Conserving Wildlife in Namibia
Join for a once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, and take a hands on role in conservation, rehabilitation and humanitarian work. The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation projects offer people the opportunity from all walks of life to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia’s wildlife, with no previous experience required. The sanctuary is home to a diverse variety of wildlife species. Many of these animals have taken refuge at the sanctuary, having unfortunately come into conflict with humans. These animals are released back into the wild whenever possible, and for those that are too habituated to humans, or injured, the sanctuary provides an opportunity for these animals to thrive in a natural environment, without the threat of persecution.
As a Wildlife Conservation volunteer at this Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary you will have the rare and exciting opportunity to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation and research of African wildlife. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned, injured or ‘problem’ wildlife including a number of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals , warthogs, antelope and baboons as well as a host of birds, smaller African mammals and farmyard animals.
Volunteers work alongside dedicated and passionate staff, at various projects that operate in 4 different sites around Namibia:
1.Wildlife Conservation : The Wildlife Sanctuary (Pre-School volunteering available here as an activity or project) near Windhoek
2.Carnivore Conservation Research : Wildlife Estate in the South
3.Carnivore Conservation Research : Desert Retreat in the South
4.Medical : Clinic at Epukiro in the East
Volunteers may choose to combine various projects and activities and rotate between the different sites or may choose to focus on only one project or area of interest for the duration of
their placement – the experience can be tailored to suit the needs and desires of each volunteer.
Our Wildlife Conservation Volunteers provide an important resource in the daily care and feeding of the sanctuary’s animals, as well as helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary. This is an exceptional opportunity to get hands on with African wildlife and many aspects of their care. Additionally, although our focus is on animal welfare, there will also be educational and recreational activities for volunteers to take part in. All routine aspects of the programme are carried out in a rotational group system to ensure that everybody gets exposed to the variety of experiences available.
Our goal is to release animals when possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild. However, sometimes an animal comes to us that cannot be released for various reasons such as habituation to humans which would put the animal at risk if released or an extensive injury. Our aim is to provide a lifelong sanctuary for these animals.
The Wildlife Conservation project may also entail volunteering with the San children and assisting the teacher at our School, located on premises at the Sanctuary. This Pre-School provides vital free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work on site and who would otherwise not have access to education. The children are extremely friendly and love meeting new people – their enthusiasm and smiles are infectious to all!
The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is situated less than an hour by vehicle from Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
Namibia is a most special country. One of the prime tourist destinations in the world. Conservation is a cornerstone of the Namibian experience. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government has reinforced this by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. Today, over 43% of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management. This includes national parks and reserves, communal and commercial conservancies, community forests, and private nature reserves.
We have two options of accommodation at the Wildlife Sanctuary; volunteer rooms with up to three people (same gender) sharing each room, or large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by up to two people (same gender or a couple). The rooms are basic but our single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore sometimes restricted. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.
The facilities at our research sites are very similar to the ones provided at the sanctuary, with accommodation being either in guesthouse rooms or in large tents.
We will provide you with three meals per day.
You will be met by our projects representative at International Airport in Windhoek or in the town of Windhoek if you stayed there the evening prior.
The transfer time to the sanctuary is approximately 40 minutes. On arrival at the sanctuary a staff member will show you around the accommodation and facilities. A comprehensive and informative induction session will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays; helping you to settle in, understand more about the project and your role. Activities are continuous so you will be hands-on on from your first day!
At the end of your project you will be transferred back to the airport in time for your departing flight or to carry on your African travels.
Internet: It’s time to get away from it all! Due to the costs incurred, internet is only available on the farm for emergency use only. If you are able to go into Windhoek on the optional Sunday trip, you will be able to pay to access the internet from an internet café there.
Telephone: We suggest that you take your mobile phone with you – you will need to activate roaming on your phone. It is also a good idea to unlock your phone in case you get the opportunity to buy a local Namibian SIM card (sold at the airport and the Sanctuary) for about £1 (N$10), which will allow you to call and text home cheaply and easily. Please note that due to the rural location of the project, the mobile phone signal is quite weak – there are a few spots around camp where you can get reception, but you will need to walk around a bit to find these! Please note in Neuras and Kanaan there is no mobile reception. The international dialling code for Namibia is +264.
Windhoek has a semi-desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters and temperatures tending to drop at night. On average, Namibia receives about 300 days of sunshine per year.
Summer is from October to April, where temperatures can reach 40º C and plummet at night to below 0 degrees so bring a fleece or extra clothing. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34º C. Rainfall usually occurs between November and March, when heavy thunderstorms can be expected.
Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days which are contrasted by very cold nights, when temperatures often drop to below freezing so please bring warm clothing and a sleeping bag. Average temperatures range from 43°F (6°C) to 70°F (21°C).
The most popular time to travel to Windhoek is between March and October, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures are mild.An average temperature during the day should peak around 31C/88F, with nights a dipping to a reasonable 17C/63F. We would advise that you bring a sleeping bag liner as well as your sleeping bag, in case the sleeping bag is too hot. You should also bring a waterproof jacket as it is likely to rain at this time of the year.
During your time at the Wildlife Sanctuary, you may enjoy activities such as a nature walk across the farm, swimming in our pool, playing football or paintball, followed by a sunset downer and braai (barbeque). Saturday afternoons are comprised of a fun activity, and on Sundays you may have the opportunity to go into Windhoek or go for lunch or even an overnight stay at our luxury lodge. You may also have the opportunity to visit the Ancient San Skills Academy to learn about signs and tracks of the veldt, fire making with traditional San fire sticks, making bows and arrows, jewellery and craft making, and hunting in the traditional San way.
Another option as an add-on to your stay at the Wildlife Sanctuary is to book a tour to see more of the country. In Namibia, a beautiful country of changing landscapes, there is much to see and experience.
Optional tours include a safari to Etosha National Park, a visit to the coastal town of Swakopmund, a chance to sandboard on the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei and many more options, with which we can assist you.
At Neuras and Kanaan you may enjoy nature walks, swimming in the nearby water pools, sundowners and a braai.
Transfer from the airport or Windhoek on Mondays and Thursdays
Transfer to the airport or Windhoek on your departure day
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Tea and coffee
Full support and assistance from your programme coordinator
Possible tasks as a Wildlife Conservation Volunteer at the Sanctuary include:
Preparing food and feeding the wildlife and farm animals
Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
Providing enrichment to the animals (in the form of interaction, walks in the bush or implementation of special activities for them)
Providing intensive care for juvenile wildlife including overnight care for some animals such as baboons
Physical labour such as building new facilities
Research which entails the monitoring of free-ranging carnivores in the area and surrounding farms to aid in out role of conserving threatened carnivores by reducing human-wildlife conflict through research, relationship-building, improved livestock protection and cooperation with local farmers to reduce the motivation for persecution of predators
Time in the environment such as tracking & monitoring carnivores (and snakes!) on or near property, horseback riding and game counts in the bush
Assisting with the various projects that arise at the sanctuary
Activities at the Carnivore Research sites include:
Data collection and processing,
Checking camera traps
Mapping and exploring the terrain and environment.
You may also get the opportunity to visit our collared cheetahs at Solitaire or to visit the world famous red sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Daily activities usually entail hiking in the vast outdoors of this semi-desert landscape of Neuras, which extends southwards from the top of the majestic Naukluft Mountains, forming an unbelievable oasis on the edge of the Namib desert. You should not miss this fantastic environment.
Mapping the terrain
Assisting with capture and release
Maintenance and security on the reserve
Night drives and sleep-outs.
*Please note that the schedule is subject to change
Comprehensive Information Pack
Country & Area : Namibia, Windhoek
Nearest Airport : Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH)
Transfer Time : ± 45 min
Duration : 2 – 12 weeks
Minimum Age : 18