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Namibia Wildlife Conservation

Their vision is an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together. Their mission is to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat.

Namibia Wildlife Conservation

Overview:

Location Closest town: Windhoek, Namibia
Duration From 2 - 12 weeks
Dates All year round
Requirements
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have a love for animals
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, visa application (all travellers to Namibia are required to have a valid passport and a working visa)
Day of arrival Monday
Day of departure Monday

Highlights

  • Work closely with the conservation of African wildlife.
  • Help to enrich and care for sanctuary animals.
  • Learn about conservation and research efforts.
  • Meet the famous three-legged cheetah.
  • Experience the beauty of African wilderness.
  • Help at the Clever Cubs School & assist with the teaching of San children.
  • Learn about old San traditions and culture.
  • Take part in excursions in Namibia: 3-day to 28-day tours are available at an extra cost. Tours may include visits to the amazing sand dunes in Sossussvlei, the coastal resort of Swakkopmund and the Etosha National Park.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

Namibia Wildlife Conservation, situated on a 3,200 hectare reserve near Windhoek, provides a safe haven for orphaned and injured African wildlife. The project strongly believes that wildlife belongs in the wild and they direct all their efforts towards long-term rehabilitation. But sadly, not all of the animals that come to this sanctuary are able to be released back into the wild. Those that can’t be released remain in the sanctuary.

During your time at the sanctuary, you will feed the animals, take them on walks, go on game counts and help with any other projects that may come up. You have the rare and exciting opportunity to work closely with animals and to participate actively in the conservation of African wildlife. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife, including a number of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals, baboons and meerkats as well as many farmyard animals such as sheep, goats, chickens and geese. You play an important role, caring for and feeding the animals on a daily basis, and helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary.

"Conservation Through Innovation": The project strives to create sustainable and long-term solutions. It is their vision to play a proactive role in nature conservation because they believe that they hold this invaluable heritage in their trust for future generations. They rely solely on generous donations and on the time given by volunteers to continue their vital work to help the people and animals of Namibia. 

As a wildlife conservation volunteer, it is also possible for you to spend some time at the project’s Clever Club School. This pre-school provides vital free education to the San children whose parents work on the sanctuary/farm, and who would otherwise not have access to education. The number of children attending varies - there are currently around 25 children, aged between 1 and 7. The School provides a full curriculum including English, maths, arts &crafts, sport and environmental studies. As well as learning how to read and write, the children enjoy dancing, singing and playing. They are also provided with a main meal at lunchtime, which for many of them is the only substantial meal they receive each day. The children are extremely friendly and love meeting new people. Their enthusiasm is infectious and it is very rewarding to see their smiling faces every day.

Your Role

Activities at the sanctuary are carried out using a rotational group system to ensure that everybody gets exposed to the variety of experiences available.

A vital part of the day-to-day running of the sanctuary involves preparing food for and feeding the animals, as well as cleaning and maintaining the animals’ enclosures and housing. This can be a very messy but satisfying part of your day, as you’re ensuring the nutritional needs of each animal are met and you are also checking up on their health and happiness while cleaning their enclosures. You’ll be handling fruits, vegetables, meats and corn-based meal among other things to help prepare the meals needed for all of the animals, including baboons and cheetahs.

Possible tasks could include:

  • Preparing food and feeding the wildlife and farm animals
  • Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
  •  Enriching the animals’ lives through interaction, walks in the bush or by implementing 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. This involves monitoring free-ranging carnivores in the area, and on surrounding farms, to help conserve those that are under threat. The project helps to reduce human-wildlife conflict through research, relationship-building, improved livestock protection, and cooperation with local farmers.
  • Time in the wild, performing tasks such as tracking and monitoring carnivores (and snakes!) on or near the property, horseback riding and game counts in the bush.
  • Assisting with any current projects at the sanctuary.

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer, the time of the year and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above.

Accommodation

Two types of accommodation are offered: 

  • Volunteer tents: large tents with a living and a bedroom area, to be shared by two volunteers (same gender or a couple).
  • Volunteer rooms: up to three people (same gender) share a room. 

The rooms are basic, but the single beds are comfortable and bedding is provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and the hot water is heated by solar energy and is therefore sometimes restricted. Electricity is freely available. However, please be aware that sometimes the electricity supply can be cut off during storms. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.

Testimonials

Vivian from Brazil

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"Namibia Wildlife Conservation is a very special project, starting with its location - a beautiful place with a fantastic landscape, far from civilization and filled with many, many animals! For me it was simply delightful being surrounded by them and to learn, every day, something new.

My favorite activities were those involving the baboons, animals with which we ended up having more interaction in the project. Being able to sleep with a cub was something I never imagined doing in life; Walk with monkeys hanging on your shoulders, hugging you and even receive a "kiss" of them was surreal! And of course, the image of zebras, giraffes, ostriches, wild boars, oyrixes, running loose by the reserve will be forever in my memory.

I made friends, I met people from all over the world, all with an immense love for life and nature, and I feel that I have returned richer from this trip. Volunteer exchange is something that everyone should experience someday. We live in a world very helpless and sometimes the little we give makes a big difference for those who need it."

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"I really enjoyed the work with the animals. It's amazing that we can get so close to the animals."

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"I loved that we get involved in every special programme. Picking up an animal somewhere, vaccination, darting, etc. the stuff had a big knowledge about all the animals and took time to explain questions. Of course, the little monkey were a highlight, though it's in fact a sad story behind. Also the saturday activities were great."