Conservation Travel Foundation

The Conservation Travel Foundation (CTF) is a registered Namibian non-profit trust (No : T153/06) founded in 2006 by the owners of Ultimate Safaris, Tristan Cowley and Martin Webb-Bowen. Their aim is to support ecosystem and wildlife conservation and rural community socio-economic development in Namibia, particularly in those areas in which the company operates its safaris. The CTF endeavour is based on the contention that the conservation of Africa’s natural ecosystems and Her wildlife is dependent on :

* the protection and management of wild landscapes;
the socio-economic development of rural communities living with wildlife;
economic enterprise based on wildlife and renewable natural resources;
the eradication of corruption, illegal harvesting and trafficking of wildlife; and on
the collaboration, cooperation and coordination of effort by all Stakeholders.

(Note :  David Peddie is a Trustee of CTF)


To promote and support ecologically sustainable and economically viable wildlife conservation, as well as wildlife-based rural community socio-economic development programmes in Namibia.


To foster communication, collaboration and cooperation between wildlife conservation and rural development stakeholders; to promote the coordination of their efforts, and to expedite the application of financial, material and intellectual resources to the resolution of Namibian environmental conservation and rural development issues.


The CTF strategic philosophy is to develop and support ecologically sustainable and economically viable, integrated conservation - rural development - safari tourism models of investment within the Communal Conservancies and the private and State wildlife areas on which the founding company, Ultimate Safaris, operates its safari business.

This it achieves by :

* engaging and influencing decision makers in government, private sector business and civil society;
facilitating discussion and the exchange of knowledge and information;
promoting the pragmatic, sustainable utilisation of natural resources;
sourcing, linking and mobilising financial, material and intellectual resources to meet appropriate needs;
providing a secure depository and conduit for conservation and rural development funding;
programme and project assessment and monitoring.


CTF, therefore, focuses its investment and efforts specifically on initiatives that enhance the evolution of conservation and rural development models which incorporate all elements of its conservation strategy.

By concentrating on holistic and diverse investment at the local level, CTF is able to make a significant, long-term contribution within the areas it supports - and in which Ultimate Safaris operates safaris and camps.

Also, as an active participant in, and supporter of, the development and management of these areas, the Foundation is able to facilitate an opportunity for safari operators to inform and influence their guests through meaningful cross-cultural interactions with the people of the communal conservancies, and with the researchers and managers of wildlife conservation areas.

The primary geographical area for CTF conservation and rural development investment is, currently, the northwest of Namibia, specifically the //Huab Communal Conservancy. The Foundation also, within the wider area, supports research; wildlife protection; human - wildlife conflict mitigation; infrastructure development; vocational training and primary education.


To date, CTF has not employed staff as it has been supported in that regard, and in core funding for administration, by Ultimate Safaris. Thus, it has been possible to ensure that all of the funds donated to the Foundation (100%) have been deployed to key organisations and projects.

There are three primary sources of funding :

*   Ultimate Safaris - including core administration;
*   donations by Ultimate Safaris guests; and
*   a “conservation” fee charged to guests on “Conservation Safaris”, operated in conjunction with Ultimate Safaris.

The scope for extending the Conservation Safari programme is limited as this would risk diluting their effect, and voluntary donations from Ultimate Safaris guests are steady, but unpredictable. In order for CTF to expand its influence and its contribution, and its contribution to integrated and long-term wildlife conservation - rural development models, it must source more regular funding. This could be from a fixed contribution from safari guests, or from entering into long term funding agreements with philanthropic organisations or individuals. Fundraising from the general public through various appeals or events is a possibility, but, as yet, not an option that can be actively pursued.

Should CTF choose to pursue an expansion of its contribution and influence, they will need to employ a full-time Coordinator and to secure, long term core funding.

“Conservation Safaris” are mobile safaris operated by Ultimate Safaris. They offer guests a unique opportunity to experience conservation and rural development projects first hand; meet the researchers and conservationists and to participate in project work in the field. A “conservation fee” is levied over and above the normal safari cost which is then donated, in full, by CTF to the projects visited.

Organisations and Projects Supported

Some N$ 2,35 million has been invested by CTF into the following organisations, including N$ 540 000.00 into the //Huab Communal Conservancy.

AfriCat                                                                  :  big cat rescue, rehabilitation and release
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)                      :  cheetah research, rescue, rehabilitation, habitat restoration
Desert Lion Trust                                                  :  desert lion research; human - wildlife conflict (HWC) resolution
Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)              :  giraffe research
Grootberg Primary School                                    :  primary and environmental education; child nutrition
//Huab Communal Conservancy                       :  infrastructure; wildlife protection; vocational training
Integrated Rural Development (IRDNC)             :  communal conservancy development; vocational training, HWC mitigation
Rare and Endangered Species Trust (REST)        :  vulture, pangolin research  rescue, rehabilitation
Save the Rhino Trust (SRT)                                  :  desert rhino research, monitoring and protection


1. Legal entity

Entity                           :   Non-Profit Trust
Registry Office            :   The Office of the Master of the High Court, Namibia
Name                           :   Conservation Travel Foundation
Registration Number   :   T153/06
Date of Registration    :   2006
Governance                 :   Board of Trustees

2. Board of Trustees

Chairman                   :   Tristan Cowley
Trustee                       :   Martin Webb-Bowen
Trustee                      :    David Peddie

Coordinator            :   Jason Nott
(See Profiles below)

3. Banking

Bank                            :   Nedbank Namibia
Branch Code               :   461038
Account Name            :   Conservation Travel Foundation
Account Number         :   11000253083
Sort Code
               :   NEDSNANX

4. Accounting

Accountant                 :   Ultimate Safaris
Auditors                     :   Christiane Henke : Chartered Accountant (Namibia)
                                        2 Pinnacle, 22 Orban Street, Windhoek
                                        Tel : +264 (0)61 232 341
                                        Email -
Financial Year End    :  
31 March

5. Communications

Address                      :   5 Brandberg Street, Eros Park, Windhoek, Namibia
                                       P.O. Box 9970, Eros Park, Windhoek, Namibia

Email                         :

Telephone                  :   +264 (0)61 248137

Facebook                   :   Conservation Travel Foundation

The Future

CTF is an organisation that has shown itself to be capable of identifying key issues and of delivering impactful initiatives and investment. It takes a long term view of conservation and rural development, in the knowledge that for success to be lasting, concepts and efforts need to be resilient, and for the organisations involved to have the means to continue to implement over the long term.

"In the face of conservation challenges such as soaring human population growth, rising consumption and infrastructure development, and weak governance institutions, there is a growing cadre of African organisations that are developing the kinds of models and practices that are needed to meet today’s conservation challenges. A key strategic challenge for conservation in Africa is ensuring that these kinds of organisations have the resources, capacity, networks, and skills that they need to sustain and grow their impacts.” 
Maliasili Initiatives - A Forum on African Conservation Impact

CTF aims to be one of those organisations, contributing to efforts to build, strengthen and support pragmatic conservation models in Namibia.



Tristan Cowley (Ultimate Safaris)

Tristan comes from a conservation background, being a qualified natural resource manager and having published numerous popular articles and scientific papers in learned journals. His research has been in both ornithology and small mammals - notably resulting in a definitive study of the black mongoose, Namibia’s only endemic carnivore. Tristan is a qualified safari guide focusing on guiding naturalist groups. He has also served as the Chairman of TASA (Tour and Safari Association of Namibia), as Vice-Chairman of NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality) and on the Executive of FENATA (Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations). He is a lecturer for NATH and serves on the natural resource management advisory committee of the Namibian University of Technology.

Martin Webb-Bowen (Ultimate Safaris)

Martin was brought up in the United Kingdom and then worked in a number of countries, including four years in Kenya with the Foreign Office, before coming to Namibia in 1993 to establish a mobile safari operation called Sandy Acre Safaris. The company concentrated on providing private guided safaris for visitors from the UK, Europe and the USA before amalgamating with Tristan and Tou Safaris to form Ultimate Safaris in 2008. Martin was on the TASA (Tour and Safari Association of Namibia) Board for more than a decade from 1995, and also served as Chief Executive Officer, and later Chairman, of the umbrella body FENATA (Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations). He also served on the Board of NACOBTA (Namibian Community Based Tourism Association). His intimate knowledge of Namibia’s Tourism Industry is instrumental in the Foundation’s conservation philosophy

David Peddie (MacKenzie Peddie)

David joined the Rhodesia and then Zimbabwe Departments of National Parks and Wildlife Management as a research ecologist after obtaining degrees in Agricultural Economics and Tropical Resource Ecology. On leaving Parks in the late 1980s, he qualified as a Zimbabwe Professional Safari Guide while establishing the Lonrho owned Savanna Wildlife, and then worked with Clive Stockil on the development of the Save Valley Conservancy and the Mahenye Community Campfire project. In Namibia, David joined Albi Bruckner, the founder of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, in planning and implementing the establishment of the Reserve. While based in Namibia, he founded the Sindisa Foundation, a United Kingdom registered charity that supported wildlife conservation and rural development in southern Africa. David has also advised the Misiones Provincial Government in Argentina on conservation policy and nature-based tourism. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Zoological Society of London.

Jason Nott (Ultimate Safaris)

Jason comes from a well-known family of Namibian Nature conservationists who have long been involved in Namibian conservation and community development issues, mainly in the north of the country. Jason spent his early years in Omaruru village, where a love of nature was instilled in him from a young age by his parents and Godfather, Dr Flip Stander - well-known for his scientific research on Namibia’s desert lions. He soon found a way of combining his interest in wildlife and people by working in the safari tourism industry. After obtaining a diploma in Travel and Tourism Management, he managed a lodge in north-western Namibia and, at the same time, realised his ambition to become a safari guide. He now works for Ultimate Safaris where he manages the mobile safari department and combines professional guiding with conservation and sustainable tourism. Jason is the Coordinator of the Conservation Travel Foundation, where his understanding of conservation and sustainability issues and his relationships with the local communities in the northwest, stand both Ultimate Safaris and CTF in good stead.


                             Tristan Cowley            Martin Webb-Bowen                 David Peddie                            Jason Nott


Conservation Travel Foundation - Ultimates Safaris
The evolution of a wildlife conservation and rural socio-economic development model
// Huab Conservancy

The threats to the future of wildlife in Africa are significant, with habitat loss and poaching probably the most devastating. Elephant, rhino, lion, great apes, pangolin and vultures, along with many other species which occupy Africa’s wild areas, are all rapidly declining as their ranges shrink and they are harvested for their high value products, such as ivory, rhino horn, lion bones and pangolin scales, and for bushmeat.

While considerable effort is being invested into numerous conservation projects to stem the loss, the general decline in species and habitats reflects a low rate of success. Unfortunately, the real cost of failure lies in the loss of biodiversity, and, thus, of functionality of the ecosystems that support life. For Africa to avert that failure, the current widespread and diverse efforts to conserve Her wildlife need to unite under collaborative and coordinated strategies at international, national and local level to achieve the common aim. Only an unencumbered sharing of knowledge and resources can provide the platform from which to launch pragmatic approaches to sustaining our environment and its diversity, while catering for the needs of humanity.

In keeping with its philosophy and strategy, the Conservation Travel Foundation (CTF) subscribes to the conviction that there are fundamental models of wildlife conservation, based on the ecologically sustainable and economically viable development of rural communities living with wildlife, that need to be widely developed and implemented if the future of both Africa’s people and Her wildlife is to be secured.

It is the aim of the CTF to assist the //Huab Communal Conservancy in northwest Namibia to evolve and implement a socio-economic development model that is based on wildlife conservation and land management programmes that bring together wildlife protection, ecological management, food security, education, vocational training and entrepreneurial opportunity in a coordinated collaboration of individuals, organisations and government.

Guided by, and in collaboration and cooperation with, the //Huab Community, as well as a variety of stakeholders, including MET, IRDNC, DLT, SRT and the safari tourism industry, CTF and Ultimate Safaris have, therefore, initiated wide ranging investments into the planning and development of a socio-economic development programme that will allow the Community to fully embrace wildlife conservation as the basis for a sustainable and viable long-term future.

Rhino Custodianship Programme

At present, much of this investment is into basic infrastructure (boreholes; pipelines and protected reservoirs; wildlife water points and game viewing and access roads) and into facilitating collaboration and coordination of effort.

The primary safari contribution comes in the form of a Joint Venture between the //Huab Community and Ultimate Safaris for the development and operation of a 16 bed, low impact, tented camp (//Huab Under Canvass). The unique aspect of this Joint Venture is that, without sacrificing comfort, the focus of the camp is on the wilderness and cultural experience given to Guests, not the level of “urban” luxury. Therefore, the capital investment into the camp is low compared to other lodges which have been constructed in communal conservancies. Nevertheless, the bed night rates maintain the industry standard, resulting in a considerably higher rate of return on investment and, thus, higher levels of income to the Community. 

Guided Walk
//Huab Under Canvass Camp

//Huab Under Canvas
Community Joint Venture Safari Camp

The Conservancy also allows access to other safari operators for scenic and wildlife viewing and for overnight stays at a Community-run campsite. Finding an acceptable model of financial contributions from this segment of the safari industry remains a matter of discussion.

For their conservation and development model to be successful, the //Huab Community will need to participate fully in all decisions relating to their Conservancy, and to be supported in all aspects of their development, including training and capacity building, by all the stakeholders.

CTF and it’s founding entity, Ultimate Safaris, are both committed to the long term conservation of Namibia’s wild landscapes and to the indigenous communities, human and wildlife, that inhabit them. The complexity and scale of effort required to achieve that goal, means that a broadly collaborative and cooperative strategy acceptable to, and driven by, each Conservancy Community, is critical.

However, that strategy not only needs to bring together the various stakeholders in individual conservancies - communal and privately owned - but needs to bring groups of adjacent conservancies together to create an overarching collaborative land and resource management alliance. An alliance that not only ensures them fair and equitable access to their natural resources, but which also enhances the security of tenure which they - the Communities - all have over their land.

In addition to the Trans Frontier Conservation Area programme, there is an urgent need for landscape scale entities, within countries, that are models for multi-facetted land-use with wildlife and renewable natural resources as the basis for rural socio-economic development.

Curriculum Vitae                                                   Conservation    Community    Commerce    Culture                                      © David Peddie 2017