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How the Communal Conservancy Program Benefits Communities

The Riemvasmaakers, as subsistence farmers, have been living together with wildlife while also working to protect wildlife and the environment for ecotourism since the 1980’s when theirs was the first communal conservancy registered in Namibia, the Torra Conservancy.

Originally, this community fled to South Africa during the war of 1904-1907. Of Nama, Damara and Herero descent, in 1974 the Riemvasmaakers were moved, by the then South African government, to southern Damaraland where they established the Di Riet Village.

A first-hand example of what life is like, living with the threat of wildlife as farmers, yet still being passionate about protecting that wildlife. In this episode of the MYD Earth Show, we hear from generations of the Riemvasmaaker community about what their life has been like and how the communal conservancy program has benefited this community.


In this MYD Earth podcast we hear from :

  • Jantjie Ryhn, one of the first Riemvasmaakers to be settled in southern Damaraland. He shares his story in the language in which he is most comfortable, Afrikaans.
  • Geraldo Erasmus, family of Jantjie Ryhn. Geraldo works at Wilderness Safari’s Damaraland Camp, close to the family farm, an example of employment creation opportunities derived from tourism partnerships in the conservancies.


Please note this was recorded on site at Jantjie Ryhn’s farm and home, close to De Riet Village.

Take a listen to the MYD Earth Show, here :


This Show was recorded while visiting Wilderness Safari’s Damaraland Camp in the Torra Conservancy in Namibia. Get in touch with Wilderness Safari’s through their website by clicking here