21 Oktober 2019 | Tourism

ISAP - Ranger Training Camp with a difference

Frank Steffen

For Namibians dedicated to the protection of wildlife, the organization ISAP - Intelligence Support Against Poaching - has become a household name. Registered as a company not for gain, ISAP contributes towards combating poaching by creating awareness, utilizing technology in their effort to gather information in support of the Namibian authorities, more specifically the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) and the Protected Resource Division of the Namibian police. It relies on the public and works closely with the commercial and communal farming sectors, while supporting private game reserves and conservancies in their efforts to protect game, which in turn benefits the tourism industry and thus the country at large.

ISAP in its own words wants to “be the driving force of synergies between Namibian organizations involved in any form of conservation and anti-poaching efforts”. It aims at soliciting national and international funding partners as well as capitalizing on various commercial initiatives so as to ensure sustainable funding now and in the future.

In its pursuit of the latter goal, ISAP recently finished constructing its “Ranger Training Camp”. ISAP always wanted the camp to blend in with the environment - and it does! Much care has been taken to establish a site in natural surroundings, where training of volunteers can take place. More importantly ISAP is in the process of establishing a corporate support base, through which it can financially support training courses for communal nature wardens of conservancies, as well as MET-employees and any other interested parties that need assistance in their quest to fight poaching in their areas and thus protect their game.

Esegiel Eiseb, who is the on-site manager of this rustic camp, takes great pride in what has been achieved - he ought to, seeing that he actively took part in building the steel structure, which is neatly built and now nestles in an outcrop, serving as main base. Names of sponsors are proudly displayed over the kitchen area. People are welcomed on its spacious deck and spoilt by a majestic view down into the valley and the close-by water hole, which is frequently visited by game and a local leopard. Here visitors enjoy their first evening meal, while most subsequent activities take place in the Boma, which is closer to the water hole and the ablution blocks, which in turn are centrally placed close to 20 tenting sites overlooking a rivulet. The deck is an ideal site for lectures and meetings.

“This is not a camp for weekend-camping. We insist that our visitors want to learn something when they come here. Birding specialists like Dirk Heinrich come here to teach visitors about the rich bird life of our country, while the snake handler, Francois Thiart, teaches people about snakes and their habits”, says Eiseb, who looks forward to spoiling guests at the training camp. He invites the business community and all other interested institutions or organizations, to come and conduct management meetings or teambuilding exercises on this site, which is powered by a small solar plant.

Find out more about ISAP on their internet site http: //isap.com.na/ or follow their activities on Facebook.

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