Carnivore Conservation and Research

You will be assisting the project team in collecting data on the regions native carnivores, including cheetahs and hyenas, in an attempt to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the stunning Namibian desert.

From £1,075.00

  • Up to 12 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 16 Nights
  • Big Cats
  • Every Friday
  • Minimum Age 18

Project Details

Activities

Game Counts
Game Counts
As a volunteer, you will regularly take part in game counts along different transect routes in the study areas. You and the researchers will drive out into the research site in search of the resident carnivores to ensure that numbers, age, sex and group compositions of local mammals are recorded. The information gathered from this data will help the research team to understand on which prey base and in which capacity the large carnivores subsist. Some of the other desert-adapted animals you may be able to spot include mountain zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok and ostrich!
Camera Traps
Camera Traps
There are some incredible walks to be had when helping to set up camera-traps! Set to record 24/7, camera traps record the activities of the area's carnivores, as well as other species which may have been overlooked. These recordings will help the research team to determine which species are present in the area, and are extremely useful when monitoring animals which are more active at night. As a volunteer, you will assist with all aspects of camera trapping, from setting them up in the field through to collecting, entering, collating and assessing the data gathered.
Cheetah Feeding
Cheetah Feeding
The Neuras site is home to 7 rescued cheetahs from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. These cheetahs spend their time in a 50-hectare enclosure and as a volunteer you will be helping to care for the world’s fastest land animal! You will be involved in regular enclosure cleaning, food preparation and feeding, so prepare to get messy! This has become a vital aspect of the work at Neuras and is an amazing opportunity to get up close and learn all you can about these incredible carnivores.
Hiking and Exploring
Hiking and Exploring
At Neuras you will enjoy a lot of hiking and exploration giving you the opportunity to learn more about the native flora and fauna from the experts: the project facilitators. The environment at Neuras is spectacular and it encompasses a lot of what makes Namibia so diverse. In the North of the region there is the majestic Naukluft Mountain Range and the Tsauchab river system that empties into the world famous Sossusvlei pan. The Southern end of the property is a geological maze of extensive canyons and unique underground cave complexes, each more amazing than the last. There is a lot to explore here so make sure you bring hiking boots!
Radio Telemetry Tracking
Radio Telemetry Tracking
GPS collars are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to locating and tracking the native wildlife. The collar method of tracking does not tell all about breeding successes, prey selection, health status of animals, or other ecological parameters of a study animal. This is where radio telemetry comes in. By using the telemetry equipment, you will be able to find the transmitter found in GPS collars. You will then head out into the field with the researchers to make direct visual assessments of the animals and to collect extremely useful data. Please note this activity is dependent on the animals that roam onto the property and is not a guaranteed part of your itinerary.
Capture, Mark, Release
Capture, Mark, Release
GPS collars are an invaluable tool when tracking elusive species in Namibia's demanding terrain, especially for some of the country's most secretive species (such as leopards.) As a volunteer, you may help the researchers to identify areas of known carnivore activity. Sometimes it is necessary for animals to be immobilised and fitted with either a GPS or VHF tracker for continued monitoring. After release, the monitoring begins, and via a computer, the research team are able to study the animals and their movement patterns. Please note that this activity only happens when it is needed and is not guaranteed part of your itinerary.
Helping With Wine Making
Helping With Wine Making
Neuras is home to a large vineyard. As a volunteer, you could be involved in all aspects of the seasonal wine making process (Jan-Mar), from picking the grapes when they are ripe right through to helping bottle the end product. You may also have the chance to taste the wine. Wine making is often an activity the volunteers look forward too, and with any profits heading straight back into animal conservation efforts you know this work is fun and beneficial!
Other Activities
Other Activities
As this is a very active project site, things are ever-changing and you may be expected to join in with a task at short notice. This could be anything from a fence repair right through to a carnivore release. For additional costs there are also opportunities to visit the highest dunes in the world and a day trip to Sossusvlei. Please note that there is a minimum requirement of three volunteers for these activities to run.

Itinerary

Please note that itineraries are subject to change and that the below is simply a rough guideline.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
After arriving into Windhoek Airport, you will be met at arrivals and then take a private transfer to your accommodation for the night at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon arrival, you will spend the afternoon and evening settling in and meeting your fellow volunteers, as well as the project facilitators.
Day 2 - Transfer To The Research Site:
Today you will transfer to the carnivore research site at Neuras. This transfer is about 4.5 hours' drive, and as you arrive you will see the breathtaking environment in which Neuras is located before enjoying dinner and getting some rest before beginning your volunteer experience the following day!
Day 3-15 - Project Days At Neuras:
For the next 2 weeks, you will be based at Neuras and will be getting involved in some of the pivotal conservation work going on here. With a focus on carnivore data collection, you will take part in game counts, tracking drives and will learn how to use telemetry to find the collared carnivores among many other things.
Day 16 - Return Transfer:
Today is your last day at Neuras. After a hearty breakfast you will be transferred back to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary where you will spend one final evening relaxing with all of the other volunteers you will now be able to call friends.
Day 17 - Final Day:
After a whole host of fascinating activities on the project, today is the day that you will unfortunately transfer back to Windhoek Airport for your return flight or to commence your independent travel plans. It is also possible to drop you off at another accommodation in Windhoek if you are staying on in Namibia but please check with us in advance!

Dates, Availability & Price

To secure a place on this project, a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.

Select a duration below to see the available start dates.

Duration Price
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*Rates other than GBP are estimates based on today's exchange rates. All payments are made in GBP.



Updates & Outcomes

The Carnivore Conservation and Research Project plays a vital role in collecting data on threatened carnivores in Namibia, the data is then used to help reduce human-wildlife conflict in the hopes of preventing the decline of these magnificent species. Since the programme began in 2006, staff and volunteers have combined their efforts to successfully rescue and release over 80 cheetahs, 30 leopards, and 15 brown hyenas.

The research site at Neuras is instrumental in its education of local people and has slowed the decline in carnivores in the area. The help of volunteers is pivotal in recording data and monitoring animals. Those involved are constantly striving to understand and track carnivore movement before passing the information on to local farmers. This way of reducing human-animal conflict in the area is seen as one of the best opportunities to secure a future for the animals, with locals gaining insight and understanding of them and becoming deterred from killing those which venture onto their property. This is an essential part of wider cheetah conservation initiatives in areas such as Namibia, as well as further afield.

Human - Wildlife Conflict In Namibia

Human - Wildlife Conflict In Namibia

Human-wildlife conflict has significantly increased over the years in many parts of the world, whether this is due to battles over land, food or water, or the ever increasing illegal wildlife trade, there are sadly many reasons why wildlife and humans clash with each other daily. Namibia is one example of a country that has been heavily affected by such conflict, but what does this mean for the future of its resident wildlife?

Read More

Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

At the research site, you will stay in twin-share tents on raised platforms with bed linen and towels provided. We do, however, recommend that you bring your own sleeping bag, especially during the winter months (June-August) as it can get cold at night. Showers have hot water, and electricity is available in the main building for charging phones and cameras.

Accommodation Upgrade At The Research Site

Accommodation Upgrade At The Research Site

Whilst at the research site, volunteers do have the opportunity to upgrade their accommodation. The upgraded accommodation is in stone built chalets with twin-share or double beds and an en-suite bathroom, all shaded by acacia and ebony trees with linen and towels provided.

The rate for this upgrade is £13 per person per night for a double room, and £19 per person per night for a single room.

Meals & Beverages

Meals & Beverages

Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast includes toast and cereal, lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-fry, and dinners include meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta. There is also a pizza oven on site, and one night a week volunteers have the chance to make and enjoy their own culinary creations! On weekends there is often a braai (barbeque), which is a great chance to socialise and speak to people you may not yet have had the chance to. Tea and coffee are freely available throughout the day when you are at the accommodation.

A vegetarian option is also always available.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

You will need an average to good level of fitness to join this project as there is hiking involved. We therefore advise that all participants are fit enough to walk between 10 and 15 kilometres on a daily basis, through rough terrain, and in high temperatures. Furthermore, no specific skills are required to work on this project, however, all volunteers should be willing to work hard and must function well as part of a team.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history. 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.

Project Details

When is the best time to volunteer?

There is no favourable time to volunteer regarding wildlife. Weather, however, can impact some people’s decision which is explained in more detail below.

In the desert areas, winter and summer season follow similar patterns to the rest of Namibia, however, little rainfall is expected and there are two distinct seasons:

October – April: In these months, temperatures can hit up to 40°C and, as a result, volunteer working times may be moved to later in the day to avoid the sun at its peak.

May – September: In the winter months, temperatures will reach around 25°C in the daytime, but at night they can fall below 0°C, so do please bear this in mind when arranging your trip!

Getting There

The nearest airport to the Wildlife Sanctuary site is Windhoek International, where you will need to arrive between 7am-5pm on the project start date (a Friday.) A transfer from the airport to the site is included in the price, and will take around 45 minutes by car. Neuras is a further 4.5 hours from your initial accommodation at the Sanctuary, and a transfer here is also included in the price of the project. This secondary transfer to the Neuras site will take place the day after your arrival.

If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.

Visa Requirements

To join the Carnivore Conservation and Research project, you will need to apply for a work visa before you 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 that exchange rates are subject to change, and an up to date exchange rate can be found here.

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, tracking equipment, etc)
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Transfers to and from Neuras
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your time on the project
  • Accommodation, three meals per day, and tea and coffee
  • WiFi
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance (including cover for repatriation)
  • Visas
  • Soft and alcoholic beverages
  • Uniform (N$300 for 3 t-shirts, to be purchased at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary on arrival).

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Project Reviews

Give Us A Call

Nikita

+44 208 885 4987

If you have any questions about this project or would like help finding the perfect project for you then please feel free to give us a call or send us through your enquiry and we will be happy to help.

Nikita & team.

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

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