At this time when our wild life is in grave danger ,Namibia’s commitment towards the protection of wildlife and habitat conservation is an applaoudable effort.
We’re all familiar with the themes dominating headlines about Africa’s declining wildlife.
Lions, elephants and tigers, one might think, will exist only in sad tales told to children in a decade or two.
Yet amid the disturbing news, one African wildlife success story stands out like the sun rising over the Serengeti — and it’s great news for travelers.
With sustainable wildlife tourism as the long-term goal, the southern African nation of Namibia has been making ambitious commitments to habitat conservation since its independence in 1990.
Almost half of country protected
The nation of 2.2 million people was the first African country to write environmental protection into its constitution. More than 40% of Namibia is now under some form of conservation management.
Officially inaugurated in March 2012, the KAZA (Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area) initiative established a 100,000-square-mile, five-nation conservation zone — the world’s largest.
Encompassing the entire Caprivi Panhandle in Namibia, KAZA’s “conservation beyond borders” approach protects wildlife corridors shared by Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Central to the effort are the communal conservancies — rural communities that share the proceeds of wildlife ventures equitably between members — that now cover one-fifth of the country and affect 250,000 rural Namibians
Human-wildlife conflict reversed
In many cases, poachers have become protectors, as Namibians have come to appreciate the long-term benefits of living with wildlife.
Generations of human-wildlife conflict are being reversed, while communities are made stakeholders.
Much of Namibia’s wildlife is now flourishing.
This is also good news for travelers.
With more than 30 conservancy lodges dotting the Caprivi Panhandle and north-central regions — Namibia’s wildlife hotbeds — visitors are privy to some of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters in Africa.