March 4, 2022

Wildlife selfies – A conservation crisis

Imagine travelling the lengths of this planet, enduring long layovers, leg cramps and perhaps a chair-kicking child – all worth it for that highly anticipated moment when the wheels of a steel bird touch the tarmac and you are on African soil. A sigh of relief. Your holiday has just begun and you are undoubtedly off to the far corners of Namibia in search of rugged landscapes, natural wonders and untamed wildlife.
March 4, 2022

FOUR RIVERS – Go slow and experience the depth, wealth and wonder of the northeast

Rièth van Schalkwyk followed the whim of a family member to break the tradition of Christmas at the seaside, packed the camper for two weeks of slow travel and camped on the banks of the Kavango, Zambezi, Chobe and Kwando to discover the magic of looking closer and staying longer.
March 9, 2022

The story of a dove-hunting black- backed jackal at Chudop

Early one morning at the end of November 2021 at the Chudop waterhole in Etosha National Park, a black-backed jackal bitch appears. Hundreds of Cape Turtle Doves and a few Laughing Doves, now called Palm Doves, come to drink at the water’s edge. In the usual jackal trot the female moves around the waterhole watching the thirsty doves while keeping a distance of two to four metres from the water. The moment a dove starts to drink, with its back turned towards the prowling jackal, the small predator lowers its head and body and tries to sneak up close to the dove. Most potential victims are too wary or warned by nearby doves taking off. Several attacks end with a splash of water and feathers in the mouth while the prey gets away with a big fright and sometimes the loss of a few feathers.
March 9, 2022

Emboldened conservation beyond boundaries: The Namib Tsaris Nature Reserve

The area bordering the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia’s south, which may seem like a wasteland to some, has become synonymous with conservation. Unsuccessful commercial small livestock farms having given way to large tracts of fencless land allowing for the unhindered movement of desert adapted wildlife.
March 10, 2022

When conservation becomes a way of life

All of us had to adjust while the pandemic filtered into our day- to-day life, making major lifestyle changes as we went along. For nearly two years of having to find new creative ideas and hoping for the travel industry to recover, conservation continued… education continued… and so did the passion for sustainable tourism. You see, while the world seemingly came to a standstill, nature forced us to keep going. Conservation had to continue. Supporting communities had to continue. Therefore, tourism had to continue. Because conservancies and communities still rely on tourism.
March 10, 2022

Namibia’s Wettest Wonderland

Cradled by the Kwando and Linyanti rivers at the Zambezi Region’s southernmost point, lies Namibia’s largest conserved wetland area, the 28,500-ha-large Nkasa Rupara National Park. Complex tectonic, climatic and hydrological events have shaped and reshaped the wetlands over countless aeons. The most dramatic change took place millions of years ago when uplift along the Linyanti Fault diverted the Kwando River into a northeasterly direction.
March 16, 2022

Park of the People: The brilliant and bold Bwabwata

The car is packed, the rooftop tent strapped and you bought more snacks than you should have for the nine or so hour drive to Bwabwata National Park from Windhoek. It’s a long haul north, but now you have hit the sharp right turn, leaving Rundu in your rearview mirror. Each tree is starting to look greener than the one before as you cruise alongside the Okavango River, keeping a keen eye open for the entrance to your accommodation.
June 1, 2022

CHEETAH CONSERVATION

When American scientist Dr Laurie Marker launched the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in 1990, she had no idea where this new adventure would take her. A zoologist from California, she learned about threats to a declining wild population while conducting in situ research in Africa in the late 1970s and through the 1980s. Dr Marker routinely travelled to Namibia and other cheetah-range countries from her positions with Wildlife Safari and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo to study the habits of the world’s fastest feline. But it’s what she learned about human behaviour that shocked her. Habitat loss, loss of prey, and conflict with livestock and game farmers put cheetahs on the fast track to extinction. Livestock and game farmers were shooting, trapping and removing hundreds of cheetahs each year – more because of perceived threats than actual predation. She realised if no one would soon intervene, the cheetah might be lost forever.
June 1, 2022

Birding in Lüderitz

I wonder if any of those pioneers in the early 1900s ever saw Barlow’s Lark (Calendulauda barlowi) at Pomona, or the Dune Lark (C. erythrochlamys) in the dunes near Lüderitz? Looking at the barren ‘killing fields’ those diamond hunters left behind as memories for later generations, I doubt it very much. I suppose the diamond’s blinding effect on your eyes has the same effect on your mind. In the end, it’s the larks that are still around, and not those diamond hunters.
June 1, 2022

A Cell phone on bush trip

A few tips on how to have a phoneless holiday. Feed it to an elephant, accidentally drop it in the hippo-infested river, stand on it or just throw it against the wall.
June 29, 2022

Unlocking TSAU //KHAEB

What enticed men to leave their homes in Europe for a far-off German colony on the African Continent to dig through burning gravel under the relentless sun of the Namib Desert for a gemstone made of carbon arranged in a crystal structure? Many romantic stories are told citing various reasons, but in actual fact these men were motivated by one thing alone – greed.