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The main stakeholders of Conservancy Safaris are the Himba and Herero semi-nomadic pastoralists who live in the Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatas, Okonjombe and Marienfluss conservancies. From our conservancy hosts through to our administrative staff, we believe in the vision of making your footprint count.

Our team is highly experienced and includes local conservancy guides, who will provide a fascinating insight into life out there. Between us we will ensure that your experience is awesome in this place of wild beauty and breathtaking contrasts. 

Community liaison and senior guide, Russell Vinjevold, - your interface with community and environment.

Russell firmly believes that a visit to Namibia is incomplete if the north-west has not been included. He is committed to sharing his expert knowledge and passion for the Kunene Region, its people and wildlife.

He spent 14 years in the formal conservation sector in Namibia, stationed in the Namib Desert and Etosha National Park. He has done research on wild dog and lions with Dr Philip Stander in Etosha.

For the last 14 years he has worked in the tourism sector, in South Africa and Namibia.  He spent several years operating in the Kruger National Park and was one of the few non-Park’s Board staff qualified to and granted permission to conduct walking trails in the Kruger National Park.


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Sonia Hambo

Born and raised in Kunene, Sonia has seven years’ experience with the community-based conservation pioneering NGO, IRDNC as a field, catering and communications officer

Performing miracles on coals and look after your culinary wellbeing with her mouth watering bush cuisine, she doubles as a translator as well as ensuring every guest's comfort on safari.

Speaks the local languages

Boas Hambo

Boas Hambo grew up in Kaokoland and Damaraland and knows these areas like the back of his hand.  Boas worked as a natural resource management field officer for IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) before joining Conservancy Safaris.  

Boas not only guides, he also doubles as a translator and facilitator on CS safaris and plays a big role during interaction with the local communities

Boas Hambo
Working in collaboration with KCS and available to lead or join a KCS tour by special arrangement are a number of specialists in their fields. These include:
Garth Owen-Smith – whose ARID EDEN safaris are specially featured in 2012 following the publication of his book, And Arid Eden, (Jonathon Ball) which is a personal conservation history covering 40 years in the Kaokoveld, NW Namibia. Garth also co-leads the Conservation and Culture specialized tour with his partner, Dr Margaret Jacobsohn. Garth is an internationally known Namibian conservationist and pioneer of community-based natural resource management in the region. He is internationally recognized as a founder of community-based natural resource management in southern Africa and he and Margaret Jacobsohn have won some of the world’s top conservation awards for their work in Namibia’s two most remote corners – the NW Kunene Region and Caprivi in the north-east. Garth started working in arid Kunene in the 1960s – even though he trained as a forester – and has dedicated his life to implementing community-based solutions to conservation in Africa. He is well known and respected by communities in Kunene Region and knows the region like the back of his hand. See this interview with G. Owen-Smith on the WWF channel:
Dr Margaret Jacobsohn, Namibian anthropologist and community-conservation pioneer. She moved to Namibia in the mid 1980s to do anthropological and archaeological research in the north-west. She never left, and founded the NGO, IRDNC with Garth Owen-Smith in 1989 just before Namibia’s independence. She spent five years living with a number of Himba and Herero lineages in the north-west in the 80s and early 90s and is regarded as family by some of the older people there. She obtained her PhD from Cape Town University. She is a published author and has written numerous articles and texts on the Himba and on community-based natural resource management.
Dr Flip Stander, one of the world’s leading experts in lion behaviour.  He obtained his PhD at Cambridge University.  His work has taken him from Etosha National Park, Bushmanland in eastern Namibia to the arid Kunene Region. He has been studying and working with predators for some 25 years and has dedicated the last decade to the conservation of the desert lion.  Join him and his Desert Lion Conservation Project on our specialized Desert Lion Safaris.
Steve Braine – undoubtedly one of the top birding specialists and all round naturalists in Namibia.  He comes from a very strong conservation background and is also well-known in entomological circles, in fact there are four butterflies named after him. Steve has also been involved in tourism and with his wife Louise developed and managed Hobatere Lodge for some 20 years.

Drs. Laura M. Brown and Rob Roy Ramey have been studying desert-dwelling elephants of the western Kunene of Namibia since 2005. They chose this highly unique elephant population for study because of its behavioral adaptations to life in the extremely arid environment of the northern Namib Desert.
A keen animal behaviorist and conservation biologist, Laura has studied social structure and infrasonic communication in elephants in Zimbabwe with Katherine Payne, and tropical ecology and rainforest birds in Costa Rica. She is currently a writer, editor, and consultant on endangered species with Wildlife Science International, Inc. and a researcher with the Namibian Elephant and Giraffe Trust.

As an evolutionary biologist and conservationist, Rob has 30 years of field research on the conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife in North America, Africa (Zimbabwe and Namibia), and Asia. Rob has an active research program, typically spends several months in the field each year, and regularly publishes the results of research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is a researcher with the Namibian Elephant and Giraffe Trust.