Home Business Tourists to the Rescue: How a Namibian Farm Found Salvation in Agritourism

Tourists to the Rescue: How a Namibian Farm Found Salvation in Agritourism

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Beneath the vast Namibian sky, a story of resilience unfolds on the parched earth of the Mount D’Urban farm. With droughts gripping the region for years, Kobus de Klerk, along with his wife Kirsty and his parents, faced a future as uncertain as the capricious rainfall. Yet, a resourceful pivot towards agritourism transformed their land into a haven for travellers, not only saving their farm but breathing new life into it.

“We went through a devastating drought, especially between 2012 and 2019,” says Kobus, his weathered face etched with the challenges he’s overcome. “The farm was battling to survive. We knew we had to find another source of income.”

The answer lay nestled amidst the farm’s natural beauty. Inspired by the stunning scenery and the opportunity to showcase Namibia’s unique charm, the de Klerks established the Mount D’Urban campsite. This wasn’t just about offering a place to pitch a tent; it was about creating an experience.

“We wanted visitors to connect with the land,” explains Kirsty, showcasing the campsite’s well-maintained ablution facilities and designated braai areas. “We offer farm tours, where tourists can learn about our livestock and even try their hand at traditional cattle herding.”

The impact was immediate.  “The campsite played a vital role, especially in 2019, when the drought was at its worst,” Kobus says. “The income from tourism helped us cover some of the farm’s running costs. It was a lifeline.”

But the benefits extended far beyond financial stability. Agritourism fostered a deeper connection between the de Klerks and their land.  “We started appreciating the farm in a whole new way,” Kirsty says, a newfound pride evident in her voice. “Sharing it with visitors has made us even more passionate about preserving this beautiful environment.”

The Mount D’Urban story serves as a beacon of hope for Namibian farmers grappling with a changing climate. It demonstrates the transformative power of agritourism, not just as a source of income, but as a way to revitalize rural communities and forge a more sustainable future. As Kobus puts it, “The tourists came for a glimpse of Namibia’s beauty, but they ended up helping us save a part of it.”