La Paloma







Here Is What You Can See:

Dry paradise ...
Hard, gnarled Camel thorn trees - real photo models! And only a few hundred meters away, the most beautiful shady
"appelblaar". Dense, thorny Acacia melifera (Blackthorn), impenetrable for most animals - and a bit later a thicket of silver cluster leaf: seasonally changing colours from light green to red and yellow, soothing to the eye... The real Sandveld

By vegetation Namibia can be divided into three zones: Dry woodlands, savannas and deserts. The Sandveld lies in the Camel thorn Savanna of the central Kalahari. Grasses and woody species compete for the common habitat. The danger of bush thickening escalates where the perennial grasses are destroyed. To farm in this area requires knowledge and consideration of many different aspects.

Because of its diverse flora, the Sandveld has a high potential, much of it is still unknown. Indigenous tribes knew of the medicinal and food values of many plant species. Luckily it was professionally recorded.

The utilization of the internationally known Devil’s Claw out of this area is just one example... How many more can originate from our Sandveld?

Birdlife ...
Anyone interested in ornithology or just observing birdlife will get his or her money’s worth in the Sandveld. Many huntable and protected species occur in the area.

On the road you’ll be welcomed by flocks of guinea fowl and francolin crossing to and from. Take care: numerous windscreens have been damaged by their unpredictable behaviour. Thus, drive carefully!
A multitude of birds bustle about the homesteads and waterholes, especially during the cooler months of the year. Conspicuous are hornbills, fork-tailed Drongo, pied babbler as well as several starling species. At waterholes a multitude of finches, doves and partridges can be observed drinking. The great Cori bustard loves nesting and strolling around in the open savanna. Buffalo weavers prefer wind pump towers for thorny nests and grey Loeries keep a watchful eye from adjacent trees.
At game drives through pastel coloured nature some gaily coloured bird will catch one’s eye like lilac breasted rollers and crimson breasted shrikes. How generous nature can deal out colours, you might wonder... Of course, eagles, falcons, goshawks, owls and obviously vultures are part of the bird palette. Nature cares, where man has not too much interfered, for the perfect balance.

Sandveld Fauna...
The Sandveld offers an ideal background for a huge variety of wildlife, let it be birds, insects, antelopes, reptiles or predators.
Not so long ago our area was inhabited by the bushmen. They only took out of the ecosystem what they really needed, and therefore lived in harmony with all the species occurring here. Only in recent times when farms started to develop, species moved away from the Sandveld or even became extinct.
The Sandveld Conservancy is a haven for antelopes such as the kudu, the Oryx antelope, red hartebeest and the largest antelope of all, the eland. There are smaller species like common duiker and Steen buck. All these animals live and roam freely across our conservancy.
It is one of our foremost aims and striving to again introduce species like the springbuck, the impala or the giraffe, that occurred here in former times. Other animals like elephants, rhinos, lions, hyenas or African wild dog until now proof to be too difficult to be reintroduced and to live in harmony with our farming practices.
Warthogs, ant bears, porcupines, pangolins, bat eared foxes, aardwolves, and different mongooses find ideal living conditions in this area. The soft sand, the many different plant species and insects guarantee abundance of food and therefore a good chance for survival. With a little bit of patience and some time to spend in the veld, most of these animals can be experienced in the wildlife.
Predators occur frequently and have their place in our healthy environment. The cheetah, the jackal, the caracal, two different genets, African wild cat, brown hyena and sometimes even a Serval - all find enough wildlife to hunt, and can be observed at night. Occasionally a leopard or even a lion is reported to move through the conservancy. Reptiles occurring in the area are the "Waran", different kinds of snakes (black mamba, puff adder, horn viper, just to name a few.) Even the miniature Python as well as the Great Python are frequently found in the conservancy.

The survival of all these species can only be guaranteed by a sound and communal management plan to ensure maximum diversity of wildlife and by living in harmony with the ecosystem.

That is why we in the Sandveld Conservancy say:
Together we conserve more!




Livestock farming ...
Farming in the conservancy is generally cattle raising by utilizing the natural grasses, bushes and trees. Livestock is changed from camp to camp (more or less 200 ha fenced-off land) to enable re-growth after the grazing period or prevent destruction in times of drought.
Game is little hindered by the fences, kudu and eland easily jump over while other species crawl underneath.

Geography & Weather
The Sandveld conservancy lies at the south-eastern rim of the Omuramba Omatako river basin in the north-eastern Okahandja - and south-eastern Otjiwarongo-district at an altitude of roundabout 1400 meters above sea-level. Even the hard sporadic thunder showers result in little flow-off because of the low gradient and the mostly yellow and red quartz-sands of the northern Kalahari.

At the southern border of the conservancy the only significant topographic feature is the Otjosondu-mountain which rises some 100 meter above the plain, used by the German Schutztruppe for communication by means of a heliograph to the Waterberg and nowadays a radio- repeater for the surrounding farmers. At its foot and further eastwards mining of manganese took place previously while 20 km to the west chalcedony, a semi- precious stone, is still mined today.
Only the northern border is physically demarcated by a game-proof 2,2-metre-high veterinary fence bordering Hereroland –West, communally farmed state land. In the west and south we find the Waterberg- and Hochfeld- conservancies respectively.

The former mine-village Otjosondu (presently used as primary school with 600 children boarding and 15 km to the west at Imkerhof) and a missionary college and orphanage are the only settlements except for the farm homesteads in the area.

In spite of the relatively high summer rainfall of 420 mm average annually, the warm to hot summers and mild winters, no crops are planted, because of the poor sandy soil, variable inner- seasonal and inter-seasonal rainfall and the high evaporation (3.6 meter annually).

The sparse human population, estimated at one person / 2 square-kilometers, and high dependency on nature and climate are the major attraction and challenge of the Sandveld Conservancy.

Nature as an artist...
The sunsets in this area are a breathtaking, ever changing attraction. View this gallery of sunsets, photographed by a guest who travelled through the Conservancy on horseback.

(Download this page as a pdf file.)