Bewitchingly beautiful, Namibia’s Damaraland region is an otherworldly landscape that needs to be witnessed. Join us on a bespoke journey to Namibia with the Desert Lion Project. This special conservation trip departs in November 2019; contact us to reserve your space, and keep reading to learn all about the trip.
Where is it?
Damaraland plays host to this unique Desert Lion Project journey. Sandwiched between the Skeleton Coast to the west and Etosha National Park to the east, Damaraland is a diverse safari travel destination that’s infrequently visited and sparsely inhabited. This odd and interesting pocket of Namibia shouldn’t be missed.
There’s a whole host of wildlife to discover in Damaraland, but your main focus will be the desert lions. This rare journey will give you first-hand access to the founder of the Desert Lion Conservation Project. Dr. Phillip Stander is known as Namibia’s lion expert, having studied the desert-adapted species for the last two decades. Despite the human-lion conflicts in the region, Dr. Stander remains hopeful that the cats will continue to survive; during your time in Namibia, you will be helping him ensure they do.
What types of activities will you experience?
You will get hands-on and flex your mind muscles while learning about these special lions with the Desert Lion Project team. Head out with the rangers for a full day of tracking, collecting data, and studying their behavior to further understand how these magnificent creatures survive in such a harsh environment. Lions have been roaming the land since the Stone Age; they are depicted in rock, along with giraffes, cattle, and rhinos at a UNESCO-listed site. Visit this wonder and you will have a greater appreciation for their history and just how vital they are to this ecosystem.
You will also learn how the team comes up with and implements human-lion conflict management plans in the local communities. Meet the people living in Driefontein Village and hear first-hand accounts about how lions aid the tourism industry, but also make it a challenge for communities to share their land with these carnivores. Farmers often kill lions to protect their livestock, a practice that the Desert Lion Project is hoping to stop.
What else will you encounter?
Imagine a desert adapted elephant kicking up plumes of chalky-colored gravel across a stark plain. Flat-topped mountains stand guard at the horizon, petrified forests tell of greener times, and oddly-shaped cubes and spheres of granite are placed higgledy-piggledy as though a giant dropped them there as he trudged by. It’s a strange and striking landscape. Adventure-seeking travelers go in search of elusive desert-adapted elephants and oryx. Look down, you may see black rhino tracks.
You will also meet Emsie Verwey, a brown hyena specialist with a lifelong affection for Namibia’s wildlife. She has aided with rhino, bat, cheetah, elephant, and lion conservation projects. She will tell you about the active dens along the Hoanib River which she monitors to further conservation efforts. Meeting Verwey and Dr. Stander will teach you a lot about wildlife conservation. It’s a thrilling opportunity to be able to work hand-in-hand with the researchers to ensure that these raw landscapes and incredible animals remain for decades to come.
Where will you stay?
Damarland Camp’s 10 elevated, thatch-roof cottages ensure you get the best views from your own deck. En-suite bathrooms are privately tucked away in the traditional, safari decorated interiors. The chill that accompanies the Atlantic mist is kept at bay around the crackling fire where you will convene with fellow guests, discussing the sights you encountered earlier in the day. Look up and attempt to count the sparkling blanket of stars that only further add to the out-of-this-world allure. The swimming pool is not a mirage; it’s a welcome relief from the arid daytime heat.
How to join the Desert Lion Project journey
This conservation trip takes place November 15-19, 2019 and can host only eight guests. Ker & Downey can arrange further safari activities to complement your time in Namibia. Consider spending time in South Africa or Botswana before or after your Desert Lion Project sojourn. Our experts can custom-arrange a seamless safari experience that maximizes your time and budget.
Are you ready to go where few have ventured to learn more about the elusive lions and landscapes? Contact your Ker & Downey designer to reserve this journey to hauntingly beautiful Namibia.