Wildlife conservation, community and environmental volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Volunteering in Namibia – Protection of Namibia's Desert Elephants

Organisation: NATUCATE

Country: Namibia

Type: Environment & Wildlife Conservation

Volunteering in Namibia – Protection of Namibia's Desert Elephants

Species Conservation in Namibia

The desert elephant conservation project is concentrated in the area of Damaraland, in north-western Namibia. Damaraland is a sparsely populated area, which – despite its aridity – is home to a virtually untouched nature, with a wilderness of fascinating plants and animals: a world full of contrasts. It is an enormous challenge for man and nature to survive in the conditions prevailing here and to wrest the few resources from the barren land. It is precisely these circumstances that have meant that one of the last remaining natural environments in the world has been able to exist more or less unspoiled until now. Experience the country from a different perspective and discover the true life of Namibia as a volunteer.

To ensure that the desert elephant can roam through Namibia’s Damaraland for years to come, the project is devoted entirely to the conservation of these animals. Despite the prohibition of big-game hunting, there were very few desert elephants left in the region 20 years ago. The main reason for this was the conflict with local farmers. Life in Damaraland is largely dependent on the few springs which have water all year round – especially in the dry season. The desert elephants head for these springs on their long treks, but they are often taken over by man and inaccessible to animals. That is why – in their desperate daily quest for water – desert elephants sometimes destroy the farmer’s homes and wells. The aim of the conservation project is therefore to create a balance which meets the needs of both humans and animals. It helps the farmers with development aid, schooling and training and building protective walls. It also builds new water holes for the animals away from the settlements and shows the local population that it is possible to live in harmony with the elephants.

During your time here you will learn much about the culture and natives of this country and will gain deep insights into the spirit of Namibia. Another important component of this project is monitoring the desert elephants. You will follow animal tracks throughout Damaraland, accompanying these gentle giants on their endless ramblings and observing their behaviour, their population and their movement patterns. You will experience the animals at close quarters and learn much about their natural habitat. This incredible adventure will take you away from tracks and roads into the depths of this natural wilderness and will leave a lasting impression – a fascinating project, which you will never forget!

Your accommodation

You will pitch a mobile camp in various places, enabling you to discover all facets of the country. In the first week, a base is usually established in close proximity to one or several farms. You will sleep in a tent for two or, if you prefer, next to the camp fire which is used for cooking and where you will eat together. What more freedom could you want? Wait till the second week! This you will spend on patrol, tracking desert elephants, you will sleep under the open sky and live in a breathtaking natural environment.

  • Age limit: Minimum age 18 years
  • Start date: 2019: 07.01., 21.01., 04.02., 18.02., 04.03., 18.03., 01.04., 15.04., 29.04., 13.05., 27.05.,10.06., 24.06., 08.07., 22.07., 05.08., 19.08., 02.09., 16.09., 30.09., 14.10., 28.10., 11.11., 25.11. | 2020: 06.01., 20.01., 03.02., 17.02., 02.03., 16.03., 30.03., 13.04., 27.04., 11.05., 25.05., 08.06., 22.06., 06.07., 20.07., 03.08., 17.08., 31.08., 14.09., 28.09., 12.10., 26.10., 09.11., 23.11.
  • Duration: 12-72 days
  • Project location: Damaraland / Namibia
  • Accommodation: Two-man tents, under the open sky
  • Language requirements: English (a good level of school English is sufficient)
  • Suitable for: volunteer work, sabbatical, internship
  • Certification: upon request


  • Price for 12 days       1.125 EUR
  • Price for 24 days       1.850 EUR
  • Price for 36 days       2.500 EUR
  • Price for 48 days       3.125 EUR
  • Price for 60 days       3.650 EUR
  • Price for 72 days       4.175 EUR


  • Placement in the project
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • Accommodation during the project
  • All meals during the project
  • Project-related transport
  • English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • 24/7-support throughout the project

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