Discover the national park
Oana Conservancy is a private reserve covering 45,000 hectares of raw Africa. It hosts a dramatic semi-desert landscape made up of small mountains and sandy plains with the Orange River running alongside, creating an idyllic oasis of green contrasting with the terracotta hue of sand and mountains.The next part of your journey will be to take you off grid to the reserve we have been supporting for years. Here you will stay in a mobile camp set up their headquarters from which you will become fully immersed in a combination of conservation, involving camera trapping, ecological restoration and gemsbok surveys; adventure, such as trekking, mountain biking; and community projects focusing on a soup kitchen and planting vegetables.
The next part of your journey will be to take you off grid to the reserve we have been supporting for years. Here you will stay in a mobile camp set up their headquarters from which you will become fully immersed in a combination of conservation, involving camera trapping, ecological restoration and gemsbok surveys; adventure, such as trekking, mountain biking; and community projects focusing on a soup kitchen and planting vegetables.
Oana has begun a journey of ecological restoration and rewilding after its previous life as a hunting and farming ranch. Owned by the renowned conservationist Ian Craig, who’s vision is for the conservancy to become a safe sanctuary for black rhino and other large mammals that have been locally exterminated, link up with neighbouring conservancies and one day turn the greater protected area into a National Park to home Namibia's endangered wildlife.
Oana is home to some of the most iconic species of flora and fauna such as the Quiver Tree, the African Leopard, the Greater Kudu, Brown Hyena, Caracal, Gemsbok, Springbok, Mountain Zebra, Honey badger, Aardvark, Clawless Otter Giant Kingfisher and the African Black Eagle. However, it is an area unstudied and given its history we need to understand who lives here, who lives where and in what numbers. This is the first stage of 're-wilding' the land. To do this you will set off across the reserve to literally seek out the wildlife, count what you see and analyse faeces and track prints. Other reserve jobs that need doing are:
•Removing unnecessary fences, structures and scrap.
•Developing water points for animals.
•Building micro-basins to help with plains regeneration
•Removing alien vegetation on the property and along the river.
Hiking will be a big part of your time here and the potential for exploration is limitless over the mountain ranges made up of different rock types, (the area is a global geological hotspot), ranging from terracotta granite outcrops to towering, black, perfectly formed volcanos (all extinct).
These mountains are interspersed with sandy grass plains and 50km of river frontage.A decent level of fitness should be attained before you travel to Namibia.
You’ll venture out on the reserve by mountain bike on a specially designed 20km bike trail that weaves through the mountains and ridges, showing off the stunning mountain landscape.
There are fast bits, slow(er) bits, technical bits and chilled straights so don’t worry - riders of every ability will be able to do join in.
While you are here you nip off to a secret destination for a night to head off with local trackers to find a small family of protected rhino.This, I promise will be one of your highlights – trust us – we can’t go into any more detail for their safety.
Optional Extra - Rafting Down the Orange River
While you are at Oana you might want to head out on a 3 night adventure to white water raft down the Orange River (up to level 3 rapids) stopping off at idyllic sandy beaches along the way. You’ll raft during the mornings before stopping off at a beach to build a camp for the night.Your afternoons will be spent sunbathing, swimming, fishing, reading and relaxing. Whilst rafting you’ll see amazing bird life, perhaps the elusive clawless otter and conduct bird biodiversity surveys as you go. You’ll raft through gorges, canyons and you will pass around the stunning Richie Falls, the 3rd highest waterfall on the Orange River.
This costs £300 pp and is payable locally.
NB: This activity will be dependent on a min number of 6 and water levels, vegetation, safety reasons etc so it’s not guaranteed.
Camping inside the reserve.
All meals included, apart from the last day if you choose to white water raft.