Namibia on a budget

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Namibia on a budget

Environment

Hunting and poaching in Namibia is forbidden meaning that wildlife is at its most natural, and with such vast spaces of wild land, humans are not as encroaching on the animals as some other African countries. By paying the park fees to Sossusvlei and Etosha, you help to preserve the local environment and support their anti-poaching laws.

Today Namibia is bringing mainstream conservation into tourism with its community projects and animal conservation projects. During this tour you visit two foundations in the Waterberg area; The Cheetah Conservation fund which supports injured cheetah’s and create an environment for them where they can live undisturbed. A lot of cheetahs have been killed by farmers and the CCF track down cheetahs that are spotted on farms and give them a safe environment to live in.

The other is at Okonjima lodge, the Africat Foundation which also supports the rehabilitation of the cheetah, but they also have a pack of Wild Dogs that they support.

Okonjima Africat Foundation is based on Okonjima's 22,000 ha private nature reserve, in central Namibia, the AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early 90’s and formally registered as a non-profit organisation. AfriCat has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organisation has over the years identified the need to include a focus on education and research as being essential to accomplishing long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. The foundation provides humane housing, treatment and care for orphaned and injured animals. The AfriCat foundation has rescued more than 850 cheetahs and leopards and over 85% have been released back into the wild.

Community

The ground agents we use have been fundamental in the conservation in Namibia, owning a lot of National parks and Lodges, and consequently supporting wildlife trusts, schools and local families and communities in those areas. They believe that in protecting these areas, and including the local communities in this process, they can make a difference to Africa and ultimately the world. Tourism is a crucial part to the conservation for this reason. All staff at the lodges and game reserves are local to the area.

At Okonjima’s Africat Foundation they are trying to create awareness and promote the tolerance of large carnivores among the farming community by assisting farmers in effective farm management techniques including targeting problem predators as opposed to indiscriminate removal. They also educate youth about large carnivores and environmental awareness.

Twyfelfontein (a Unesco World Heritage site) makes use of the local community to do the tours of the rock paintings. Your guide will take you around to all the rock paintings and you can then tip them appropriately after the tour. This keeps the local community afloat with donations and offers work where there is no other work around. The Petrified forest and Organ pipes are also located here on communal land and any donations or entrance fees you pay support the local community.

The Okahandja Wood carvers market supports the local community. If you purchase one of their wood carvings you offer the chance for a family to eat where they are unable to find work in other areas.

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