11 June 2019 – Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp offers guests a life-changing experience in Namibia’s remote Kaokoveld, whilst also serving as a hub for research and conservation of desert-adapted wildlife such as lion, elephant and brown hyaena. Through the wealth of information produced by scientists, Hoanib’s Research Centre, set in camp, continues to help drive Wilderness Safaris’ mission to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness and wildlife by addressing critical issues such as human-wildlife conflict.
“The Hoanib Research Centre is a base for ground-breaking wildlife research in this arid environment, ideal for researchers looking to conduct long-term studies on desert-adapted animals. In addition, the award-winning documentaries, Vanishing Kings and its sequel Vanishing Kings – Lions of the Namib, are based on Dr Philip Stander’s work with the Desert Lion Conservation Project, which we have actively supported for many years.
We want the centre to become a hub of knowledge, contributing not just to our conservation efforts but the country’s as well”, says Alexandra Margull, Wilderness Safaris Namibia MD.
In addition to Philip’s desert lion conservation research, which started in 1998, other long-term projects conducted at Hoanib include Laura Brown and Rob Ramey’s Desert Elephant Conservation Study, which began in 2005, and brown hyaena research by Emsie Verwey. Emsie’s data has subsequently been added to the Red Data Book on carnivores and range maps are currently being compiled by the IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group for spotted hyaena, aardwolf, brown hyaena and striped hyaena. Further findings of the projects illuminate fascinating insights into the distinctive traits of the wildlife in the area.
A portion of the research studies is funded by Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust. Guests visiting the camp are also encouraged to interact with, and attend presentations by the researchers when they are in camp.
Hoanib, known for its luxury ecotourism offering, is entrenched in Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to sustainable ecotourism through its ethos of the 4Cs: Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. In addition to its focus on wildlife conservation, the camp is also part of a joint venture partnership with neighbouring communities – ensuring that the local people also realise the benefits from ecotourism – ultimately contributing to the sustainable development of the area. As part of this partnership, Wilderness Safaris pays an annual conservation fee to the Torra, Sesfontein and the Anabeb conservancies.
Set in one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world, Hoanib was built with minimal impact on the environment. It is managed and monitored against strict in-house environmental standards that are guided by Wilderness Safaris’ Group Environmental Minimum Standards programme. The design of the camp ensures that guest units and main areas maximise natural lighting, air movement and insulation.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is 100% solar powered, with each guest tent having its own small solar geyser for hot water. The camp makes use of innovative, eco-friendly systems to break down waste water, which is then used to water plant life. In order to reduce the use of bottled water, high-quality drinking water is produced through reverse osmosis filtration.
By choosing to travel to Hoanib, guests are not only assured of a life-changing journey to this remarkable desert location, but one that makes a positive impact to conservation and community empowerment at the same time.