunting area. Visitors to Intu Afrika can meet members of a resident Kung Bushman community. The Bushmen with their traditional lifestyle give a new perspective on how little is needed to survive in the desert. Accompanied by Bushman trackers, guests leave the comforts of the lodge to be introduced to the habits of large and small African game. Sunrise walks, sunset game drives and overnight hiking trails are also on offer.
The Intu Afrika Bushman Project has the support of WIMSA, the Working Group for Indigenous Minorities of Southern Africa, which acts as the collective spokesman for the Southern African Bushman Community.

Namib Rand Nature Reserve

South of Sossusvlei is the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast privately owned conservation area consisting of nine farms which extend over 170,000 ha and border in the west on the Namib Naukluft Park. The area is managed by an Association of Landowners with the far reaching and holistic conservation ideal of preserving NamibRand and its environs on a basis similar to that of the Timbavati project in South Africa. NamibRand Tourism projects include Wing-in and Drive-in safaris to the Wolwedans Dune Camp and hot air balloon flights undertaken from Camp Mwisho in the north of the reserve on the farm Kwessiegat.

Rhino Tracking

Bicornis Tours is a joint project of Save the Rhino Trust. These participatory tours give clients the opportunity of taking part in the day-to-day duties of SRT trackers while they are monitoring the movements of free-ranging black rhino in the Damaraland Palmwag concession area. The tour involves daily tracking of rhino by car or on foot, measuring the spoor, examining the dung, entering data onto a sheet, taking photos and observing .

Lizauli Traditional Village

Giving tourists an insight into the cultural life of local people by means of traditional villages is a concept that is slowly gaining momentum. At the Lizauli Traditional Village in Eastern Caprivi villagers demonstrate their skills in basket-making, beading and metal forging, and perform traditional dances to music.

Africat Foundation

Namibia is home to the largest cheetah population in the world, but these animals are in direct conflict with livestock and game farmers. The Africat Foundation at Okonjima is near to completing a fenced reserve of nearly 38,000 ha. The sanctuary created with the aid of the Tusk Trust, will also take in land around Ombujongwe and Marathon. It will be stocked with numerous species of wildlife including 3 orphaned lions and some cheetah.

Impalila Island

A number of ongoing conservation and community projects have been initiated in an effort to involve local communities to conservation efforts on Impalila Island. Local lifestyles have been positively affected through employment, a community development fund that has assisted in schools, a clinic, providing a shop for supplies and a postal and transport service.In conjunction with WWF and IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation), Impalila Island Lodge has become active in assisting with the development of conservancies in the Caprivi - which incorporates local people with tourism and re-introduction of game. In the Mayumi Island Lodge, Kubunyana campsite provides employment and income, and developing entrepreneurial skills. The revenue which is received funds various community projects including an Anti- poaching unit.

Guests visiting Impalila have shown a great interest in the community activities, and as a result of this the community have been encouraged to broaden their activities base. In addition to game cruises, tiger fishing, mokoro trips, island walks through boat you can also visit traditional fishing villages. The lodge has researched ways of making paper from the plentiful indigenous papyrus and now have local people producing paper which is sold. Guests can visit this open-air industry. Also a study of Afro-Botanical activities, which is a fascinating on-site study of the production of traditional medicines from trees and plants - and their uses has been done.This progressive approach has been noted for it's contribution to successful interaction and mutual benefit between Tribal Trust and developers and is proving to be an authentic and extremely positive step in unifying tourism with communities and conservation in Africa.

Last Updated on Wednesday 25th November 2009