The Ameib Guesthouse, belonging to the Ameib Rhino Sanctuary (Pty) Ltd, is part of the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust, which aims at protecting rare and endangered wildlife in the unique ecosystems of the Erongo Mountains.
Leopard encounter - a true highlight
This project (existing since 1998) has dedicated itself to preserve wildlife in the conservation area in their natural habitat; as also to re-introduce game animals, which have historically occurred in the different ecosystems of the area. Another part of the project is to the remove all inner (high) fences of the conservation area, to allow for natural movement of the wildlife.
One of the great success stories of the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust, is the re-introduction of black rhinoceros into the Trust area. Until 1974 black rhino were found in the Erongo Mountains. In 1974 the last of the black rhinos was relocated to Etosha National Park. Since 2008 the rhinos are back; already some calves have been born in the conservation area. Black Rhinos can also be seen on Ameib, as they often move into Ameib.
Another game species that was reintroduced into the Erongo Mountains was the Black-faced Impala, a sub-species to the common impala. The black-faced impala has historically occurred from south-western Angola along the north-west of Namibia down to the Swakop River.
A few years back the black-faced impala was near extinction, only still to be found in Etosha Park and some small populations on individual farms across the country. Today, the Erongo Mountains host the second largest population in Namibia.
Ameib and the Erongo Mountains are also home to a number of other endemic game species, which are only found along the Namibian escarpment or the Erongo Mountains. These species range from the very small Black Mongoose (Galerella nigrata) to the sturdy Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.
Apart from the endemic species, most of the common game species of Namibia can be found on Ameib. Very characteristic for this arid region is the giraffe, which can be found almost everywhere on Ameib. Or the majestic Kudu and the king of the desert, the Gemsbok (oryx antelope). Namibia’s only gazelle, the beautiful springbuck roams the plains across Ameib.
Smaller antelope like Duiker and Damara Dik Dik can also be seen here.
Carnivores and scavengers on Ameib include the leopard, brown hyena and black-backed jackal, as well as a number of smaller species.
Rare sighting at Ameib: African Fish Eagle
Ameib is also bird-watchers paradise. Apart from a big variety of birds - especially water birds at the dams and rock pools - there are also endemic bird species on Ameib.
Only found on rocky granite outcrops, is the Hartlaub francolin. Little research has been done on this fowl species and it is a very interesting and intriguing bird to find and watch.
Other endemic species include the White-Tailed Shrike, Monteiro’s Hornbill or the Damara Rockjumper.
For more information on the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust, visit www.erongomountains.org.