Which Namibia Research Site Is Right For Me?

Which Namibia Research Site Is Right For Me?

Posted by Connor Whelan on Jan 10, 2017

The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is one of our most popular projects and for good reason. This project allows you to get hands on with a wide variety of animals and make a real difference to the lives of the local wildlife. As a volunteer on the project you will have the chance to work with cheetah, lions, baboons and even sit in with the meerkats so you can guarantee that you will be kept busy throughout your time in Namibia.

However, over the past few years the project has expanded and today there are three research sites that you can volunteer at too, all of which give you a different outlook on the animal life in Namibia. We often get asked about the differences between the research sites, so in this blog we will be clearing all that up and helping you to choose which site is right for you!

How does it work if I want to visit one of the sites?

You have two options when booking one of the research sites. The first applies to both Kanaan and Neuras, and you can simply head to the project pages and book your desired trip. The second option is to let us know that you would like to add on a week at one of the research sites to your booking for the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. By doing this we will be able to check availability with the in country team, and ensure you get to spend at least one of the weeks of your volunteering trip in these incredible locations!

What is the difference between all of the research sites?

It can be tough to decide between the three amazing research sites that are on offer when booking your volunteering trip as each of them has their own attributes which make them stand out. However, that is where we are here to help and we are going to tell you a little more about each below!

Carnivore Conservation and Research in Neuras

Neuras Namibia

Location – The Neuras research site is located on the edge of the Namib Desert in a region which is filled with spectacular rocky Mountains and breath-taking views. The site is roughly a 4 hour drive from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Activities – When staying at Neuras you will partake in a whole host of activities to help the project staff add to their already broad knowledge base, in attempts to help protect the often threatened species of the local area. As a volunteer you may be taking part in; carnivore feeding, carnivore monitoring to track down collared carnivores in an attempt to monitor their movements, game counts, the setting of camera traps and hiking and exploring the local area. You will even get the chance to visit the stunning Sossusvlei sand dunes on a day trip which will give you a memory you will never forget.

Namibia Carnivore Feeding

What is the aim of the site? – One of the biggest problems facing carnivores in Namibia is local farmers as they often think that the big cats will pose a threat to their livestock and as a result their livelihoods. That is why the team at Neuras will travel to the farms where farmers are having an issue with carnivores, locate them, collar them, and track them to record data on their movement and kills. This data can then be supplied to the local farmers to show them that the cats are not posing a threat to their farm animals, whilst still allowing the carnivores to roam in a natural area and not have to be relocated to an animal sanctuary.

Neuras Mountains Namibia

Is there a video I can watch about this research site? - There sure is! We've made a short video for you to look at all about this amazing research site, so sit back, relax and see the Carnivore Conservation project in action.

Where can I find out more? – You can read more about Neuras here.

Carnivore Conservation and Research in Kanaan

Kanaan Desert

Location – The Kanaan research site is set in in the stunning 35,000 hectare Kanaan region of the Namibian desert. This site was previously used as a film and photography destination before it was taken over by the Namibia team. The site is located a further 3 hours past the Neuras site, so please bear this in mind when looking to book your trip.

Kanaan Volunteers

Activities – If you choose to volunteer at Kanaan you will take part in a variety of exciting activities, all of which are designed to help with the long term management of the area. You could be helping with; the mapping of any important wildlife observations and habitat features, capturing, marking, and then releasing the carnivores to help with monitoring efforts, radio telemetry, game counts, setting up camera traps, and hiking and exploring the surrounding area.

Kanaan Cheetah

What is the aim of the site? – During your stay at the site, you will be helping to record statistical data about the wildlife species which are resident in this area. This will contribute to the long term management goals of the area, and help with the ultimate aim which is to establish an unfenced wildlife reserve in order to provide a refuge and safe haven for the extensive array of endangered species here.

Is there a video I can watch about this research site? - Yes there is. We've made a short video for you to watch which gives you the chance to really immerse yourself in the wilds of Kanaan.

Where can I find out more? – To learn a little more about the Kanaan site, take a look at the project page.

African Wild Dog and Elephant Monitoring at Mangetti

Location – The Mangetti complex is based in more than 2,000 km2 of Kalahari woodland and mixed acacias savannah. The landscape of this research site is very different to that of both Neuras and Kanaan, and the vegetation is thick and dense which allows even the biggest of animal species to simply disappear in front of your eyes! This project site is found roughly a 7 hour drive away from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mangetti Wild Dog

Activities – As this is a relatively new research site, a lot needs to be done out in the field and as a volunteer you will be getting stuck into activities such as; placing camera traps, GPS monitoring, VHF telemetry tracking, footprint tracking, conflict assessment, community outreach programmes and hiking through the vast outdoors! If you choose to volunteer at the Mangetti research site you will play a key role in helping the site to achieve its goals, and you will really be able to make a difference!

Mangetti Elephant

What is the aim of the site? – The idea behind the Mangetti research site is to learn more about the movements of both the biggest animal in Africa, the elephant, and one of the most endangered, the African Wild Dog. With populations of both animals very low, the team at Mangetti will use the information you gather as a volunteer to help create a long term management plan for both of these endangered animals.

Where can I find out more? – Take a look at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary page to learn more about Mangetti.

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