The ideal supporter of the new Erongo Verzeichnis is the “Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust of Namibia”. 14 years ago, a group of hunters and landowners met to establish a private nature reserve spanning across the Erongo Mountains - a hopeful idea, but a hard piece of work, that especially requires perseverance.
Mountainscape of the Erongo
In the north-west of Namibia the Erongo Mountains can be found in a gap in the escarpment, rising up to a height of 2319 metres above sea level.
The Erongo is an Inselbergcomlex and appears as a volcanic ruin which has been bared by erosion, rising as a colossal block from the scanty landscape of the Namib forelands. The Erongo is the biggest of about 20 volcanic ring complexes in north-western Namibia with a diameter of approximately 40 kilometres. Due to erosion the volcanic structure was cut out of its surroundings, sometimes right down to the foundations. Therefore it is possible today to look into the individual levels of the volcanic ruin and study the construction plan in detail - for the geologically interested an especially intriguing endeavour.
For the geological amateur however, the Erongo Mountains moreover host a spectacular biosphere of rare and endemic game species of the arid zone of southwestern Africa.
Nowadays the one-time volcano displays itself as a high mountain range, with eleven different craters and numerous large (longitudinal) valleys in its inside. It is an at times rugged landscape, which is drained by relatively big seasonal rivers. In the northern foothills the rivers of the Erongo merge with the big Omaruru River and in the South with the Khan River. This system - the mountains with savannah foreland, through which seasonal rivers — framed by a complex riparian forest — cut, constitutes a biosphere rich in animal life.
Up to the year 1974, black rhinoceros occurred in the Erongo Mountains; the last rhinos were relocated into the Etosha National Park by Nature Conservation authorities.
The idea of this project was to create a nature reserve from these unique surroundings for indigenous endangered and rare animal species, and to reintroduce the Black Rhinoceros and other historically indigenous species. Today, Black Rhinoceros roam the Erongo again; the endangered Black-faced Impala has been reintroduced and even build up a large population, and Leopard and Brown Hyena are regularly seen. Other animals in the Erongo Mountains include Kudu, Gemsbok, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, Springbuck, Klipspringer, Damara Dik-Dik, Grey Duiker, Steenbok, Warthog, Aardwolf, Bat-eared Fox, Cheetah, Ostrich and in some areas Eland, Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest and Giraffes. Elephants are frequently visiting the Erongo Mountain Area as well.
The idea of the nature conservation project was initiated largely by hunters. These landowners know of the importance to practice and present hunting as applied conservation. Hunting is an ancient activity of mankind, and it always contributes to the preservation of pristine wilderness areas — this is the ultimate goal of the initiative “Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust”.
Find out more about the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust here: www.erongomountains.org.
The grey ghost of the mountain - Conservation through hunting in the EMRST (Video - German)
In the year 2016 Henrik Lott hunted the Greater Kudu in the Erongo Mountains and had the hunt filmed by Sebastian Steinbrink-Minami. Henrik idea was to support the works of the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary and the Erongo Verzeichnis in conservation through hunting with this video; as well as bring these project closer to the viewer.
Leopard on the granite fields of the Erongo
The establishment of a ‘Verzeichnis for game animals’, which strengthens trophy hunting in its aspiration as a responsible utilisation of natural resources and furthermore promoting the preservation of pristine, unadulterated wilderness areas - wherever possible on the african continent - is another step in the right direction.
The “Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust” represents the endeavours of many hunters to pursue active nature conservation through hunting. This project by far exceeds the capacities of a small group of idealists. The “Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust” has created categories for supporting members to accumulate funds and raise awareness.
These categories are linked to animal species occurring in the Erongo Mountains. Like for example the Black Rhinoceros (highest category) or the Black Mongoose (minimum sponsorship category).
There is also a supportive association (in Germany), established in 2013. The website can be found here: www.erongo.emrst.com. Interested hunters and nature lovers can find information here and support the EMRST with donations.
Hartlaub Spur-fowl - endemic bird species in the Erongo