Start Dates are every Monday and Thursday of each month.
By becoming a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary you will have the chance to work with cheetahs, baboons and many other animals whilst making a difference to Namibian conservation efforts!
On this project you will get involved in all aspects of reserve work, helping with tasks such as enclosure cleaning, helping to build new fences and feeding some of the sanctuary’s many animal residents!
As well as this you will get to work hands-on with some of the animals here, and this is often the highlight if the trip for many volunteers. You may have the chance to help feed the meerkats, babysit a young baboon overnight or even spend some time with some of the animals based on the farm.
No two days are the same on this incredible conservation project, but one thing that can be guaranteed is that you will love your time in Namibia and the work you do here will help the in country team achieve all of their conservation goals!
You will arrive at Windhoek Airport and take a transfer to the project site alongside a representative of the sanctuary (transfer time approx 45 mins.) You’ll spend the rest of the day at the site, and meet with other volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators before getting a good nights sleep.
These are your project days. You will rise early and eat breakfast at around 7am, before joining the other volunteers and volunteer coordinators for a meeting at 8am. After this you’ll begin morning activities (distributed on a rotational basis.) There is usually a tea-break at around 10:30am. You’ll begin a second-morning activity after this, with lunch commencing at 1pm. Afternoon activities begin at 2:30pm, running until around 4 or 5pm. At 6pm it’s time to enjoy a delicious dinner, before spending your evenings at leisure.
Sadly, today is your final day at the project. After some fond farewells, you will transfer from the project site to Windhoek airport for your return flight, or commence independent travel plans.
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. You may also have the opportunity to feed the little ones, such as baboons and farm animals, by giving them a milk formula.
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!
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 may also feed the baboons, bathing them and taking them to bed so they have someone to cuddle with at night and don’t feel scared (please be aware that this activity is subject to the presence of baboons at the sanctuary, so is not a guaranteed part of your itinerary.) Should you be lucky enough to work with the young baboons, this will surely be a highlight of your time at the sanctuary.
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. Maintenence of the project site helps the programme to run fluidly, so your help here is really quite important!
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.
Local School Visits
Volunteers will spend one afternoon a week working with the schoolchildren in the local school, teaching them English, and even playing games!
Southern Africa is home to 143 different species of snake, and during this snake awareness talk you will be able to learn more about some of the many different species indigenous to this region. This is a great opportunity to take some pictures of often elusive animals, so make sure you bring your camera!
One night during your stay you’ll have the chance to sleep out in the night tower to watch out for poachers or other suspicious activity. This will give you the unique experience of sleeping out beneath the African stars, and this is something you will never forget. Please note though that this activity may be weather dependent.
When on this project you will be staying in one of two accommodation options. The first is a comfortable volunteer room with up to four people of the same gender sharing. The second accommodation option is large tent style rooms with a bedroom and outdoor shower and bathroom. These tents will be shared by two volunteers. Although requests can be taken as to which accommodation you would like, they are subject to availability.
Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore please be aware that they are sometimes restricted.
Meals and Beverages
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.
Is This The Right Trip For You?
We recommend that volunteers on this project come with a moderate level of fitness as days are filled to the brim with activities and the Namibian sun can be extremely hot! In terms of skills, all we ask is that every volunteer comes with a desire to make a difference and to get stuck in.
The vaccinations you will need for this trip will depend on your medical history, so we recommend consulting with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs.