Traveling the world opens our eyes to different places, people, and cultures and allows us to experience things outside of daily life. With Ker & Downey’s conservation journeys, interact with some of the world’s most loved but endangered species without sacrificing luxurious amenities and comfort. These journeys combine the best of both worlds with eye-opening experiences and five-star accommodations.
Discover the Cheetah Conservation Fund with the Namibian Encounter
The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, but not even it can outrun the risk of endangerment. The icon for speed and highly revered among kings for thousands of years, the cheetah is Africa’s most endangered cat, with only 10,000 remaining worldwide. The world’s largest population of cheetahs reside in Namibia and in the 1980’s alone, Namibian farmers cut the population of cheetahs in half to protect their livestock and consequently, their livelihood. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder why the Cheetah Conservation Fund was established in 1990 near Otjiwarongo, Namibia.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund works tirelessly to foster education about cheetahs through their education center, and grow the economy of the people living alongside the cheetahs. Through their livestock guard dog program which provides farmers with Anatolian Shepherds to protect their livestock, farmers have reduced the loss of livestock by 80-100% from all predators, which makes them less likely to kill a cheetah when they see one. To date, over 400 dogs have been given to farmers and as a result, children are able to go to school instead of guarding the herds during the day. In addition to their guard dog program, the Cheetah Conservation Fund has set up a creamery with dairy goats, giving Namibian a chance to explore alternative forms of income besides farming. As a result of their efforts, the local communities are able to live in a peaceful coexistence with the magnificent creatures.
With Ker & Downey’s Namibian Encounter journey, travel to Sossusvlei to experience the famous red sand dunes through games drives and hikes during the day and retire each night to the comfort of their villa at Little Kulala, located on 52,000 private acres. Continue to Damaraland Camp and explore 2,000 rock engravings before heading to Ongava Lodge on the 70,000 acre Ongava Game Reserve, where guests have the opportunity to track the rare white rhino on foot with an experienced guide. The journey concludes in the Waterberg Plateau at the Babson House, a converted farmhouse adjacent to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. From here, guests are able to tour the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s education center and observe the endangered cats as they eat and exercise in preparation for returning to the wild.
See Black and White Rhinos at Solio Lodge
Due to a myth that powder from rhinoceros horns possess healing qualities, rhinos are caught in the midst of a deplorable poaching battle that has reduced the population to near extinction. However one lodge, located on a 19,000 acre game reserve in the valley between the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya, is working to combat the risk of extinction by providing a refuge for endangered species and through a breeding program.
Solio Lodge, located on the Solio Game Reserve, is home a wide variety of wildlife, including both the black and white rhino, and the most successful rhinoceros breeding reserve in Kenya. The program not only breeds black and white rhinos, but trans-locates them to other areas of Kenya and Uganda to repopulate. To date, over 100 black rhinos and 60 white rhinos have been successfully relocated through the program. Solio Lodge is not only a premier place from which to see the black and white rhino, it also boasts extremely luxurious accommodations while staying anchored in its surroundings.
Mingle with Chimpanzees at Greystoke Mahale
The tiny sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale is situated on the beaches of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania beneath the Mahale Mountains. The forested slopes behind the camp are home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1,000 individuals inhabiting the national park.
Venture up in the the Mahale Mountains with a guide in search of the M-group, the most habituated group of chimps in the park, and sit among them as they go about their daily lives, grooming and conversing with one another. Later, return your your banda overlooking the beach, but don’t be surprised if a chimp wanders through camp to steal a glimpse of itself in the mirror.