Volunteer in Namibia and Protect Vulnerable African Wildlife or Provide Medical Care to the San Bushmen Community

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By joining this project  volunteers will have the opportunity to help to protect vulnerable wildlife or provide medical care to San Bushmen community. Volunteers can choose between seven different projects during their stay in Namibia: 

  • Wildlife Sanctuary Project
  • Carnivore Research Conservation Kanaan Desert
  • Carnivore Research Conservation Neuras Mountains
  • San Bushmen Medical Programme
  • Equine Experience
  • Wildlife Conservation Volunteering - Mangetti
  • Veterinarian & Wildlife Rehabilitation specialist courses

Volunteers can join the project for 2 week to 3 month durations and we have places throughout the year available.

The cost for food, accommodation, programme materials, airport and field transfers, training and equipment starts from £840

Stalking cheetah Baby caracal being cared for at the Wildlife Sanctuary San Bushmen mother and child One of the baby baboons being cuddled by staff African wild dogs at Mangetti Visiting the San village is an optional activity for volunteers at the Wildlife Sanctuary Learning Ancient San skills such as fire lighting One of the resident cheetahs at Kanaan Open wide skies and incredible view of the milky way at Kanaan Red sands at Kanaan Injured Kudu female being cared for at the Wildlife Sanctuary by the volunteers Injured vulture being looked after at the Wildlife Sanctuary Black-backed jackal spotted at Neuras Leopards roam freely all over Namibia and can sometimes be the cause of conflict with farmers Cheetah tracks in the sand at Kanaan Very cute baby cheetah at the Wildlife Sanctuary! Orphaned cheetah cubs at the Wildlife Sanctuary Tortoise waking up to another day Oryx running Painting butterflies at the Clever Cubs School Patients waiting at the San Bushman clinic A male cheetah is checked over before being fitted with a GPS collar Fresh hyena tracks at Neuras Meerkats at Neuras Radio telemetry tracking Treating a San Bushman child Children at the Clever Cubs School Aiko the cheetah getting treated for an injured paw Many patients travel to the medical clinic by donkey cart Getting a check up at the medical clinic

Volunteer bottle feeding orphaned impalaThe Project

The Wildlife Conservation and San Bushman Community Project is renowned by conservationists worldwide and has received global awards. By joining this project  volunteers will have the opportunity to help to protect vulnerable wildlife or provide medical support to the San Bushmen community. Volunteers can choose between seven different projects during their stay in Namibia: 

  • Wildlife Sanctuary Project
  • Carnivore Research Conservation Kanaan Desert
  • Carnivore Research Conservation Neuras Mountains
  • San Bushmen Medical Programme
  • Equine Experience
  • Wildlife Conservation Volunteering - Mangetti

Frodo the Baboon

Wildlife Sanctuary Pr oject

Volunteering at the wildlife sanctuary will provide you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to get hands on work with African wildlife. The project provides refuge for orphaned and injured animals including baboons, caracals, wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and lions. 

As a volunteer you will be involved with caring for and feeding the animals as well as helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary. During your time on the project a typical day will include preparing the animals food, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, feeding the animals, taking them on walks and providing intensive care for juvenile wildlife.

Baby orphaned oryx that volunteers had to look after at Kanaan

Volunteers will also be involved in physical labour such as building new facilities, animal interaction such as taking care of a baby baboon overnight and you will also spend time out in the surrounding environment to conduct game counts. 

As a Wildlife Sanctuary volunteer you will also have the opportunity to visit the clever cubs schools. This amazing pre-school provides free education to the San Bushmen children who would otherwise not have access to education. The school provides a full curriculum as well as being a place for the children to dance, sing and play. 

Cheetah release at Kanaan volunteer siteCarnivore Conservation Kanaan Desert

Volunteers doing a game count

The Carnivore Conservation Project in the Kanaan Desert aims to establish an unfenced wildlife reserve, creating a refuge for endangered species. The area covers 33,000 hectares of stunning desert scenery. During your stay you will get hands on experience with a variety of skills such as mapping using a GPS, capture mark release (using GPS tracking collars), radio telemetry tracking, game counts, camera trapping and maintenance and security. Volunteers will also have the chance to experience some of the must do activites in the Namib Desert such as night drives, sleep outs and waterhole observations.  Volunteers conduct research on the carnivores on the area, which include leopard, cheetah, brown and spotted hyena as well as other desert-adapted animals.
Tracking carnivores

Fresh hyena tracksCarnivore Conservation Research Neuras Mountains

Located in the majestic Naukluft Mountain range and the Tsauchab river system these environments along with springs provide specialised ecosystems and contain highly adapted wildlife that the Neuras team strives to  protect and study. As well as protecting wildlife Neuras also produces wine on site and volunteers can assist with harvesting, bottling, and labelling, all of which are done by hand. This novel approach helps to sustain the conservation project. 
 
Setting camera trapsVolunteers will help the team record wildlife information from game counts, wildlife cameras, site exploration, and large carnivore GPS data. Information recorded by volunteers will contribute to the management of the estate. Volunteers will also get the opportunity to attend a day trip to the iconic red Sossusvlei Dunes. A stunning landscape in Namibia, the dunes are an absolute must see.  Research on the carnivores on the area includes leopard, cheetah, brown and spotted hyena as well as other desert-adapted animals.

San Bushmen Medical Programme

As a volunteer on the San Bushmen Medical Programme you will help provide primary healthcare to the local community and surrounding area in which around 500 San and Herero people live. Around 80% of the patients treated are San. The San are considered to be the oldest culture in the world and currently live in extreme poverty. Often suffering from malnutrition, disease, discrimination and abuse the San Bushmen Programme is providing a lifeline to this community through healthcare and education. Daily duties for volunteers may include:

  • A baby gets a check up at the San Bushman clinicPrimary healthcare: observations, reassurance, treatments and emergency referrals. 
  • Observations: pregnancy tests and urine tests
  • Weighing babies and recording growth charts
  • Blood pressure recordings
  • Glucose testing and recording 
  • Wound dressings
  • Help in the pharmacy: stock control and new orders
  • Family planning
  • Substance abuse counselling
  • Data capture input
  • Assisting with community visits
  • General maintenance and cleaning

If volunteers have specific skills they feel the programme could benefit from they are always encouraged to use them and suggest new activities.  Medical volunteers usually join for 2 or 4 weeks - as they run on a 12 night schedule (for the transfers).

Equine volunteers working with the on-site horsesEquine Experience

The equine experience is available for a minimum of two weeks and is suitable for experienced riders. Volunteers will stay at the wildlife sanctuary and spend their time here with the on-site horses. Mornings will be spent helping with cleaning and feeding, training young and new horses, as well as taming and raising foals. Training will involve the use of Natural Horsemanship and Parelli tactics. These training strategies involve playful work from the ground as well as longer training rides in the bush with the more experienced horses.

From time to time we also have foals, which will need halter training and introduction to human contact. Afternoons will be spent feeding the horses and riding, trotting and galloping in the veldt on the sanctuary’s reserve. Other activities may include herding and helping with fixing and building structures around the horse’s camps. 

Animal tracksWildlife Conservation Volunteering - Mangetti

The impact of human activities on native wildlife has never been more apparent for two of Africa’s iconic species; the African Painted Dog (or wild dog) and the African Elephant both of which have endured decades of suffering through habitat fragmentation, hunting and persecution. In a bid to alter this state of affairs, researchers have been working in the Mangetti Complex, northern Namibia, in an effort to understand better the levels, and causes, of conflict between these two species and the local population. Volunteers will assist our researchers in documenting the movements and activities of elephant and wild dog. Using GPS and VHF monitoring technology, motion-sensitive trail cameras and traditional spoor (footprint) tracking techniques, come and delve into the lives of the world’s largest land animal and one of Africa’s most endangered carnivore species.  Volunteers can join this programme from Tuesdays to Tuesdays.

Researching painted dogs in NamibiaActivities at the Mangetti:

  • Camera trapping
  • GPS monitoring
  • VHF telemetry tracking
  • Spoor (footprint) tracking
  • Conflict assessment
  • Outreach

Combined Projects

Namibia volunteer at wildlife sanctuary

Volunteers have the opportunity to combine projects - so for example, a San Bushmen Medical Volunteer may choose to spend 3 weeks at the Clinic and 1 week at the Sanctuary. Alternatively, a Wildlife Sanctuary volunteer may choose to spend half their time at the sanctuary and half their time at one of our research sites. Thus there are many possibilities for combining and rotating amongst the different projects on our programme. Many of our Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteers choose to spend most of their time at the sanctuary but then do one week of research to see another part of Namibia and do something totally different. Then there are some Carnivore Conservation Research volunteers who choose to focus solely on the research at one or both of our sites. Medical volunteers may also partake in our animal projects. Transfers to our research sites occur Saturday – Saturday and the clinic transfers occur on Sundays (to and from the clinic), thus volunteers often stay a few nights at the sanctuary depending on their arrival, or they may choose to plan their flights so they arrive on the day before the transfer to their given project. With regards to numbers of volunteers present, currently our research site at Kanaan takes 6 volunteers, Neuras takes 12, Mangetti takes 8, the Clinic takes 4 and the sanctuary can accommodate maximum 44 volunteers.

Volunteers take care of animals at the Wildlife SanctuaryCurious meerkatsSpecific Projects

From time to time we also offer specific courses for those wishing to delve deeper into their field.  We are offering a Veterinarian Course for vet students which will be led by our permanent on site Veterinarian and which will provide an opportunity for vet students to gain real hands-on practical vet experience. We are also offering a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Captive Care course where participants will have the privilege of working with three of our core wildlife staff, including founder and director Marlice van Vuuren, a world-renowned conservationist whose background will provide participants with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  Mornings will be spent learning about theory and afternoons will be spent doing practical work. For more information on dates and costs for 2017, please email:  victoria.mcneil@workingabroad.com

Volunteers relaxing in their free timeFree Time

Whilst not working on the projects there is plenty for volunteers to see and do. For those volunteering on the San Bushmen Medical Programme free time can be spent visiting the local San Bushmen village to learn about the community and play football with the local children. At Neuras volunteers can enjoy sundowners and a braai, swimming in nearby water pools and nature walks.

Sandboarding at Kanaan in your free time

Volunteers at the Wildlife Sanctuary can spend their free time swimming in the pool, playing football or paintball and enjoying nature walks in the local area as well as the traditional sundowners and a braai and volunteers at Kanaan can spend time exploring the Namib Desert, sandboarding or sleeping out under a blanket of stars. You may also have the chance to visit Windhoek for the day or stay overnight at a luxury lodge.  

The full Volunteer Programme is in effect Monday to Saturday, with an activity in the afternoon. Sundays are more of a rest day when you may have the opportunity to go into town, but you will still be expected to help with food preparation and feeding animals.  Please be aware that if you arrive over a weekend, you may not experience the full programme of volunteer activities until Monday.


Kiki the cheetah on the dunes

Background

Founded in 2006 the projects have two aims; to protect and conserve vulnerable African wildlife and to improve the lives of the marginalised San Bushman community. Now renowned among conservationists worldwide, the projects have received global awards and celebrity support. The projects vision is an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together.

Volunteers are highly valued as without their hard work and dedication the projects could not function. The funds raised through the volunteering programme goes directly back into the project providing employment, education and accommodation to the local Bushman community and ensuring the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals.

Dates and Costs

Wildlife Sanctuary, Equine Experience, Neuras and Kanaan Dates:

Striped Polecat at the Wildlife Sanctuary11th May to 25th May 2017
25th May to 8th June 2017
8th June to 22nd June 2017
15th June to 29th June 2017
6th July to 20th July 2017 - Fully Booked

20th July to 3rd August 2017 - Fully Booked
3rd August to 17th August 2017

17th August to 31st August 2017
31st August to 14th September 2017
14th September to 28th September 2017
28th September to 12th October 2017
12th October to 26th October 2017
26th October to 9th November 2017
9th to 23rd November 2017
23rd November to 7th December 2017
7th December to 21st December 2017
21st December 2017 to 4th January 2018
4th to 18th January 2018
18th January to 1st February 2018

Medical Clinic Dates:

Baby zebra

21st May to 2nd June 2017
4th to 16th June 2017
18th to 30th June 2017

2nd to 14th July 2017 - Fully Booked
16th to 28th July 2017 - Fully Booked
30th July to 11th August 2017
13th to 25th August 2017
27th August to 8th September 2017
10th to 22nd September 2017
24th September to 6th October 2017
8th to 20th October 2017
22nd October to 3rd November 2017
5th to 17th November 2017
19th November to 1st December 2017
3rd to 15th December 2017
17th to 29th December 2017
31st December 2017 to 12th January 2018
14th to 26th January 2018

Wildlife Conservation Volunteering - Mangetti *

Volunteers out on a game count get stuck in the sand7th to 21st May 2017
21st May to 4th June 2017
4th to 18th June 2017
18th June to 2nd July 2017 
- Fully Booked
2nd to 16th July 2017 - Fully Booked
16th to 30th July 2017 - Fully Booked
30th July to 13th August 2017
13th to 27th August 2017
27th August to 10th September 2017
10th to 24th September 2017
24th September to 8th October 2017
8th to 22nd October 2017
22nd October to 5th November 2017
5th to 19th November 2017

19th November to 3rd December 2017
3rd to 17th December 2017
17th to 31st December 2017
31st December 2017 to 14th January 2018
14th to 28th January 2018

Special Project Dates

Veterinarian Course:

9th to 22nd October 2017 - Fully Booked
5th to 18th February 2018
8th to 21st October 2018

Wildlife Rehabilitation and Captive Care course:

23rd October to 5th November 2017
19th February to 4th March 2018
22nd October to 4th November 2018

For more information on activities and costs for the special projects above, please email:  victoria.mcneil@workingabroad.com

Two cheetahs


You may stay from 2 weeks to 3 months at any start or end date, however, we have set induction days on Tuesdays and Fridays and thus recommend that volunteers arrive on either a Monday or Thursday. We provide free transfers from either Windhoek centre or the airport on Mondays and Thursdays as these are our preferred arrival dates - though you may still arrive on any other day, and if you do, then you will have to pay an additional fee for the transfer (approx £30). So the above dates are just a guideline - we can tailor the programme to suit your dates and interests, and you are most welcome to stay for any duration up to 12 weeks.

Volunteers at Neuras reserveDepartures can occur on any day at any time with a transfer to the airport or Windhoek included in the cost of the programme.

Transfers to Neuras and Kanaan occur on Saturdays, and if you wish to do research in your first week (or do research the entire time) - we advise that you arrive on a Thursday prior so that you can have the induction on Friday. The off-day transfer fees (approx £30) will apply to those wishing to do only research.

Transfers to and from Mangetti take place on Sundays. So we would advise arriving to the Wildlife Sanctuary on a Saturday and then transferring to Mangetti on the Sunday if you wanted to join this programme. At the end of their stay in Mangetti volunteers will arrive back on Monday at 6AM to the sanctuary. *

Kanaan Desert where the Carnivore Conservation programme is located

Transfers to the clinic occur every 2nd Sunday and thus clinic volunteers are exempt from the off-day transfer fees and you can arrive on any date prior to the Sunday you leave, where you will be stationed at the Sanctuary until the Sunday you are transferred to the clinic.

If you have any questions with regards to dates/transfers etc, please email Victoria.McNeil@workingabroad.com

Costs

Volunteers looking out for wildlife at Neuras

The cost for 2 weeks is £840, 3 weeks is £1160, 4 weeks is £1480, 5 weeks is £1805, 6 weeks is £2125, 7 weeks is £2380 and 8 weeks is £2585.  This is the cost for Wildlife Sanctuary, Equine Experience and Medical volunteers.  For Mangetti, Kanaan and Neuras Carnivore Conservation volunteers, the cost is £940 for 2 weeks, 3 weeks is £1315, 4 weeks is £1690, 5 weeks £2060, 6 weeks is £2435, 7 weeks is £2810 and 8 weeks is £3180. If you want to split projects and do 1 week of one project on top of several weeks of others, you can do so.  In addition, if you need to spend an extra night before or after at the Wildlife Sanctuary when transferring to and from Kanaan or Neuras, the cost is £40 per night.  Please email Victoria.McNeil@workingabroad.com for specific information on this and for information on the Veterinarian and Wildlife Rehabilitation courses.

What's included?

Transfers to the airport
Oryx in NamibiaTransfer from the airport on a transfer day (Monday or Thursday)
Accommodation (including towels and bedding)
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Tea and coffee
Free laundry service
Full support and assistance from your programme coordinator throughout your time at the project

What's not included?

Flights
Transfer from the airport on a non-transfer day (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
Personal travel & medical insurance (this is obligatory for all volunteers to get)
E-mail/Internet and telephone calls
Volunteer visa
All items of a personal nature, such as curios, gifts, clothing (work and other)
Drinks and snacks, which can be purchased on site
Extra excursions
Optional transfer into Windhoek on a Sunday

Food, Lodging, Travel and Climate

Wildlife Sanctuary Project and Equine Experience

Wildlife Sanctuary AccommodationAccommodation

For volunteers at the wildlife sanctuary and for those joining the equine experience there are two options for accommodation; large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by up to 2 people or volunteer rooms shared by up to 3 people. Communal shower and toilet facilities are available and as the hot water is supplied by solar power it can sometimes be restricted. Electricity is available in the communal areas.

Food

Volunteers are provided with 3 meals each day on a self serve basis. Breakfast includes toast and cereal; lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-fry; and dinners include meat and vegetables with rice, potatoes or pasta. On weekends volunteers will often have a traditional braai (barbecue). Vegetarian options are available. 

Carnivore Conservation Research Kanaan Desert

Kanaan AccommodationAccommodation

Volunteers will be staying in a renovated farmhouse with shared bedrooms and bathrooms, accommodating up to 8 paticipants at a time. The house has electricity, but volunteers will need to bring their own South African adapters to charge electric appliances. Volunteers should also be aware there is no cell phone reception in the area. Kanaan volunteer accommodation

Food

Volunteers will be provided with 3 meals a day. Meals include a standard breakfast, lunch (provided either out in the field or back at the farm house depending on the days activities) and dinner (typically a warm meal). Once a week dinner will be in the form of a traditional Namibian braai (barbeque).  Vegetarian options are available on request and volunteers can purchase their own snacks and drinks before arriving. 
 

Neuras camping for volunteersCarnivore Conservation Research Neuras Mountains

Accommodation

Lodging will be in the form of a new tented camp. The camp is comprised of 6 tents, each with 2 single beds, and shared bathrooms. There is also a swimming pool and a BBQ area.

Neuras braii area for conservation volunteersFood

Volunteers will receive three meals a day. This will include a standard breakfast, a variety of lunches such as sandwiches, burgers and salads and dinner (typically a warm meal). Once a week volunteers will be treated to a traditional Namibian braai (barbeque) as well as a Neuras favourite; brick oven pizza night! Vegetarians can be catered for. 

San Bushmen Medical Programme

San bushmen medical volunteer accommodation Namibia

Accommodation

While volunteering with the San Bushmen Medical Programme you will stay in a bungalow along with the resident Doctor and Nurse. You will either share rooms in pairs or have a private room depending on the number of volunteers at the time. As the clinic can only accommodate a maximum of 4 volunteers at a time the accommodation has a very homely atmosphere. The house has a kitchen, 2 bedrooms with single beds, 2 bathrooms and a living room (with TV) and electricity and hot water are freely available.
 
Food
 
You will be provided with 3 meals a day which will be prepared amongst yourself and the other volunteers. 

Star trails in Namibia's amazing night skies

Wildlife Conservation Volunteering - Mangetti

Accommodation
 
Situated centrally in the Kavango Cattle Ranch sits the Mangetti village where the researcher(s) and volunteers are accommodated in one of the management houses. The house has electricity and running water; the hot water is supplied through a wood-burning water boiler or ‘donkey’ as it is commonly known.
 
Food
 
Meals are a simple affair in the Mangetti. Breakfast will consist of cereal, tea/coffee and toast. Most days packed lunches (sandwich, fruit & juice) will be prepared by volunteers and staff to be eaten in the field. Everyone takes turns to cook the main evening meal and clean up afterwards. There will usually be a traditional Namibian ‘braai’ (barbeque) one evening during the trip.
 

Giraffes in NamibiaDry climate in NamibiaClimate

Volunteers should be prepared to work under any weather conditions including cold winters, rain and long hours in the sun.  Windhoek has a semi-desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters and temperatures tend to drop at night. On average, Namibia receives about 300 days of sunshine a year.

Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40° C and plummet at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34° 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.

Travel & Transfers

Wild Dog at the Wildlife SanctuaryMedical volunteers will begin their project on Sundays and as such are advised to arrive on a Thursday. Volunteers will be based at the Wildlife Sanctuary until Sunday when they can be transfered to the clinic. Volunteers for the Carnivore Conservation Research Projects and the Wildlife Santuary will begin with induction days on Tuesdays and Fridays and are therefore advised are advised to arrive on Mondays or Thursdays and volunteers for Mangetti start on Tuesdays, so we advise you to arrive on a Monday.

Transfers which occur outside of the suggested days will be charged and extra £33 (approx) per person. 

On arrival, you will be met by a representative at Windhoek International Airport. The transfer time to the sanctuary is approximately 45 minutes. On arrival to the sanctuary, you will be shown around the accommodation and facilities. An induction meeting will be held with you in your first few days. Activities are continuous on the sanctuary and animals need tending to, so you will be hands-on on from your first day!

If you are unable to arrive on a Monday or a Thursday, we can also recommend places for you to stay in Windhoek.

Volunteers walking in the desert

Visas

The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised us that work visas are necessary for volunteer placements in Namibia and need to be arranged in advance. This is a requirement for all volunteers who are non-Namibians.
 
If you decide to join this programme and once your place has been confirmed, you will receive the visa application form, along with clear instructions as to what to fill out and provide with your visa application.
 
We advise using a Visa agency in Windhoek to process your application as other than the UK and Germany, many of the Namibian Embassies in other countries may not issue the correct visa.  Please allow 6 - 8 weeks for your visa (can take 2 weeks for UK applicants).  The visa costs approximately £50.

Male Leopard at the Wildlife SanctuaryVaccinations

In order to enter Namibia certain vaccinations are required. Both rabies and tetanus vaccinations are recommended for this project. Volunteers should also contact their doctor or travel clinic to arrange the appropriate vaccinations and ensure they carry the vaccination certificate with their passport. Although the not all the projects are not located in a high Malaria risk area, should you decide to travel to other parts of Namibia either during your stay or afterwards you may need to take malaria tablets and should consult your doctor. 

The Mangetti is a high risk Malaria area from November to March and anti-malarial medication is strongly recommended (we recommend you get the medication in Namibia and take it only when leaving for Mangetti, not beforehand). Suitable insect repellents should also be brought.

Volunteers getting training on hyena researchRequirements

No previous experience or qualifications are necessary, just enthusiasm to make a lasting difference to Namibia's Wildlife and the San Bushmen community.  If you do have previous medical skills or qualifications, that is of course a big bonus for the Medical volunteer programme - and likewise, if you are studying medicine, or nursing, you would be most welcome to join.

Background, Interactive Map & Videos

Map showing key project locations (please click the map to view an interactive version)

Wildlife Conservation and San Bushman Community Project Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a short video showcasing the Carnivore Conservation Programme in the Kanaan Desert



 

Below is a short video showcasing the Wildlife Sanctuary project and the work of volunteers in Namibia

Below is a short video clip of volunteers in action at the Carnivore Conservation Programme at Neuras:

About Namibia

Stunning views of Nankluft mountainsNamibia is located in South West Africa,bordering on South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Zambia. Home to many contrasting environments the country is known for both desert and long stretches of coastline. Conservation is a national priority and Namibia has some of the largest and most well known national parks in the region

Located only thirty minutes from Hosea Kutako International Airport amongst camel thorn trees, riverbeds, and a stone canyon, the Wildlife Sanctuary is perfectly situated to start or finish your trip to Namibia.  This is where the head office is and the main volunteer activities take place.  If you choose to combine with the other sites, Neuras is 2 hours away and Kanaan a further 2 hours drive.
 
The Carnivore Conservation Research Project Neuras is located in the Pro-Namib ecosystem. The northern section encompasses the Naukluft Mountain range, and the Tsauchab river system that empties into Namibia's famous Sossusvlei pan. The southern part contains an extensive canyon complex and a unique underground cave system. These environments support specialised ecosystems and highly adapted wildlife.
 
Namibia landscape is stunningLocated in Kanaan, the Carnivore Conservation Research Project is home to nearly 330km2 of stunning desert scenery. Kanaan’s environment entails a spectacular mix of red sand dunes, imposing mountain ranges, vast grass plains and old camel thorn trees. In addition, Kanaan directly borders the Namib Naukluft Park and therefore provides an important link for landscape scale wildlife conservation.
 
The Medical clinic is located in Omawewozonyanda, a rural village within the Epukiro Constituency of the Omaheke Region in which around 500 San and Herero people live. From here you will help provide primary healthcare to the local community and surrounding areas by assisting our Doctor and Nurse. The Lifeline Clinic treats around 3,500 patients each year. Approximately 80% of our patients are San, and the remainder are mostly Herero and Damara speaking Namibians. The Lifeline Clinic is approximately a 4 hour drive from the sanctuary.

Volunteer Testimonials

Wildlife Conservation Volunteers

Cheetah in NamibiaVolunteering was a special experience. Unlike many other volunteering places, the sanctuary manages to blend both inward and external conservation, from caring for injured cheetahs, to working with farmers to mitigate leopard conflict. If you want an unrivalled insight into the care, rehabilitation AND conservation of Namibia’s inspiring wildlife, then this is the place for you. The staff on the project are welcoming, knowledgeable and engaging; they will ensure that you not only make a real difference to conservation as well to your own personal development. Even when you’re cutting trees or sweating in the midday sun, the work is always for a purpose and you gain great pride in the smallest or largest activity you do. Whether it’s baboon sleepovers, translocating a beautiful leopard away from conflict with farmers, rehabilitating cheetahs and meerkats, playing an important role in cutting edge Namibian snake research or preparing food for many hungry animal mouths, or relaxing with the other volunteers by the pool surrounded by a curious vulture and inquisitive warthog the project will deliver an unforgettable opportunity to experience conservation in action.

Chris Goodman, UK, December 2016


The project is amazing, it will change your heart and mind. Be prepared to be mind-blown, heartbroken and thrilled with life. You will meet coordinators willing to do their utmost to make your stay as amazing as possible. You will meet people that will be start of many new friendships for life. You will meet animals that will steal your heart, and your phone. Last but not least, you will find your second home, in a place filled with people trying to make a difference, trying to put their handprint on the world and say "I did something, I did not just stand and watch this beautiful world fall apart".

Lene fjeldgren, Denmark, October 2016


Caracal in NamibiaThank you guys for a fantastic month! Back home I thought 4 weeks would be sufficient, but time just flys by too quickly, I could definitely have stayed for more weeks. The atmosphere and people at the project are so down to earth and filled with jokes, laughter but also seriousness. I've learned a lot about conservation, the animals and problems that conservation and animals are facing. The coordinators teach you a lot during daily activities and more specified activities like anesthetize animals which Anais the vet informs you about. It has been a very interesting/informative and in general fun and amazing experience. I will definitely recommend this project to everybody interested in animals, conservation, and having an amazing time doing so. I'm sure this is not the last time I set foot here.

Line, Denmark, May 2016


Meeting the animals here and the excellent staff who are knowledgeable and passionate about these animals has been an amazing experience. It will be a memory that I always treasure. You can tell that many people feel that way by the number of volunteers that return!

Alicia, US, March 2016


Oryx in NamibiaI am very thankful for the amazing time I spent at the project and for all the great experience I gained during my stay here. I was surrounded by great people and made very close friends all over the world. I wish to come back to this amazing place and work again with all the wild animals. It is still unbelievable for me that we were able to interact so intensely with cheetahs, baboons and many more impressing and stunning animals. I will definitely miss my time here and recommend it to everybody who is open-minded and has a heart for animals and/or kids. I also enjoyed being at the clever cubs school and play and study with these lovely children. Take the chance and do not miss this great experience, I could not imagine any better place for volunteer work.

Clara, Austria, February 2016


Frodo the baboonEloise Kannemeyer, Australia, Volunteer

I volunteered for a month and it was truly the best time of my life. The staff were amazing, so kind and friendly and I made the greatest friends from all over the world. I fell in love with all the animals on the farm, especially a little baby baboon called Frodo. I was the first volunteer to get to sleep with him at night time, so I grew very attached to him and I still miss him every day. My favourite activities were the game counts/afternoon horse rides with Tessa, baboon walks and carnivore feed. Cheetahs have always been my favourite animal, so it was incredible to get up close and personal with them. I will never forget the amazing experiences I had and I can't wait until I can return to the farm and see how everyone has grown.
 


A cheetah at the sanctuary

Michaela Hartig, US, Volunteeer

My time here was unbelievable and an absolute joy. All of the wildlife coordinators seemed to truly enjoy what they do and helped make all of the activities so much better. I appreciate rotation of the activities and how the morning and afternoon activities are set up so that there is always something to look forward to. The staff members in general are fun to talk to. I also love how they are active not only with helping injured animals, but research conservation in hopes of eliminating the unnecessary killing of carnivores when there is no need of doing so. How how they are willing to educate farmers is a great example for other sanctuaries to follow. Over all, I'm excited to tell all of my friends and family about this amazing experience and I can't wait to start planning my next trip!
 


Feeding time at the Wildlife SanctuaryAdam Reingold, US, Volunteer

There are many good conservation programs that do good for animals in Africa and THEN there is this which is simply GREAT. Its staff, and volunteers are purely dedicated to preserving and protecting the animals of Namibia and beyond! They do far more than animal care and conservation. Through working with people, they aim to improve human v. animal conflict so that the beautiful and majestic animals of Africa can remain where they belong, wild and free in the veldt. As a volunteer I truly gained a detailed working knowledge of the animals that we cared for and a love for conserving them for future generations.

 


An Aardvark at the Wildlife Sanctuary

Karen Fitzpatrick, Volunteer

Upon arriving at camp, stepping out of the truck, I was greeted by a baby zebra named Benny who I would later take turns bottle feeding every 2 hours. I knew right then that my experience here would be memorable. What captured my attention immediately was the passion of the staff; it was inspiring to say the least. Not to mention their vast knowledge of animal behavior. These are people devoting their time, energy, expertise and hard work towards caring for and conserving these amazing animals. Their selflessness is humbling. Thank God there are people like this so perhaps the wildlife in Namibia will flourish for generations to come. As a volunteer, be prepared to work. It takes time to care for all the animals, but you will be amply rewarded with activities like the baby baboon walk, the caracal walk, carnivore feeding, etc… A baby giraffe was even born during my time at the project! These memories are etched in my mind forever. Thank you for an experience of a lifetime!


A wild dog at the Wildlife SanctuaryLars Poeck, Germany, Volunteer

I had an amazing time as a Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer. The Clever Cubs School with only two classrooms is one of the smallest schools I've ever seen. The school's budget is tiny compared to that of developed normal schools - but the Namibian teacher Hilma was so creative in teaching the Bushman kids. I assisted her in teaching the children English, first steps in Mathematics, reading and much more. But I also got the whole experience of African Wildlife. Half of the day I worked in the Wildlife Volunteer programme. First time in my life I got that close to all these beautiful animals like cheetahs, baboons, wild dogs, leopards. The Teaching and Wildlife programme was a perfect mixture and I will definitely come back some day.


Carnivore Conservation Research Volunteers

India Hewitt, UK, Volunteer

The most incredible place I have ever been to in my life and I will definitely be back. The work you do here makes you feel like you are actually helping the animals and contributing to conservation efforts. Plus where else can you text your mum when she calls you to say "Sorry can't talk right now, busy darting a cheetah". Incredible animals, incredible people, incredible place.


A cheetah wearing a GPS collarHollie Saunders, UK, Volunteer

I spent 10 days volunteering at the Carnivore Conservation Centre. The programme allowed me to witness and contribute to the rehabilitation and soft release method of cheetah conservation. In my time at the NCC I was able to take part in the daily activities such as wild cheetah tracking, exploration and placing of camera traps in the surrounding area so that the carnivore population can be established, game drives and nature tours, data entry, and feeding the cheetahs. There is a relaxed and positive atmosphere which makes the whole experience unique. The Carnivore Conservation centre shows the reality of conservation instead of an attempt to domesticate the naturally wild cheetahs and the fact that it is set in such a beautiful place completes the whole experience. Taking part in the programme actually feels like you are contributing something significant to wildlife conservation, therefore I strongly recommend volunteering there for anyone interested in conservation.


Eleanor Scully, UK, Volunteer

It was a fantastic opportunity to see how a cheetah capture and release works from beginning to end, and to see a wild cheetah so close. It is an experience none of us will forget when we return to our jobs or studies and the relative normality of day to day life. It has been a privilege to work with a team that cares so deeply about the wild carnivores of Namibia that they dedicate all of their time and energy to their humane capture and release, and I hope they can continue to do so for a long time to come.


San Bushmen Medical Volunteers

Patients at medical clinic

Kim Anna Jacob, Germany, Volunteer

It might sound crazy, but what I will take from this experience is beauty.

And not just in the way the sun comes up and goes down here. There is a beauty in the way a hungry child digs into the porridge I made. There is a beauty in how kind words and humanity light up faces. How in the San Community they share the little they have. There is a beauty in the endless effort of the doctors to not just heal but help. Laughing together even with no common language is beautiful. Me failing in trying to say a name with a click-sound in it. There is even beauty in the worried voices regarding patients at the dinner table. And as a nursing student I am proud to say: there is a beauty in treating infected wounds.

I want to thank everyone at Lifeline Clinic for showing and sharing this beauty with me. Beautiful memories, especially crazy sounding ones, are the ones I will carry with me every day.


A mother feeding her baby at the medical clinicMiguel Ernesto Velez, Puerto Rico, Volunteer

After countless years of constantly dreaming about visiting Africa I was finally able to volunteer in a medical capacity. I find it COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE to even try to put the significance of this experience in words. This was without a doubt the apex of my adventures in preparation for medical school, mainly because of the insight I obtained into the lack of a health care system in places of extreme poverty and the opportunity of meeting people like my amazing mentor Dr. Sarah France and all the San and Herero People living at Epukiro.

Blue sky and red desert of NamibiaHow to Join

If you are interested in volunteering as a wildlife conservation or medical volunteer in Namibia, you will need to fill out the online application form (you can also print it out and send it to us by post) – to secure a placement on the project, please complete and submit the form including two references and your application payment of £195. If for some reason, your application is not accepted, we would reimburse this payment fully. However for those who are accepted, the full amount needs to be paid one month before departure. Once you have been accepted, you will receive a Volunteer Information Package with all detailed information on your project, Namibia, suggested items to bring etc.

 

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