Clive Walker

Clive is a doyen of the Waterberg and has contributed significantly to its conservation efforts.  He is also the author of several books and a recognised and talented artist

I came to the Waterberg not to buy a farm but in the hope that I may convince the late Eric Rundgren, former Kenyan game warden and big game hunter and co-owner of the 5,000 ha Double R Game Ranch to allow me to set up a program of educating young children about the need to conserve nature. He wasn’t interested but gave me a 3-month option to purchase what I thought was the garden of Eden with its impressive kloofs, valleys and flowing rivers.

As luck had it, I convinced friend and fellow board member of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the late Dale Parker to look at the reserve, one of only two such places devoted solely to nature in the 15,000 sq. km Waterberg. He and his wife Elizabeth were as enchanted as I was, and he bought the place the same day.

The rest is history and today as I write these words some 150,000 children and teachers have been to the Lapalala Wilderness School as it became known.

Dale and I never foresaw back in 1981 what the acquisition of Lapalala Wilderness was about to set in motion and that was the transformation of the entire region from conventional farming to the establishment twenty years later of the landscape being declared an International Biosphere Reserve.

Over the last 40 years the knowledge base for conservation in the Waterberg has increased significantly.  Organisations such as LWS, WEAP, and WNC, have done much to increase awareness and education in the field of conservation.  The Waterberg-Bioquest run by Warwick and Michele Tarboton has added significantly to the knowledge of the biodiversity of the Waterberg as has Richard Wadley’s excellent book “Echoes of the Waterberg”.  The work being done by The Waterberg Research Support Centre is an example of greater interest and involvement by the universities in the area.

It is encouraging to see all this happening at a time when climate change and environment matters are taking the world stage.  It is my hope that we continue to work together as a team and co-operate with each other to ensure the sustainability of the wonderful Waterberg