The NamibRand Nature Reserve is located in the southern part of Namibia and is a privately owned reserve that was set up to protect the wild life that lives in Namibia especially in the Namib Desert. It is located near the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the Naukluft Mountains which has made it a good place for tourists to visit due to the various activities that you can carry out while in the area.
Historically, NamibRand was formed after many of the farms that were located within the area were dissolved due to the harsh conditions that were experienced and this was in the year 1950. Due to the desert conditions that were experienced on the farms leading to the death of many livestock and plants on the farms, it was decided that it be made a national Park to cater for the wild life that had always been hunted down by the locals. The NamibRand reserve has quite a few vegetation types that are drought resistant and these are what most of the animals feed on before it withers without the rain.
NamibRand is not a game viewing destination as there are few animals to see here but there are several other tourist attractions that are located within the area that will make your safari to NamibRand worth it.
There are several animal species that habitate within the NamibRand reserve and most of these are used to the harsh conditions. Most of the animals in the reserve can best be seen in the dry season when there is limited water for them and they are forced to move around in search of water for drinking. The animals that are found within the NamibRand include gemsbok, aardwolves, jackals, bat eared fox, the cape fox, giraffes, springbok, cheetahs, zebras, hyenas and many more other species.
Game viewing in NamibRand can be done using different methods that is through hot air balloons, walking through NamibRand and driving through. It does not really matter which method you use but it is best to go with a tour guide for game viewing because they know where to find all the animals and will also explain to you the different characteristics of the different animals that you will see.
NamibRand has over 150 bird species that have been recorded and these can be seen in the different parts of the area in their habitats. Even though some bird species are used to the harsh weather conditions that are experienced within the area, there are those that fly in during the wet season to join the local bird species and some of the commonest bird species that you will see while here include the dune lark, Ludwig’s bustard, Ruppell’s bustard and many more other unique bird species.
There are several activities that you can carry out while in the NamibRand area besides birding and animal viewing and these include the following:
There are several routes that you can use for your nature walk through NamibRand but you will need an experienced tour guide with you so that you keep to the right routes although you can always take them on your own for as long as you have a map with you and keep to the marked trail routes. One of the most commonly used trail for hiking is the Tok tokkie trail that is used by all those who are adventurous and it takes about three to four days before it is complete.
The Tok Tokkie trail leads you into the Namib Desert where you get to meet and see all the jewels that are hidden within the Desert. Considered to be the most beautiful part when it comes to the Namib Desert, all tourists planning to visit the NamibRand should take a guided walk through it. The trail is only accessible to people who are eight years and above and this is due to the fact that it is not a strenuous trek. You will be able to see a few animals and birds while on your trek and some of these include Oryx, geckos, bat eared foxes, golden moles and many more others.
You will only be required to carry a backpack with a few essentials as the camps that were placed along the trail provide meals, rooms and hot water for bathing. The trail is open all throughout the year besides December to February during the rainy season where it is closed down. At the camps, you will have a clear view of the sand dunes that are within the Namib Desert and if you ever get time, you can also go out and enjoy some quad biking along the dunes and take photos of the whole area.
Star gazing within NamibRand is done at the gold tier dark sky reserve which was constructed in order to allow tourists have a chance to enjoy the wild side of the country while camping. Most of the lights that are used within the different camps that are located in NamibRand are just dim enough to allow the full effect of the stars to take place on all those who love star gazing. Although you can go star gazing from anywhere while in the NamibRand, it sometimes depends on where you are spending the night therefore if you want to go star gazing you should talk to your tour operator to get you the best accommodation around that with allow you to do your star gazing at peace.
A hot air balloon ride around NamibRand is done in the mornings and this is because the air is always still during the morning and it is one of the best ways to explore the whole expanse of NamibRand. The balloon ride will take about 45 minutes and within these few minutes you will be able to take as many photos of NamibRand from a different point of view and you will also get to see some of the animals from above like the elephants, zebras and many more others.
A drive through NamibRand is perfect either in the morning or evening when the sun is setting and there is little or no heat from the sun. You will however need a 4×4 car to take you through NamibRand due to the sandy nature of the roads within the area. Driving through the NamibRand is an extremely good way for everyone to see the beautiful landscape within the area, enjoy a picnic with your loved ones and also get to enjoy the sunrise and sunset between the sand dunes with your loved ones. Before you go for a drive through the NamibRand, you must go with some protective gear like the head scarf, googles to keep sand from the eyes and lots of water for when the heat becomes unbearable.
NamibRand is filled with a lot of animals that have greatly adapted to the weather that is experienced in the area and unlike the animals that can easily be seen while driving through, there are other smaller ones that you can get to see but you will have to be vigilant in order to see them and this is where you will need an experienced tour guide who is good at tracking down animals with you.
The best time for all those who want to visit the NamibRand for all those that love birding is between the months of December and March where the rains set in. they might not be that heavy but they still bring in the migratory birds in the NamibRand.
April and May come out with the best weather in NamibRand as it is not too hot and not too cold. Tourists can easily carry out their activities during this time like animals and then you will find that there are still some migratory birds that are still in NamibRand and it is also a good time for you to also enjoy a picnic within NamibRand.
The best time for tourists to see animals in the NamibRand is between the moths of June to October during the dry season. The dry season sees many animals traversing the area in search of water and while on a drive through the Park, you will be able to see all these animals all gathered in one or the same place.
The NamibRand is considered to be one of the largest reserves on the African continent and a visit to the place will give you a chance to also meet with the locals and enjoy the Desert like weather for all those that have never been to the Desert before. There are also several accommodation facilities that one can sleep in and for all those that love camping there are beautiful camps that were built along the walk trails in between the sand dunes.