Volker’s family originally hailed from Saxony/Thuringia, Germany, where he was born in Wittenberg on 19 June 1942. Volker and his immediate family immigrated to South West Africa (now Namibia) in 1952. After graduating from Windhoek High School, he then returned to Germany to pursue a career in the fur trade. He studied high fashion design/advertising in Munich for three years before returning to Namibia. On his return he soon discovered his true passion in life.
It was his deep love of nature, hunting, and conservation that led him to start a conservation program in 1968 known as ANVO—the title derived from the first two initials of his wife’s name, Anke, and those of his own name, Volker. He then established ANVO Hunting Safaris, becoming its chief professional hunter. He pioneered trophy hunting in what he considers the most interesting areas in Namibia: Damaraland from 1978, Bushmanland from 1988, and western Caprivi from 1992 onward.
The ANVO group soon realized that trophy hunting could become an important tool to assist in the conservation of Namibia’s natural resources. At the same time, it became abundantly clear that selective hunting, as a form of control, would need to be implemented to ensure the sustainable use of Namibia’s resources and wildlife. This led to the establishment of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association in 1974.
Being the founder and long-term president of NAPHA and one of Namibia’s most experienced professional hunters, Volker Grellmann is not only one of the stalwarts of the Namibian hunting fraternity, but he is also a pioneer in the training of future hunters, having taught approximately 800 aspiring hunting guides and professional hunters in Namibia since 1974. In 2001, following the development of a curriculum for a hunting-guide course for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, he was allotted a tender to offer a course for the previously disadvantaged Namibians (indigenous candidates), which is still running to this day.
Since 1974, he was also the founder or cofounder of various other hunting and tourism associations, was the president and vice president of major international hunting organizations, was an honorary game warden for SWA Nature Conservation from 1975 to 1990, was an adviser to the Kxoe Chief’s Council in western Caprivi, was one of the first official measurers for Rowland Ward in Namibia, was and still is the master measurer for SCI, and was the recipient of several awards, including the “Most Active NAPHA Member Award” for his lifelong commitment not only to Namibia but NAPHA specifically in the fields of education and big-game hunting. Volker was elected as ombudsman for NAPHA in 2000, a position he still holds today.
While semiretired from the professional hunting industry, Volker is still active in various other areas such as environmental and national planning, tourism strategies and policies, and marketing. His special interest in the Bushman culture resulted in his assisting these marginalized indigenous people in their development and in human rights issues.