For a wilderness, conservation, adventure experience – you won’t find better.
A Desert Jewel in Southern Africa’s Crown – Namibia is exceptionally beautiful and nothing like its surrounding ‘savannah’ landscaped neighbours. Completely unique, with its vast desert and empty landscapes, where wildlife interactions are infrequent but highly prized. The highest sand dunes in the world rise up in all their glory and skeleton coast beckons.
Here we have developed a unique African program which allows you to live safari style in a private reserve in Southern Namibia, helping leading conservationists conserve and re-wild an eco-system devasted through extensive hunting, whilst supporting the local communities. But it’s not all hard work and no play – every week the project work will be intertwined with off camp safari’s or adrenaline paced adventure to provide you with a fulfilling and varied experience.
We have three team departures a year in April, July and September. All for 4 weeks and take in the following adventures and challenges. Team size = 16 volunteers per departure.
Sample 4 week Itinerary
Weeks 1- 4 Oana Conservancy
Oana Conservancy covers a stunningly beautiful semi-arid landscape of small mountains and plains with the Oranje River running alongside, creating an idyllic oasis of green and blue within the terracotta hue of the sand and mountains. Simply stunning.
You’ll live in a canvas tented camp, surrounded by volcanic mountains. Think homely, boho, Bedouin vibe – chill out zones full of sofas, cushions, a bar, campfire and star gazing. Canvas tents with beds, cupboards, surrounding main ‘hub tent’. Separate shower and toilet tents.
Your 4 weeks here will include an ‘intertwined mix’ of conservation, community and adventure.
Wildlife Conservation – Tracking and Reintroduction
Oana is an area unstudied and given its history we need to understand what lives on the land and in what numbers – whilst clearing the land of harmful debris.
Projects will include:
Wildlife counts, camera trapping and analyses of wildlife faeces and tracks.
Relocation and reintroduction of wildlife through ‘soft-release’.
Removing old buildings and unnecessary fences, structures and scrap.
Developing water points for animals.
Building micro-basins to help with plains regeneration.
Removing alien vegetation on the property and along the river.
Building hides for wildlife observation at water points. Building a vulture restaurant.
Community Projects – Teaching and Improving Infrastructure
Oana are focusing on tangible projects that make a difference where it is most needed. Currently they are constructing vegetable gardens which the village will manage and turn into a business. You will also help improve the village infrastructure by renovating classrooms and water facilities.
Adventure: Trekking – Explore the Desert and Mountain Terrain.
Hiking will be a big part of your time here and the potential for exploration is limitless over the mountain ranges, ranging from terracotta granite outcrops to towering, black, perfectly formed volcanos (all extinct). These mountains are interspersed with sandy grass plains and 50km of river frontage.
Every day will involve a sun downer from some amazing view point but a 3 day hike to the Orange River is one of the programs highlights. Here you will fly camp on one of the islands in the middle of the river, fish for supper and explore.
Adventure: White Water Raft – Down the Oranje River
Raft down the Oranje river on an exhilarating 5 day adventure over white water, (up to level 3 rapids) stopping off at idyllic sandy beaches along the way. You’ll raft during the mornings before stopping off at a beach along the way to build a camp for the evening. Your afternoons will be spent sunbathing, swimming, fishing, reading and relaxing. Your evenings spent around the bonfire with roasted marshmallows.
Whilst rafting you’ll see amazing bird life, perhaps the elusive clawless otter and conduct bird biodiversity surveys as you go. You’ll raft through gorges and canyons so the landscape is constantly changing.
A definite highlight.
Adventure: Mountain Biking – Explore the Desert Terrain
Oana has built a specially designed 20km bike trail that weaves through their mountains and ridges which shows off the stunning mountain landscape and will get your blood pumping. There are fast bits, slow(er) bits, technical bits and chilled straights but don’t worry riders of every ability will be able to do the trail.
Adventure: Fish River Canyon – Second Largest Canyon in the World
Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, second only to the Grand Canyon in America, and words completely fail to do it any justice in attempting to describe the beauty of this place which will make you feel very small indeed.
It is about a 4-hour drive from Oana but you will feel like you have driven to Mars. Here you will stay at a very comfortable campsite next door to the canyon where a swimming pool oasis is waiting.
We have limited spaces, per departure, so book online to reserve your place and the Leap will get back to you to confirm the details.