Namibia’s internationally recognized centre for dry land training and research is located in the desert of the Namib Naukluft National Park, around 120 kilometres southeast of Walvis Bay.
Founded by an eminent Austrian entomologist in 1962, the Gobabeb Training & Research Centre has run since 1998 as a joint venture of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Desert Research Foundation, conducting research into climate, ecology and geomorphology. It also tests, demonstrates and promotes Appropriate Technologies, and delivers training courses to raise awareness and knowledge of ecological and environmental issues. As well as permanent researchers and students, it receives short-term visitors.
The complex consists of the research centre, library, laboratories, office block, meeting hall, the iconic water tower and staff houses. Visitors are accommodated simple villas that offer basic comfort, with three bedrooms (each with two single beds), bathroom, fully equipped kitchen, dining room, living area, and terrace with braai (barbecue). Also available are basic dome tents at Kuiseb Camp, with shared bathroom and kitchen.
Among the various appropriate technologies in daily use are: a solar-diesel hybrid energy system that uses a network of 370 solar panels, 60 batteries and two diesel generators to generate more than 90% of all energy – mainly for electricity and to heat water; a recycling system in which all water from sewage enters a trickle filter system and is used again; fog harvesting using nets to gather water (one net can gather up to 3.3 litres of water per square metre on a foggy night) – particularly useful in the desert environment; using clay bricks, made from the silt of the Kuiseb River, to create thick walls that are ideal for desert conditions as they are warm in winter and cool in summer; management of waste – organic waste is fed to the goats of the local Topnaar community, while recyclables such as glass, metals, plastics and paper are taken to recycling agencies in Walvis Bay; solar cooking using box cookers and a parabolic cooker, which don’t require any electricity.
Available*: Jan-Dec* The dates shown are when the accommodation is generally available. Please enquire for specific availability.
This accommodation is located in:
The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world and, with no light pollution and clear night skies virtually guaranteed, it is also one of southern Africa’s finest stargazing areas. However, the most remarkable sight is at Sossusvlei, where the world’s highest sand dunes tower more than 300 metres.
Where: Karas, Hardap & Erongo Regions
Ideal for viewing: aardwolf, cape fox, gemsbok, springbok, lanner falcon