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© NACSO/WWF Namibia
Priority places

Communal conservancies and community forests

WWF works with our partners in 86 communal conservancies and 46 community forests, areas that collectively cover 23% of the land in Namibia and have a significant impact on lives and livelihoods, conservation and community development. Most communal conservancies also abut national parks and protected areas, thus extending the impact on species and landscape conservation. 

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA)

Our work encompasses large landscape conservation areas, including the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), the largest terrestrial conservation area in the world, providing ecological connectivity across national parks and protected areas in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We also support the MEFT to strengthen conservation efforts in the Zambezi, an area in Namibia that is key to cross-boundary movement of wildlife within KAZA. 

Large Landscape Conservation

WWF is driving large landscape conservation efforts in the Zambezi Region through the Integrated Conservation Planning for the Zambezi Region, in Namibia’s northwest with the proposed Skeleton Coast to Etosha Legacy Landscape initiative, and by supporting the development of a future conservation landscape that will link the Khaudum National Park, neighbouring farms, and conservancies in Namibia with the Ngamiland landscape in Botswana. 

Freehold farms

With 70% of Namibia’s wildlife living outside of national parks, WWF is also focused on providing support for freehold (private or commercial) farms to encourage landscape connectivity and the growth and range expansion of important wildlife species. 

Priority species


Namibia is home to more than 24,000 elephants, that range from the arid northwest to the lush rivers and floodplains of the Zambezi. Important population of elephants occur in Etosha National Park and Khaudum National Park and are also found on commercial and communal conservancies.

The challenges facing elephants are consequences of human-wildlife conflict, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, the loss in habitat and the loss of connectivity for freedom of movement, which is particularly important during times of drought. WWF is working with our partners to expand inclusive landscape conservation areas, to help the government implement the country’s Elephant Management Plan, to protect critical wildlife corridors, to fight wildlife crime, and to provide economic incentives to communities that pro-actively protect elephant.

© CreativeLAB / WWF-US


Namibia is home to the largest population of black rhino left on earth, and the second largest population of white rhinos.

Community conservation efforts and innovative government initiatives have seen Namibia’s rhino population reclaim former habitats, expand into new areas, and grow in established, protected areas. Poaching is the single largest issue facing rhino in Namibia and throughout the world. WWF is working with our partners to fight back: Supporting community conservation initiatives, including game guards, Rhino Pride campaigns, and strengthening the rhino-based conservation economy in Namibia’s northwest. We are also driving efforts to combat wildlife crime, working with partners in Namibia, across borders and in a multitude of sectors to make a difference.

© Tony Heald/Nature Picture Library


Several distinct yet connected populations of lion exist in Namibia. In the northwest, the so-called desert-adapted lions move across plains and along dry riverbeds to the coast. Namibia’s largest population of lion is found in the Etosha National Park, while the protected parks and communal conservancies in the northeast are important habitat for lions as they move across rivers and borders.

Threats to lions include shrinking habitat, illegal hunting, and human wildlife conflict. WWF is supporting innovative programmes to provide technical and financial assistance to Lion Rangers, to build predator proof kraals (enclosures for domestic livestock), and support payment for conservation performance schemes, all of which encourages tolerance of living with lion and provides hope for the species’ future.

© Marcus Westberg
Expanding our impact

We are expanding our work to include support for projects and programmes that work with communities, government, and other conservation partners to develop a deeper understanding and protection of wild dogs and their den site, brown hyenas along the coast and spotted hyenas in the northwest, to provide community-based game guard monitoring and protection of pangolin, the world’s most heavily trafficked animals, and to protect the breeding and feeding sites of ground hornbills and vultures, respectively.