Carnivore Conservation and Research

Assist the team with data collection of Big Cats to help with research on cheetah and leopard conservation in the stunning Namibian Desert

From £845.00

  • 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 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. Some of the desert-adapted animals you may be able to spot include mountain zebra, Kudu, Oryx, Springbok, and Ostrich!
Camera Traps
Camera Traps
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. As a volunteer you will help with all aspects of the camera trap, from setting them up in the field through to collecting, collating and assessing the data that these cameras gather.
Hiking and Exploring
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. The environment at Neuras is spectacular and it encompasses a lot of what makes Namibia so diverse and breathtaking. 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!
Helping With Wine Making
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!
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 countries most secretive species such as Leopards. As a volunteer you will help the researchers identify areas of known carnivore activity and assist with placing or checking cage traps. When species of interest are captured, the animals will be immobilized 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.
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. That method of tracking does not allow the researchers to tell about breeding success, prey selection, health status or other important ecological parameters of a study animal. This is where radio telemetry comes in and using the antenna to locate the radio transmitter found in the study animals collar, you will head out into the field with the researchers to make direct visual assessments of the animals and collect extremely useful data.
Other Activities
Other Activities
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!

Itinerary

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 your accommodation; the drive 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:
Today you will transfer to the carnivore research site at Neuras. This transfer is about 4.5 hour’s drive, 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 Namibia where you will spend the evening with all of the other volunteers and share stories.
Day 17 - Final Day:
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.

Duration Price
Please choose a trip using the select menus to the left.
Price:

*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 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.

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Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

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. The main lounge area has a swimming pool and a BBQ facility so this is a great place to relax!

Accommodation Upgrade at the research site

Accommodation Upgrade at the research site

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 £13 per person per night for a double room and £19 per person per night for a single room.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

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.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

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.

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 and this 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 50°C and as a result volunteer working times may be moved to a 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 day time, but at night they can fall below 0°C so please be aware of this!

Getting There

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 your initial accomodation, 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.

Visa Requirements

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
  • Wifi
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance (including cover for repatriation)
  • Visas
  • Use of telephone
  • Soft and alcoholic beverages

Speak To A Travel Expert

Enquire and receive this project's Guide for Free!

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.

Project Reviews

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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