No. 4 Pioneering Community Partnerships

The story of Damaraland Camp: A successful joint venture between community and ecotourism

Why do we believe?

Prior to responsible ecotourism and formal community engagement, the area around Damaraland Camp was in decline: wildlife was perceived as a cost not a benefit, wildlife numbers were rapidly diminishing and unemployment was close to 100%.

Now, thanks to the successful partnership and the implementation of a viable ecotourism model:

  • Around 350 hectares of land are under the protection of the Torra Conservancy.
  • Wildlife is thriving – even large species like elephant, black rhino and lion – and “problem animals” are now seen as a resource that can bring money into the community via ecotourism.
  • In addition to formal contractual payments to formal contractual payments to the conservancy, employment has introduced a local economic driver.

Damaraland Camp and the Torra Conservancy are proof that when ecotourism and local communities join forces, the result is tangible benefit for people, a change in attitudes and an increase in wildlife numbers.

Not only is the Torra Conservancy our landlord to whom we pay a revenue share as a lease fee, but it is also an equity partner in Damaraland Camp and as such receives a share of dividends. Beyond this, the majority of camp staff are from the community, with many alumni over the past 20 years having moved on to positions of responsibility elsewhere in the company and the industry.

No. 4 Pioneering Community Partnerships

The story of Damaraland Camp: A successful joint venture between community and ecotourism

We were the first safari operator to create an equity joint venture with a rural Namibian community. The result: increased employment, and increased wildlife.

Why do we believe?

Prior to responsible ecotourism and formal community engagement, the area around Damaraland Camp was in decline: wildlife was perceived as a cost not a benefit, wildlife numbers were rapidly diminishing and unemployment was close to 100%.

Now, thanks to the successful partnership and the implementation of a viable ecotourism model:

  • Around 350 hectares of land are under the protection of the Torra Conservancy.
  • Wildlife is thriving – even large species like elephant, black rhino and lion – and “problem animals” are now seen as a resource that can bring money into the community via ecotourism.
  • In addition to formal contractual payments to formal contractual payments to the conservancy, employment has introduced a local economic driver.

Damaraland Camp and the Torra Conservancy are proof that when ecotourism and local communities join forces, the result is tangible benefit for people, a change in attitudes and an increase in wildlife numbers.

Not only is the Torra Conservancy our landlord to whom we pay a revenue share as a lease fee, but it is also an equity partner in Damaraland Camp and as such receives a share of dividends. Beyond this, the majority of camp staff are from the community, with many alumni over the past 20 years having moved on to positions of responsibility elsewhere in the company and the industry.