Thursday, 23 April 2015

354 | Support a Rhino Ranger

(An initiative by the BirdsConTour Anti Poaching Crusade project)

In protecting the endangered rhinos, the women and men on the frontlines are perhaps the most important people. These rangers work hard and don't earn that much.
Therefore BirdsConTour collects new and gently used clothing, binoculars and other usable equipment and donates these to Rhino Rangers, these frontline heroes that work hard for frequently little merit.

These informative flyers were generously designed by beeline design, operated by Mrs. Birgit Leicher.

Your donation will help Rangers to stop rhino poaching. By now wildlife crime is the most critical threat to rhinos!
All five remaining rhino species on earth, White -, Black -, Indian -, Javan - and Sumatran rhinoceros, are listed as threatened species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), with three species classified as critically endangered. In 2011 the IUCN declared the Western Black rhino as extinct, the primary cause being poaching.
Figures below show the dramatic escalation of rhino poaching in South Africa over the past few years:
2007 -     13
2008 -     83
2009 -   122
2010 -   333
2011 -   448
2012 -   668
2013 - 1004
2014 - 1215 

This problem is by no means isolated to South Africa but is surging across the entire African continent and is a constant threat to rhinos in Asia. Mainly Vietnam and China are the largest consumers, using the illegal traded rhino horn to treat a wide range of sufferings, from cancer and impotence to hangovers.

The high price for the horn, around $60 000 per kilogram, attracts brutal criminal syndicates and disastrous activities.
If this dramatic escalation in poaching continues at this rate, then rhino deaths overtake births in the next three years, leading to rhinos going extinct in the very near future.

Through supporting rhino rangers, BirdsConTour contributes to rhino conservation.

BirdsConTour would like to thank all supporters worldwide!
Our deepest appreciation goes to:
beeline design, Namibia
Pack Safari, Namibia
Luisa Mentz, Germany
Diane Spatz, Germany
Patrick Wagner, Germany

Please note that this list gets updated regularly!

Friday, 17 April 2015

351 | BirdsConTour helps in keeping Namibia's roads and nature clean


The aim of the BirdsConTour Clean Roads and Nature initiative is to keep the roads and nature travelled clean and to inspire the country's citizens to do the same.

350 | Anti-Poaching Crusade - Fence hiking to save animals


A wire loop attached to a fence at a game path

The endless kilometers of fences in certain countries are already a challenge to patrol by car. Hiking alongside these fences is something completely different. BirdsConTour regularly tackles the challenge of rocky, sandy and stony dirt tracks and scorching temperatures, no matter summer or winter. And this with a mission. These dirt tracks alongside the many kilometers of fences are hiked with one goal in mind: to save these countries' animals. As an initiative of the Anti-Poaching Crusade project from BirdsConTour, a responsible and sustainable tour operator also concentrating on welfare and conservation projects, these fence hikings are used to find and remove wire loops attached to fences by poachers. Another goal is to use the fence hikings to raise an awareness regarding the alarming increase in animal poaching.
Fence hiking across a country's landscape, where animals roam, also comes as a healthy way of exercise, especially while being on tour sitting and driving hours on end.

BirdsConTour observes that a large proportion of poachings occur around fences. Not only are traps and snares set along fence lines but, as recently experienced, poachers are chasing down wildlife against fences. In this case poachers chased a warthog to exhaustion against a fence by vehicle and then the poachers brutally hit it to death with a wooden fence pole. Unfortunately BirdsConTour couldn't step in at time to save the warthog.
BirdsConTour's operation structure is designed to put something back into countries travelled through welfare and conservation projects.
(BirdsConTour reports about its Anti-Poaching Crusade project in article 213)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

352 | Giel Steenkamp receives a BirdsConTour award


Mr. Giel Steenkamp showing a Mesosaurus fossil to guests.

Two perfectly conserved Mesosaurus fossils.

Due to the good protection by Mr. Steenkamp guests can enjoy these beautiful fossil pieces.

Quiver tree talk

Not only is Mr. Steenkamp the oldest living fossil at the Mesosaurus Fossil Park on his farm, as he says himself laughingly, but is he a great music performer, playing the unique 'dolomite rock instrument' for his visitors.
This beautiful statue is set up in Keetmanshoop as a reminder of the importance of the karakul sheep industry for Namibia.

Retired karakul sheep farmer and Mesosaurus Fossil expert, Mr. Giel Steenkamp, in recognition of his long-term service of leading tourists to the Mesosaurus Fossils and in recognition of his long-term efforts to ensure the protection of these fossils, was presented with a one penguin-rated Tourism Support 2015 Award.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

356 | BirdsConTour brochure launch


A brochure was launched to promote BirdsConTour. The three BirdsConTour pillars, welfare, conservation and tourism, are highlighted on the brochure and via the brochure interested people are directed to the BirdsConTour electronic news where the multiple BirdsConTour activities and projects are displayed. On the brochure special emphasize is laid on BirdsConTour's tourism offer because the income created through tours funds the multiple welfare and conservation projects.
The aim of this brochure is to market BirdsConTour as a responsible and sustainable tour operator, focussing on welfare and conservation.
Brochures can be obtained from BirdsConTour,, Cellnr. +264 (0) 81 129 8415 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

349 | Terra Africa Hospitality supports Namibia's Bird of the Year 2015


With the House Sparrow elected as Namibia's Bird of the Year 2015, as an ambassador of ever growing cities, the Birds Conservation & Tourism organization (BirdsConTour) donated a complete wild bird support station with a food starter pack to terra Africa hospitality. 

Together with the manager of the Terra Africa Pebble Stone House in Swakopmund BirdsConTour set it up in their garden. 

The guests of Pebble Stone House can now indulge in wild bird photography and observation in this bird friendly garden.

With this wild bird support station Namibia's bird of the year 2015, the House Sparrow, amongst various other
species, gets supported. As an ambassador of ever growing cities the House Sparrow reminds the citizens to live and build bird friendly in their city environment, avoiding the House Sparrow and other species becoming endangered.

For this support the Pebble Stone House received a BirdsConTour two penguin-rated Conservation & Tourism Support 2015 Award.

348 | A-la-Mer boosts Bird of the Year 2015 project


The A-la-Mer accommodation in Swakopmund supports the BirdsConTour Namibia Birds of the Year 2015 promotion by selling the bird of the year bookmarks at their reception. Oversea guests are familiar with the famous Bird of the Year projects and especially Swiss guests are surprised to find the Swiss bird of the year 2015, the House Sparrow, to also be Namibia's bird of the year 2015.
The front of the bookmark shows all birds that up till now have been chosen as Namibia's birds of the year and the back side explains the lucky draw.

By entering a picture of the House Sparrow to before the 1st of July 2015, a person qualifies for a lucky draw and stands a chance to win the book "Gardening for birds".

347 | J.P. Brand Primary School - school in the desert


BirdsConTour uses tours not only as a tool to promote tourism, but also fosters sustainable welfare and promotes conservation while being on tour.

For the J.P. Brand Primary School's commitment to the community and for welcoming tourists to experience teaching, BirdsConTour rewarded this school with a two penguin-rated Welfare & Tourism Support 2015 Award.

345 | Lack of owl nests


BirdsConTour highlights the need for adequate owl nests country wide. 



During a tour, organized by Chamäleon Reisen and Pack Safari and led by BirdsConTour,  an owl nest, constructed out of a scrap dog hut, was erected on top of a water reservoir tower on Omandumba Guestfarm.

Ground nesting owl burrow out of old fence wire rolls and rocks.

Fish River Canyon

Nearby the worlds second largest canyon, the Fish River Canyon, BirdsConTour constructed a burrow for ground nesting owls, such as the Spotted Eagle-Owl, out of old fence wire rolls and rocks.

It is of utmost importance to attract owls to human settlements in order to keep snake populations at bay (BirdsConTour reports in article 332).

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

353 | My Tour, My Country, My Planet #1


Every tour counts!

Every time BirdsConTour leads a tour, we give something back. 
This time it was the Etosha Tour, a Namibia round trip organized by Chamäleon Reisen and Pack Safari and led by BirdsConTour.

Tour members participated in cleaning the area around a often visited termite mound and the picnic site at the big Fish River bridge (BirdsConTour reports in article 351).

BirdsConTour removes roadkills, no matter how big or small, off the roads in order to support public safety and to prevent deaths of further animals that get attracted to such roadkills (BirdsConTour reports in article 344).

Filling the country wide lack of insufficient owl nesting possibilities, BirdsConTour erected an owl house on the Omandumba Guestfarm yard 
(BirdsConTour reports in article 345).

The Hotel A-la-Mer in Swakopmund supports the BirdsConTour Namibia Bird of the Year 2015 promotion by selling the according bookmarks at their reception (BirdsConTour reports in article 348).

BirdsConTour rewards responsible Atlantic Ocean tourism (BirdsConTour reports in article 346).

An award has been handed over to the J.P. Brand Primary School (BirdsConTour reports in article 347).

Fence hiking saves animals (BirdsConTour reports in article 350). While fence hiking BirdsConTour discovered this wire loop attached to the fence at a game path and removed it. Wire loops are used by poachers to catch animals.

Mesosaurus Fossil expert Mr. Giel Steenkamp was recognized with this award (BirdsConTour reports in article 352).

Unfortunately BirdsConTour stepped in too late in an effort to save this warthog from being killed brutally by poachers (BirdsConTour reports in article 350).
In early 2014 BirdsConTour founded the Anti-Poaching Crusade project (BirdsConTour reports in article 213).

By having supported responsible and sustainable tourism, each participant of this completed Etosha Tour, organized by Chamäleon Reisen and Pack Safari and led by BirdsConTour, received a one penguin-rated Tourism Support 2015 Award from BirdsConTour.