Our partner in Namibia is a small safari company which builds on the conservation and rural development achievements of Namibia's national communal area conservancy programme. The company is owned by the five most remote Himba and Herero semi-nomadic herding communities in the north-west Kunene Region of the country but managed - at this stage - by a technically experienced team. The goal is that within a decade it will be making a substantial profit for its collective owners and that the company will be run by well trained community members from the five owner-conservancies. They aim to break the current ubiquitous safari tourism model - whereby most tourism operations are owned outsiders who make the profits, by the following:.

1) A contribution to the economic empowerment of the five communities that own the company, through their conservancies - Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatus, Okonjombo and Marientfluss conservancies.
2) Black empowerment in the true sense of the concept. The real stakeholders - those who live with and manage the wildlife on which tourism is based - benefit not just black elites from the capital.
3) Direct involvement of conservancy members in all aspects of running a mobile safari company - five community leaders sit on the board of the trust, with three technical trustees, which oversees Conservancy Safaris; each conservancy provides a local host who joins guests when they are in his/her area; local people assist in camp logistics and catering with the experienced back-up crew doing the required training in the field. Staff members and technical members of the trust's board are directly involved in training and capacity building.
4) A major aspect of the company is cultural empowerment. Because Himba people themselves host our guests, with our experienced staff on hand to translate all discussions, a mutually dignified and enriching cultural exchange takes place.
So while the company is about returning profits from tourism activities to those who share their land with the wildlife that attracts international visitors to the 1.3 million ha area, and it reinforces the conservancies' conservation, wildlife management and cultural activities as well as building local capacity, its vision is broader. It aims to help transform the way tourism is conducted in Namibia's communal areas.

Thirty years ago the conservation orthodoxy was that communities were the problem - as poachers - in Africa. But Namibia's community-based natural resource management programme proved this to be wrong. By directly involving communities who lived with wildlife in conservation and by returning ownership of wildlife - through legal entities called conservancies in Namibia - to communities, a small team pioneered what is today one of Africa's most successful wildlife conservation programmes. More than 60 communities across Namibia have chosen to register conservancies, thereby committing to the sustainable management of their wildlife.

Our partner aims to work by these same 2 key principles of ownership and direct involvement to transform tourism in Namibia and hopefully beyond its borders.

Image Gallery

This site uses cookies. By continuing your visit, you accept their use as set out in our Cookie Policy. OK