Join for a once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, and take a hands on role in conservation, rehabilitation and humanitarian work. The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation projects offer people the opportunity from all walks of life to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia’s wildlife, with no previous experience required. The sanctuary is home to a diverse variety of wildlife species. Many of these animals have taken refuge at the sanctuary, having unfortunately come into conflict with humans. These animals are released back into the wild whenever possible, and for those that are too habituated to humans, or injured, the sanctuary provides an opportunity for these animals to thrive in a natural environment, without the threat of persecution.
We can promise you the experience of a lifetime, as you will assist a world-renowned conservation team in Namibia and gain hands-on experience with various wildlife species! If exposure to the African wildlife is your dream – perhaps even interacting one on one with wildlife – then gap year voluntary work at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary will exceed your wildest expectations!
“I have traveled a great deal, and can honestly say this was one of the most amazing experiences in my lifetime. The staff is knowledgeable and dedicated, and the hands-on opportunities to handle animals and to be a part of research and treatment activities are extraordinary. “
– Martha Greenberg
“My time here was truly extraordinary. The staff were exciting, friendly and extremely knowledgable. The animals were clearly well-taken care of, and it was really a once in a lifetime opportunity to have the chance to interact with many of them. The organization’s missions and principles are ones I truly believe in, and it is so clear that the animals’ best interest are put first – always. This is an extremely special place, where like-minded staff and volunteers come from across the globe to work with animals (and sometimes San children). If I ever can make the time to return again, I definitely will.”
– Rachel Ehrman
As a Wildlife Conservation volunteer at this Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary you will have the rare and exciting opportunity to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation and research of African wildlife. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned, injured or ‘problem’ wildlife including a number of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals , warthogs, antelope and baboons as well as a host of birds, smaller African mammals and farmyard animals.
Volunteers work alongside dedicated and passionate staff, at various projects that operate in 4 different sites around Namibia:
1.Wildlife Conservation : The Wildlife Sanctuary (Pre-School volunteering available here as an activity or project) near Windhoek
2.Carnivore Conservation Research : Wildlife Estate in the South
3.Carnivore Conservation Research : Desert Retreat in the South
4.Medical : Clinic at Epukiro in the East
Volunteers may choose to combine various projects and activities and rotate between the different sites or may choose to focus on only one project or area of interest for the duration of
their placement – the experience can be tailored to suit the needs and desires of each volunteer.
Our Wildlife Conservation Volunteers provide an important resource in the daily care and feeding of the sanctuary’s animals, as well as helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary. This is an exceptional opportunity to get hands on with African wildlife and many aspects of their care. Additionally, although our focus is on animal welfare, there will also be educational and recreational activities for volunteers to take part in. All routine aspects of the programme are carried out in a rotational group system to ensure that everybody gets exposed to the variety of experiences available.
Our goal is to release animals when possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild. However, sometimes an animal comes to us that cannot be released for various reasons such as habituation to humans which would put the animal at risk if released or an extensive injury. Our aim is to provide a lifelong sanctuary for these animals.
The Wildlife Conservation project may also entail volunteering with the San children and assisting the teacher at our School, located on premises at the Sanctuary. This Pre-School provides vital free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work on site and who would otherwise not have access to education. The children are extremely friendly and love meeting new people – their enthusiasm and smiles are infectious to all!
The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is situated less than an hour by vehicle from Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
Namibia is a most special country. One of the prime tourist destinations in the world. Conservation is a cornerstone of the Namibian experience. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government has reinforced this by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies. Today, over 43% of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management. This includes national parks and reserves, communal and commercial conservancies, community forests, and private nature reserves.
We have two options of accommodation at the Wildlife Sanctuary; volunteer rooms with up to three people (same gender) sharing each room, or large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by up to two people (same gender or a couple). The rooms are basic but our single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore sometimes restricted. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.
- Preparing food and feeding the wildlife and farm animals
- Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
- Providing enrichment to the animals (in the form of interaction, walks in the bush or implementation of 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 which entails the monitoring of free-ranging carnivores in the area and surrounding farms to aid in out role of conserving threatened carnivores by reducing human-wildlife conflict through research, relationship-building, improved livestock protection and cooperation with local farmers to reduce the motivation for persecution of predators
- Time in the environment such as tracking & monitoring carnivores (and snakes!) on or near property, horseback riding and game counts in the bush
- Assisting with the various projects that arise at the sanctuary
- data collection and processing,
- checking camera traps
- game counts
- mapping and exploring the terrain and environment.
- You may also get the opportunity to visit our collared cheetahs at Solitaire or to visit the world famous red sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Daily activities usually entail hiking in the vast outdoors of this semi-desert landscape of Neuras, which extends southwards from the top of the majestic Naukluft Mountains, forming an unbelievable oasis on the edge of the Namib desert. You should not miss this fantastic environment
- mapping the terrain
- assisting with capture and release
- maintenance and security on the reserve
- night drives and sleep-outs.
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Need a quote on your airfare to Namibia? Please ask a member of the team for our latest prices.