Namibia Conservation Safari

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Thanks to the generosity of Elevate Destinations, 10% of the purchase price of this trip will be donated directly to Elephant-Human Relations Aid’s PEACE Education Project.

Namibia is currently at the forefront of conservation in Africa, an achievement that has been recognised by numerous prestigious international awards.

Namibia was the first country in Africa to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution and now almost 45% of Namibia’s land is protected by the Government. Its successful ‘conservancy movement’ (conservancies are clearly defined tracts of land, registered with the Government, where local communities manage their natural resources through a democratically elected committee and approved management plans) has engaged 230 000 rural residents (one in every four) and brought about remarkable increases in wildlife and income generation. Further to this, Namibia is the only country in Africa where the endangered black rhino, of which Namibia has the largest population in the world, are being Trans located out of National Parks into conservancies. In addition, Namibia not only has the largest population of cheetah in the world (50% of the global population), but it is also the only country in Africa where free roaming lion populations are increasing, and the instances of poaching have decreased dramatically to almost negligible levels today.

The focus of this safari is on elephant and rhino conservation in Namibia and this safari affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. You will have your own professional and experienced conservation safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique country.

Trip Highlights

  • Travel with one of Namibia’s best-known naturalist guides.
  • Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn more about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats.
  • Track for desert-adapted elephants and learn about how they survive in this harsh environment as well as how they co-exist with local communities.
  • Walk amongst pre-historic rock art at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.
  • Visit the Save the Rhino Trust and learn about this organisation that has been responsible for saving the black rhino from extinction in Namibia.
  • Track the endangered desert-adapted black rhino.

FULL ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrival in Windhoek

After landing at the Hosea Kutako airport, 40 km outside Windhoek, you will be met and greeted by a representative who will transfer you to your overnight accommodation in Windhoek. En-route to your accommodation you will be taken on a short city orientation of the capital city of Namibia if so desired. After this you will be checked into The Olive Exclusive to recover from your long journey and prepare for the adventure that lies ahead. This evening you will be met by your private naturalist safari guide for a comprehensive trip briefing before dinner is enjoyed at excellent in-house restaurant.

Overnight: The Olive Exclusive (Premier Suite)
Dinner (most local drinks included)

http://www.theolive-namibia.com/

Day 2 Windhoek to AfriCat Foundation

After a leisurely breakfast you will be collected by your guide and set off on your journey, which today takes you through Okahandja to Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation, located at the base of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg. You will arrive in time for lunch at Okonjima Villa. Here you can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, superb accommodation and fantastic activities; starting with a guided afternoon excursion. This evening you will enjoy a presentation on the AfriCat Foundation and the wonderful work they do, and hopefully meet one of the well-known personalities behind the project.

Overnight: Okonjima Villa
Fully Inclusive (meals, scheduled lodge activities & most local drinks included)
www.okonjima.com

Day 3 AfriCat Foundation

Today you learn more about the AfriCat Foundation and its ventures – this will give you a deeper insight to the project and what their ideals and objectives are. You will rise early this morning for another memorable guided activity before you return to the Villa for a sumptuous breakfast. Your afternoon can be spent relaxing by the swimming pool overlooking the waterhole and enjoying the tranquility of the sun, followed by another activity.

Okonjima has an education and research centre, as well as rehabilitation camps for various animals and it is home to a large number of rescued cheetahs, leopards, and other predators. You will have the opportunity to learn about what is being done by the foundation to ensure the survival of cheetah and leopard in Namibia.

AfriCat Foundation: Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary founded in 1991 that is dedicated to creating conservation awareness, preserving habitat, promoting environmental educational research and supporting animal welfare. Their main focus is Africa’s big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. AfriCat runs the largest cheetah and leopard rescue and release programme in the world. In the last 17 years over 1 000 of these predators have been rescued with over 85 % being released back into the wild. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight. Activities include leopard tracking by vehicle, a visit to the cheetah welfare project and a visit to the night hide where nocturnal animals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger and even leopard may be seen.

Overnight: Okonjima Villa
Fully Inclusive (meals, scheduled lodge activities & most local drinks included)

Day 4 AfriCat Foundation to Damaraland

Today you will drive north and west to the market town of Outjo before heading further west to Damaraland Camp, situated in the heart of Damaraland. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendor which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’.

Overnight: Damaraland Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (most local drinks included)
www.wilderness-safaris.com

Day 5 & 6 Damaraland

For the next two days you explore this astonishing area with exciting 4×4 excursions with your guide along the ephemeral Aba Huab River valley to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures.

You will enjoy discussions about conservancies and the conservation that takes place on communal land. In this area local people have decided to live with wildlife and the troubles it brings and this is a good time to discuss human wildlife conflict, along with the growth of wildlife, such as the desert adapted elephant, in these communal areas.

Your guide will also fit in a visit to the nearby attractions and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes.

Desert Adapted Elephant: In habitats with sufficient vegetation and water an adult elephant consumes as much as 300 kg of roughage and 230 litres of water every day of its life. Consider what a herd of them would eat and drink in a week or a month or a year. Finding an African elephant in a desert? Well, yes and not only elephant, but other large mammals as well, such as black rhinoceros and giraffe. Their ranges extend from river catchments in northern Kaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. Apart from the Kunene River, seven river courses northwards from the Ugab provide them with possible routes across the desert, right to the Skeleton Coast. The biggest are the Hoarusib, the Hoanib, the Huab and the Ugab Rivers. Desert adapted elephant in Kaokoland and the Namib walk further for water and fodder then any other elephant in Africa. The distances between waterholes and feeding grounds can be as great as 68 km. The typical home range of a family herd is larger than 2,000 km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africa where rainfall is much higher. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. Not a separate species or even a subspecies, they are an ecotype unique to Namibia in Africa south of the equator, behaviorally adapted to hyper-arid conditions. Elephant in Mali on the southwestern fringe of the Sahara Desert are the only others known to survive in similar conditions.

Overnights: Damaraland Camp
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (most local drinks included)

Day 7 Damaraland to Palmwag Concession

This morning after breakfast you continue on your journey as you head further north into the Palmwag Concession onto Desert Rhino Camp. You will aim to have lunch this afternoon at the Save the Rhino base camp, where you will meet with a representative of Save the Rhino Trust, who will discuss the project in more detail and answer any questions you may have on rhino conservation in the area. That afternoon you continue via a scenic nature drive to the Desert Rhino Camp, arriving in camp just before sunset. Enjoy a sundowner, hot shower, dinner and stories around the campfire.

Run in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust, Desert Rhino Camp is a tented camp consisting of large “Meru” tents with en-suite facilities and a tented dining and living area with uninterrupted views of the rocky desert landscape and distant mountains. Accommodation here is on a fully inclusive basis and activities include rhino tracking on foot and by vehicle, day and night nature drives and guided walks. The camp activities offer an insight into the ecology and conservation of this incredible area, at the same time contributing directly to the Trust and ultimately the sustainability of this vulnerable region and its fascinating wildlife. The area you will explore with dedicated conservationists and local trackers covers 450,000 hectares.

Wildlife in the area include Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, desert adapted elephant, ostrich, lion, oryx, spotted and brown hyena, cheetah, kudu, leopard, and in particular this area is home to one of the world’s largest natural populations of the rare black rhino. You arrive in time to for a hot shower and some time to soak up the surreal landscape. This is a remote camp with plenty of atmosphere and charm…..a real nature experience. After dinner you have time to enjoy sharing stories around the campfire.

Overnight: Desert Rhino Camp
Fully Inclusive (meals, scheduled lodge activities & most local drinks included)
www.wilderness-safaris.com

Day 8 Palmwag Concession

This is a full day of guided excursions and meals as arranged by Desert Rhino Camp. You will spend an exciting and memorable morning out on a game drive which includes rhino tracking, followed by a picnic lunch if the weather is desirable, before returning to camp in the early afternoon with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head for a scenic nature walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem.

This evening you enjoy a farewell dinner with your guide (as tomorrow he returns with the vehicle to Windhoek, whilst you fly back) and reminisce over the last few days of your adventure in Namibia.

The Palmwag Concession spans 5,500 km² of arid wilderness transected by Ephemeral River courses which, along with the occasional natural spring, provide an oasis to the wildlife that have adapted to this harsh environment. The rugged mountains and river courses provide a refuge for some of the continent’s most unique wildlife such as the legendary desert elephant, lion and the last free-roaming black rhino population on earth. In fact seventy-five per cent of Namibia’s endemic species inhabit this last bastion of the wilderness. Experience the wilder side of Africa where only the sporadic roar of lion or cackle of hyena punctuates the silence of the night.

Desert Black Rhinoceros: Namibia is home to the larger of two subspecies of the black rhinoceros found in southern Africa. The only population that remains in the wild, unfenced and outside reserves occupies an arid range in the western Kaokoveld. Their preferred habitat is the mountainous escarpment, but they follow ephemeral rivers into the northern Namib as well, especially when conditions are favorable after rains. They are the only black rhinoceros in Africa that are internationally recognized as a “desert group”. Like desert-adapted elephant, they cover great distances. They walk and feed at night and rest during the day. To meet their nutritional and bulk requirements they browse on no fewer than 74 of the 103 plant species that grow in their range. One of the few animals to eat fibrous Welwitschia leaves; they even feed heavily on the milkbush (Euphorbia virosa), presumably because of the high water and fat content, without apparent harm despite its sharp spines and toxic latex which are physical defenses of dry land plants. Once widespread in the subcontinent and recent local population growth, black rhinoceros are still an endangered species. The smaller subspecies, Diceros bicornis minor, does not range into Namibia.

Overnight: Desert Rhino Camp
Fully Inclusive (meals, scheduled lodge activities & most local drinks included)

Day 9 Departure

This morning after a leisure breakfast you are transferred to the local lodge airstrip in time to board your scheduled light aircraft to Windhoek International Airport (via Damaraland) in time to check-in for your flight back home.

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation as stated above (subject to availability).
  • Services of a registered and experienced English-speaking naturalist guide.
  • Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
  • Airport transfers to and from the Windhoek International Airport.
  • Meals stipulated above.
  • Most local branded drinks with meals (this includes water, soft drinks, beer and table wine).
  • Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
  • Entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
  • Scheduled light aircraft flight from Desert Rhino Camp to Windhoek International Airport (via Damaraland).
  • Welcome pack.

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flights to Namibia and airport taxes.
  • Any meals & drinks not included in the above itinerary.
  • Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary.
  • All premium and export brand beverages.
  • Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost).
  • Gratuities.
  • Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
  • ENTRY VISA FEES.

$7,500 / person

book trip

Activities

Conservation, Safari, Wildlife

Best times to go

All Year

Trip length

9 Days / 8 Nights

Location

Namibia

Contact

Phone: 617-661-0203

visit website

Project this Trip Supports:

PEACE Education Project

Elephant Human Relations Aid

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