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DESERT RHINO QUEST

23/03/2011
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DAY 1

Either

Meet us at Wereldsend in the late afternoon. Wereldsend is the historic base camp of IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) from where the now national community-based conservation program was piloted in the early 1980s. See the graveyard of bones, a reminder of the massive commercial poaching of the 70s and early 1980s that came close to wiping out the desert adapted elephant, black rhino and other megafauna. Hear how rural communities turned this situation round.

Or

Travel with us from Swakopmund along the unique Skeleton Coast providing a superb contrast of dunes and gravel plains to our right and the Atlantic Ocean on our left. On a clear day we might be able to see the Brandberg Mountain massif towering some 2500 metres above sea level. Or perhaps the fog created by the cold Benguela Current and vital to the desert ecology will turn the first leg of our journey into an eerie, but interesting experience. The continually changing weather and light emphasise a kaleidoscope of colours created by mineral deposits. Also stop a few minutes to look at the fascinating lichen fields or a shipwreck along the way. One of the world’s most inhospitable waterless areas, experience the forbidding landscape and imagine how those early sailors shipwrecked here must have despaired once they thought they had safely reached land.

We then cross the Namib Desert from west to east and into central Damaraland, until we reach Wereldsend in the ruggedly beautiful Torra Conservancy. We take a scenic late afternoon/early evening walk and enjoy a sundowner on a breath-taking look-our point overlooking a natural spring. Overnight  under canvas at Wereldsend.

DAY 2

An early start with Torra Conservancy game guards looking for desert-adapted black rhino and other fascinating animals and plants. This might entail covering some of the terrain on foot. Later we head north via the village of Sesfontein (which means six springs). The route takes us through typical basalt hills, a signature feature of Damaraland.

From Sesfontein we continue further north across the magnificent Giribis plains with its mysterious Fairy Circles towards the 3568 square kilometre Puros Conservancy. This vast area, with a population of less than 300 Himba and Herero herders, is one of the conservancies that own our company and we will be hosted here tonight.

Spend the evening around the campfire in the Puros Conservancy Campsite, where elephants may stroll past your tent.  This is a good opportunity, if you are interested, to obtain insights into the real conservation problems and their local solutions.

DAY 3

We take a scenic drive up the Hoarusib River, cross the flank of the Etendeka Mountains and descend into the Khumib dry riverbed.  Our route, through dramatic landscapes, passes small Himba settlements and we may see goats browsing with springbok nearby or a line of ostrich high-stepping past peacefully grazing cattle. Our destination for the next three nights is “Etambura Camp”, built on a hilltop with views that will take your breath away. Relax in comfortable accommodation units, each with an en suite bathroom and private deck area.

KCS guests have exclusive use of this camp! Meet our conservancy hosts and spend an interesting evening at the fire talking to Himba game guards or conservancy staff.  Swop notes with our host or game guards and learn how the rhino impact local life.  Overnight at Etambura.

DAY 4

Early morning start visiting villages and waterholes to find the freshest possible tracks.  We scour the hills and valleys searching for these shy and elusive creatures.  Observe the fascinating and sparse fauna which these incredible creatures live on.

 

Depending on the scattered vegetation we might see giraffe, springbok, oryx, kudu, klipspringer or even perhaps cheetah. Our search for rhino might well mean covering distance on foot.  Overnight at Etambura.

 

DAY 5

The day is again spent searching for rhino.  Learn more about the challenges facing both the local people and the wildlife in this area.  Why were rhino poached in this area?  When?  When were they re-introduced?  Why?  How?  Why were they in the desert in the first place?  A myriad of questions to discuss and ponder on.  Overnight at Etambura.

DAY 6

After a hearty breakfast, we head south, traversing vast and silent plains. We once pause briefly in Puros, before following the course of the Gomatum River, cross the Giribis Plains often dotted with springbok, oryx, ostrich and giraffe. We overnight at Sesfontein Conservancy’s Ganamub Mountain Camp built on a hillside among granite boulders.  Immerse yourself in the sounds, scents and flavours of an African night around a crackling campfire, knowing your presence is making conservation sustainable for the people and animals who share this vast region.

DAY 7

After breakfast we make our way through the ruggedly beautiful Damaraland back towards Wereldsend or Swakopmund, depending on the option you have chosen.

 

 

Note:

1. Community based activities vary from trip to trip as these depend on the seasonal nature of conservation activities and on the events currently taking place in the host communities.

2. Our itinerary remains flexible because of environmental, climatic and human factors.

RATES01 January 2011 to 31 December 2011RATE PER PERSON SHARING:  USD 3,850.00 / 26 950 N$SINGLE SUPPLEMENT PER PERSON PER TOUR: USD 365 / 2 555N$
INCLUDEDBreakfasts, light lunches, snacks, dinnersAlcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages EXCLUDEDFlights to and from NamibiaRoad transfer to Wereldsend from Swakopmund at the start of the safari and return. Rate USD425 per personAccommodation prior to Day 1 or on day 7 after the safari

Dinners prior to Day 1 or on day 7

It is possible to book a private safari – price on request.

Rates are in USD Dollars, are influenced by industry increases and may change without prior notice.  Our rates include 15% VAT.

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