The NamibRand Nature Reserve, located in southern Namibia, is a private nature reserve established to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the south-west Namib Desert. Conserving the pro-Namib, the area along the eastern edge of the Namib Desert, is critically important in order to facilitate seasonal migratory wildlife routes and to protect biodiversity. It is probably the largest private nature reserve in southern Africa, extending over an area of 215,000 ha. The Reserve shares a 100km border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the west and is bordered in the east by the imposing Nubib Mountains. Virtually all facets of the Namib Desert are represented on the Reserve – sand and gravel plains and stretches of savanna alternate with mountain ranges, inselbergs and vegetated dune belts.
The Reserve originated in 1984 as the dream of J.A. (Albi) Brückner (R.I.P. 14 August 1930 – 08 December 2016) to extend desert frontiers by integrating a large number of former livestock farms and developing a wildlife sanctuary. To date, seventeen former livestock farms have been rehabilitated into a single continuous natural habitat. Recognising the importance of wilderness areas, the NamibRand Nature Reserve has exclusively set aside more than 15% of its total area for wilderness.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a model for private conservation in southern Africa as it demonstrates holistic biodiversity conservation balanced with financial sustainability. Low-impact ecotourism is a means towards sustaining our conservation efforts through park fees. Five tourism concessions have been awarded, that each pay a daily, per-bed fee to the Reserve. The funds generated through these park fees enable the Reserve to be financially self-sustaining.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve was registered as a non-profit private nature reserve in 1992. All landowners belonging to the Reserve have signed agreements and adopted a constitution which sets the land aside for conservation – now and in the future. The Reserve is financially self-sustaining mainly through high quality, low impact tourism.