Namibia Conservation in Action
- Track and monitor wildlife.
- Set out on safari in Etosha National Park.
- Lend a hand in an environmental education classroom.
- Sandboard down Namib Desert dunes.
Wildlife biologist Stuart Munro will join both departures of the Namibia expedition at N/a’an ku sê.
This expedition was specially crafted to involve students in ongoing conservation efforts with researchers in the field. More »
Itinerary 21 Days
The landscapes of Namibia are stunning, stark, and home to a wealth of desert-adapted wildlife that National Geographic scientists are working hard to protect. Work with National Geographic grantees in the field on two important conservation projects that are part of the Society’s Big Cats Initiative, and participate in rhino protection efforts. Along the way, encounter elephants, giraffes, and oryx on safari; go whale-watching on Walvis Bay; and climb the dunes of the Namib Desert.
Windhoek and N/a’an Ku Sê
Days 1-6. Get settled at the N/a’an Ku Sê Carnivore Conservation Centre, where National Geographic researchers have developed an innovative approach to protecting predators while reducing attacks on local livestock. Learn about the use of GPS and Google Earth to track leopards and cheetahs, and head into the field with local researchers on game counts, collar-tracking exercises, or to set up camera traps at watering holes. Help prepare meals for animals at the rehabilitation center, and spend a day at a preschool running an environmental education camp. Visit a San Bushman camp and hear stories passed down from San ancestors, and head out into the bush to discover both edible and medicinal plants.
Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, and the Namib Desert
Days 7-11. Head south to Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei. Camp overnight in the National Park and wake early to watch the sun rise over the massive orange-red dunes. Pay a visit to the iconic Dead Vlei, a beautiful white salt pan dotted with ancient and skeletal camel thorn trees that have been dead for over 700 years. Our next base is the seaside city of Swakopmund, a lively hub of surfers and adventure-seekers. Visit Cape Cross to observe a vast breeding colony of some 100,000 Cape fur seals. Venture into the Namib Desert to learn about its unique ecology and the animals that have adapted to its harsh conditions, and take in the sunset on the dunes. Try your hand at sandboarding - a popular adventure sport on Namibia's dunes. Then go on a whalewatching cruise on Walvis Bay, keeping an eye out for turtles, seals, and penguins.
Days 12-15.Journey into Damaraland, where the stark desert is dotted with unusually succulent plants fed by Atlantic mists. Pay a visit to Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at one of the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. View stone tools and other artifacts found here, and discover what they convey about the hunter-gatherers who once lived in this region.
Visit nearby Himba and Herero villages with knowledgeable local guides. Spend a day with conservationists from the Save the Rhino Trust learning about their community outreach efforts to protect critically endangered black rhinoceroses. Meet with rangers and see firsthand the effects of conservation education in this region.
Etosha National Park
Days 16-18. April to October is Namibia’s dry season, when herds of plains game flock to the waterholes of Etosha National Park, and their predators– lions, leopards, and cheetahs—are close behind. Enjoy three days on safari here, looking for big cats, giraffes, oryx, rare black-faced impalas, and endemic birds like the bare-cheeked babbler. Stop at waterholes to observe bathing elephants, zebras at the water’s edge, and and hartebeests and springboks splashing in the shallows.