Our Story - Harnas Wildlife Foundation

Our Story

The Harnas farm was originally fenced as a cattle farm and was the main source of income for its residents. Nick and Marieta Van der Merwe bought the farm and started farming.

Instinctive love for wild animals grew when Nick and Marieta rescued a vervet monkey from abuse by its owners. Shortly thereafter a zoo in South Africa closed down and its lions were given into the care of the Van der Merwe family. The publicity given to Harnas has resulted in the escalation of animals housed here, transforming the initial personal hobby into a full-time occupation for the Harnas residents and staff.

Nick and Marieta used their own earnings to cover the expenses, but due to the dramatic increase in both the number of rescued animals and the operational costs, the necessity for a guest farm and a wildlife trust fund was born. Harnas first opened its doors to the public in 1993.

Africa was once a wild and unfenced mystery. Game herds and predators roamed freely, running wild under the canopy of the vast African skies. Man came and divided the land for their own needs, claimed areas as their own and was as prolific on the fertile land as the great herds before them. They started naming areas so they could communicate with each other about things that were relevant to their existence. One such a person prophetically named one such a place Harnas: an Afrikaans word meaning chest armour, specifically to protect the heart. Harnas Wildlife Foundation seeks to protect the heart of the country, a heart that is made of animals, people and incredible landscapes. Harnas has a conservation history spanning more than three decades.

Harnas Wildlife Foundation is an experienced and active player in the conservation of Namibian wildlife, the protection of natural resources and is providing social, rational and physical education to those who seek the benefit thereof. But above all, Harnas Wildlife Foundation strives to give back to every living being what is relevant to its existence as far as our capabilities will allow.

For the last 30 years, Harnas has been actively involved in the care, rehabilitation and rescue of neglected, abused and abandoned animals. Harnas has rescued more than 380 indigenous wild animals to date, many of them still living at Harnas.

News & Events:

16/03/2020 -


- To all our guests and volunteers who have made bookings and have fully or partially paid but are unable to come due to the imposed travel ban by governments, Harnas cannot be responsible to make any refunds as this is a case of force majeure. Harnas however will offer the possibility to reschedule your confirmed booking to a later date depending on the course and time od the pandemic and availability. Thank you for your understanding. Let us hope and pray that this pandemic will pass soon and we can get on as normal. ...

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