- posted on Jan 27, 2016
- by Connor Whelan
Following on from the first part of the interview, today we take a look at what's going to happen in the future in Namibia!
Experience hands-on volunteering in Africa with cheetahs, baboons, big cats and much more
This project offers you the chance to travel and work as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. You will have the chance to be working with big cats such as cheetahs, lions, leopards and more. Much of Namibia is certified 'cheetah country,' and is home to one third of the world's entire cheetah population. With 95% of cheetahs living outside protected areas and on farmland, they are sadly often killed by landowners who regard them as a threat to their livestock.
The sanctuary itself is situated in a natural savannah paradise with riverine vegetation, lush grass plains and magnificent mountain views. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife as well as those that have had to be relocated away from local farms as they are seen as 'problem carnivores,' and can often be killed as a result.
Whilst on the project you will be involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work including cheetah conservation, and will also help to rescue, care for, clean, feed and rehabilitate, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, caracals, baboons, and zebras. The sanctuary always aims to release as many animals as possible into safe conservation areas away from farmland. These animals are taken to one of the release sites to be reintroduced to the wild as soon as they can be to avoid too much human familiarity. Since opening in 2008, 40 carnivores have been released, and the number is always growing. For a chance to work at the research site and volunteer with cheetahs and other animals, please see our Carnivore Conservation and Research Project.
This project is perfectly suited to those looking to engage in hands on conservation work at an ever growing wildlife sanctuary, and if you chose to become a Namibia volunteer, you will not only be creating lifelong memories for yourself, but for the animals too.
You will have the opportunity to take part in most if not all of the below activities on a rotational basis. There may also be additional activities that you can get involved with once at the sanctuary.
You can volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary in Africa for 2 to 12 weeks. Whilst on the project you will be split into working groups to ensure variety and equal opportunity when carrying out tasks and joining activities. Please note however that itineraries are subject to change and therefore this is only a rough guideline. This is an example of a two week stay, which will repeat for those who stay longer.
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. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!
This project directs all its efforts towards the long term rehabilitation of animals within the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Sadly, not all of the animals housed here are able to be released back into the wild, as many are orphaned and have been hand raised and therefore have become too used to captivity.
Not only do volunteers help make these animals' lives as good as possible, but they may also get the rare opportunity to work alongside the big cat experts and Bushman trackers in the conservation research programme. This involves the monitoring and tracking of a number of leopard and cheetah within the local area, taking part in game counts for data collection or preparing for new arrivals into the sanctuary.
Volunteers are key to the success of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and their participation ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which have found a safe home here. Since 2008, the sanctuary has also rescued and safely re-released over 80 cheetahs, leopards and brown hyenas. These re-located carnivores are then monitored via tracking collars and GPS in order to assess their welfare within the new regions in which they have been released.
Following on from the first part of the interview, today we take a look at what's going to happen in the future in Namibia!
The founders of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary paid us a visit here in the UK and we got to ask them all about just how the Sanctuary came to be. Read about it here!
There are two accommodation options, volunteer rooms with up to two people (of the same gender) sharing and large tents with a bedroom and communal area to be shared by two volunteers (of the same gender or a couple). Although we can take requests for which accommodation is preferred, we cannot guarantee this selection as this will be subject to availability.
Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore please be aware that it is sometimes restricted.
The adjacent Lodge contains six luxurious chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, a bar and a swimming pool. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation and stay at the lodge over the weekend or at the end of your stay. Lots of volunteers also take the opportunity to visit the lodge for a delicious buffet lunch on a Sunday.
Three meals a day are provided at the sanctuary with tea and coffee freely available throughout the day. Breakfast includes toast and cereal, lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-frys, and evening dinners include meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta. On weekends there is often a braai (barbecue). A vegetarian option is also always available. Other drinks and snacks can be purchased at the Sanctuary for an additional fee including alcoholic beverages.
As you will be involved in all aspects of the project, including construction and maintenance of enclosures, we recommend that volunteers come with at least a moderate level of fitness. No specific skills are required - all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with every activity, have a respect for the wildlife and sanctuary staff with whom you’ll be working, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty!
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.
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 project. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.
There are several daily flights here from the South Africa hub cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as daily flights from a range of international destinations.
If you would like help booking your flights please feel free to contact our flight partners via our flights page.
In order to volunteer in Africa at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary 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.
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
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.
Babysitting the baby baboons over night was an amazing one off experience that was so great along with taking the baboons on walks and walking the cheetahs. Nikita was really great help with any queries I had I can't wait to book my next project
Shannon Webber, 2016
My fave moment from this trip was being able to get close to the big cats. Going on a cheetah walk was just amazing. I'm a big cat lover, so being able to get close and stroke such magnificent creatures was truly memorable. So many forever memories were made on this trip, along with some great friends. It was one of the best trips ever!
Helen Gatward, 2016
Two of the most incredible weeks of my life...the interaction with the animals, the amazing people, and the memories - I can't wait to go back!
Laura Holsen, 2015
My Favourite memory was having the opportunity to collar and release a wild leopard in the desert. Also sleeping overnight with baby Emma the baboon at 4 weeks old, amazing experience!
Tonia Brundell , 2015
Walking with the small baboons and the visit with the 3 cheetahs were out of this world. Will remember that for the rest of my life.
Charmaine Marais, 2015
The staff and volunteers were all lovely, and the interaction with the animals, especially the big cats (carnivore feeds and caracal walks). Everything was also really well organised, and the volunteers are really well looked after."
Pippa Perry, 2014
"What a Great Project! I will never forget spending so much time with the animals and meeting so many new and lovely people."
Emilie B, 2014
Would you recommend this program to others?: Yes Would you travel with us again?: Yes What memory will you take away with you forever? Your favourite moment: I now understand more how hard the conservationists work to look after animals but at the same time very rewarding. Very dedicated people, to the point where their freedom is sacrificed, very much respect. My favourite times were walking, grooming and playing with the baboons and learning their behaviour. Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?: No
Deborah Pollard, 2014
Would you recommend this program to others?: Yes Would you travel with us again?: Yes What memory will you take away with you forever? Your favourite moment: Great team, amazing animals, was great to be involved and see how much they are doing. Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?: More time there!
Alison Troy , 2014
Would you recommend this program to others?: Yes Would you travel with us again?: Yes What memory will you take away with you forever? Your favourite moment: Hurling fresh meat to the big cats - gross but awesome!, cuddling a baby aardvark, petting a cheetah and playing with a cheetah cub, spotting wild giraffes, zebra, eland, warthogs, springbok etc, helping the rare wild painted dogs of Namibia, being groomed by a majestic baboon, babysitting an adorable baby baboon overnight, smoothing a caracal - everything! Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?: My group and I wish that we had known that you could travel to the Neuras project from Naankuse and that the volunteer project there is a connected enterprise as we may have chosen to combine both into our stay Any other comments?: Booking with the Great Projects was straightforward, informative, simple and reassuring and I would definitely recommend your site, my only small criticism would be that we were told Naankuse would be informed that myself and my two friends were travelling together but this didn't happen and although we eventually shared a room we had to sort this out ourselves on the first day we arrived.
Kate Evans , 2014
If you love wildlife, conservation and Africa and have an open mind. THIS project is the project for you. The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is beyond words amazing from the animals to the staff. I stayed here for 4 weeks, and im itching to go back. They staff will answer any questions you may have with enthusiasm ( they are the most amazing people I've ever met.) You sleep a few meters away from a cheetah and can visit her when you are free, and even play with the baby baboons on breaks or hang out with the meerkat or mongoose, warthogs and the duiker. At night you can volunteer to take a baby baboon to bed to care for and keep warm ( you all should try this at least once :) ) and visit the bushmen tribe. Throughout the day, you'll be working hard under the hot african sun drink lots and lots of water ( I promise you wont have to pee a lot because your body will need the water ) The work is hard ( its on a rotational scheduled ) but rewarding. In the evening, you can spend you time around the camp fire or play pool...or swim in the pool :) 10/10 for this sanctuary. Food is great, people are great, lots of animal time, and Africa is AMAZING.
Stacey Feltham , 2014