People Living in Conservancies

Map of People in conservancies

Population densities range from less than one to more than five people per square kilometre.

Different areas, different conditions

Kasika Conservancy

In the communal areas of some regions, the entire population lives in conservancies, which show great variations in size, population density and land-use activities. The diversity and abundance of game and other natural resources differs significantly, influenced by differences in climate, topography, soils and water availability.

Photos: The riverine Zambezi Region is very different to the semi-desert found in Kunene
Torra drought

The relationship of conservancies to urban areas and infrastructure development also varies. In the north-central regions, more than 40,000 people live in conservancies, although this represents only around 5% of people in the densely populated area, many of whom live in urban centres. Other regions have only small communal areas, or none at all. These factors make some communal areas more suitable to conservancy formation and CBNRM activities than others.

Region Area covered by conservancies (km2) Percentage of communal land covered by conservancies Number of people living in conservancies Percentage of communal area residents in conservancies
Erongo 17,289 91.5 7,594 55.8
Hardap 1,424 18.4 838 10.5
Karas 6,550 41.7 4,636 32.8
Kavango (E&W) 3,582 8.8 22,027 15.6
Kunene 60,702 81.9 75,124 76.2
Omaheke 18,404 42.5 7,000 21.9
Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto 13,095 24.7 53,589 5.2
Otjozondjupa 41,059 100.0 39,981 100
Zambezi 4,092 39.4 33,798 33.9
Khomas no conservancies no communal areas no conservancies no communal areas
Total 166,179 54 244,587 15.45


A national population census is usually conducted every 10 years in Namibia. The last census was in September 2023 (results are currently being compiled) and, prior to that, in 2011. The figures in the table represent an estimate for 2022.

This page was last updated on: 6th October 2023