Covering about 2,100km2, an area equivalent to about half the size of Belgium, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in Africa. Lying south of Sesriem, it borders on to the main Namib-Naukluft National Park in the west, a boundary of about 100km, and in the east its extent is generally defined by the Nubib Mountains.
There are a wide variety of different desert landscapes and environments within this, from huge red sand-dunes to vegetated inter-dune valleys, sand and gravel plains, and some particularly imposing mountains. It's a spectacular area of desert.
There are several ways to visit this, all utilising small lodges and camps as bases for expert-led guided trips. If you want a detailed look at the central Namib, with guides who understand it, this is an excellent complement to a day or two of driving yourself around Sesriem and Sossusvlei.
Before becoming a nature reserve, this was a number of separate farms formed in the 1950s to eke out an existence farming in the desert. Several severe drought years in the 1980s demonstrated that farming domestic stock here just wasn't viable. There were allegations of farmers opening their fences to game from the Namib-Naukluft National Park, only to kill the animals for their meat once they left the park.
Game was the only option, and this survived well on the farm Gorrasis, owned by Albi Brückner (a businessman, rather than a farmer, who'd bought the farm for its landscapes).
In 1988 Brückner bought out two neighbouring farms, Die Duine and Stellarine, and gradually the reserve was broadened from that base. Now various shareholders have contributed money to the reserve, and different operators hold 'concession' areas which they utilise for tourism.
Flora and fauna
The NamibRand's flora and fauna are the same as that in the western areas of the Namib-Naukluft. However, there are also red hartebeest, which aren't usually found in the national park, and blesbok which have been introduced from South Africa.