The Ecosystem Opportunity
Once the sole preserve of the Bushmen, Namibia, in the last thousand years, has hosted the Bantu expansion, the Portuguese, the Germans and, finally, apartheid South Africa. As a result it has become a rich tapestry of traditions and now that power rests firmly back in the hands of Namibians, one of Africa’s top destinations for those in search of beauty.
Namib Tsaris Conservancy, previously known as Neuhof Nature Reserve, is situated in a unique position on the edge of the Namib Desert at the end of a remote valley that in the past, before the presence of fencing, provided a vital refuge to animals in times of drought. The rainfall per year on the reserve is between 70 – 80 mm and average elevation is between 1,150m and 1,350m (highest point: 1,881m above sea level). Present day farming has meant that some areas of the reserve have been fenced off, making large mammals unable to reach the water and shade they need. The reserve is attempting to address this problem by liaising with local farmers to present strategies that benefit both humans and wildlife, as well as maintaining the ecosystem functions within the reserve to ensure that the land is capable of supporting this seasonal influx of animals. In addition one of the main objective is to find new and innovative ways to make the land a viable place for a breeding population of black rhino to dwell in albeit difficult under the current climate.
The Travel Opportunity
The land owner, Swen Bachran, is currently in the process of building a guest home on the land and there is a potential opportunity for an independent investor’s home to be built. Meanwhile any visitors are encouraged to stay in Swen’s home for an insight into living on this individual reserve.
The Investment Opportunity
Over the last five years, all infrastructural improvements, capital, and operational costs have been privately funded by Swen. While there are a variety of plans and programmes that are in various stages of implementation in order to generate sufficient funding to run the reserve, the ultimate aim is not to reap any profits or return on this investment and all monies generated will be cycled back into the conservation effort.
With the arrival of black rhino there are a number of additional infrastructural improvements that need to be made in order to ensure that they are adequately protected, however with the state of poaching in southern Africa at the moment the truth is it is uncertain whether the rhino have much time. We need help with these additional capital and operational costs in the interim until our other projects come to fruition and the reserve can become self-sufficient.
Swen Bachran is the founder of Namib Tsaris Conservancy and it is his passion for nature conservation, which drives the establishment of the reserve and the rhino programme. Swen is also the sole provider of the funds required to establish Namib Tsaris Conservancy and to build it up to its current state.
Murray Tindall realized a passion for conservation early on which encouraged him to study Zoology in Cape Town in 2004, since then he has been working in various game reserves in South Africa and Namibia in differing capacities gaining valuable experience in the management of wild areas.
Lee Tindall grew up in Etosha National Park in Namibia, was raised by a conservationist father and has been exposed to conservation her whole life. With a passion for conservation, all things natural and an intense dislike for city living, the natural result is to be involved in conservation, and combining it with leaving a legacy for our children and future generations.
Swen, who has travelled the world extensively, has a wide ranging group of friends and acquaintances from around the world. He envisages drawing from his travel and personal experiences to share these “around the campfire”. He also sees the opportunity of bringing selected friends and acquaintances together with the funders of the rhino programme, should there be common ground between them.
Other than the entertaining stories associated with living in the bush, he combined experience of Richard, Murray and Lee ensure that a wide range of conservation topics can be discussed including investment potential into the reserve. The partnership of the GSNL with the University of Namibia as well as the Polytechnic of Namibia ensures a close link to the conservation research happening in the broader area.