Backpacking in Namibia on a Gap Year

Countries  »  Namibia

Work with Desert Elephants
Volunteer with Namibia's rare elephants
Sandboarding in Namibia
Finding adrenaline kicks in the dunes of Namibia
Big Cat and Carnivore Conservation
Help out on this volunteer project
Volunteering in Africa
Read about gapper Maria's experiences
Travel in Namibia

Gap Years in Namibia

When you think of Southern Africa, naturally enough, the first country that comes to mind is South Africa. Just to the North West of South Africa, however, is Namibia. Home to the second largest canyon in the world - Fish River Canyon, the vast, eponymous Namib desert, the oldest in the world, and some of the rarest, most beautiful wildlife in Africa. A destination not to be missed for any traveller.

Namibia's wildlife is unique, with specially desert adapted species like the desert elephant, desert lion and Hartmann's zebra. Etosha National Park, one of Africa's finest game parks, is home to these animals and many, many more. Long a key stop on tours of Southern Africa, this national park is gaining the recognition it deserves and is on more and more gappers radars.

Home to some of the oldest tribes on Earth, Namibia has been inhabited by the San people for longer than anyone cares to know or remember and by various different more recent tribes since the 14th century. Despite a troubled colonial history, Namibia now enjoys a stable economic and political environment and has is rich in many rare and valuable minerals giving it a solid base from which to develop its economy.

Volunteering in Namibia

Volunteering in Namibia

While Namibia enjoys high political and economic stability, there are always opportunities to help improve the situation and even learn things yourself. As with most volunteering in Africa, and indeed worldwide, there are two main aims - to protect the indigenous wildlife and to increase the average standard of living.

The primary concern, as you might expect, is the protection of the aforementioned indigenous wildlife. Most volunteers to Namibia get choose some kind of wildlife sanctuary/rehabilitation project varying from working with big cats to helping to preserve Namibia's unique desert elephants.

That said, this is far from the only option available. There are also options for the budding medics among you there are medical electives to be done where you'll get the chance to work way out in the bush helping to provide healthcare to the San bushmen and their communities.

Volunteering in Ghana

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Carnivore Conservation

Carnivore Conservation


Map of Namibia