Tourism is a multidisciplinary industry and therefore involves many different stakeholders for its operational activities. Among them the tourist guides play a major role since tourists need to have a clear picture of the country and its offerings, laws, rules and regulations and expected behaviours. Moreover, guides should have the ability to transform the tourist visit into an unforgettable experience.
With this workshop we aim to create a network of well-trained guides aware of the importance of responsible tourism in Namibia. Furthermore, they need to be aware that their behaviour towards the elephants can have long-term effects on their conservation.
It was a workshop tailor-made for the tourism industry, especially for tour guides. The workshop had 9 participants from different backgrounds: freelance tour guides, guides from Tour Operators and guides from lodges and campsites, all ready to learn more about Loxodonta africana africana
The first two days
of the workshop took place at EHRA base camp. We were learning more about the elephants: their history, taxonomy, anatomy, social structure, reproduction and more– key information for any tour guide out there in the field wanting to transmit the right information to the clients.
The third day
day we started the practical workshop. We started around 8h tracking the elephants, checking first with the Community to see if they had seen or heard the elephants moving around. With this lead, our guides Hendrick Munembome, PEACE Project Leader, and Christin Winter, PEACE Project Manager, took the decision to start following their tracks
Every time possible we got out of the vehicle to put into practice what we had learned the first 2 days. We checked the elephants’ tracks, we learned how to recognize where they were heading and how long ago they had passed through that area. We even learned to determine how big they are! We checked theirdungto learn aboutwhat they had been eating and to see if they were far or not. It was very interesting information all along.
Even though we were tracking the elephants, we came up with some other tracks such as kudus, hyenas, jackals, rhinos and a fresh kill of a lion. Indeed we had a very exciting day.
About 4pm and around 100 km later, we found the first elephant of the day.
The herd wasn’t that far. And we were right! After 5 more minutes driving we caught the herd of 17 elephants.
After the beautiful day we had, we needed to find a place to camp. We drove for about 20 more minutes and we found a good place. The night was cool. We needed to make teams to keep the fire going all night long. It’s amazing to see how the bush starts waking up around 4am… everything starts moving again.
The second day was more about observation, how they behave and interact with each other and with their environment. Sometimes we couldn’t even see them but we could hear them.
We learned about the area where they live, the common and scientific names of the plants they eat. We learned the best way to approach an elephant; we learned how a safari car needs to be parked in order to not disturb them. We learned that our actions and the actions of our clients could resultin long-term effects on their conservation.
This field workshop would not have taken place without the support of our member ASCOR Rental Car. Thank you for your Support! Geoffrey, Chantal, Marco and all the team.
Tourism Supporting Conservation (TOSCO Trust) would like to invite you to join us for the Namibia Tourism Expo 2019 at the WINDHOEK SHOWGROUNDS – MOPANE HALL from Wednesday 5th to the 8th of June. This year the theme is Recycling, Think Sustainability. For more information click here
There will be some interesting activities taking place, such as the launch of the “Conservancy Tourism” website from NACSO together with MET. Conservancy Representatives from Kunene region will be sharing their history and craft work with the visitors and marketing their lodges at their conservancies. The “Spin the wheel” game, where people can share their story about Responsible travel in Namibia with us and stand a chance to win beautiful gifts such as; recycle water bottles, buffs, free National park visit day, SunCycle town rides, Namibian natural oils and many more.
People can also pre-share their story on social media via #mystory and #myresponsibletravel. Each person that shares a story does not only stand a chance to spin the wheel but will partake in the grand draw price where all participants name will be placed in a box and the lucky winner will get a ticket to a lodge Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) for 2 people sponsored by MET valid until end of December. The draw will take place on the 8thof June.
Come and let’s share ideas on how can the tourism industry become more responsible toward Namibian natural resources. Besides, the Namibia Tourism Expo has earned a superb reputation for offering the only centralized marketing platform for Namibia’s Tourism Industry.
The course to be hosted by TOSCO Trust will deal with key identification characteristics, biology, myths and first aid of Namibia’s most common snakes.
The workshop is an opportunity for the general public to learn more about these fascinating reptiles that often come into conflict with humans.
At TOSCO Trust, we believe that only knowledge can transform fear into understanding and respect. With this type of workshop, we aim to create awareness among the public and at sharing information and experiences in order to reduce the human/snakes conflicts.
Stéphane LAGNEAU; SCAN member and freelance tour guide in Namibia.
Félix VALLAT; TOSCO Trust chairman and SCAN member
When & Where?
Thursday 20thof June 2019
Time: 09h-16h00 (lunch break from 12h00 to 13h30)
19 Lossen St. Conservancy building – Windhoek Namibia. TOSCO Trust office.
Who can attend?
Anybody over the age of 18 who has a keen interest in learning more about snakes in Namibia.
Terms and conditions of the Namibian Snakes Workshop
A minimum of 8 participants is necessary for the course to run.
Environmental and animal education connects us
to the world around us, teaching us about both nature and environment. Environmental
and animal education raises awareness of issues impacting the environment upon
which we all depend, as well as actions we can take to improve and sustain it.
Whether we bring nature into the classroom, take students outside to learn, or find impromptu teachable moments on a nature walk with our families, environmental and animal education has many benefits for youth, educators, schools, and communities. As part of TOSCO Trust Awareness program, we had partnership with PAKO Kids Magazine to help create awareness through the writing of environmental education articles that will be shared around all of Namibia. At the same time we made a call for contribution between our partners and members.
Meet Petra Scheuermann,
A Namibian citizen, that was so passionate about changing the world for animals and nature that she created a magazine for Kids. Mother of 2 daughters, one of 10 and another one 12 years old. “My green peace kids” that’s what she calls them.
Eight years ago, she had an idea to develop a learning tool for kids teaching them about animals and nature. That’s how PAKO Kids Magazine came to life. Since then, her 2 daughters are living the whole experience with PAKO Magazine.
What is PAKO Magazine for Kids?
PAKO Kids Magazine is a Namibian Magazine that
combines information, games, poster, experiments etc. – to teach children about
animals and nature while having fun.
On October 2011, I started the PAKO Kids Magazine where I try to educate kids about pets handling and to wake their interest for animals and nature/environment.
PAKO Kids Magazine offers parents and teachers an easy way to extend their child’s learning and activity opportunities beyond the classroom.
How PAKO Kids Magazine starts?
The whole idea to create a Magazine for kids started 8 years ago. We realized how many things could be avoided if people know better. At first I was involved with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) putting some flyers together to inform people in general. It’s painful to see what people do to animals because of their lack of knowledge.
There were so many things to talk about, that I thought it would be a great idea to create a magazine for kids. And 8 years later, here am I, teaching kids about animals and nature.
What do you want to achieve with this magazine?
There are some many kids in Namibia that didn’t
grow up with animals, they don’t have pets (dogs or cats etc.), and so they
don’t know how to behave around these animals. For some of them, pets are just some objects.
So, I want to teach them how to take care of
animals and nature, I want to tell them, that animals have feeling and we can
live all together.
Our mission is simple – help children learn
about animals and nature and develop caring and understanding relationships.
Protection through education is our motto.
How many people are involved in this project and where did the idea to write down the articles come from?
Regarding where the ideas are coming from to
develop the articles, I gather some info from the web to develop the articles,
or many of times when I’m visiting the schools the kids have questions and from
that I get ideas on what articles to develop next.
Sometimes parents are asking me about where to
take a sick or injured bird, dog therapy, horse therapy and much more, so that
give me more ideas.
How many magazines per edition have you printed out? And which schools are currently beneficiating with PAKO Kids Magazine?
We have 6 editions per year and we print out
around 4000 / 5000 magazines per edition.
We have around 17 schools that are beneficiaries from our Magazine;
Grootfontein: Wilhelm Nortier Primary School / Tel: 067 – 243 035
Kamanjab: Grootberg Primary School / Tel: 067 – 330 001
Okahandja: J.G. van der Wath Secondary School / Tel: 062 – 501 491
Otjiwarongo:Privatschule Otjiwarongo, Perivoli Okonjima Country School
Swakopmund: Mondesa Youth Opportunity
Windhoek: DHPS, Dagbreek School, Delta School Windhoek (Primary), Holy Cross Convent School, Emma Hoogenhout Primary School, Dagbreek School, Mammadu, St. George‘s Diocesan School, St. Paul‘s College, Waldorf School Windhoek, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool, Windhoek Gymnasium
We do however have a quite long list asking for magazine but currently we don’t have funds to provide them with magazines. That’s why we are trying to get more sponsors so we could deliver magazine to these schools.
Could you please tell us a little be more about “Sponsor a School” ?
Yes, of course. This is a program where anybody can participate on. If people want to support us, they can give 100NAD per year to sponsor underprivileged children. For only N$ 100.00 a year, one more child will get all 6 issues of one year for free
For sponsorships of N$ 1000.00 per issue – the logo of the company or name of the person that support PAKO will be printed on the backside of the magazine.
How can people participate to this project?
First at all we are looking for more sponsors;
companies, individuals, anybody that want to support our mission: help children
learn about animals and nature and develop caring and understanding
The other way someone can be involved with PAKO
is to go out to the schools and to talk to them about what we do, about SPCA
It doesn’t help if I’m just doing the magazine
and just sending out; we need to approach more to the kids.
If someone wants to
participate they can contact me thought: firstname.lastname@example.org
When did you first fall in love with animals? And could you please give some advice to readers regarding their animals
I fall in love with animals since I was born. As
long I can remember I love them. I grow up with animals, so I learned from the
very beginning to love and respect them.
My advice for the readers is; make sure your
animals have food, some water, some shade during summer, and a warm place in
winter and medical care if needed. Sometimes, people don’t realize that animals
are also getting hot in summer and they are frizzing on winter – so, please
just take care of your animals; they can teach you and your kids so many
If you have to describe your experience with PAKO Kids Magazine in just one phrase, what would you say?
The best phrase that I heard from a kid was; “My heart just turn around when I start reading PAKO” – for me that was amazing.
Could you please describe in just one word the feeling of this project?
Exciting – When I’m at the old age home, I will know that I tried to change something, some small thing in this society for animals and nature.
“Cacti are succulent perennial plants native to the Americas. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world, according to Oxford University Press. “Namibia is home to 23 invasive cactus species, which holds a threat to our environment and animals” according to Luise HOFFMANNin her article “Some of the most invasive cactus species in Namibia” published in The Namibian News – Environment | 2015-10-29
Meet Gunhild Voigts
Born in Mariental she is a German speaking Namibian. Growing up on a farm she knows what drought is but on the other hand what a paradise Namibia can be after some rain. The mother of two does not want to leave the threatening breakdown of Namibian vegetation to her children and therefore decided to take up the fight against those invasive cacti in the city of Windhoek. Gunhild and her husband are members of the Botanical Society. They repeatedly attended to the society´s appeal to clear the Botanic gardens from invasive alien species. This is when she realized that these efforts could not be sustainable at all while there is full coverage all around in the city.
When and how Cactus Clean-Up started?
During our interview with Gunhild we asked her, when she first decided to take action. This was her answer: “Actually it was in November 2015 when the Mayor of Windhoek Muesee Kazapua was running for re-election.. I met him in his office and told him I want him to be recognized as the best Mayor Windhoek ever had by getting Windhoek clear of waste and invasive alien species. And still I think we are the best supporters he has in town.” So far the only action of City of Windhoek had been to use chemicals to kill the opuntias at Aloe Trail. With the worry that chemicals will later find their way into the Windhoek aquifer she choose another course of action and called up for volunteers to help clear cacti by hand.
A serious threat
Mrs.Voigts observed that this cactus invasion is a serious threat to all of us alike: farmers, residents, tourists, wildlife and pets: a bird was unable to struggle free after it tried to roost on an Opuntia rosea cactus at the Avis dam, an Oryx was unable to feed because it`s mouth was full of cactus spines, a dog was encrusted by cactus prickles to such an extent that it could not be saved by the vet, cattle are dying a prolonged and painful death on account of their stomachs becoming perforated and septic as a result of having eaten cacti during the drought, or pedestrians have to walk on the tarmac instead of the sidewalk encroached by cacti.
When there are donations Cactus Clean -Up tries to clear the surrounding of the donor`s home in the first place. For the tourism industry several viewpoints were cleared where the collision of Kalahari and Congo Craton with Middle ocean volcanic gap from pre Gondwana times can be observed: Aloe Trail, Uhland Heights viewpoint, Werth Single, Georges Street and Machless Belt viewpoint (entrance gravel road from the fire brigade side.)
As far as there is transport available, Citi of Windoek supports with skips. If there is no transport available Opuntias are piled up to convert to compost and the rest has to be transported privately to the Eros landfill site.
Why it is important?
Windhoek from alien invasive plants, there is another side of the medal:
unemployed workers from the street side get work, some food and N$
140,-remuneration for one day of work.
Gunhild Voigts took up the challenge because she believes we should oppose the breakdown of our vegetation before it might be irrevocably too late. Windhoek should not be the starting point for invasive alien plants to spread over the rest of Namibia and pose a threat to Namibian farming and tourism.
How people can participate?
people to take action them self: “take out your rake and uproot the
cacti where ever you find them. Discard them at Eros landfill site where
they are covered with several meters of building rubble to prevent regrowth.
Always use tools with long handles and never touch cacti with your hands, as
they hurt badly.”
Or you could
participate with payment of workers by donating into the account:
Cactus Clean-up , Bank Windhoek, Kudu Branch 482172, Account 8005224758 Please email name and proof of payment to Hille Schwarting.
You could join cactus workers in the field every day when there are donations available for payment.
To have more information about this campaign, please click here
After meeting with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and Dr. Philip Stander from Desert Lion Conservation in August 2018, TOSCO understood the need of organizing informative signboards in the Skeleton Coast Park, in partnership with (MET). A TOSCO team (Charlotte Hiernard, Anna Carizzoni, Ophélie Pratx and Dorian Jornet) travelled from Windhoek to Mowe Bay between the 02nd and the 04th of March 2019 to install an informative welcome board at the Skeleton Coast Park (Park rules and general information – 1200mm * 800mm). The 9 remaining boards were delivered to the person in charge on site from MET and Dr. Philip Stander. Together they will install them at key locations.
The rest will be erected at:
Torra Bay at reception/petrol station – 1000mm * 450mm
We thank everyone involved in this project as it was a success.
Charlotte Hiernard – Awareness Coordinator +264 81 0320 280, www.tosco.org
Lise Hanssen1, Matiti Hans Fwelimbi1, Balyerwa, Dzoti, Kabulabula, Kasika, Lusese, Mashi, Nakabolelwa, Sangwali, Sobbe and Wuparo Conservancies
The Mudumu Complexes in the Zambezi Region are made up of protected areas, conservancies and community forests and lie adjacent to the Kwando River in the eastern part of the region. This area lies at the heart of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), within the Kwando Wildlife Dispersal Area (WDA), and is one of six WDAsidentified as imperative for wildlife connectivity within KAZA. The Kwando WDA is an important area for transboundary movement of many wildlife species including all of the larger carnivores, and is pivotal to the success of KAZA as a wildlife landscape, and an especially important area of connectivity of lions between Angola, Botswana and Zambia.
During 2012 and 2013, predation on cattle by lions in the conservancies of the Mudumu South Complex increased dramatically, seemingly in response to lion populations in Nkasa Rupara and Mudumu national parks reaching their ecological thresholds. In 2012/13 a total of 135 cattle were reported killed by lions, followed by 61 in 2014. In response 17 lions were killed in retaliation in late 2012/2013. One pride was particularly heavily culled, the Lupala Pride, which was 15 individuals strong in early 2012, and by the end of 2013 had been reduced to 3 individuals. By the end of 2014, only a single adult female remained of this pride leaving a vacant territory, severely impacting tourism activities in the area and causing friction between stakeholders.
Tourism Supporting Conservation TOSCO Trust’ financial year has come to an end in February 2019. We are very excited to share our 2018 Activity Report with all of you. We are proud at all the projects TOSCO Trust has been supporting and for all the accomplishments made the past year. Thank you again to all the strategic partners, members and volunteers.
In 2018, TOSCO Trust increased its incomes by 32% in relation with the previous year. That means we fundraised 959.869,77 NAD with 45 members. That allowed us to support different programs all around Namibia; in terms of;
We sponsor recognized scientists who preserve species and give conservation recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET);
• Living with Wildlife;
We support people living with wildlife outside of National Parks in order to turn this threat into an opportunity for them;
• Public Awareness;
We raise public awareness about conservation matters in order to promote responsible travel in Namibia;
• Clean Travel;
We clean visible and invisible pollution during and after our safaris, from the ground to the air.