The ultimate conservation experience for cat lovers and those with a fascination in nomadic cultures!
Whether it be cheetahs or leopards, bushmen or hunter-gatherer tribes, we have a journey that will provide you with a life changing experience as you contribute to the conservation of Namibia’s cats and diminishing traditional tribes.
Go telemetry tracking for lions, elephants and leopards. Walk with caracals and go behind the scenes of the Leopard Conservation Fund. Join San Bushmen around their evening fire and listen to their traditional stories about the stars, animals, galaxies and the universe. Go on a bush hunt with the Ju’hoan hunters, collecting bush foods of berries, tubers, honey and small animals.
We invite you to join us on this incredible journey through the soul of Namibia’s rich wildlife and raw culture.
Welcome to Namibia! Upon arrival into Windhoek, you will be met by your guide and driver, making your way straight to the world-class research and conservation facility of the Cheetah Conservation Fund for your first cat activity – a cheetah drive or sundowner drive on the CCF reserve is included for later this afternoon. Founded in 1990 by Dr. Laurie Marker, the mission of the CCF is to be an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their ecosystems. Visit the museum and learn about the behavior and biology of the cheetah, how their range and numbers have diminished, and the unique Namibian ecosystem that supports Africa’s most endangered cat species.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is located in the spectacular Waterburg Region that incorporates the Waterberg Plateau National Park and the farming districts from Outjo and Otjiwarongo to Grootfontein and Tsumeb in the west.
The Waterberg Plateau rises like an island some 200m above the surrounding African bush and savannah with brick-red sandstone formations and lush green vegetation. Established as a reserve for endangered and protected species it is home to 25 game species, over 200 species of birds, black and white rhino, roan and sable antelope and buffalo. (L,D)
Overnight at the Cheetah Conservation Fund or similar
This morning after breakfast you will make you way to Nhoma Safari Camp, located close to Tsumkwe in the east Kalahari region.
Tsumkwe is the regional administrative centre and the largest settlement in the region but it is no more than a crossroads with a ramshackle collection of shops, trading stores and bottle shops. You may find Bushman art (the large blank area in the northeast with very few roads or settlements is commonly known as Bushmanland) for sale in stalls or small shops: ostrich egg bracelets and necklaces and colourful beaded bags are the most common items.
Reaching the Camp, you will be welcomed into and introduced to the community. Participate in the daily activities in the village, try your hand at traditional games and learn how the men prepare for a hunt. During the evening you will witness a traditional healing dance (note; this may be performed any evening during your stay).
Nhoma Safari Camp is a small activity orientated tented camp, situated in the north eastern corner of Namibia on state-owned land. The camp was built by Arno Oosthuysen with the help of the Nhoq’ma community within the traditional area of the Ju’hoan San or Bushmen (as they are commonly known in Namibia). Your stay in the Camp allows the community to generate income, which in turn buys food and supplies not provided by the surrounding environment. Without the camp and the economy it creates, the community would have had to have left their ancestral land and moved to settled areas such as Tsumkwe.
Your safari tent, shaded by large Zambesi teak trees, provides basic luxuries such as comfortable beds and en-suite bath room with hot water. Meals and drinks are provided in a central dining area consisting only of a large thatched roof. With only a handful of tents spread out along a vegetated dune, enjoy 180 degree views over the Nhoma omuramba (fossil river bed). The vegetation of this part of the Kalahari is classified as woodland savannah and is a far cry from the image people have of the Kalahari! (B,L,D)
4 nights Nhoma Safari Camp or similar
Today you will set out on foot guided by Ju’hoan hunters. With no fixed trail to follow, you will explore the land in search of berries, tubers and honey, as well as tracking animals including antelope. Spend time with these hunters and learn about traditional bush medicines, rope making, setting traps and survival techniques that have been handed down through the generations. (B,L,D)
This morning after breakfast you will make your way by 4×4 to the vast, wild and remote Khaudom National Park. With teak forests and false mopane trees, this dry woodland savannah sits on ancient stabilised Kalahari sand dunes, interspersed with flat clay pans and river-beds. Fenced on only two sides, this park allows animals to follow their migratory routes to the water of the Kavango River. Large numbers of animals can be found throughout the park including elephant, tsessebe, roan, wildebeest, hartebeest, giraffe and antelope. Lion, leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena are the main predators, and the park is also home to one of the most endangered species, wild dogs. (B,L,D)
This morning after breakfast you will visit the Nyae Nyae Pans, a large complex of beautiful salt pans within the 9,000sq kilometre conservation area that surrounds Tsumkwe, where local communities are given the right to manage their wildlife and tourism in a sustainable way.
Nyae Nyae is home to scattered villages, prehistoric dunes, huge boabab trees and nomadic game. The vast array of wildlife includes numerous antelope species, elephant, spotted hyena and wild dog. Dozens of waterbird species including rare wattled cranes, slated egrets and even flamingos migrate to its waters during the rainy season. (B,L,D)
This morning after breakfast you will make your way to Erindi Private Game Reserve, 40km east of Omaruru. Erindi is a jewel in the heart of the wild Namibian landscape and covering 70,000 hectares it is one of the largest private game reserves in Africa.
Erindi falls within the Nama Karoo biome, with the central Namibian highlands being much cooler and less harsh than the arid lowlands that make up the majority of the country. Considered arid to semi-arid, the land is characterised by scattered low dwarf shrubs interspersed with grasslands and has an amazing array of diverse landscapes including mountains, riverine thickets, inselbergs (‘island mountains’) and grassland savannahs for as far as the eye can see.
Game here includes big cats such as lion, leopard, and cheetah, and you may also see wild dog – one of the few locations in Namibia where you can spot these magnificent and endangered animals. Elephant, rhino, giraffe and a plethora of plains game also make their home here.
Spend your afternoon relaxing around the waterhole and learn of your activities to come. (B,L,D)
3 nights Old Traders Lodge or similar
This morning you have the choice of one of two activities (we will submit a request based on your preference and this will be confirmed at check in). You can head out on a game drive, but not just any standard game drive. Instead you will set out with a telemetry qualified guide and you will be tracking tagged animals for the other game drives to view. While less time is spent looking at the diversity of species, more time is aimed toward reaching high points to look for larger tagged species. Tagged animals including lion, elephant, cheetah, pangolin, serval, honey-badger, brown & spotted hyena and others are located via radio telemetry and your sightings are then reported for the other game drives.
Erindi Private Game Reserve believes that even the smallest & most unusual creatures have an important role to play in nature & thus even secretive night wildlife species are carefully monitored. Certain Pangolins are fitted with VHF tracking devices to allow the Erindi team locate them regularly and monitor their movements & progress. Be part of this incredible tracking experience where you depart to try and pick up signal for the pangolins, follow this signal & if you are very lucky, have the chance to see the creature before it disappears into a hole to rest. (B,L,D)
This morning you will enjoy a ‘normal’ game drive before returning to the lodge to relax during the heat of the day. This afternoon, subject to Erindi’s in house leopard expert, you may be invited to learn about Erindi leopards through a photo & audio presentation explaining Erindi’s amazing Global Leopard Project, a registered foundation dedicated to the conservation of leopards through research and communication.
Should the leopard expert be in house, you may have the opportunity to join in the incredible conservation work they’re undertaking and head out to try and locate one of these magnificent creatures. You may find yourself checking capture traps and helping download data from GPS collars. (B,L,D)
Please note that activities may vary according to time of year/locations of animals and research being carried out. This is guideline only.
This morning after breakfast you will make your way to Na’an ku sê Sanctuary, arriving in time for a relaxing lunch.
This afternoon enjoy a 5km guided nature walk around the sanctuary where you can spot different bird species including: the African hoopoe, lilac breasted rollers, the grey go-away-bird, kori bustards, and many more. You may also run into warthogs, antelope, or black-backed jackals along the way.
Your accommodation for the next three nights is the only charity lodge in Namibia – N/a’an ku sê was constructed from ecologically clean materials including solid logs and glass to complement its beautiful wilderness setting. The lodge is a not for profit eco-tourism destination, where all profits are directed straight back into supporting their charitable projects – the Wildlife Sanctuary and Carnivore Conservation Research Project for Namibia’s vulnerable wildlife, and the Clever Cubs School and Lifeline Clinic for the San Bushman. Your stay at N/a’an ku se directly contributes towards the protection and conservation of wildlife and helping to improve the lives of the marginalised San Bushman community. (B,L,D)
3 nights Na’an ku sê Lodge or similar
Following Marlice’s footsteps and get an intimate view of the workings of a wildlife reserve and sanctuary. After enjoying a sumptuous breakfast at N/a’an ku sê Lodge, take a stroll on our beautiful reserve with a magnificent caracal, before meeting Marlice at the wildlife sanctuary. Here you will learn all about our human- carnivore conflict mitigation research, and become smitten with our gorgeous sanctuary orphans. Bond with the baby baboons (there’s nothing like it) and become fully immersed in Marlice’s magical world! When: Starts at 07:30 with breakfast at the lodge – and subject to Marlice’s availability.
Now it is time to walk with tamed Caracal cats. Their name is derived from the Turkish word ‘karakulak’ which means ‘black ears’, these slender, mid-sized cats are characterised by their black tufted ears. During the walk you will see how these beautiful animals behave in the wild, stalking birds and small mammals as they regain their natural instincts and hone their hunting skills. You will also experience the complete silence of the Namibian veldt while spotting antelope and a wide variety of bird species.
During this time, you will visit baboons, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and leopards. Watch them being fed by the experienced guides while they explain how these carnivores came to live on this reserve. Followed by a scenic drive with a good chance of spotting some of the other wildlife. This is not just a great way to learn about these amazing animals and how they behave in the wild, it is also a great up close photo opportunity. A superb introduction to conservation and the work done here at N/a’an ku sê. (B,L,D)
Today you will spend time with the Bushmen. Learn about hunting, setting game traps and tracking animals in the veldt. Use traditional San fire sticks to make fire and discover plants used for medicinal purposes before joining in with traditional dances and singing! If you are here during school term, you may also visit the local school.
Your meeting with the Bushmen will make for an interesting contrast to that of Nhoma! Naankuse work actively with the Bushmen and provide considerable support – including providing a school – if it’s during term time we can include a visit here. (B,L,D)
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start your planning offline!
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure. Maximum group size is 10 adults.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.