Come work and safari with Africa’s most spectacular wildlife in the beautiful country of Namibia! We will volunteer for two weeks at a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center, caring for injured and orphaned animals such as cheetahs, leopards, lions, meerkats, monkeys and African wild (painted) dogs, just to name a few. We as volunteers will play a critical role in the daily care and feeding of animals in rehabilitation or permanent captivity at the sanctuary, as well as help to maintain and develop the sanctuary. This is an exceptional opportunity to get hands on with African wildlife. Additionally, although the focus will be on animal welfare, there will also be educational and recreational activities for us to take part in.
Because the sanctuary releases and/or relocates whenever possible, the animals at the sanctuary will vary at any given time, but may include carnivores such as wild dog, lion, leopard, cheetah and caracal; primates such as baboon and vervet monkey; birds such as peacock and vulture; antelope such as oryx , springbok, duiker and kudu; small mammals such as meerkat, hyrax, polecat, genet and warthog, as well as a host of other species and farm animals.
During your two weeks at the sanctuary, you will have the opportunity to visit other projects run by the same organization. Travel to the southern part of the country and take part in carnivore research among the red dunes of the desert, help native San Bushman tribespeople at a medical clinic, or travel north and participate in painted dog and elephant research. You will be given more information about these projects once you've arrived at the sanctuary.
After the work is done, we will take a safari to see the abundant wildlife of Etosha National Park and explore the breathtaking landscapes that make up Namibia. You will return from this trip with an experience you will remember for life. Not only will you be able to explore this beautiful part of Africa, but you will play an integral role in its conservation. And the beauty and serenity of the African landscape will surely remain a part of you forever.
You will be greeted at the Windhoek airport and transported to the project, where you will have the evening to relax and get over jetlag. The next morning we will learn about the various projects offered by the organization, and will volunteer for the next two weeks. If you choose to visit another project, you will spend the second week there. After two weeks we will spend a night in Windhoek before being picked up for our safari the following morning. After the safari, we will spend one more night in Windhoek before being transported to the airport for our flights back home.
Activities at the sanctuary are carried out in a rotational group system to ensure that everybody gets exposed to the variety of experiences available. Tasks for sanctuary volunteers include:
- Preparing food and feeding the animals
- Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
- Providing enrichment to the animals in the form of interaction, walks in the bush or special activities
- Providing care for juvenile wildlife, including overnight care for animals such as baboons
- Helping to build new facilities
- Monitoring free-roaming carnivores in the area, analyzing camera traps and GPS data
- Tracking & monitoring carnivores, horseback riding and game counts in the bush
- Spending time with the animals
The groups work two to three activities a day between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Volunteers get a break in the morning, followed by lunch from 1pm-2:30pm. Weekends are not part of the rotation schedule; on Saturdays, volunteers will participate in morning activities, and in the afternoon there will be a fun non-work related activity followed by a braai (barbecue). On Sunday, a small team will participate in food prep in the morning and everyone else will have the day off to visit town, have lunch at the lodge, or do whatever they like. All non-working hours are free time to explore the sanctuary.
Volunteers will be housed in large tented cabins which hold 2-3 people (same gender or a couple). The rooms are basic with single beds and bedding provided (duvets and pillows) and a private outdoor bathroom/shower. Hot water and electricity are supplied by solar energy.
Three balanced meals are provided per day on a self-serve basis, with a traditional braai (barbecue) on the weekend. Vegetarian options are available and all dietary conditions can be accommodated for.
- Transportation from the airport to the project and between hotel stays
- Lodging and food at the projects for the duration
- Volunteer fees (these help keep the project going, and help locals learn about and practice conservation methods)
- Safari (includes lodging and most meals)
- Transportation back to the airport
- Passport (with at least six months validity)
- Insurance (covering the duration of your stay; please bring proof)
- Inoculations (please speak to your doctor about necessary immunizations)
- Work Visa (see information below)
- Copies of the above (to be left at home)
- Spending money (you can withdraw or transfer cash at the airport)
- Backpack, water bottle & headlamp (with batteries)
- Secure, waterproof bag for documents and money (plastic bags are fine)
- Toiletries (please bring biodegradable products, as the Wildlife Sanctuary uses recycled water for its sprinkling system)
-Medical Kit (hand sanitizer/wet wipes, immodium, band-aids, personal medicine & earplugs)
- Sunglasses, sun hat, bandana, lip balm& sunscreen (high UV/SPF protection)
- Closed-toed shoes & sandals
- Gardening gloves
- Non-DEET mosquito repellent
- Mobile phone (local SIM cards are available at the airport & sanctuary)
- Alarm clock or watch
- Camera (with batteries)
- Power adapter for South Africa (3 large round pins)
Volunteer work in research and conservation involves hands-on work with the animals, so you will get dirty! Old, dispensable clothes are advisable for daily activities, as well as close-toed shoes. Sanctuary t-shirts will be provided, which you are required to wear, and shorts must be of an appropriate length.
The Namibian summer begins in October, and days will be very warm. Mornings and nights may still be chilly, so pack a set of warm clothes.
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. Once you confirm your booking, you will be sent a visa application form and clear instructions on how to fill it out correctly. It generally takes about 6-8 weeks to process your visa. If you need more info, send me an email!
Electricity is 220 Volts and the socket type is 3-pin (M). Please bring plug adapters so you can charge mobile phones and cameras! Power cuts do occur and can last longer than 24 hours.
Electricity is available at the sanctuary, but is limited at the Research Sites. Laundry services are available at the Sanctuary and the Research Sites.
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