To trek into the rainforest and sit with a family of wild gorillas, looking into the eyes of a huge silverback at close range, watching babies cling to their mothers, laughing at youngsters playing in the trees, is a life-changing experience for a wildlife lover. NHA expert guide Simon Stobbs presents an insider’s look at this once-in-a-lifetime nature encounter, highlighting our very special gorilla safaris based in Rwanda and Uganda.
We've compiled a short list of our favorite stories from Namibia. Namibia, innovative at heart, was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution. Through initiatives, such as ecotourism, restoration has generated sustainable income for their communities.
Browse through these five stories to get closer to the people and places Namibia is working hard to conserve.
While visiting the Damaraland region of Namibia, WWF’s Elissa Poma joined a researcher and trackers from Save the Rhino Trust to go out in search of endangered black rhinos. Below is an excerpt of her journal from that morning.
Botswana’s Green Season: Kalahari, Delta & Beyond Presented by Natural Habitat Adventures Tuesday, September 17 @ 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, 12pm Pacific Register now
Experiencing the Kalahari Desert and Botswana’s sprawling Okavango Delta in the heart of the green season is a distinctive nature adventure in its own right. But to do it the way we do—maximizing seclusion and wildlife encounters in remote areas—takes this safari to a whole different level.
World-renowned adventurist Olaf Malver, who designs our slate of adrenaline-pumping expeditions in nature, likes to say, "We are not lemmings!" Instead of just following the crowd, our adventures take you to the top of snow-capped mountains, along the shores of winding rivers and practically to the ends of the Earth.
During her travels to East Africa, photographer Robyn Gianni fell in love with the baby elephants that inhabit an orphanage outside Nairobi. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a sanctuary for orphaned animals, most especially elephants. It’s one stop on WWF’s tours in Kenya. In this essay, Gianni tells us what she learned about the rehabilitation of abandoned baby elephants and why the orphanage holds so much meaning for her.
Damaraland Camp in Namibia has been selected as one of National Geographic Traveler’s “25 Best Ecolodges” for 2013. The designation honors lodges that embody the spirit of exploration and commitment to the environment.
Damaraland Camp is a joint venture between Torra Conservancy and Wilderness Safari, showcasing the success of communal conservancies in ecotourism. With WWF’s support, these conservancies have restored populations of lions, cheetahs, black rhinos, zebras and other native wildlife and generated sustainable income for their communities.
Elissa Leibowitz Poma, World Wildlife Fund
Finally! The jarring rattling stopped. The infinite, bouncing commute across rocky elephant trails came to a halt. No more thorny branches threatening to scar my face with a snappy whip through the windows of our trucks. No more desert dust in my teeth. Finally.
We had arrived at the Ongava Game Reserve near Etosha National Park in northern Namibia after a long desert drive. The amiable lodge staff greeted us in the driveway with fresh juice and with cool washcloths we could use to swab our dusty faces.
The opportunities to engage on a cultural level with local communities may seem less prominent as wildlife is often the focal point of the WWF trips. But it's often the local communities and guides who can spot the rare bird hidden in the thick of the forest canopy. It's the community that is bound tight to the history of their landscape; they know the stories that illustrate how nature has shaped their culture or perhaps how culture has shaped nature. It is almost impossible to understand and appreciate wildlife without also understanding the people and cultures that live under the same expansive sky.
Our photo slideshow highlights eight WWF trips that engage with the keepers of this intimate knowledge.
They slide on their bellies across the snow, congregate on icebergs and seem to fly through freezing water in search of fish. That’s how most people picture penguins, in Antarctica.
The southernmost continent has the most penguins of any region in the world, but it’s not the only place where you’ll find the tuxedoed bird. The Galapagos Islands, New Zealand and South Africa are three other WWF destinations where you can see penguins in their natural habitat.