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20 Travel Namibia Moro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture DID YOU KNOW: The collective noun for a group of rhinoceros is a ' crash' " EXHAUSTED, FATIGUED, battered, bruised, and beat," was how the team described themselves at the end of their challenge. Little wonder, given that the seventeen amateur cyclists had just ridden 330km through the sand, dust, and blistering heat of Namibia's Damaraland desert. The team from tour operator Rhino Africa Safaris were raising money for the Save the Rhino Trust. On this trip they clocked up R350,000, enough to sponsor a Namibian anti- poaching unit for a year. David Ryan, of Rhino Africa Safaris, said: " Words cannot really do justice to our experience. It was seven days of sheer physical pain, riding over rocks, slithering through sand, and marvelling at the vast open landscapes and desolate desert of Damaraland. Each day was a mammoth challenge, but we gritted our teeth and kept on going. Camping under the stars each night was a treat, and the privilege of seeing desert- adapted wildlife in such a remote part of our planet was simply mind- blowing." Save the Rhino Trust was founded in 1982 in response to the widespread poaching of the desert rhino population in the Kunene Region in the northwest of Namibia. Since the advent of the trust, poaching has drastically declined and the rhino population has more than tripled. However, there is much work still to be done, and the trust is often short of money to fund its vital anti- poaching units The team are getting back on their bikes in Damaraland in July 2010. And they are looking for twenty members of the public to join them in raising money for The Save the Rhino Trust. Desert biking A team from Rhino Africa Safaris biked through Namibia's desert to raise money for the animal their company is named after. PUPILS AT A DAMARALAND school have been given new tables and chairs as part of an ongoing investment in the community by the owners of Damaraland Camp. Jacob Basson Combined School was designed to accommodate 150 pupils. Today 400 attend classes, often struggling with broken furniture. Penelope Roman, the school's principal, said: " This donation is one of the best things that has ever happened to our school and we are very grateful. It has boosted the self- esteem of our learners and the school's image." Torra Conservancy and Wilderness Safaris Namibia, joint partners in Damaraland Camp, have agreed to invest in the local community and its education. Aquiring the new chairs is one of a number of separate projects which it is hoped will improve the quality of life for people living in the Torra Conservancy. Other projects include establishing a kindergarten for local children, renovating and reopening a dam to try to alleviate human- wildlife confl ict, and developing a garden that provides fresh produce for Torra Conservancy members. In time, it is hoped that surplus produce from this garden will be sold to Damaraland Camp, thus providing an additional source of income for the community. Classroom assistance For more information on the project go to www. rhinoafrica. com/ challenge4acause For more information on Save the Rhino Trust visit www. savetherhino. org ABOVE: Pupils struggle on broken furniture RIGHT: After the new furniture has been delivered

A Moving experience in Damaraland On 31 July 2009 Doro Nawas experienced a mild earthquake that measured 5.1 on the Richter scale. It sounded like an aircraft fl ying very low, and the whole building shook. I was out with six guests on an elephant drive and had been watching the herd for about thirty minutes when suddenly the earth moved underneath their feet. The elephants reacted immediately, raising their heads and tails and trumpeting. No one was sure what was happening, but seeing the elephants' reaction, I decided to leave the sighting, and give the elephants some space. Looking back in the mirror, I saw fi fteen members of Rosy's herd were following. It seemed they didn't want to be left out there on their own! As earthquakes do not occur often in this area, it was an unusual experience for us all. IGNATIUS KHAMUSEB, DORO NAWAS CAMP Travel Namibia 21 MEET THE GUIDE SWAKOPMUND HOW MUCH TIME HAVE YOU GOT? ? One day? In the morning take a ' Living Desert Tour' through the dunes outside town to spot the ' Little Five' - fi ve fascinating desert creatures. Lunch at the Lighthouse or the Tug which have awesome sea views and seafood dishes. Afternoon thrills for adrenalin junkies include quad biking, sand boarding, skydiving and low- level microlight fl ight. For something more sedate, take a trip to the Cape fur seal colony at Cape Cross. ? One hour? Stroll through town, past the Bavarian- style buildings, and barter for traditional crafts at the market opposite the old prison. Alternatively visit the largest displayed crystal cluster in the world at Kristall Galerie. ? Ten minutes? Take a stroll and take in the views along Swakop's famous iron jetty. MARTIN BENADIE STEPHANUS " STRETCH" COMBRINCK ? Lodge: Kempinski Mokuti. ? Speciality: Snakes. Stretch manages the lodge's Ontouka reptile park and the conservation department. ? Best known for: Trying ( and failing) to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest period of time spent in a cage with deadly snakes. There were 41 poisonous snakes in the 40 metre square cage. Stretch left after 121 days. ? Join him: Feeding the snakes at Ontouka park every Saturday. GUIDE POST KEMPINSKI COURTNEY JOHNSON Rosy's herd were unsettled by the earthquake Stretch with one of his snakes