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Travel Namibia 47 " I will remember the games and the friends that I met and the wild animals and the food and dancing and the dramas. I was very happy and I was not feeling alone". Richard, 15 from Windhoek This was our first time to visit such a place and now we know the importance to save the animals. Franco is the best. Thank you for the smooth and comfortable journey in those luxury cars. I learned and saw so many things I did not know. We look so beautiful in our colourful t- shirt. I wish to buy my car also, I will study hard". Rosalia and Silas from Oshakati " I learned how the tok tokkie drinks water. I also learned where the name Namibia comes from. Now I have knowledge about my environment. Thank you Wilderness for giving me this time. Thank you for the chef". A loysius My favourite activity was the game drives and walks because I learned so much. I am going to go home and teach all my friends about what I learned, especially about HIV". Teapot, 12, from Warmquelle " If I had known I was coming to camp I would have brought all my belongings with me and then I could have stayed forever" S amanii, 10, from Warmquelle all pics both pages: Wilderness Safaris " In the year 2002, when Wilderness Safaris launched the Children in the Wilderness programme in Namibia for the first time, they came to the SOSSOSSOS Children Village Association, a privately- owned children's orphanage situated in Windhoek. I was one of the older youths who were selected as counsellors/ chaperones to stay with a group of kids inside one of the tents – like replacement parents. For me to have started with CITCITCITW was the most fortunate opportunity ever. T he camp was at Kulala Wilderness Camp, one of Wilderness Safaris' lodges. This overwhelmed me because most of us had never had such an opportunity to learn about the environment by being in the wilderness itself. I was brought up in a very enclosed environment , so the only life I knew was that within the orphanage. When I saw the open spaces I felt like this was where I wanted to be. It felt like I had found a new family where there was sanctuary and where everyone always felt welcome. B eing part of Children in the Wilderness inspired me so much that I wanted to be part of the company Wilderness Safaris. Through my long- term involvement with Children in the Wilderness and my conviction to stay part of it, I got the opportunity to join Wilderness Safaris Namibia as a guide in training. I am now a guide at Wilderness Safaris' Premier Camp- Serra Cafema. I am also now a camp director during the four kids' camps we host every year in Namibia. N amibia has many children like me. Children in the Wilderness can touch a lot of kids and make them feel rich in fortune. What the children will experience during the camps, they will remember. Everyone has dreams". TOP: Franco at the campfire BELOELOW: Jumping for joy - Franco frfr a n co's story M y life changed S ix years ago Franco Morao was in a Namibian orphanage and had barely seen the country he lived in. Now he is one of Wilderness Safaris' most popular guides. This is his story.

Olweendo 48 Travel Namibia concerns There are fascinating community projects across Namibia where you can guarantee that your money is going directly to the people who need it the most. Community Our map shows some of the many ventures that are part of Nacobta - Namibia Community Based Tourism Assistance Trust. The organisation helps poor rural communities that want to generate an income from holiday- makers. Their projects range from making paper out of elephant dung to numerous campsites. And from organising local guides to partnerships with up- market lodges . Many of the projects offer the opportunity to have genuine encounters with members of Namibia's indigenous tribes and the chance to learn about their cultures and traditions first hand. n For more information go to www. nacobta. com. na Aabadi Bush Camp and Safaris Stay on the campsite or in traditional hunts close to Wilhelmstal. Members of the nearby San and Damara communities will take you on guided nature walks or teach you how to track wild animals. Purros Campsite A fabulous place for wildlife photography with regular sightings of desert elephants in the campsite itself. The Hoarusib dry riverbed is also frequently visited by elephants, giraffe, rhino, kudu, zebra and ostrich. A visit to a nearby Ovahimba village can be arranged. Spitzkoppe Restcamp Secluded camping pitches all round this desert mountain give unforgettable views at sunset. You can take guided walks of the many prehistoric art sites or have a ride in a donkey cart. There is also some great rock climbing if you have your own equipment. Aus Information Centre Drop into this information centre and coffee shop for expert advice on where to go in South Namibia. You can also book knowledgeable local guides.