You can stay for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of 8 weeks
Set in an awesome private game reserve you will get the opportunity to join other volunteers experiencing hands on conservation with animals in the heart of the African bush. The animal sanctuary mission is to take in all kinds of injured or abandoned or orphaned animals, and they need the support of people like you to help care for them. Become a surrogate mum to baboon babies, feed the lions and go for bush walks with big cats. All in a days work at the Namibian wildlife conservation experience programme.
YOUR ROLE AS A WILDLIFE CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER
Some of your responsibilities will include preparing food for the animals, patrolling carnivore enclosures, walking with the caracals, playtime with the baboons, game drives, camera trap setting and collecting, learn about carnivores during staff-led carnivore feeds, and manual farm work such as de-bushing and pulling grass in the field, working in the vegetable garden, building fences etc.
Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience: Trip Highlights
- Get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife.
- Set on a huge private game reserve in the African Bush.
- Learn everything about, cheetahs, lions and small orphaned monkeys.
- Join a group of other conservation volunteers.
- Bush walks and enclosure patrols.
- Feeding wild animals and babysitting baboons.
- Sleep outs under the stars (weather permitting).
- Help to save the wild animals of Africa.
Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience Photos
Namibia Wildlife Conservation Experience: Full Details
Your role as a volunteer is key to the success of this project, which is renowned for the variety of animals and activities that you can experience. Participation in the program ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals, which are housed in natural environments around the site.
What you will get out of this project:
This is a genuine once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds as well as gaining a unique opportunity to take a hands-on role in conservation.
- Have a greater understanding for African conservation.
- Have had hands-on experience with African wildlife.
- Have many happy memories of your experiences in Africa!
About the Project
The project takes place in a stunning Wildlife Sanctuary, situated on our 3,200 hectare reserve near Windhoek. This is a haven for orphaned and injured African wildlife. We strongly believe the wild belongs in the wild and direct all our efforts towards long term rehabilitation. Unfortunately not all of the animals who come to the wildlife sanctuary are able to be released back into the wild. Only those that can´t, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain on the sanctuary.
Many of the animals have been orphaned, hand raised from a very young age or have become too used to captivity and cannot safely be released. None of these animals would have survived without the food, care and nurturing from our sanctuary and this is where you come in, to continue to care for these amazing creatures.
We provide a safe home for lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Our Sanctuary also provides a home to a bat-eared fox called Ore, a duiker called Sylvie, a zebra called Frankie, a vervet monkey called Scarlett as well as several meerkats, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and rabbits.
The Sanctuary is based at our beautiful reserve which hosts an abundant amount of wildlife and roaming game including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, springbok, eland, jackal as well as wild cheetahs and leopards. These animals are all protected within this conservation area and our guests and volunteers can enjoy seeing the wildlife on a daily basis driving around the reserve.
Why you can play an important role .
The Wildlife Sanctuary and sister programme the Carnivore Conservation Research project could not function without the hard work, dedication, support and time of people like yourself. In 2011, over 400 volunteers gave thousands of days of their time to support the project. They came from all over Europe, Australia, South America and Canada to name just a few.
With no experience or qualifications necessary, our projects offer people the opportunity to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia´s wildlife.
If you feel this project is right for you stay can stay any length of time from 2 weeks to 8 week. All funds from the wildlife conservation project are ploughed back into our projects, enabling the Foundation to grow and become even more successful in achieving our vision of an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together, and conserving the land, cultures, and wildlife of Namibia.
Your daily activities
Daily activities will include food preparation, like throwing meat to the Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, African Wild Dogs and hand feed the Meerkats. You will also prepare vegetables, fruit and millipap to feed to the Baboons and farm animals. You will also be responsible for cleaning the animal enclosures. You can walk with the tame Caracals and experience how they hunt in the wild and spend time with the tame and semi-tame Cheetahs in their enclosures.
The orphaned baboons play a large part in our project. You will also rotate responsibility for bottle feeding, walking and sleeping overnight with the five baby baboons (when needed), which are currently too small to live in the camp with the young baboons.
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 help remove invasive species, digging trenches to help water supplies to camps and other manual activities. Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the sanctuary work including the rescue, care for, cleaning and feeding, and rehabilitation and release of the animals at the Sanctuary. These animals include cheetahs, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, caracals, baboons, chickens, geese, zebra, and donkey. In addition, we care for sheep and goats in an effort to relate to local farmers and landowners on predation management.
Lots of different animals
There are a variety of animals located at the sanctuary who need to be cared for by our wildlife volunteers including: semi-tame meerkats, pigs, sheep, guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys, leopard tortoises, rabbits and lots of dogs. Baboons form a large part of the project; volunteers become surrogate mums for the little ones, bottle feeding and sleeping overnight with them. They also go for walks with any babies currently at the sanctuary and our tame bigger baboons. We cannot predict when young baboons will arrive at the sanctuary so the numbers and ages may vary.
Animals in the wild and game drives
You may be lucky enough to spot some of the other wildlife freely roaming in their natural environment on the farm including; leopards, cheetahs, game (kudu, oryx, hartebeest, duiker), wart hogs, porcupine, aardvark, ostriches, caracals, jackals, wild baboons, African wild cats, hares, mongoose, meerkats, vultures, eagles, and various other bird species.
Bush walks with the animals
The leopards love their daily walk with our volunteers, climbing trees in their natural environment and are already practising their stalking skills. The two are firm favourites amongst our volunteers who currently get to experience feeding and meeting them up close
- Pre departure information
- Transfers to and from the airport (Monday and Thursday)
- Laundry service available (extra costs)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Tea and coffee
- 3 Uniform T-shirts
- Arrival orientation
- Electronic certificate
- Full support and assistance from your programme coordinator throughout the programme, 24/7
If you start on a Monday or Thursday the transfer is free of charge. If you starts on any other day of the week it will be N$500 for the off-day transfer.
More information regarding the meals provided
Breakfast is self-service and includes toast & cereals. Lunch is typically cold and varies between sandwiches, soup or filled pancakes and fruit when available. Dinner is a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque) and includes meat, vegetables, bread, pasta and rice.
- All flights
- Personal travel insurance (which should include cover for repatriation)
- Wifi and telephone calls
- Visa costs
- All items of a personal nature, such as gifts, clothing (work and other)
- Drinks and snacks, which can be bought from the shop at the farm.
- Extra excursions
- Optional transfer into Windhoek on a Sunday
- Optional Lodge nights
Frequently Asked Questions
We welcome volunteers from all across the world aged 18+ to join our projects. No experience or qualifications necessary
During this trip you will be part of a group of other Gappers and you can expect groups sizes of between 15 to 20 people per month. The age is between 18 and 30 and the average is 24. Our peak months are July-September.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has advised us that visas are necessary for volunteer placements in Namibia and need to be arranged in advance.
It is best to engage the services of our appointed visa agent Ms Emcé Dodds at Bouwer Agencies email: firstname.lastname@example.org , for a fee of N$1,580 (approx. £86/€100/US$115). This price includes Government fees. The agency will go to Home Affairs on your behalf and obtain the Visa which will be then emailed to you.
18 is age limit
Please be aware that the wildlife volunteer project only admits volunteers over 18 years of age. In special circumstances we will consider 17 year olds, but ONLY if accompanied by a parent.
Volunteers need to complete a visa form and return it to their nearest Namibian Embassy- You should send this together with a copy of your passport and copy of a certificate showing your highest academic qualification currently held, for example GCSE, A Level Degree. This application will take three to four weeks to process, so early attention to this matter is advised. When completing the form you need to fill out an address. This will be in the pre-departure pack that you receive after payment to Xtreme Gap.
The cost of this visa can be paid directly to the Embassy. For those people who live in countries with no Namibian Consulate, you can use an agency in Namibia to obtain your visa. The Agency that we recommend is: GK Consultancy. In addition to the visa cost, there is a fee associated with using an Agency ” normally £30 – £40 per application.
Windhoek has a semi-desert climate, with very hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures tend to drop at night. On average, Namibia receives about 300 days sunshine a year. Summer is from October to April. Temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celcius and plummet at night to cool levels. Average daily temperatures range from 20 to 34 degrees Celsius. Rainfall usually occurs between November and March, when heavy thunderstorms can be expected. Winter is from May to September with wonderful warm days which are contrasted by very cold nights, when temperatures often drop to below freezing so please bring warm clothing and a sleeping bag. Average temperatures range from 6 to 21 degrees Celsius.
The most popular time to travel to Windhoek is between March and October, when rainfall is lowest and temperatures are mild.
Flights should be booked to arrive at Windhoek International Airport, Namibia. Please note that passengers through Johannesburg have been experiencing an ongoing problem with luggage. If your flight comes via Johannesburg your luggage may take a couple of days to arrive. Please put all valuables in your hand luggage along with a change of clothes.Mark your cases clearly with the address
You will be met by a representative at Windhoek International Airport should you arrive on our fixed transfer days. The transfer time to the farm is approximately 45 minutes. On arrival you will be introduced to the Volunteer Coordinators and shown around the accommodation and facilities. An induction meeting will be held with you in your first couple of days. Activities are continuous on the farm and animals need tending to, so you will be hands-on on from your first day. Arrival transfers on Mondays and Thursdays are included, otherwise you will have to pay an additional N$500
No problem! We have an awesome new backpackers in Windhoek which offers you, as a volunteer, with a great new opportunity to spend some time in Windhoek, should your arrival or departure fall outside our fixed transfer days for the volunteer program, or if you are planning further tours around Namibia for before or after.
Note: We can arrange transfers within the city or to/from the airport at an additional cost.
Vaccinations are required to enter Namibia. Please contact your doctor to arrange this. Do not forget to carry the vaccination certificate with your passport.
We will send you the kit list in pre-departure pack after booking. This will contain all the items you are likely to need on your trip. The volunteer work includes being very hands on with animals, building enclosures and walking with baboons so you are likely to get very dirty! Old and dispensable clothes are advisable for daily activities. The type of clothing you should bring depends on the time of year you visit. May to September is the winter period and can be very cold at night and early morning and daytime temperatures can vary. A sleeping bag is recommended! October to April is the summer period and rainy season and whilst generally hot during in the day it can become chilly in the evenings.
The currency is Namibian Dollars, but the South African Rand is widely accepted. We are able to take MasterCard and Visa payments at the project. ATM machines are present in Windhoek and withdrawals may have a small surplus charge. We do not advise bringing travellers cheques as we cannot cash them; you will only be able to get them cashed in town (NOT at the airport). If you do bring travellers cheques please ensure you have enough money to last until you are able to get them cashed.
You will need about £40 a week, as most of your expenses are covered within the programme.
All the money raised through our volunteering program goes directly back into the project which provides employment, education and accommodation to the local Bushman community and ensuring the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which are housed in natural environments around the site.Volunteer Role at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary.
Lots! Why not book a tour after you have done this project. Namibia is a beautiful country with a stunningly diverse array of landscapes. Make the most of your time in this amazing country by combining your project with a tour. Depending on your time and budget, you can choose from a whole variety of trips from 3 days to two weeks or longer. Ask us for the options.
Off course you can, please check our Facebook page gallery, and also sign up for trip notes.