Looking for a new adventure? Then go on the Side Track routes through Namibia’s communal conservancies. The Side Tracks are an initiative launched by the Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO) to allow adventurous people, from lodges or campsites in conservancies, who would like to explore more of the area by themselves and in their own time. These 4x4 self-drive explorer guides with fold out maps will help you discover fascinating areas in communal conservancies.
Side Track 1: People Living with Wildlife in ≠Khoadi-//Hoas
≠Khoadi-//Hoas was one of the first four conservancies gazetted in Namibia and it is named after the Khoekhoegowab phrase for 'elephant's corner’. The conservancy has diverse plant and birdlife and a large array of large mammals such as elephants, black rhino, eland and mountain zebra. The conservancy manages and protects rare and valuable species and plays an active role in reducing poaching in the area by monitoring wildlife through regular and irregular patrols.
This half day Side Track route gives you a better understanding of people living with wildlife. The first point on the map is through a village where you can stop and have a chat with any of the locals who farm with goats, sheep, cattle and donkeys. People now perceive wildlife as valuable rather than a threat or simply a source of meat. The next stop is the conservancy office where the friendly staff welcome you with warm smiles and share more about the conservancy and its operations. If you would like a local guide to tag along, one of the knowledgeable Conservancy Environmental Shepherds will be more than willing to go with you and share more information than is provided on the map. There is a lovely picnic spot where you can relax and if you are lucky you can spot some giraffes at a distance.
Side Track 2: Doros Geological Mosaic
This is a full day trail that traverses three conservancies: Doro !nawas, Sorris Sorris and Uibasen Twyfelfontein. A unique feature on this route is the Twyfelfontein World Heritage site that houses the largest rock engravings in Africa. The area also has a small inselberg named Burnt Mountain and the fascinating geological formation of the Organ Pipes.
If you are interested in geology and aesthetic scenery, this would be the ideal self-drive track for you. The route leads you through beautiful terrain with wonderful granite rock formations surrounded by yellow grass and crosses through river beds. On this track, you can expect to see the unique Welwitschia plants between the brown rocky outcrops.
Side Track 3: Kaoko Floral Diversity
Discover the plants of Erongo and Kunene regions with this interesting self-drive route.
Take a break from the busy city life and connect with nature in your own time.