The Naankuse Foundation was founded by Dr. Rudie and his wife, Marlice van Vuuren along with other founding members dedicated to conserving land, cultures and wildlife of Namiba. Marlice, who grew up on Farm Harnas, a renowned sanctuary for injured wildlife, had a burning ambition to open a wildlife sanctuary of her own. In an effort to make her dream come true, Dr. Rudie with the help of his friend, Chris Heunis and further support from the Verburgs bought Farm Frauenstein outside Windhoek. Together they transformed the farm into the world-renowned wildlife sanctuary it is today.
The founders decided to build a lodge on the property in order to create jobs for the San people whom they treated and befriended at the Naankuse Lifeline/Childline Clinic in an effort to improve their living standards even further. The Lodge was registered as the only “charity lodge” in Namibia and provides employment for dozens of marginalised Namibians.
The van Vuurens transformed their home in Klein Windhoek into Naankuse @ Utopia to offer accommodation for the Naankuse Lodge guests who need to over-night in Windhoek. This garden paradise partnered with Bougain Villa to offer 24 standard and luxury rooms to all travellers who want to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie chose to make Naankuse a partner of the Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Foundation, in honour of their Namibian-born daughter, Shiloh. Marlice and Angelina met in 1998 and have worked closely together since then. In 2017, the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary was opened to rehabilitate elephants and rhinos injured or orphaned by poaching.
The Naankuse Foundation purchased the Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate in southern Namibia in an effort to make quality wine that could be sold to support their conservation efforts. Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate is the second – driest vineyard in the world as well as an important site for research pertaining to the conservation of the African Leopard and Spotted Hyena.
Naankuse, with the help of the van Uden Group, purchased the Kanaan Desert Retreat in the remote Karas Region of Namibia. The farm was stripped of all man-made fences and considerable efforts were made to rehabilitate the landscape from the damages caused by vehicles and fencing. The site is now home to hundreds of species of wildlife, an important research site and also famous for its breath-taking scenery and dark night skies.
Farm Frauenstein, no. 277
Tel: +264 61 307 338
Contact Naankuse Lodge
Kanaan Desert Retreat
Farm Kanaan on the D707
Tel: +264 63 683 119
Contact Kanaan Desert Retreat
Naankuse @ Utopia
No. 64-66 Nelson Mandela Avenue
Tel: +264 61 221 299
Contact Naankuse @ Utopia
Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate
Farm Neuras on the D850
Tel: +264 63 293 417
Contact Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate