Responsible travel is all about exploring, sustaining and enhancing the best of what Namibia has to offer. These suggestions will enrich your experience, support what’s appealing and unique to the country, and benefit the local people.
Honour Protected Areas
Learn and follow advisories and regulations when visiting protected areas and Communal Conservancies, and respect the rights of private landowners. Remember that the usage fees you pay are used to support the local management programs and conservation efforts necessary to protect and maintain these areas.
Keep Wildlife Wild
Namibia has abundant wildlife. Maintain a respectful distance, use binoculars and telephoto lenses, refrain from feeding wild animals, and protect wildlife and your food by securely storing your meals and rubbish, especially when camping outdoors overnight. Don’t camp at or near waterholes. The wildlife can’t or won’t drink if there are people nearby and they may have walked tens of kilometers to get there. Your actions can help to reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict and make your experience in Namibia that much more memorable.
Wildlife Credits is an innovative conservation initiative that rewards communities who are actively protecting and conserving wildlife and its habitat, providing an incentive for communities to continue to conserve elephants and other endangered, and at times, destructive species that cause the most hardship to farming communities, but also add value to our global lives and collective future.
Visit community joint venture lodges that support Wildlife Credits, go on a game drive that keeps track of these species and makes payments based on sightings to conservancies or keep your own count of the animals you see in conservancies and make a payment directly to Wildlife Credits to add your support for conservation in Namibia. Visit www.wildlifecredits.com for more information.
Take the road less travelled
Discover Namibia’s lesser-known wonders by being open to local suggestions and new experiences. Visit popular places at off-peak times, seek out experiences off-the-beaten-path, and remember it’s all about the journey — not just the destination.
In the north central and northwest of the country, explore Side Tracks, a series of detailed maps that guide you through interesting landscapes while providing insight into the flora, fauna and communities that live near these tracks.
Visit Namibia Tourism Board’s website for information on additional tracks and trails, covering spectacular places in Namibia that link national parks and communal conservancies. www.namibiatourism.com.na/tourismroute
Leave No Trace
Enjoy Namibia, but don’t leave a trace. Don’t drive off road where tracks can last a lifetime. Respect the fact that birds nest and life thrives on gravel plains. Follow all principles of the Leave No Trace program — from preparation to preservation to respect for wildlife and others. Minimise your impact for the good of everyone. For Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, visit www.lnt.org.
You’re here to discover Namibia’s true character, so make sure that’s where your money goes. Consciously spend your time and money at local businesses which offer locally produced food and products, handicrafts and art. Discover items that are Made in Namibia. You’ll help others benefit from your presence which will also help communities preserve their traditions and protect their natural resources. Make sure you buy local by shopping at organisations such as Omba Arts Trust and members of Team Namibia.
Learn about local road and weather conditions and the availability of provisions in the field before you venture out. Keep in mind that water is scarce in many regions. Consider using a local guide whenever venturing into the countryside.
Mind Your Resources
Help conserve the natural resources you’ve come to visit by following the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. Support tour operators, outfitters and service providers that operate in Communal Conservancies and incorporate green practices in their operations. Visit www.eco-awards.org and www.tosco.org to learn more.
Park the Car!
The best way to explore an area is to get out into it — try walking, cycling or taking public transportation for a portion of your travels. Rent fuel-efficient vehicles and invest in carbon offsets that support new investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency such as TOSCO's clean travel initiative.