Go out in search of collared cheetahs and other carnivores. Based on the movements of the carnivores, the specific monitoring needs and prevailing weather conditions, a decision will be made as to which carnivores will be tracked during the day. This is important as the data collected here contributes to that given to the local farmers in the hope of reducing human-animal conflict.
As a volunteer you will regularly take part in game counts along different transect routes in the study areas. You will help 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.
One activity which involves some incredible walks is to help set camera-traps which record 24/7. These are set and checked to record the activities of the area’s carnivores and also certain species which may have been overlooked. This helps the research team determine which species are present in the area and are especially useful to monitor animals that are more active at night.
Hiking and Exploring
There is also the option to enjoy a lot of hiking and exploring in the area. This offers you the opportunity to learn more about the native flora and fauna from the experts: the facilitators.
You may have the chance to help feed the cheetahs that live within the project site. The cheetahs here have been removed from human-wildlife conflict situations and as a result of this they need help in finding food and water. Cheetahs cannot be rehabilitated once they have been moved from their original territory so this is a very important activity to help ensure the animal's survival and by assisting with feeding this ensures that the cheetahs are free to live out the rest of their lives in a wild environment.
Helping With Wine Making
Neuras is home to a large vineyard and the profits made from the wine that is created here go straight back into animal conservation efforts. As a volunteer, you could be involved in all aspects of the winemaking process from picking the grapes when they are ripe right through to helping to bottle the end product! You will also have the chance to taste the wine that is made here, and as you can imagine this is something most volunteers really look forward to!
As this is a very active project site, things can change all of the time and volunteers may be expected to join in with a task at short notice. This could be anything from a fence repair right through to a cheetah release so be ready to assist at the drop of a hat!
Please note itineraries are subject to change and the below is simply a rough guideline.
Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
After arriving into Windhoek Airport you will be met at arrivals and transferred to the Namibia wildlife sanctuary which takes approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival you will spend the afternoon and evening settling in and meeting your fellow volunteers as well as the facilitators.
Day 2 - Transfer to the Research Site:
After your brief visit at the sanctuary, today you will transfer to the carnivore research site at Neuras. This transfer is about 4.5 hour’s drive from the sanctuary and as you arrive you will see the breath-taking environment in which Neuras is located before having dinner and getting some rest before your time here really begins.
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 tracking drives, using telemetry to find the carnivores, including leopards and cheetahs, and some incredible hikes among many more amazing activities.
Day 16 - Return Transfer:
Today is your last day at Neuras so after breakfast you will be transferred back to the sanctuary where you will spend the evening with all of the other volunteers and share stories.
Day 17 - Final Day at the Sanctuary:
After an activity filled time on the project today you will transfer back to Windhoek airport for your return flight, or to commence your independent travel plans.
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.
Updates & Outcomes
The Carnivore Conservation and Research Project plays a vital role in collecting data on threatened carnivores in Namibia to help reduce human–wildlife conflict and prevent the decline of these magnificent species. Since the programme began in 2008, staff and volunteers have combined their efforts to successfully rescue and release over 80 cheetahs, 30 leopards and 15 brown hyenas.
Those involved with this project are constantly striving to understand and track carnivore movement, kills, and diet so that they can educate local farmers to prevent them from killing animals which venture into their farms.
The research site where this project takes place, Neuras, is instrumental in educating local people and slowing the decline in carnivores in the area. Volunteers' help is pivotal in recording data and monitoring animals so that this can continue to be given to the local farmers. This way of reducing human-animal conflict in the area is seen as one of the best opportunities to secure these animals a future. This is an essential part of wider cheetah conservation initiatives in not just Namibia, but the rest of their stronghold also.
we are right in the thick of volunteer week 2017, celebrating the generosity of selfless volunteers all over the globe, but there is still more to be done! In light of this, The Great Projects wanted to tell you just why we feel the world needs more volunteers. Humans are at the top of the food chain, and it's up to us to make a difference!
With three different research sites to choose from, choosing the right one to add to your experience at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary can be a little daunting. However, luckily we are here to help you learn a little more about Kanaan, Neuras, and the Mangetti research sites!
World famous film star Angelina Jolie visited the Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary on behalf of the Shiloh Jolie-Pitt foundation.
Is this trip for you?
At the research site, you will stay in luxury tents with bedding provided. However, we recommend that you bring your own sleeping bag, especially during the winter. Showers have hot water, and electricity is available at in the main building for charging phones and cameras.
Whilst at the research site there is an opportunity to upgrade your accommodation. The upgraded accommodation is in stone built en-suite chalets, shaded by acacia and ebony trees with linen and towels provided.
The rate for this upgrade is £55 per person per week for a double room and £70 per person per week for a single room.
Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast includes toast and cereal, lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-frys, 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 and other drinks and snacks can be purchased.
Please advise any special dietary requirements on arrival at the project. A vegetarian option is available.
The work required during this project is not overly-exerting, but it is advised that all participants be 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 function well in a group.
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.
When is the best time to volunteer?
Whilst there is no
favourable time to volunteer regarding wildlife, weather however can impact
some people’s decision and so this is explained in more detail below and is in
regard to where the Neuras is based.
September – May: The day time temperature
during these months is between 25 and 35°C(77-95°F) and
it remains warm at night with temperatures of around 15°C (59°F). January to March is also the rainy season with some
rain expected every few days but not too much.
June – August: This is the driest period of
the year with almost no rain at all. It is also cooler during the day however
temperatures still reach 30°C (86°F). The biggest
difference during this period is the night time temperature which can go as low
as 7°C (45°F). Therefore, if you
travel during these months you may need some warmer clothes for the evening.
The nearest airport to the project site is Windhoek International where you 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 about 45 minutes by car. Neuras is a further 4.5 hours from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and a transfer is included in the price of the project. This secondary transfer to the Neuras site will take place the day after you arrive.
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.
To join the Carnivore Conservation and Research project you 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, 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 project
- Accommodation, three meals per day and tea and coffee
What's not included?
- Any flights
- Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
- Use of telephone
- Soft and alcoholic beverages