UHI Namibia

NamibRand Nature Reserve Fence Survey

Harriet Barr, Sarah Becker, Megan Gray, Rosie Forsyth, Fiona Mackay, Amy Savage

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For full detailed report: Namibia Expedition Report

“The aim of this expedition is to trek and survey the Southern 50km of the boundary fence between Namib Rand Nature Reserve and Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia.

The fence was built in the 1970’s to protect wildlife from accessing Namib-Naukluft Park where there was severe poaching. Today the poaching threat has decreased, making the fence irrelevant. In search for water and food wildlife tries to cross the fence, often getting fatally entangled. An appeal to the government to have the fence removed is being established; this will enlarge the animals’ habitat and protect their populations. By surveying the fence, any gaps, possible wildlife traps and mortality rates, the appeal for the fence removal will be verified.

The project is an excellent opportunity to practice purposeful surveying skills whilst travelling through the Namib deserts unique landscape none of the team members have visited before.

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Our supporting objectives are to:

1. Survey wildlife and plants along the route

2. Produce an audio podcast and video of the expedition

3. Promote fieldwork expeditions

4. Learn about local culture, people and history by involving local communities

5. Empower other young females to adventure and explore – To accomplish the expedition’s supporting objective of empowering other young females to explore, the team will endeavour to produce a video documentation of their expedition. On return, they will ‘tour’ the video in local schools with the hope of encouraging, motivating and ultimately empowering young women to dream big and adventure.  (we hope to have a video link here in due course)

6. Experience a Dark Sky Reserve”

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Excerpts from students personal statements:

“…Going on this expedition has been a dream come true and this has been the most fantastic experience of my life….A strong bond has emerged from this trip and even though I was a little wary pre-expedition, not being sure if I would find my place, this feeling quickly disappeared….This experience was a good lesson for me in how important it is to listen to every member’s opinion and making the right decision that can satisfy everybody…I realized how complex it may be to make a decision within a team and finding a solution that could suit everybody while taking into account many factors, such as time, fatigue, weather, safety, wildlife, etc…I am very happy to have been on this expedition, to have had the chance to experience it and to have shared it with such a great team. I hope to have the opportunity to get involved again on similar adventures and be able to organise some too…”

“…Reflecting upon my experience I have identified several thoughts and feelings that I wish to explore. The expedition became an experience that will be unforgotten and generated a new desire within myself to explore the idea of developing and carrying out future expeditions. Feelings of strong self-achievement and personal ability are generated, and I left the experience feeling a lot more capable of individually planning and achieving both future expeditions and future personal tasks and challenges…I feel the experience affected me personally. The isolation, purpose and individuality of the expedition created an experience completely unique to anything I’ve previously encountered. The entire process from planning to execution was an amazing journey that was both beneficial to me personally and successful as an expedition…”

“…It’s now three days since we got back and I’m still waking up at 5am, ready for some porridge by head torch among the snakes, still doing a head count before going to the toilet to make sure it’s free and still singing the first line of song that comes into my head, only to discover that there is no one else around to finish the song with me. I am now consulting my bank account to arrange my next big adventure…” “…The expedition was an incredible and inspiring experience during which I had the time and space to think clearly. Being disconnected from everything we knew before, whilst doing our small part to improve the environment we were living in, was rejuvenating. For me, it facilitated a feeling of wholesomeness and content. I was able to clarify my views of the potential of sustainable adventure and outdoor tourism and how the development of trips such as ours will solidify travel with purpose…”

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