EXPEDITION: RE-WILD THE DESERT
EXPEDITION: RE-WILD THE DESERT
Join this pioneering wildlife conservation initiative with Oana Namibia and help turn old withered land into a place where endangered species can thrive once again. This expedition combines cutting edge conservation techniques, community development, and adventure in a true desert wilderness that offers extensive opportunities for scientific and field research. This is the ultimate opportunity to experience the real wild side of Africa, where anything can happen.
Be a part of the re-wilding movement. Re-wilding is a response to growing public demand for a more hopeful, ambitious, and exciting form of conservation. The interest and support of people like you is the bedrock of the conservation movement. There are many ways you can help strengthen the re-wilding movement and be an active part of this growing community.
The Oana reserve stretches across over 165,000 acres of mountainous terrain that is home to unique plants such as the Quiver tree and animals such as the African leopards, caracals, honey badgers, Namaqua chameleons, and African black eagles. Surrounded by spectacular quartz and volcanic mountains and the wide-open skies, you will experience a true desert wilderness.
With its otherworldly landscapes, Namibia is like nowhere else on earth. It’s the digital detox you’ve been searching for. Explore the oldest, driest desert in the world and take time to listen to the silence and to your soul. Namibia is home to some of the world’s most cherished members of wildlife, vibrant cities, and rich historical cultures. It is run by a stable democratic government and has secured infrastructure that allows visitors to move confidently off the beaten path and endless horizons that beckon you to explore the country and its people.
You will be staying in a Bedouin style tented camp in the Oana Flora and Fauna Conservancy, a private nature reserve where the semi-arid desert of the Nama Karoo meets the succulent Karoo biome. The reserve is situated on the Kum Kum plain near the Namibia / South Africa border and encompasses 30 miles of the Orange River, one of the longest rivers on the African continent. There are three different accommodation tents at base camp and a main ‘hang out’ tent. The accommodation tents are safari-style tents with comfortable beds and the main tent has a dining area, fully stocked bar, library, sofa, and plenty of cushions. The bathrooms have hot showers and flush toilets, and electricity is generated through solar power for a real off-grid experience.
A local chef will prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lunch and dinner will be a mix of international and local cuisine, including traditional Namibian meals such as potjiekos (game stews) and braais (barbeques), using free-range game from neighbouring game reserve. We have a conscious menu therefore you will eat seasonally and have at least 4 vegetarian days a week. Tea, coffee, water, squash, and snacks will be available throughout the day.
There is no mobile phone reception at the camp. Wi-Fi is available for staff only; the Internet connection is very slow. There is landline satellite connection that can be used if family members need to get in touch with you. In the case of an emergency, Expedition Leaders have a satellite mobile phone on them at all times.
The climate of the area is sub arid, we are part of the Nama Karoo, Succulent Karoo, and the Namib Desert biome, with an annual rainfall of approximately 90 millimetres mostly falling during summer thunderstorms between October and March. Remember that seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are reversed. Humidity: 20%–40% Temperature range: September/October/March/April temperature: Average 30º C in the day and 10º C13º C at night. June/July/August temperature: Temperatures can drop below freezing at night and be up to 28º C in the day.
PROJECT IMPACT AREAS
Collecting data is a crucial part of conservation work. You will get involved with various aspects of field research such as tracking and monitoring mega-fauna, conducting biodiversity surveys, counting game, and deploying camera traps. The data that is collected is used for developing strategies and measuring the progress and success of the project. You will also get a unique chance to track nocturnal animals such as brown hyenas, aardvarks, and bat-eared foxes on foot beneath the glow of the moon and Milky Way on night safaris.
PHYSICAL CONSERVATION WORK
Oana Namibia aims to transition old farming and trophy hunting land to its natural ecosystem, so physical conservation work is a major part of this expedition. You will get your hands dirty by removing old livestock fences, scrap, and alien plant species. You will also help build sand dams that will ensure a year-round supply of water for wildlife and re-seed the once grassy plains. The physical conservation work you do on this expedition is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the reserve and for creating a healthy refuge for animals to thrive.
You will contribute to community development projects that are setup in the area. The work you do in the community depends on their needs at the time, but could include education, construction, or training workshops. Visiting local villages gives you the opportunity to talk to the locals and hang out with the kids, giving you a unique glimpse into the local way of life and a chance to learn about the culture of Namibia.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not all work and no play in Oana. You will get ample opportunities to go biking through the volcanic mountains of Oana, white river rafting down the Orange River, and going on multi-day hikes that take you right into the heart of the surreal Namibian wilderness. A 3-day foot expedition and 4-day rafting expedition are major highlights on this expedition. You will immerse yourself in nature and get to camp out beneath the stars beside the Kum Kum Rapids.
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.
project fee includes
- Airport pickup and drop-off
- All transport and transfers
- Accommodation for the duration of your trip
- Three meals a day and snacks and beverages
- 4-day rafting trip with Gravity Adventures
- SATIB Evacuation Cover insurance
- Multi-day hike through Oana Nature Reserve
- All conservation and community programs
project fee excludes
- Airfare to and from Upington
- Personal travel insurance
- Visas and related costs
- Alcohol and soft drinks from the bar
- Weekend trips or tours
- Personal items such as souvenirs
- Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund