Indigenous Community Conservationist

Agency
·
founded in 2007
Flora
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Coordinator | Flora
Coordinator | Flora
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Experience one of the truly last wild and untouched areas of Southern Africa!
Spend time among the indigenous community of the San people and learn from their deep connection and wisdom of nature.
Live and survive in the wild bush amongst free-roaming herds of elephants, endangered wild dog packs, many types of antelopes, leopards, hyenas and even lions.
Protect the indigenous knowledge that remains with the elders of the community and help to transfer and preserve it for the next generations.
Learn about Permaculture and how to minimize your own carbon footprint and grow your own vegetables.
Nhoma Safari Camp works hand in hand with the Ju/'hoan San. Together we strive for a balance between conservation and development, through eco-tourism and permaculture. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Volunteer at Nhoma Safari Camp and assist to build a bridge between development and conservation.

A major challenge nowadays is to find the balance between development and conservation to assist  the Ju/'hoansi bushmen. This volunteering program is based on an eco-tourism approach, whereby social and material well-being of people is raised, without sacrificing the environment or viability of the socio-economic cultural system. 

Our volunteer program is designed in collaboration with the village and invites people to stay for a longer period of time, resulting in a more lasting, deep-going experience and  mutual exchange for volunteers and the local community. Your stay will give you extensive insights into their history, current and past struggles through participating in activities including harvesting and preparing local foods, gatherine medicinal plants, ostrich eggshell bead making, traditional games and lores, and generally taking part in their daily lives.
A journey of multiple weeks at Nhoma has the potential for a life changing experience. The community is very welcoming, eager to exchange and learn from your knowledge as well.

The Challenge

The Ju/'hoansi San in North-Eastern Namibia lived a hunter-gatherer way of life for over hundred thousands years in the Kalahari. Only in the 1950s, they encountered the first white people, which was the start of a rapid change of their lifestyle. With the government forcing them to stop their mobile movement, setting hunting restrictions and reducing the lines of their lands significantly, the traditional way of living and culture of the bush is under threat. Specifically Nhoma (N//oq’ma) village, which falls out of the protecting Nyae Nyae conservancy, needs to rely on other sources of income and food supply.

(Be) Part of the Solution. 

At Nhoma, we believe that part of the solution lies in creating diverse work opportunities, based on traditional skills, but also offer jobs that enable the community to live partly from foraging and allow them to stay on their ancestral lands. Thereby, they are enabled to pass on traditional knowledge to the younger generations. For the past 18 years, the camp has created work opportunities for trackers, hunters, jewelry makers, wood sculptures, traditional sandal makers, nature guides, chefs, waiters and many more.

Nhoma Safari Camp is deeply interwoven with the local Ju/'hoansi and the intention is to come up with new solutions based on traditional skills and share modern approaches whilst considering the social and cultural impact.  We see volunteers part of the solution to create alternative ways of safeguarding and respecting the profound knowledge and connection to nature.   

Through income generated, the village nearby is able to stay on their ancestral land and partly continue their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life. We see this collaboration as healthy symbiosis and are interested to deepen this relation for the mutual benefits.

A journey of multiple weeks here is a potentially life changing experience, if you are looking for such an adventure. The community is very welcoming, and eager to exchange and learn from you as well.

The voluntourism program is structured in a 2 week rotation and you can repeat for a maximum of 8 weeks. The idea is to participate half of your time at Nhoma Safari Camp, being part of our route to self-reliance and sustainability. Our working ethics and visions are based on permaculture. We try to work as much as possible with local natural resources, grow our own food, build a food forest, .. and include the villagers in these projects. Building an off-grid permaculture paradise is challenging and demanding work. All projects are a hands-on experience bringing you in closer touch with nature and enable you to consider nature's energies and synergies.  The other half of your time is spent with the villagers next door. The community will take you along in their daily activities within the village as well as in the wild and not fenced and untouched bush wilderness around, where wildlife such as elephants, lions and leopards are still roaming freely. 

WEEK 1:

The first week’s activities are all centred around the camp. The camp is an experience-oriented accommodation for volunteers and tourism, and collaborates with the indigenous village of Ju/'hoan San people, who live about 300 meters away. Profit generated through tourism sustains both the lodge and the village nearby. Ideally, in a pre and post-corona era, it creates an income for the village of about 120 people to stay on their ancestral land, and continue to live remotely and self-sustaining by means of a partly hunter-gatherer way of life. 

We will take you on an informative journey and show you insights on natural building with local resources, using simple permaculture principles and tools in order to live a sustainable off-grid life. 

The week starts with a tour around the different accommodations and facilities. We will give you an insight of the principles we have used whilst building up the camp. Moritz will give you an introduction into the different resources we use from the area and how we put them to best use. 

A building week is depending on current stages, but usually this week is built up by the following core tasks: 

  • COLLECT: Driving around in the area to collect materials we need: Gathering, chopping or digging and bringing it to the building site. 

  • PROTECT: Making fire stop corridors or elephant ditches to protect the camp, village and food forest from unwelcome visitors. 

  • ERECT: Exploring methods of natural building, preparing the right mix and contributing to one of our building projects with cob, mud brick, earth bag or rammed earth,… 

  • GROW: Our growing food forest and big garden plots need watering, seeding, mulching, weeding, composting, trelling. We make a strong, wild compost from biochar, elephant dung if available and greens from the kitchen and the garden. Our vermicompost will show you how worms can make composting so much fun!!

WEEK 2:

The second week is centred around the "n!ore", meaning living territory of the community and the space around it to forage. You will get the first two days an insight into the daily lives of the Ju/'hoansi and their traditions. You can join in on small excursions to gather bush food or grasses for hut making. The program is not fixed and depends on the seasons and availability of resources. 

Other activities may be preparation of veld foods, cooking, jewellery making, traditional sandal making, tool making, ... 

You will learn to use whatever nature has to offer and things that are around you.

The next 2 days you join a group of villagers to go out in the bush. On your paths might be interesting findings such as wild honey or other veld food. You will leave the comfort of our camp and set up a mobile camp together with some community members for one night. During the day you will learn to differentiate the tracks and read signs of nature. You will be sharing food and campfires together accompanied with great storytelling. Early mornings you will go out checking the traffic of wildlife that passed in the area that night. 

During this week you will also learn about conservation in many ways, and ancient techniques of living hand in hand with nature. 

Spending time with this community can be a life-changing experience. You will go home enriched with the wisdom from another culture.

In addition, you hopefully put some of your gained knowledge into action in your individual path in life. 

Typical day

You live with the cycles of the day and in tune with the seasons. A typical day at Nhoma starts at sunrise with a cup of coffee. 

During the first week we start the briefing of the day at 8AM and work until 5PM, with a tea break around 10. Around the hottest time of the day, between 1-3 PM we try to minimise intensive activity and rest in the shade for lunch and siesta. 

The second week is less regulated in terms of a strict hourly schedule. You will forget about the time and will learn to own time.

Free-time activities

If you love nature you will have plenty of ideas to spend your free time. The week days are already intensively packed with outdoor and nature focussed activities, so you might prefer to rest, read or spend some calm time at the camp in your off time. 
We are very remote, so please note that there is no possibility to go to any "town" or shop. 

In the weekends the local village plays football and you will be very welcome to join in!

Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Nhoma Safari Camp
Including in the fee is accommodation, food and a return trip Grootfontein to the camp. 


Accommodation

You will be staying during week 1 & 2 on the Volunteer camping, in dome tents with stretcher beds and proper made beds. Toilets and bathroom facilities are at the campsites. In the second week you will set up mobile camp with bed rolls or tents (as you are most comfortable with) in the wild for one or two nights.

Camping
Food & Beverages

Breakfast is usually porridge, muesli, tea and coffee. 

Lunch is freshly baked bread in our wood oven, served with salads and whatever our garden has to offer!

Dinner is a warm filling meal, we can cater for specific dietary requests if you let us know beforehand! 
On Saturday evening we throw a communal pizza night in our self made clay wood oven! 

Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks can be bought at the camp. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek. We assist you to find cheap flights to Namibia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Namibia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Namibia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Namibia.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

VERY IMPORTANT! 

You can apply to volunteer with us starting March 2022. 

We will run the voluntourism program only on the specific timeslots, limiting it to 3 months per year.

If you want to join this unique opportunity, you can apply for the dates below:

Join us for a two, four, six or eight - week stay in 2022 starting on the following options:

18 March 2022 - 31 March 2022

1 April 2022 - 14 April 2022 

15 April 2022 - 28 April 2022

29 April 2022 - 12 May 2022

13 May 2022 - 26 May 2022

Pick ups from Grootfontein to Nhoma on the starting day are included. To reach Grootfontein there are several options on which we can give you information. 

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 8 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,150
4 weeks
$2,250
6 weeks
$3,350
8 weeks (max. stay)
$4,400
Average fees
$563 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Nhoma Safari Camp will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Nhoma Safari Camp during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Nhoma Safari Camp cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Nhoma Safari Camp.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Indigenous Community Conservationist

Nhoma Safari Camp works hand in hand with the Ju/'hoan San. Together we strive for a balance between conservation and development, through eco-tourism and permaculture.

$563/week

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