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The Forgotten Five

Volunteering full time with a unique project which focuses on the Cape griffon vulture, Cape pangolin, Dwarf python, Spotted rubber frog, and Damara Dik Dik. This organisation is centered around the scientific and practical study of rare and endangered species in northern Namibia, it helps develop and facilitate solutions to conservation problems among these species at a community, national and international level.


Location Outjo, Namibia
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have a love for animals and an interest in conservation
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance, visa application
Day of arrival Saturday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Volunteering with The Forgotten Five: Cape Griffon vulture, Cape pangolin, Damara dik-dik, spotted rubber frog and the dwarf python
  • Assisting with the medical care of rehabilitated animals
  • Helping hand-rear animals that have been injured / rescued
  • Learning about the fascinating pangolins
  • Taking part in important research and learning different research methods
  • Learning about anti-poaching methods as well as survival in the bush
  • Experiencing amazing tours and adventures in Namibia
  • Making new friends from all over the world

Project information

This project is a non-profit organization that specializes in research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release of Namibian animals. Their primary focus is the Forgotten Five which are the Cape Griffon vulture, Cape pangolin, Damara dik-dik, spotted rubber frog, and dwarf python (not to be mistaken for Africa’s Big 5: elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard). They do, however, accept any rescue animal in need that calls Namibia home. Their goal in assisting with rescues is to always rehabilitate and release these animals back into their natural habitat.

This project specializes in research into and the conservation of the Forgotten Five, working to understand these little-known species better and to help protect them. This project is most well-known for their work with the Cape Griffon vulture and Cape pangolin.

This project prides itself on a high success rate in the rehabilitation and release of local wildlife. They strive to continue to grow and develop a deeper understanding and awareness of the conservation of these animals with the public so as to avoid the eminent extinction of these rare and wonderful creatures.

Your role

You will volunteer six days a week and will have one day off. As volunteers rotate, your free days will change from week to week. If you need a weekend day off for any particular reason, the project staff is flexible.

Your main role would be to protect and rehabilitate their resident pangolin. Volunteers are in charge of keeping track of her and collecting data on her whereabouts and activities. The project staff will show you the programme upon arrival. Being out in VERY thick bush for 3-6 hours a day is part of your role as a volunteer and, although this can be long, hot, tiring and sometimes rainy (if you're there during wet season), it is an unforgettable experience. If there are multiple volunteers at the project who can rotate, this will then not be something that needs to be done every day. PLEASE NOTE that this is a big part of volunteering at this project though!

Other volunteer duties could be:

  • Animal care
  • Painting walls
  • Moving rocks
  • Building fences, etc.

You should be flexible and be willing to "wear several hats" as this project is a very small organization with a few staff and the needs of the centre vary from day to day. The work is hard, but rewarding, and we can confidently say most of our volunteers are sad to leave at the end of their stay!

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.


You will be accommodated directly at the project. You either stay in double rooms or in safari tents that can accommodated two volunteers. There are two shared bathrooms with toilets & hot water showers. Meals can be prepared in a communal kitchen equipped with a stove and refrigerator as well as basic cooking utensils.

Basic bedding is provided but it is recommended to bring your own. Towels are not provided.