Your stay will contribute to the overall sustainability of the conservancy and nature conservation in the area. This is tourism with heart. A fixed percentage of the total revenues generated by the business is devolved to the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy, which provides employment and support to the local community while ensuring the monitoring and preservation of its wildlife resources thanks to the tireless efforts of its game guards.
A success story of community-based conservation.
Exploring the conservancy areas around Grootberg Lodge and Hobatere Lodge today, it is hard to imagine that these beautiful plains and canyons were once almost entirely devoid of game.
The abundance and diversity of species that can be found in the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy is a far cry from the way things were at the turn of the century. Thanks to the determined efforts and cooperation of forward-thinking conservationists, the government, private concerns and the once marginalized community that lives here, game numbers have made a turnaround to become a global success story. This includes endangered species such as black rhino and desert-adapted lion and elephant.
Around the early 1990s, game numbers were at an all-time low due to human-wildlife conflict. Wild animals were at best considered a nuisance on commercial farms. Elephants and predators posed a threat to the livelihood of local communities. As a result, animals were more worth dead than alive.
Poaching and the persecution of so-called “problem” animals (such as elephants and predators such as lions) went ahead unchecked. At the same time, antelope and zebra were hunted for their meat and skins until almost all but the smallest of invertebrates had disappeared from the area.
A turnaround came in 1990 when the Grootberg Farmer’s Union was formed. This brought about policy changes and formed the basis of what was to become the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy.
A reform in conservation efforts and education made the community the overall custodians and beneficiaries, and the value of conservation became understood. With community members making up 98% of the employees of the lodge’s staff, even former poachers became fervent conservationists. With excellent bush and tracking skills and intimate knowledge of the area, they were the best candidates for the job.
To further add to conservation efforts, a Predator’s Fund was established to compensate farmers for livestock lost to predators while generating funds needed for infrastructure to minimise their risk.
Today the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy stands proudly as an international case study of how conservation efforts can be successful and sustainable in the long run. By visiting this breath-taking part of the world and enjoying all it has to offer, you are contributing to the long-term sustainability of the area, its animals and the people.
Milestones of the ≠Khoadi-//Hôas Conservancy
- ≠ Khoadi-//Hôas was the first community-based conservancy to request registration
- Grootberg Lodge became the first middle-market tourism establishment to be wholly owned by a communal conservancy.
- The lodge became a major income source for the conservancy and its members
- At the same time, community members developed new, marketable skills
- Grootberg lodge was awarded a Community Benefit Award at the prestigious World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
- ≠ Khoadi-//Hôas became a pioneer in integrating wildlife, livestock and water management
- Wildlife numbers continue to grow in the conservancy
- The conservancy is a registered Custodian in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s Black Rhino Custodian Programme
- ≠ Khoadi-//Hôas is one of the first conservancies to reintroduce black rhinos and black-faced impala
- Establishment of a compensation scheme to minimise the impact of human-wildlife conflict
- Establishment of a Trust Fund for Traditional Authorities
- Grootberg Lodge Education Fund assists with the renovation of primary schools in the area
- The fund also provides tuition fees for students from families who cannot afford them
- Through financial benefits to the conservancy the lodge contributes to reducing human-wildlife conflict
- The lodge supports the community with projects such as building clinics, schools, water points and a community kitchen for the elderly and vulnerable people