Zebras instead of Sheep
All of Namibia is characterised by ecologically extremely delicate arid savannahs and desert landscapes. Rainfalls are scarce and annual fluctuations are considerable, temperatures are high and so is evaporation. Especially the south of Namibia, where four deserts merge, is rather unsuited for livestock farming. Even so, settlers have tried their luck with farming there, too, since the late 19th century. Fearing for their sheep and goats they drove away predators such as cheetah, hyena and jackal. Game species like elephant, rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, eland or hartebeest had already been wiped out by hunters before the settlers arrived in the south.
In 1995 Gondwana started to buy farms at the Fish River Canyon and transformed them into a nature reserve - Gondwana Cañon Park. Livestock farming was discontinued and hunting for animals like springbok, oryx antelope and kudu was stopped. Plants in former grazing areas recovered, game numbers increased. Gondwana also dismantled interior fences through which the land was parcelled out into pastures ('camps'). In areas where rainfalls are low and often just scattered game needs to be able to move unhampered to places where food is available. Finally, watering places suitable for game were set up in strategic spots.
As a second step Gondwana launched a comprehensive game programme. Animals like zebra, hartebeest and wildebeest, which had once been indigenous to the area, were purchased and released in the park. By now the park covers an area of 1,260 km². Park managers and rangers monitor the condition of animals and plants, watering places and exterior fences; they conduct anti-poaching patrols and lend their support to research projects. They also organize and take care of the annual game counts through which the numbers of the various animal species are recorded.
In December 2004 another three nature reserves in Namibia’s south were added: Gondwana Kalahari Park (100 km²) northeast of Mariental, Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park (510 km²) near Aus and Gondwana Namib Park (100 km²) north of Sesriem/Sossusvlei.
In all the parks only a fraction of the total area is used for hospitality purposes. Water is available in much larger quantities than needed; gardens are irrigated with water from treatment plants. Kitchen waste is also put to good use – as compost or to feed the pigs.
Education & Empowerment
Guest Information & How to find us
Details about all lodges, campsites and activities, with rates and maps, for printing (valid as from 1 December 2012 until 31 December 2013 as well as from 1 January 2014 until 31 December 2014):
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