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Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary
3 Weeks: GBP
4 Weeks: GBP
Experience hands on volunteering with Cheetahs, Lions and many moreTweet
Through The Great Projects you can now travel and work as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary with cheetahs, lions and other big cats in Africa. Namibia is cheetah country being home to one third of the worlds entire cheetah population. With 95% of cheetahs living outside protected areas and on farmland, they are often killed by farmers who regard them to be a threat to their livestock.
The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in a natural savannah paradise with riverine vegetation, lush grass plains and magnificent mountain views. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife as well as those that have had to be relocated away from local landowners farms as they are seen as problem carnivores and can often be killed.
The sanctuary always aims to release any animal that can be into safe conservation areas. These animals are taken to one of the release sites to be reintroduced to the wild as soon as they can be to avoid too much human familiarity. (since opening in 2008 40 carnivores have already been released!). For a chance to work at the release site please see our Cheetah Release Project
However, as volunteers at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary you will care for and feed the animals that cannot be released. On a daily basis you will help to care for these animals and ensure the highest quality of life.
Be warned, caring for orphaned baby baboons can be intensive but highly rewarding.
You can choose a 2 to 12 week volunteer experience. Below gives you an indication of your daily activities. You will be split into working groups with your fellow volunteers to ensure variety and equal opportunity when carrying out your duties; duties rotate daily.
8.00am Morning meeting with the volunteer coordinators to plan the day ahead
8.15am Morning activity 1 (varies daily - caracal walk, enclosure patrol, food prep, cleaning enclosures, project work)
10.30am Tea and muffin break
10.45am Morning activity 2 (varies daily - junior baboon walk, cheetah and wild dog time, carnivore feed, project work)
1.00pm Lunch and free time
2.30pm Afternoon activities (varies daily - baby baboon walk, project work, food prep)
5.30pm Educational Talk
6.00pm Dinner and free time
Volunteers should be prepared for the daily schedule to change at short notice to meet the needs of the project and animals. Volunteers also need to be ready to take on any tasks that may be required of them, and to get dirty in the process!
FUN ACTIVITIES & FREE TIME
During the project, you will have the evenings to relax from approximately 5.30pm, Saturday afternoons and Sundays all day. However, the farm animals still need to be fed on Sundays!
During your time based at the sanctuary, you may enjoy activities such as a nature walk across the farm, swimming in our pool, playing football against the bushman workers, climbing the nearby mountain or an eco challenge competing in groups against your fellow volunteers, which can be followed by a braai (barbeque)!
OPTIONAL EXTRA ACTIVITIES
Saturday activities - extra activities including paintballing which may take place during your time at the sanctuary for an additional cost of approx N$200
Sunday town trip - we offer a transfer into town for N$150pp, where you can visit the mall to pick up supplies and have a leisurely lunch at the famous Jo's Beerhouse (cost of lunch and drinks not included in the transfer cost). We always need some volunteers to help out with feeding the animals on a Sunday and there are a limited number of places so please note you will not be able to go every week.
FEEDING AND CARING FOR THE ANIMALS
• You will be responsible for preparing the food, feeding the animals and maintaining the animal enclosures: Preparing and feeding vegetables, fruit and mieliepap to the baboons and farm animals including duiker, steenbok, sheep, goats, rabbits, foxes, ducks and chickens.
• Experience a carnivore feed with lions, leopards, semi-tame and wild cheetahs, African wild dogs, and hand feeding the meerkats
• Clearing out old food, bones, cleaning waterholes and fixing any holes or damage to the animal enclosures.
You will get to spend part of each day playing with and looking after some of the animals on the farm:
• Taking a walk across the beautiful veldt with the baby and junior baboons (or carrying more like!).
• Taking a walk with the gorgeous caracals - walk alongside them through the lush grass and watch as they stalk small prey.
• Spending time with the semi tame cheetahs.
• Meet our amazing African Wild Dogs, one of the rarest carnivores in Namibia
The growing sanctuary needs constant repair and building work. Project work varies depending on what is currently needed on the farm:
• De-bushing - removing dense patches of black thorn (an invader bush) so that game on the farm can move freely and be seen, and other vegetation can grow.
• Participate in border fence patrols to check fences for breaks and animal holes (and may see wild game on the drive!)
• Building new enclosures as new animals arrive - with the preparation of materials, digging foundations and waterholes and the erecting of the enclosures.
• You will receive a daily talk on various topics such as the local game, individual species such as baboons or leopards, and the science of wildlife immobilisation for example.
What Makes this Project Great
This project directs all its efforts towards long term rehabilitation but sadly not all of the animals who find a home here are able to be released back into the wild. Only those that can’t, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain at the sanctuary. Many of the animals have been orphaned, hand raised from a very young age or have become too used to captivity and cannot safely be released.
Not only will volunteers get to help make these animals' lives as good as possible but they may also get the rare opportunity to work alongside the big cat experts and Bushman trackers in the conservation research programme. This may include getting involved with the monitoring and tracking activities of a number of leopard and cheetah within the local area, taking part in game counts or preparing for new arrivals. The research project fits captured big cats with a radio collar before releasing them back into the wild. This allows them to track their movements, check on their condition and gain a better understanding of their ecology for future conservation.
The aim is to provide volunteers with the wonderful opportunity to experience African wilderness in the knowledge that they are contributing to the conservation of this area.
Volunteers are key to the success of the wildlife sanctuary - participation in the programme ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which have found a safe home there.
What is the weather like in Namibia?
April to June is one of the best times to go to Namibia, with warm daytime temperatures of about 25°C, with slightly cooler nights. June to September is the driest time of year when daytime temperatures average above 20°, but night time temperatures in the desert and on the central plateau can be freezing during these months.
October is the hottest month in Namibia with temperatures above 40°C. November to February constitutes the rainy season which is incredibly hot and humid.
As is typical of a desert to semi-desert region, hot daytime temperatures in Namibia are often coupled with very chilly nights.
How do I get to Namibia?
The capital city Windhoek, is the main entry point into Namibia. There are several daily flights from the South African cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town into Windhoek. There are also direct flights into Windhoek from several international countries.
Is malaria a risk in Namibia
The majority of Namibia is free of malaria, with the exception of Etosha National Park, the Caprivi Strip and several close by areas in the north. Please consult your doctor or specialist before you go if you are considering traveling around Namibia.
What Kind of electricity plug will I Need
Namibia plugs have a voltage of 220V and a frequency of 50 Hertz. The plugs have 3 round-prongs.
What is the local currency
The unit of currency is the Namibia Dollar (N$), which is divided into 100 cents. This is fixed to the South African Rand.
The Namibia Dollar and the South African Rand are the only legal tender in Namibia and both can be used freely to purchase goods and services
As a volunteer, be prepared to work. It takes time to care for all the animals, but you will be amply rewarded with activities like the baby baboon walk, the caracal walk, carnivore feeding, etc… A baby giraffe was even born during my time at the project! These memories are etched in my mind forever. Thank you for an experience of a lifetime!
Karen Fitzpatrick, June 2012
Since I can remember I always had a passion and great love for Cheetahs. Coming to The Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary has therefore provided me with the opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream. This has certainly been achieved and greatly exceeded. As part of my stay I have had a great opportunity to discover fully the outstanding work that is undertaken by the staff and wider eco-organisation.
Mark Bennett, August 2012
It seems I found the perfect place, The Namibian Wildlife sanctuary, I was there for 3 weeks and the project assisted in releasing Cheetahs, Leopards, Lions, Baboons etc back into the wild. Obviously there are a lot of animals that cant be released due to being orphaned very young or injured in the wild so we had to look after these intensively too. By the end of my time there I took it for granted just how close we were to such great animals! I had such a great, unforgettable time, better than I could have ever imaged. Everything from the staff to the other volunteers, to the activities, the food, the animals, everything was absolutely spot on. I would strongly recommend any one going on this particular trip. They have a brilliant set up, brilliant vision and I am definitely going to go back soon.
Mike H, August 2012
I got to spend a lot of time with the animals - an experience that you wouldn't get on a normal holiday. The experience at the Carnivore conservation centre was amazing- you got to learn a lot about the Cheetahs and get really close to them...
Gayani W, December 2012
What a Great Project! I will never forget spending so much time with the animals and meeting so many new and lovely people.
Emilie B, February 2013
Volunteers should fly into Windhoek International Airport where they will be met on arrival and transferred to the project (approximately 45 minutes).
Accommodation and Facilities
There are two options of accommodation; 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 two volunteers (same gender or a couple).
Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy therefore sometimes restricted. Electricity is freely available, however please be aware that sometimes it has been known to cut off during storms.
Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.
Three meals are provided on a help yourself basis - Breakfast includes toast and cereal; Lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stirfry; and Evening Dinners include meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta. On weekends there is often a braai (barbecue). Tea and coffee are freely available throughout the day and other drinks and snacks can be purchased at the Sanctuary.
Please advise any special dietary requirements on arrival at the project. A vegetarian option is always available.
If you would like to enjoy all the amazing activities that you can do at the sanctuary but would like to upgrade your accommodation then you can opt to stay at the Luxury Lodge. The lodge contains six luxurious chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, a bar and a swimming pool. Alternatively you may also wish to stay at the lodge for a weekend or at the end of your stay. All can be arranged when your booking is made by asking one of our team.
For an image of this upgraded accommodation please see the main image of our tailor made page here .
We suggest that you take cash with you to the project as using a debit card for payments is not always an option.
• A contribution to the project itself including funding for items such as building materials, food, animal medications
• Transfers to and from the Windhoek International Airport or Windhoek City
• Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your project
• Accommodation and meals
What's not included:
• Return flights to Windhoek International Airport
• Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
• Visas (if required)
• Use of internet and telephone
• Soft drinks, wines and spirits
Accommodated & camping Safaris – Budget:
10 Day Canyons, Dunes & Big Game
10 Day Cats, Culture & Dunes
Accommodated Safaris- Budget:
3 Day Etosha Express
3 Day Sossusvlei Express
4 Day Etosha & Swakopmund adventure
4 Day Swakopmund & Sossusvlei adventure
6 Day Dunes & Wildlife
7 Day Namibia Highlights
7 Day Taste of Namibia
Accommodated Safaris – Luxury:
2 day Dunes Deluxe
2 Day Wildlife Deluxe
4 Day Desert Dune & Wildlife