Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary
This project allows volunteers the chance to travel and work as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary with cheetahs, lions and other big cats. 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.
Volunteers will help to care for and feed the animals on a daily basis as well as helping with maintenance work at the sanctuary. Maintenance work may include de-bushing to get rid of invasive species, digging trenches to extend water supplies to camps, and other manual activities.
Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work whilst here, and will help to rescue, care for, clean, feed, rehabilitate and release cheetahs, 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.
Helpful Project Information
Volunteers are responsible for preparing the food for and feeding all of the animals each day. Vegetables, fruit and mieliepap (a kind of porridge) are used to feed the baboons and farm animals.
Volunteers are also able to experience regular carnivore-feeds with lions, leopards, semi-tame and wild cheetahs, and even with rare African wild dog and hand-feed the resident meerkats, which is a truly fantastic experience.
Volunteers are encouraged to help look after the resident baby baboons - this will almost definitely include taking a walk across the beautiful veldt with the baby and junior baboons. Volunteers also feed them, bathe them and take them to bed so they have someone to cuddle with at night and don't feel scared. It is the highlight of many people's time here and is a crucial part of the project but is not a mandatory activity.
Volunteers are involved in the clearing out of old food and bones from animal enclosures, the cleaning of waterholes and the fixing of any damage to the animal enclosures.
Volunteers get to spend part of each day playing with and looking after some of the animals on the farm. These interactions include taking a walk with the gorgeous caracals spending one on one time with the semi-tame cheetahs and meeting the resident pack of African Wild Dogs (also known as painted dogs); one of the rarest carnivores in the whole of Africa.
The growing Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary needs constant repair and building work. Volunteers may be required to help with these tasks which include: Constructing new enclosures as animals arrive, Border fence patrols and de-bushing to remove invasive alien plant species.
Volunteers receive a daily educational talk on various topics including the proliferation of local game, species resident within the Namibia wildlife sanctuary, and the science of wildlife immobilisation.
Local School Visits
Volunteers will spend one afternoon a week working with the schoolchildren in the local school, helping to teach them English and games!
During the project, volunteers have the weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sundays to relax. Please note however that the farm animals still need to be fed on Sundays. This time can be spent enjoying activities such as a nature walk across the farm, swimming in the pool, playing football against the bushman workers, or an eco-challenge competing in groups. This is usually followed by a traditional braai (barbeque).
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
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