The desert elephant conservation project is concentrated in the area of Damaraland, in north-western Namibia. Damaraland is a sparsely populated area, which – despite its aridity – is home to a virtually untouched nature, with a wilderness of fascinating plants and animals: a world full of contrasts. It is an enormous challenge for man and nature to survive in the conditions prevailing here and to wrest the few resources from the barren land. It is precisely these circumstances that have meant that one of the last remaining natural environments in the world has been able to exist more or less unspoiled until now. Experience the country from a different perspective and discover the true life of Namibia as a volunteer.
To ensure that the desert elephant can roam through Namibia’s Damaraland for years to come, the project is devoted entirely to the conservation of these animals. Despite the prohibition of big-game hunting, there were very few desert elephants left in the region 20 years ago. The main reason for this was the conflict with local farmers. Life in Damaraland is largely dependent on the few springs which have water all year round – especially in the dry season. The desert elephants head for these springs on their long treks, but they are often taken over by man and inaccessible to animals. That is why – in their desperate daily quest for water – desert elephants sometimes destroy the farmer’s homes and wells. The aim of the conservation project is therefore to create a balance which meets the needs of both humans and animals. It helps the farmers with development aid, schooling and training and building protective walls. It also builds new water holes for the animals away from the settlements and shows the local population that it is possible to live in harmony with the elephants.
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