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Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Experience hands-on volunteering with cheetahs, baboons and much more

This project allows volunteers the chance to travel and work as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary with cheetahs, lions and other big cats. Much of Namibia is certified 'cheetah country,' and is home to one third of the world's entire cheetah population. With 95% of cheetahs living outside protected areas and on farmland, they are sadly often killed by landowners who regard them as a threat to their livestock.

The sanctuary itself 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 farms as they are seen as 'problem carnivores,' and can often be killed as a result.

Volunteers will help to care for and feed the animals on a daily basis as well as helping with maintenance work at the sanctuary. Maintenance work may include de-bushing to get rid of invasive species, digging trenches to extend water supplies to camps, and other manual activities.

Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work whilst here, and will help to rescue, care for, clean, feed, rehabilitate and release cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, caracals, baboons, and zebras. The sanctuary always aims to release as many animals as possible into safe conservation areas away from farmland. 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 been released, and the number is always growing. For a chance to work at the release site please see our Carnivore Conservation and Research Project.


Helpful Project Information

Itinerary

Volunteers can partake for 2 to 12 weeks, and will be split into working groups to ensure variety and equal opportunity when carrying out tasks and joining activities. Please note however that itineraries are subject to change and therefore this is only a rough guideline. This is an example of a two week stay, which will repeat for those who stay longer.

Day 1:
Arrive at Windhoek Airport and transfer to Project site. The transfer is a drive of approximately 45 minutes. Spend rest of the day at the site, meet with other volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators and join an orientation talk.
Day 2-14:
Project Days. Rise early and eat breakfast at 7am. Meet with other volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators at 8am. Begin morning activities which are distributed on a rotational basis. There is usually a tea-break at around 10:30am. Begin a second morning activity after this, with lunch commencing at 1pm. Afternoon activities begin at 2:30pm, and run until 5:30pm when an educational talk is held. Dinner is at 6pm, and evenings are free for volunteers to spend as they please.
Day 15:
Final Day. Transfer from the project site to Windhoek airport for your return flight, or commence independent travel plans.
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Availability & Price

Price:

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Updates & Outcomes

This project directs all its efforts towards the long term rehabilitation of animals within the Namibia wildlife sanctuary. Sadly, not all of the animals housed here are able to be released back into the wild, as many are orphaned and have been hand raised and therefore have become too used to captivity.

Not only do volunteers 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 involves the monitoring and tracking of a number of leopard and cheetah within the local area, taking part in game counts for data collection, or preparing for new arrivals into the Namibia wildlife sanctuary.

Volunteers are key to the success of the Namibia wildlife sanctuary, and their participation ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which have found a safe home there.

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Activities


Animal Feeding
Volunteers are responsible for preparing the food for and feeding all of the animals each day. Vegetables, fruit and mieliepap (a kind of porridge) are used to feed the baboons and farm animals.

Carnivore Feeding
Volunteers are also able to experience regular carnivore-feeds with lions, leopards, semi-tame and wild cheetahs, and even with rare African wild dog and hand-feed the resident meerkats, which is a truly fantastic experience.

Baboon Care
Volunteers are encouraged to help look after the resident baby baboons - this will almost definitely include taking a walk across the beautiful veldt with the baby and junior baboons. Volunteers also feed them, bathe them and take them to bed so they have someone to cuddle with at night and don't feel scared. It is the highlight of many people's time here and is a crucial part of the project but is not a mandatory activity.

Maintenance
Volunteers are involved in the clearing out of old food and bones from animal enclosures, the cleaning of waterholes and the fixing of any damage to the animal enclosures.

Animal Time
Volunteers get to spend part of each day playing with and looking after some of the animals on the farm. These interactions include taking a walk with the gorgeous caracals spending one on one time with the semi-tame cheetahs and meeting the resident pack of African Wild Dogs (also known as painted dogs); one of the rarest carnivores in the whole of Africa.

Project Work
The growing Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary needs constant repair and building work. Volunteers may be required to help with these tasks which include: Constructing new enclosures as animals arrive, Border fence patrols and de-bushing to remove invasive alien plant species.

Wildlife Education
Volunteers receive a daily educational talk on various topics including the proliferation of local game, species resident within the Namibia wildlife sanctuary, and the science of wildlife immobilisation.

Local School Visits
Volunteers will spend one afternoon a week working with the schoolchildren in the local school, helping to teach them English and games!

Free Time
During the project, volunteers have the weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sundays to relax. Please note however that the farm animals still need to be fed on Sundays. This time can be spent enjoying activities such as a nature walk across the farm, swimming in the pool, playing football against the bushman workers, or an eco-challenge competing in groups. This is usually followed by a traditional braai (barbeque).
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Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

There are two accommodation options, volunteer rooms with up to three people (of the same gender) sharing and large tents with a bedroom and communal area to be shared by two volunteers (of the same gender or a couple). Although we can take requests for which accommodation is preferred, we cannot guarantee this selection as this will be subject to availability.



Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore please be aware that it is sometimes restricted.


Accommodation Upgrade

The adjacent Lodge contains six luxurious chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, a bar and a swimming pool. Volunteers can choose to upgrade their accommodation and stay at the lodge over the weekend or at the end of their stay. Lots of volunteers also take the opportunity to visit the lodge for a delicious buffet lunch on a Sunday.

Meals and Beverages

Three meals a day are provided at the sanctuary with tea and coffee freely available throughout the day.


Breakfast includes toast and cereal, lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-frys, and evening dinners include meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta. On weekends there is often a braai (barbecue).
A vegetarian option is also always available.


Other drinks and snacks can be purchased at the Sanctuary for an additional fee including alcoholic beverages.

Fitness & Skills

As you will be involved in all aspects of the project, including construction and maintenance of enclosures, we recommend that volunteers come with at least a moderate level of fitness. No specific skills are required - all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with every activity, have a respect for the wildlife and sanctuary staff with whom you’ll be working, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty!

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on the medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.

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Project Details

Getting There

Volunteers are advised to fly into Windhoek International Airport (also known as Hosea Kutako International Airport) on the project start day between 7am - 5pm, where they will be met on arrival and transferred to the project. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.

There are several daily flights here from the South Africa hub cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as daily flights from a range of international destinations.

Visa Requirements

Volunteers joining the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary will need to apply for a work visa before travel. We will provide further information and documents for this upon booking.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar, but South African Rand is also accepted. The exchange rate is around 1 NAD = 0.06 GBP, 0.1 USD, 0.07 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change

What's included in the price of the project?
  • 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, three meals per day and tea and coffee
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas
  • Soft and alcoholic beverages
  • Any extra activities not within the itinerary
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  • Trips from £795.00 £675.75
  • Up to 30 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 14 Nights
  • Big Cats
  • Mondays and Thursdays
  • Minimum Age 18
15% off until Jan 31 Enquire or Book Now

Project Reviews

Namibia, Africa

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Contact Info
UK Sales Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
Heron House,
Ferry Lane, London, N17 9NF
United Kingdom

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987
E: info@thegreatprojects.com

Australian Sales Office
T: +61(0) 755020457
E: rebecca@thegreatprojects.com