Wildlife and Game Namibia is one of the best game countries in Africa. The country is home to more than 300 mammal species, more than 500 bird and more than 100 reptile species as well as for innumerable insect species.
Early in the 1900s, people started to take the protection of wildlife seriously and game reserves, like the Etosha National Park, 20.000 square kilometres in size, were established. Today a total of about 120.000 sqkm, some 15% of the entire country, fall under nature conservation, not to mention the many private nature and game reserves.
Due to the growing numbers of visitors, many farmers have abandoned cattle farming and have turned their expansive farms into private game reserves. "Farming tourists instead of farming cattle" is the slogan.
The biggest obstacle in Namibia for the conversion of a cattle farm into a game farm is the immense encroachment of thornbush as a consequence of poor rural farming methods and overgrazing by cattle, sheep and goats. While the thornbush thrives and forms impenetrable thickets, the fine yellowish shimmering grasses vanish - and they are the main food source for game. The control and removal of thornbush encroachments and the rehabilitation of the original veld takes a long time and it often exceeds the financial means of the farmers.