Our Protected Areas
National Parks and Game Parks
Namibia has achieved enviable successes in terms of biodiversity conservation and protected area management. The country has an extensive and internationally renowned protected area network, covering about 17% of the country.
To view the latest map of Namibia’s Protected Areas Network, click here.
Click on the following links to discover more about Namibia’s National Parks and Game Parks:
• /Ai-/Ais Hot Spring/ Huns Mountains
• Bwabwata National Park
• Cape Cross Seal Reserve
• Daan Viljoen Game Park
• Etosha National Park
• Gross-Barmen Hot Springs
• Hardap Recreation Resort
• Khaudum National Park
• Mamili National Park
• Mangetti National Park
• Mudumu National Park
• Namib-Naukluft Park
• National West Coast Recreation Area (National Park)
• Naute Recreation Resort
• Popa Game Park
• Skeleton Coast Park
• South West Nature Park
• Sperrgebiet National Park
• Von Bach Recreation Resort
• Waterberg Park
Namibia has gained a worldwide reputation for its innovative approaches of linking conservation to poverty alleviation through its communal area conservancy program and pro-poor tourism initiatives. This reputation has been founded through dynamic policy adjustments that have devolved rights of wildlife and tourism to many of Namibia’s most marginalized and poorest communities, providing communities with unprecedented incentives to manage and conserve their areas and wildlife, which have resulted in mass recoveries of wildlife populations outside national parks and reduced poaching throughout Namibia.
The conservation success in communal lands has also unlocked enormous tourism development opportunities. These are poised to provide substantial employment and livelihood benefits to rural communities.
Namibia’s CBNRM Programme has been successful in terms of conservation, and in contributing to the economy and to rural development, including such successes as:
· Extending the protected areas to include a massive 19% of the country over 130,000 square kilometers
· 59 registered conservancies with over 230,000 members
· 30 new conservancies in development
· Economic benefits to communities have increased from less than N$600,000 in 1998 to N$41.9 million (US$ 5.7 million) in 2008, with primary growth coming from the tourism industry
· 29 formal joint-venture lodges and campsite partnerships within the Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector and a further 15 in development
· Joint ventures conservancies represent 856 beds, 789 full-time jobs and over 250 seasonal positions.
· The private sector has invested more than N$ 145 million (US$ 19 million) in tourism in communal conservancies since 1998.
To learn more about Namibia’s communal conservancies, click on www.nacso.org.na
The following map indicates the locations of Namibia’s registered conservancies:
The following concessions has been awarded by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism:
Concessions on Lodge developments and 4 x 4 drives in Parks were awarded to the following:
· Omalweendo Safaris
· Belvedere Safaris
· Uri Adventures
· Coastways Tours
· Gobabeb Training and Research Center
· NAMAB Company
· Transggariep River Lodge
· Reit Safaris
· Aus Information Center
· Namib Sky Balloon Safaris
· Otjipupa Investments
Direct award to communities were awarded to the following conservancies:
· #Khoadi-//Hoas Conservancy – Hobatere North Concession
· Ehirovipuka Conservancy – Hobatere Roadside Concession
· Omatendeka and Anabeb Conservancies – Etendeka Concession
· Kyaramacan Association – White Sands in Bwabwata National Park
The following trophy hunting concessions on State Land were auctioned in 2009, for the period 2009 to 2011:
Mahango, Bwabwata National Park
Eastern Kavango Region
Western Kavango Region and Mangetti National Park
Waterberg Plateau Park
Daan Viljoen and Von Bach
One Black Rhino – Waterberg Plateau Park
One Black Rhino – Namib Naukluft Park
Black Rhino – Namib Naukluft Park
The Ministry is in a process to finalize the tender documents with Kyaramacan Association for the two hunting concessions in the Bwabwata National Park. The concessions will be advertised in the local newspapers.
The Ministry also issues hunting quotas to registered conservancies in Namibia for trophy hunting, own use and shoot and sell.
Transfrontier Conservation Areas
To address the need for closer transboundary co-operation over conservation, Namibia and several countries in Southern Africa have signed formal agreements to establish transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs).
TFCAs have the potential to contribute significantly to:
• regional biodiversity conservation;
• regional, national and local-level economic development, mainly through tourism development;
• social and cultural cross-border contacts and co-operation;
• information and experience sharing;
• building of a culture of peace and co-operation between neighbouring countries and communities.
Namibia is involved in three Transfrontier Conservation Areas:
· Ai/-//Ais Rictersveld Transfrontier Conservation Area with the Republic of South Africa, treaty signed.
· Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area with the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, MoU signed and process underway to get treaty signed.
· Iona Skeleton Coast Transfrontier Conservation Area with the Republic of Angola. Discussions underway
/Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
The /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (ARTFP) jointly conserves a large part of the Succulent Karoo Biome which is an international biodiversity hotspot. It was established by the governments of Namibia and South Africa and provides for joint management of the Richtersveld National Park (South Africa) and /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Park (Namibia).
The area is well known for its rugged landscapes, including Namibia’s Fish River Canyon, the Orange River, and unique plant life such as the quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma), maiden’s quiver tree (Aloe ramosissima), the rare giant quiver tree (Aloe pillansii) and the halfmens (Pachypodium namaquanum). The ARTFP is the furthest developed of the three transboundary conservation initiatives in which Namibia is involved. The DPWM leads the MET’s efforts in this bilateral initiative.
On 16 October 2007 the Sendelingsdrift border post on the Orange River was opened as a joint port of entry with police and immigration services on both sides of the river. A pontoon allows tourists to move between the two countries – across the Orange River – through the parks.
Since 2007, the JMB has been investigating the feasibility of expanding the ARTP into a larger TFCA that will include other areas of land. If the TFCA were to be expanded, it would incorporate the Sperrgebiet National Park, areas of private and communal land and the //Gamaseb and Gawachab conservancies.
Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA)
In December 2006 the governments of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the establishment of the KAZA TFCA over a huge area of land that stretches from the Khaudum National Park in Namibia in the west to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe to the east.
The vision for the KAZA TFCA is ‘to establish a world-class transfrontier conservation area and tourism destination in the Okavango and Zambezi river-basin regions within the context of sustainable development’.
One of the main objectives of the TFCA is to join fragmented wildlife habitats into an interconnected mosaic of PAs and transboundary wildlife corridors, which will facilitate and enhance the free movement of animals across international boundaries. The KAZA area incorporates the largest contiguous elephant population in Africa. The number of elephants in northern Botswana alone is estimated at more than 130 000. The area includes at least 3 000 species of plants, 100 of which are endemic to the sub-region, as well as more than 600 bird species.
The KAZA TFCA would also promote cross border tourism, linking some of the world’s premier tourism destinations, including the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The Caprivi area of Namibia plays a pivotal role in the TFCA, providing migration routes for wildlife from Botswana into Angola and Zambia.
Iona-Skeleton Coast Park
In the far north-western corner of Namibia, the Skeleton Coast Park and Angola’s Iona National Park (Parque Nacional do Iona) meet at the Kunene River. The Namibian and Angolan governments have agreed to work together to develop a transfrontier park.
Iona, Angola’s oldest and largest national park, covers 15 150 km² and is known for its harsh desert scenery and spectacular mountains. The Namib Desert extends northwards into Iona and similar species to those found in Namibia’s Skeleton Coast Park and surrounding areas are found in Iona. These include the Welwitschia mirabilis plant and the black-faced impala. However, Iona has suffered from illegal poaching and the destruction of infrastructure, and the government needs to restore control and order over the park.
Increased co-operation between Namibia and Angola in developing the Iona-Skeleton Coast Transfrontier Park could lead to the establishment of a much larger TFCA that spans three countries along the Namib coast. Known as the Three Nations Namib Desert Transfrontier Conservation Area (TNND TFCA), this would include the /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld TFCA to the south, the proposed Namib-Skeleton Coast National Park (NSNP) in Namibia and Iona in Angola. The NSNP would consist of the current Sperrgebiet National Park, the Namib-Naukluft Park, the proposed Walvis Bay/Swakopmund conservation area, the National West Coast Recreation Area upgraded to national park status, and the Skeleton Coast Park.
The NSNP would be the eighth-largest protected area in the world, and the sixth-largest terrestrial protected area and largest park in Africa, covering an area of 10.754 million hectares, or 107 540 km². Further, a new Marine Protected Area borders the proposed NSNP, and several private game reserves and communal area conservancies, which would add another 14 million hectares of land and sea managed for some form of conservation.
Resources related to Protected Areas
Important Articles and Report(s) developed by SPAN Project: To view, click on the following links:
Sustainable Financing Plan for Namibia's Protected Area System- February 2010
The Economic Value of Namibia's Protected Area System - A Case for Increased Investment February 2010.
Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment for Namibia's Biodiversity and Protected Area System- May 2010
State of Protected Areas in Namibia- A review of progress and challenges-2010
The Updated Process Framework for the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management Project (NACOMA)
To download the document, click here.