Eszter's Experience of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Eszter's Experience of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Posted by Eszter Toth on 25th Oct 2021

I always wanted to spend some time in Africa, especially with wild animals. While I was looking for different trips, it came to my mind why not do some volunteer work as well? This is how I found The Great Projects. It was very hard to decide from the many options, but eventually, I selected the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary – and as it turned out it was an excellent choice! Since my workplace only allowed me to go for two weeks, I selected the shortest option, but I highly recommend staying longer, as two weeks was way too short!


We arrived early at the sanctuary and had a short introduction from the booking office, and then we went to our tents. I personally expected worse conditions, so I was very satisfied with my accommodation – including the open-air bathroom. The volunteers are in different groups and the daily activities are rotating, so during one week everyone gets to do everything, and the next week it starts all over again. It is possible to travel to some other sites owned by the sanctuary, I didn’t have time for trying any of it, but from the stories of others, if you stay for more than two weeks it is definitely worth a visit to at least one of the other sites!

The days usually looked like the following: breakfast, morning orientation, morning activity till 13:00, lunch, from 15:00 afternoon activities. From 17:00 we had free time, dinner, chilling, chit-chats and sleeping. I arrived at the end of May, which is the beginning of the winter, which meant very cold nights - seriously cold nights! If someone travels this time of the year, I highly recommend taking a sleeping bag, very warm PJs and some extra shirts, leggings, socks, even gloves (!) for the night. The mornings are also chilly, but there is always warm water for coffee or tea and that saves the morning. The breakfast was always delicious, and they think about the vegetarians or the people with food intolerance as well.

Cheetah Run and Baboon Walk

After the morning orientation the weather warms up fast, so during the day, the temperature was really nice. Already the mornings started with many fun activities:

  • HPS tracking of different wild animals in the reserve - if you are lucky enough you may see wild dogs, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos. Though you may need to walk deep into the bush, so hiking shoes and long pants are lifesavers here!
  • Project work could mean a different kind of cleaning or fixing things around the reserve. I for example was cleaning the enclosure of Lucky (a three-legged cheetah), while she was casually walking around watching us picking up her poop and the leftover bones! 
  • Baboon walk probably speaks for itself, you are walking with the baboons, while they are climbing all over you, trying out some new hairstyles for you. It is really fun because they are really friendly and accept you as part of the troop.

Lions on Carnivore Feed

After all this fun, everyone goes to the Lapa (not sure about the proper translation but this was the common place), where we had lunch, shared the morning experiences, and took a little rest before the afternoon fun:

  • The cheetah run! This was one of my favourites. Since these cheetahs in the enclosures tend not to hunt, they might become a little lazy, and need some exercise. During the cheetah run, you set up a little toy with a motorised rope on it, and the cheetahs chase it - it is crazy how fast they are! But if it is too warm, you may not see them running, since – as mentioned – they can be a little lazy! Anyhow standing just a couple of feet away from them is incredible.
  • Carnivore feeding is another crazy experience. You will feed the wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, the brown hyena and if you are lucky enough the lions. It is not a vegetarian-friendly activity, so be prepared... These guys are eating whole chickens, antelopes and other meaty animals which you will need to throw over their fence, sometimes it is not always easy!

After these afternoon activities, we organized some fun for ourselves, there is a gym, volleyball, but sometimes we just played some card games or talked. These times were also very nice, as here you will meet people from literally all over the world.


There is one more amazing activity, which is, without doubt, my favourite: rhino rangers. This is a one-and-a-half-day program, you will spend in the wild with the rhino rangers. It really is in the wild, in the middle of the bushes of Namibia, and it is amazing. There is a night drive, where you may see amazing nocturnal animals and during night-time, you will sleep outside in a small tent, where lions, baboons and who knows what else will be guarding your dreams – if you can sleep! During the wintertime, in the bush, it is even colder so wrap up warm. The next day there is a little morning hiking to watch over animals. When I was doing this activity, we stood around 5 metres away from three rhinos, I am not saying I was not scared a little, but it was also breathtaking!!!

Rhino Rangers

In general, I only can recommend booking this program, because for me it was truly life-changing and I cannot wait to go back for a longer duration!


And if you are worried about the current climate, I travelled in the middle of COVID-19, which was an interesting experience, but everything went smoothly. Since a negative PCR test was required for flying, I didn’t have many concerns. Also, the usually overcrowded airports were surprisingly empty. I had my flight to Windhoek from Frankfurt, the flight was long, and you needed to wear a facemask all the time, which after several hours was a little uncomfortable but understandable. Also, at the sanctuary, we had a short health check, and the new people were asked to stay a little separated from the others, as they wanted to keep the sanctuary a safe COVID-free bubble.

Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.

Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.

Featured Blog Arcticles

Featured Videos

Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles

Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary May Update

Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary May Update

The Great Projects volunteer coordinators, Matt and Niamh,...

Latest At The Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Latest At The Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

The Great Projects' volunteer coordinators Matt and Niamh...

Volunteer Update From Samboja In April 2023

Volunteer Update From Samboja In April 2023

As the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project begins once again...

Inge’s Experience at the Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary

Inge’s Experience at the Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary

Inge volunteered at the Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary in...

International Women's Day - The Most Inspirational Women In Conservation

International Women's Day - The Most Inspirational Women In Conservation

Join us in celebrating International Women's Day, as we...

The Celebration Of World Wildlife Day 2023

The Celebration Of World Wildlife Day 2023

The 3rd of March is an opportunity to celebrate the...

New Arrival at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

New Arrival at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

1-year-old baby orangutan, Iqo, has been freed from illegal...

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

After 2 difficult years, we finally welcomed volunteers...

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987