Harnas Wildlife Foundation (HWF) is a leading player in the field of nature conservation based at Gobabis in Namibia. Their main areas of focus are the protection of wildlife and natural resources, while also providing education and employment to the local communities on the property.
The land at Harnas was originally used for cattle farming, but has slowly evolved into a dedicated conservation centre with the owners taking in more and more animals in need over the last 30 years – starting with just one orphaned monkey. Today over 380 wild animals have been assisted by the HWF and while many have been released back into safe havens, many of them remain, and even more arrive every year.
The Team at Harnas
HWF is run by a dedicated and experienced management team headed by the owner and founder, Marieta van der Merwe. The team of both local and international experts, oversee a number of volunteers, and are also responsible for the daily operations of the establishment.
The onsite Cheeky Cheetah Day-Care Centre, which caters for the children of the local San community, employs a full time teacher to see to the social development, life skills and intellectual growth of these children.
Activities at Harnas
Without the volunteer’s public assistance and guest participation, Harnas would have to close its doors and you are invited to visit them at the centre to take part in the following worthwhile activities
Join the team for coffee with the lions at 9am, followed by a guided tour to see the enclosures and care provided for the animals. You will also meet many of the lions, cheetahs, baboons, wild dogs, leopards and caracals that call Harnas home.
After coffee you will be taken on a game drive in an open safari vehicle onto the property to visit the free-roaming cheetah, baboons, lions and wild dogs and watch them enjoy their morning meal.
Starting at 4pm, this 2-hour tour is a more intimate interaction where you can experience the wonderful warm heart of Harnas as you learn about the history and daily running of the facility. A visit to the nursery and care facility, the volunteer village and the church built in the memory of Marieta’s late husband and son will attune you to the more personal soul and spirit that is Harnas. Afterwards, a guide will introduce you to the crocodile, brown hyena, vervet monkeys, mongoose and caracals resident at Harnas.
Lion Roar Sundowner
This is a thrilling treat for those who love the sounds of the bush. Relax in a scenic spot as the lions of Harnas argue with one another across the property in ever increasing volume until the day’s dispute is settled – only to commence again at sunrise.
When available, this activity consists of using a receiver and an antenna to track a wild dog carrying a radio collar.
Take to the bush in an open safari vehicle in search of the local nightlife. With the assistance of a spotlight you could see porcupines, genets, brown hyena, nocturnal birds such as the nightjar, and even aardvark. A half-way stop allows you to enjoy the night sounds and starlight in silence at a remote location in the bush.
Nature walks and tracking
During this riveting activity an experienced local San guide will show you how to track animals the traditional way by means of tracks and droppings.
Bring a pair of binoculars and spend some time ticking off your bird list – Harnas is a paradise of raptors endemic birds and migratory species.
However you choose to spend the day at Harnas you are sure to create memories to last a lifetime secure in the knowledge that you are doing good at the same time.