Eco Tourism Safaris Namibia: Everything you need to know
Whether it’s protecting vulnerable desert ecosystems, safeguarding endangered wildlife, or preserving vital cultural traditions, Namibia is recognised as a global leader for conservation and responsible travel.
In fact, this pioneering Southwest African nation became one of the first countries in the world to enshrine the protection of natural resources in its constitution. In 1995 the Namibian Community Based Tourism Association (NACOBTA) was also established, paving the way for local communities to work together to implement sustainable tourism. Since the inception of NACOBTA, the livelihoods of Namibia’s population have greatly improved whilst scores of endangered wildlife species and land have been protected.
With climate change and conservation constantly in the spotlight, ecotourism as an industry is booming and more people than ever before are considering the environmental impact of their travels. Fortunately, as global leaders in sustainable travel Namibia is a renowned eco safari destination, full of conservancies and eco lodges from North to South, East to West.
If you’re considering an eco safari to Namibia, and you’d like to find out more about the nation’s approach to conservation and sustainable tourism, read on below.
Namibia Protected Areas & Conservancies
In line with Namibia’s commitment to conservation, the country has 20 state run protected areas, covering approximately 17 per cent of the nation’s land surface. By contrast, the global protected area average is 12.2 per cent of total land surface.
Amongst these protected areas are Namibia’s iconic national parks, including the flagship Etosha National Park which attracts thousands of safari goers each year. Conservation efforts in Etosha have long set the benchmark for how wildlife preservation should be handled across the country, and in Africa more widely. The Etosha Ecological Research Institute has been praised for its proud record of assisting black-rhino conservation, whilst the park has also played a major role in the rescue of the endemic black-faced impala.
Uniquely, Namibia is the only nation in the world to categorise its entire coastline as a protected area. The protected coastline area stretches over 1,500 kilometres, joining 12,000 square kilometres of incredible ocean to over 100,000 square kilometres of desolate desert.
In addition to these state-managed protected areas, Namibia is home to approximately 80 private wildlife reserves and conservancies, owned and managed by local communities. These communities typically partner with private companies to build camps and offer popular safari activities like game drives and bush walks. By visiting these private reserves, Namibia safari goers are helping to improve local livelihoods, whilst at the same time contributing to the conservation of wildlife. According to research, there’s even evidence to suggest that safari tourism is beginning to replace trophy hunting in some conservancies; by undertaking activities like game drives visitors are demonstrating that there are profitable alternatives to this unethical practise.
Luxury Eco Friendly Stays
The days of basic colonial- style explorer tents are long gone and today Namibia is blessed with an abundance of exceptional lodges and camps. This explosion in top-class accommodation options is one of the main reasons why Namibia is a regarded as a luxury safari destination.
Although many of these camps are kitted out with a plethora of contemporary fixtures and amenities it doesn’t mean that eco principles have been compromised. In fact, all of Namibia’s best lodges have been delicately and sympathetically constructed to complement their surrounding natural landscapes.
Amongst the county’s best eco lodges is Desert Homestead, a stunning lodge set within a glorious private nature reserve close to the Namib Sand Sea UNESCO World Heritage Site. Comprising several stunning thatched chalets, Homestead is a great base for exploring the nearby sand dunes of the Sosussusvlei.
As well as the stunning chalets, the main lodge has a swimming pool that’s perfect for an afternoon dip whilst guests will also find a bar, top-class restaurant and sun decks where you can kick back and admire some incredible desert views. Underscoring the lodges commitment to conservation, all chalets are powered by solar energy and this type of electricity is even used to heat the camp’s water.
Another stand out eco accommodation option is the majestic Damaraland Camp, located in the Kunene region of Northwest Namibia. Ideal for travellers who are looking for exceptional views as well as the opportunity to see desert adapted wildlife, the camp features 10 luxury suites that are built on elevated decks, affording guests spectacular glimpses of the Brandberg Mountains.
The ideal honeymoon safari retreat, Damaraland Camp also boasts an excellent living area that oozes luxury and class. Think dazzling swimming pools, roaring open fires in the winter and a world-class restaurant: you won’t be far off. Adventures from the camp include guided nature drives, bush walks and mountain biking expeditions can even be arranged.
Demonstrating the camp’s commitment to sustainable tourism, everything is powered by solar electricity. The camp also employs local residents, helping to enhance the life of Namibia’s rural communities. Finally, the produce used in the camp’s restaurant is sourced from a nearby farm, again helping local communities to prosper off their land whilst at the same time ensuring guests can taste dishes with the freshest and finest ingredients.
Book with Secret Namibia Today
If you’ve been inspired to book an eco- friendly safari to Namibia, please get in touch with Secret Namibia today. Our luxury safari architects will design a fully bespoke travel itinerary that reflects your tastes, preferences, and requirements.
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