Carnivore Conservation and Research in Kanaan

Become a big cat conservation volunteer in the stunning Kanaan region of Namibia, helping to ensure that the carnivore’s habitat, and the habitat of all of the other animals that call the region home, is safe for years to come through crucial research.

From $1,419.00

  • Up to 6 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 16 Nights
  • Big Cats
  • Every Friday
  • Minimum Age 18

Project Details


Volunteers join the researchers in using a GPS unit to map anything from important wildlife observations to habitat features and infrastructures throughout the Kanaan Region, including roads, waterholes, and fences. Once collected and collated, the positional information will continually be processed into up-to-date reserve maps which are used by the management team to better understand the region and how to provide the best care for the local wildlife. Mapping also gives you an amazing chance to encounter a whole host of amazing wildlife when walking through the terrain.
Radio Telemetry Tracking
Radio Telemetry Tracking
Collaring animals with GPS tracking is only one piece of the puzzle. Direct observations are sometimes required and this is done via telemetry tracking. This gives you the chance to head out into the field to track collared animals and make direct assessments on their health and location. Having the chance to track down wildlife and see it in its natural environment is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but be prepared to do a lot of walking as the animals like to venture across long distances! Please note that this is not a guaranteed activity.
Game Counts
Game Counts
The herbivores that roam in the vast Namib desert are a crucial part of the African ecosystem and as a volunteer, you will be helping the team to ensure that populations of these animals are strong and healthy. You will be participating in regular game counts, either on horseback or by car, and will be helping to answer some intriguing conservation questions such as "How does wildlife utilise this landscape on a seasonal basis?" and "How does this correlate with the predator populations?"
Camera Trapping
Camera Trapping
You will also be participating in setting up and monitoring the “additional eyes” of the region - camera traps. These cameras record 24/7, every day of the year, often observing species of wildlife that are sometimes overlooked. Data entry and sorting is included to process all the Camera Trap images collected. This helps the research team determine which species are present and where they are most active, especially for animals that are elusive or entirely nocturnal.
Hiking and Exploring
Hiking and Exploring
You will have the opportunity to enjoy lots of hiking and exploring through the breathtaking landscapes of Kanaan, learning about the native flora and fauna as a group with the project staff. In such a beautiful area, this is a popular activity for all volunteers and it will open your eyes to the vastness and variety of the Namibian landscape. This is a great opportunity to take some incredible pictures in front of the sand dunes!
Cheetah Feed
Cheetah Feed
Kanaan is home to 2 rescued cheetahs from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, who spend their time in a seven-hectare enclosure on the red sand dunes of the project site. As a volunteer, you will be involved in the food preparation, feeding and caring of these cheetahs, as well as enclosure cleanings on a regular basis. Caring for these cheetahs has become a vital aspect of the work here – a truly inspiring opportunity that is not to be missed!
Maintenance / Defencing
Maintenance / Defencing
For this conservation area to function properly, several maintenance activities have to be carried out, especially in very arid areas like Kanaan. What’s more, water holes need regular maintenance and will need to be controlled for damage. Removing fences to create a larger area in which wildlife can roam is a crucial element of the project allowing animals to move around freely. You will be expected to assist in a wide range of activities whilst here – prepare to get your hands dirty!
Sun Downers / Sunrise Breakfast
Sun Downers / Sunrise Breakfast
Sun Downers are one of the volunteers favourite activities on this project and they give you the chance to simply sit back and relax whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery of the sun setting over the dunes. You won't see anything like this at home! Occasionally, volunteers may even have the chance to enjoy a camp-out, star gazing as you fall asleep beneath the twinkling African sky! You may also have the chance to enjoy a sunrise breakfast and experience some awesome sandboarding on the dunes!
Capture, Mark, Release
Capture, Mark, Release
Animal collars fitted with GPS trackers are used to monitor carnivore activity, this data is also used for scientific studies. There may arise an opportunity to assist the project team with replacing collars. Please note that this is not a guaranteed activity and will only take place when deemed necessary as the project team aim to be as non-invasive to the wildlife as possible.


Please note itineraries are subject to change and the below is simply a rough guideline for a two week stay.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
Upon arrival at Windhoek Airport you will be met at arrivals and transferred to your accommodation, and the journey to here takes approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival, you will spend time settling in and resting up for your transfer to the Kanaan site the following day.
Day 2 – Transfer to the research site:
Today you will transfer to the carnivore research site at Kanaan. This is roughly a 7-hour drive, and upon arrival, you will meet the facilitators before having an orientation talk followed by dinner in the evening. The rest of the evening is at your leisure, you may want to rest up before beginning the project activities tomorrow!
Day 3-15 – Project Days at Kanaan:
For the next 2 weeks, you will be based at Kanaan and will have the chance to take part in some incredible activities. With a firm focus on data recording, you will be a part of the team that also help with mapping, radio telemetry, game counts, maintenance/defencing and carnivore feeding amongst other activities.
Day 16 – Return Transfer:
Today is your last day at Kanaan. After enjoying a big breakfast you will be transferred back to your accommodation, where you will spend your final evening with the other volunteers and have the chance to swap stories and share your photos.
Day 17 – Journey Home:
Today, after enjoying an activity packed two weeks on the project, you will transfer back to Windhoek airport to begin your journey home or onward travel plans.

Dates, Availability & Price

To secure a place on this project a deposit of $245 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.

Updates & Outcomes

The aim of this project is to preserve and conserve the Kanaan ecosystem whilst offering willing and able people the chance to assist in the process. Volunteers play a big role in helping to gather the information the project needs to continue to grow its database on the local wildlife, as multiple sets of eyes are better than one!

A continuing process, the team at Kanaan focus a lot of their time on researching the numbers, health, and movements of the local spotted hyena populations. Over the past 4 years, the team from Kanaan (and the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary as a whole) have assisted in the instillation of camera traps in regions in Southern Namibia in partnership with the Brown Hyena Research Project and Namibia Wild Horse Project. Information gathered from these camera traps and site explorations will be used to; determine whether the spotted hyena are causing conflict in the local area, gather data on the population dynamics of the spotted hyena at each site, determine their prey preferences and to better understand these elusive animals.

With an increased knowledge of human-wildlife conflict being caused by the hyenas, the team hopes to reduce this problem in the area.

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?



At Kanaan, you will be staying in a beautifully renovated farmhouse with shared rooms with ensuite. Depending on the time of year, tented accommodation may also become available. The guesthouse does have electricity, but you will need to bring your own South African socket adapters to charge electric appliances. 12 volunteers can be accommodated at any one time, which means that you are guaranteed an intimate small group experience.

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 a newly built tented lodge. The rate for this upgrade is $38 per person per night for a double room and $44 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 dinner includes meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes, and pasta. On weekends, there is often a braai (barbecue) in the evening. Tea, coffee, and water are freely available throughout the day. A vegetarian option is always available – however, please let us know your dietary requirements upon booking. Please note that, given the remote location of Kanaan, some fresh produce may only be available seasonally. Please also note that your own snacks and drinks should be purchased before you arrive at Kanaan.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

The activities you take part in during this project are 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.



The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history. We recommend that you consult with 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 preferred time to volunteer regarding wildlife, however, weather 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 40°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

You will need to fly into Windhoek International Airport (also known as Hosea Kutako International Airport) on your project start day between 7am - 5pm, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary Project Site or a local accommodation site if the Sanctuary is full at the time of your visit. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.

There are several daily flights here from the South African hub cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as daily flights from a range of international destinations.

The transfer to Kanaan takes a further 7 hours and is also included in the price of the project. Both are private transfers arranged by the project staff.

If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flight 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

In order to join this project, you will need to apply for a work visa before travel. We will provide further information and documents for this upon booking. We can also put you in touch with an agent in Namibia who can organise this for you.

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. For up-to-date rates, click 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 Kanaan
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your project
  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day
  • Tea and coffee
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Visas
  • Use of internet and telephone
  • Soft and alcoholic beverages
  • Any extra activities not within the itinerary

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Project Reviews

Give Us A Call


+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 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
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   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

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