Conservation & Community at Sossusvlei
At &Beyond we seek to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched.
At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another.
In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
At &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge invasive vegetation has been removed and recycled into "bushblok" logs for lodge fires.
Assist in the Protection of the Sossusvlei Dune Site
The &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge Green Team regularly helps clear litter in the public areas at the nearby Sossusvlei dune site. Senior &Beyond Sossuslvlei Desert Lodge guides engage with authorities and other operators to encourage appropriate behaviour when viewing sensitive desert wildlife.
Cheetahs Help Clear Encroaching Bush
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has started using ‘bushbloks’ in their lodge fireplaces. The Cheetah Conservation Fund identified a business opportunity by processing encroaching bush (caused by unpredictable droughts and poor livestock farming practices) into compacted logs for fires. These economical bushbloks contain no additives and only release a minimal amount of ash and smoke whilst keeping our guests warm during those chilly desert nights.
Conservation Education for the Children of Namibia
In 2006, &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge started sponsoring children from rural schools all over Namibia to attend a four-day course at NADEET (The Namibia Desert Environmental Education Trust). This wonderful non-profit organisation has a small camp at the southern end of the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
In the fragile desert landscape it is vital to be extra sensitive to the environment in which the lodge is constructed, and to manage all forms of energy and water use. &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has a vigorous recycling programme, with dry waste being transported to Walvis Bay. Strict water conservation is employed at the lodge.
Maltahohe Children Feeding Project
The Maltahohe Children Feeding Project was started by &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in response to the desperate need for basic nutrition in the poverty stricken children of the nearby Maltahohe community. Due to high unemployment and poor rains in the area these children had been denied the basic right to food.
Monitoring of Desert Wildlife
Resident naturalists and &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge guides observe and document all interesting wildlife sightings in the NamibRand Nature Reserve and at the Sossusvlei dune site. This includes large herbivore movements, diet and birth, and mammalian predatory activity. Records are kept of bird distribution, breeding and seasonal movements
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge Provides Education for Children of Maltahohe Community
The staff of &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, through the Maltahohe Project, identified the 25 neediest children of the nearby village and donated money to pay for their school fees to ensure they could be enrolled at Daweb, the local school. Education is essential in breaking the poverty cycle that has entrapped this community in severe unemployment and deprivation, and &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert lodge aims to uplift these children through providing them with an opportunity that only education affords.
Support of Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust
&Beyond provides financial support to Nadeet, a non-profit trust which focuses on raising environmental awareness among young Namibians. The learning programmes overlap with the official school curriculum so teachers and pupils benefit enormously from a visit to the NaDEET centre in the Namib Desert. Issues such as the importance of recycling and water conservation are combined with ecological studies of unique desert-adapted wildlife.