from 1,347€

Perfect 4.6rating (189)

Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Perfect 4.6  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate

Complete your reservation as soon as possible. This project fills up quickly and is already booked on certain dates.


Highlights

  • Engage in captivating animal welfare activities, including enriching experiences and guided walks in the African bush
  • Make a meaningful impact by enhancing the living conditions of vulnerable animals in Namibia through vital environmental maintenance
  • Join forces with the dedicated project team in their mission to rehabilitate and reintroduce numerous animals back into their natural habitats
  • Immerse yourself in the world of Africa's extraordinary wildlife as you feed, care for, and gain invaluable knowledge about these magnificent species

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

Here you'll direct all of your efforts towards the long term rehabilitation of animals. Experience hands-on volunteering with baboons, small animals and much more!

About The Project
Situated in the heart of the African savannah, this sanctuary serves as a refuge for Namibia’s injured and orphaned wildlife. Many of these animals have been relocated away from local farms as they are seen as ‘problem animals’, deemed to be a risk to livestock and crops ...

About the program

About The Project
Situated in the heart of the African savannah, this sanctuary serves as a refuge for Namibia’s injured and orphaned wildlife. Many of these animals have been relocated away from local farms as they are seen as ‘problem animals’, deemed to be a risk to livestock and crops and are therefore targeted by farmers. Additionally, the wildlife trade in Africa is rife, and many animals (such as baboons) are forcibly separated from their mothers at a young age, which in turn results in them missing out on developing the important skills which would aid their lives in the wild.

While the sanctuary does carry out vital work in order to protect Namibia’s wildlife, it is the help of volunteers which keeps its doors open for many more in-need animals. The primary aim of this project is to release many of these animals into safe conservation areas where possible, but for those which have become too habituated and are therefore unable to be released, they will instead be provided with a suitable, caring home at the sanctuary. As a volunteer, you will help to support all areas of the sanctuary’s efforts as you take part in a range of exciting and fulfilling activities: from walks in the African bush with baboons at your side to helping to prepare food and enrichment for all of the animals at the sanctuary, your assistance in keeping the project running as smoothly as possible will surely be worthwhile!

Prior to Arrival
Citizens of most countries (including the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Australia and most of Europe) do not need to obtain a visa to enter Namibia and are granted entry for up to 90 days upon arrival. You will, however, need at least 2 blank pages in your passport for the immigration officials to use and your passport must be valid for a period of at least 6 months from your date of entry. Please note that visas are of your own responsibility.

You will need to fly into Windhoek International Airport (also known as Hosea Kutako International Airport) on your project start date between 7am - 5pm. There are several daily flights here from the South African hub cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as daily flights from a range of international destinations.



Typical day

A typical working week runs from Monday to Friday, with each day beginning at 7am and ending around 5pm/6pm. During this time, you will take part in a combination of the activities found below.

Baboon Walk
The sanctuary is home to a number of baboons that have been orphaned as a result of the ...

Typical day

A typical working week runs from Monday to Friday, with each day beginning at 7am and ending around 5pm/6pm. During this time, you will take part in a combination of the activities found below.

Baboon Walk
The sanctuary is home to a number of baboons that have been orphaned as a result of the human-animal conflict. Baboons are often thought of as pests, which in turn sees them shot by farmers. The injured or orphaned baboons are taken in by the sanctuary, and as a volunteer you will help to care for these social animals by accompanying them on enrichment walks, allowing them to exercise their innate abilities such as running and climbing.

Cheetah Run & Observation
Much like baboons, cheetahs have often fallen victim to the human-animal conflict: by venturing onto farms in search of food, these stunning big cats have inadvertently become targets of angry and scared farmers. The sanctuary has taken in many cheetahs over the years that have been injured or orphaned due to conflict. As a number of these cheetahs are unable to be released back into the wild, volunteers help to ensure they have a positive quality of life and one way of doing this is through an exercise enrichment activity. Setting up a pulley-system lure for the cheetahs to chase, you’ll observe the health (and speed!) of the animals as they run past you at up to 130 km/h!

Food Preparation & Animal Feeding
A huge number of animals call the sanctuary home, which means there are many mouths to feed! As a volunteer, you’ll play chef and waiter for the animals, preparing vegetable platters for the herbivores, meat for the carnivores and even milk formula for the little ones. Supervised by the sanctuary staff, you’ll ensure all animals have nutritious and healthy diets and will take turns distributing food at mealtimes.

Carnivore Feeding
Take a front-row seat and witness the sanctuary’s resident carnivores at their most ‘wild’ during their feeding time! You will help to prepare and throw food to cheetahs, leopards, lions and wild dogs, and during the feed, the project facilitator will share their abundant carnivore knowledge with you. This is your chance to learn more about Africa’s impressive carnivores whilst getting to know the animals and their individual stories and personalities!

Enrichment
This is a particularly important element of the sanctuary’s efforts, as enrichment helps to stimulate the animals and therefore will improve their quality of life. You will be tasked with creating an array of activities designed to provoke their senses, such as introducing scented or puzzle-type toys. One example can be found in a previous volunteer group's creation of papier-mâché 'animals': since the 'animals' resembled something the carnivores may have witnessed in the wild, they were quick to tear the creation open. This is a great opportunity to put your creativity to good use!

Project Work
Cleaning, building and maintenance are all necessary aspects of keeping the sanctuary running as smoothly as possible, and you will help to clean enclosures, construct new enclosures or remodel existing ones, fix fences, tackle alien plants and build animal playgrounds. These activities will go a long way towards providing a safe and comfortable home for all of the sanctuary’s animals and are a continuous element of the project.

Reserve Research & Animal Tracking
You will head out onto the neighbouring reserve where you will go in search of free-roaming, high-profile species such as elephants, rhinos, wild dogs and even lions! You’ll learn to track various wildlife species through GPS tracking and by joining a highly skilled Sans tracker who will show you how to find animals using spoor alone. Whilst out the reserve, you’ll retrieve camera trap data and analyse what you gather, helping the research team to monitor how endangered and vulnerable species are adapting to life in the wild.

Anti-Poaching Experience
Spend time with the Anti-Poaching Unit as you help to track and monitor the resident rhinos! For an evening, you’ll join the APU on rhino patrols, where you’ll learn the art of map reading, identifying animal tracks and what it takes to protect these iconic animals from the very real threat of poaching. A night in the bush is a great way to bond with fellow volunteers whilst getting to know and learning from skilled and dedicated rangers. 


Free-time activities

Whilst on the project, you will have the weekday evenings and all weekend to relax.

Please note, however, that the animals do still need to be fed on the weekends, therefore a small amount of time may be set aside for this. 

You are welcome to spend your free time as you please: 

  • head out on a nature ...

Free-time activities

Whilst on the project, you will have the weekday evenings and all weekend to relax.

Please note, however, that the animals do still need to be fed on the weekends, therefore a small amount of time may be set aside for this. 

You are welcome to spend your free time as you please: 

  • head out on a nature walk
  • go swimming in the onsite pool
  • play football against the bushman workers at the site! 
  • Additionally, a braai (traditional African barbeque) typically takes place once a week, offering the perfect opportunity for you to sit back and relax with your fellow volunteers.

Should you wish to spend a little time away from the project site during your downtime, we do offer a number of trips at an additional cost.

TimBila Nature Reserve

For an additional £80, you may wish to swap out one of your weeks at the sanctuary for a week at the TimBila Nature Reserve. Known as “the land of second chances”, this area is home to lions, wild dogs, elephants and rhinos previously rescued from human-wildlife conflict that have been given a new lease of life through release onto the reserve. You’ll spend your time here monitoring and tracking the relocated animals whilst aiding research efforts on the relocation of an endangered species of vulture, and how they are adapting to their new environment! You’ll locate wildlife using telemetry and spoor tracking, collect and analyse camera trap data and may even be able to participate in the relocation and release of wildlife during your stay!

Kanaan Conservation and Research Site

Also available for an additional £80, is carnivore research in the stunning Kanaan region where the red sands and impressive dunes contribute to the beautiful scenery. This research site offers an insight to the lives of Namibia’s desert-dwelling wildlife, including (but not limited to) a range of incredible hyenas and big cats! Take part in the recording of statistical data on brown and spotted hyenas, cheetahs and leopards and mapping of this unique region, ultimately aiding the research team in improving their understanding of the wildlife found here. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sandboarding!


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

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 (intermediate level)

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

As you will be involved in all aspects of the project, including construction and maintenance of enclosures. We recommend that volunteers come with at least a moderate level of fitness. No specific skills are required - all we ask is that you arrive with a willingness to get involved with every activity, have a respect for the wildlife and sanctuary staff with whom you’ll be working, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty!

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 07:30 - 16:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by The Great Projects

Fees include:


  • A contribution to the project itself including funding for items such as building materials, food and animal medications
  • Transfers to and from Windhoek International Airport or Windhoek city
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your project
  • Accommodation
  • Three meals per day and tea and coffee
  • All activities mentioned previously

Airport Pickup at Hosea Kutako International Airport

You should arrive into Windhoek Airport on your project start date between 7am - 5pm, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the project site. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.

Accommodation

During your time on the project, you will stay in a fixed cabin/tent alongside one/two other volunteers of the same gender. If, however, you are joining this project as a couple, you will be accommodated together.

Each cabin has either an adjoining, open-roofed bathroom, complete with a western-style toilet and a hot water shower or an adjacent bathroom block which is shared between up to 4 volunteers (please note that the water is heated by solar energy, and therefore may be intermittent). Plug sockets and electric lighting are also available.

There is also a luxury lodge on site where you may wish to spend a night or two. The lodge is comprised of multiple chalets, each with a private veranda which overlooks the bushveld, an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. The lodge also has its own pool, a tranquil dining area with stunning views, and a bar. Please note that the chalet is subject to an additional charge per night; please speak to a member of our travel team for more information.

Food & Beverages

Three meals per day are provided for you at the sanctuary, with water, tea and coffee freely available throughout the day. 

  • Breakfast consists of toast, cereal, fruit and juice, whilst lunch typically includes burgers, pasta, wraps or stir-fry. 
  • Dinner is served in a buffet style and consists of meat, fish, vegetables, potatoes and pasta, whilst on weekends you may be treated to a braai (traditional African barbeque)! 

A vegetarian option is always available, whilst those with other dietary requirements or preferences (such as veganism) can be catered for, should the project team know in advance. Finally, a range of snacks and drinks (including alcoholic beverages) can be purchased at the sanctuary.

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) in Windhoek. We assist you to find cheap flights to Namibia. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE

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. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

You can choose to arrive on any day of the week throughout the year (subject to availability). Please contact us to check whether your preferred start date is still available!

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,347€
3 weeks 1,900€
4 weeks 2,454€
5 weeks 3,007€
6 weeks 3,561€
7 weeks 4,053€
8 weeks 4,545€
9 weeks 5,037€
10 weeks 5,529€
11 weeks 6,021€
12 weeks (max. stay) 6,513€
Average fees 608€/week

Program fees

608€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 12 weeks

Deposit

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

Your final payment will be agreed with The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

The Great Projects

Perfect 4.6 rating (189 reviews)

Agency - founded in 2003

Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by

Lauren

Spoken languages: English

About the project

The Great Projects work with organisations worldwide to establish high standards in animal welfare and conservation within the responsible tourism sector.

Meet your organization

Looking to volunteer abroad with animals? Here at The Great Projects we believe that there is a better way to holiday. Our award-winning wildlife volunteering abroad with animals projects and signature tours are not only designed to provide truly unique and life-changing experiences for volunteering worldwide, but our donation and conservation pledges ensure that your travel will have a lasting and sustainable impact on some of the planet's most incredible and endangered species and the local communities which live alongside them.

It all began with The Great Orangutan Project in Malaysian Borneo and after a number of years working with local authorities, passionate project facilitators, and hard-working volunteers to create a sustainable, progressive, and effective project - The Great Projects decided to use the experiences and knowledge we had gained to expand our expertise to other projects in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe!

Now with over 35 projects, you can be confident in the fact that you’ll be able to volunteer with some of the world's most incredible wildlife species in completely breath-taking environments. From orangutans in the Bornean rainforest to whale sharks in the Indian Ocean; you’re sure to find something suited to your interests. What’s more, The Great Projects make sure that with us, volunteers are completely immersed into the heart of the matter, at site, delivering an experience like no other as you become familiar with the life of an animal keeper, game ranger, or wildlife conservationist.

Plus, every time someone volunteers with The Great Projects  in addition to their fee which covers accommodation, food, and transfers, we donate up to £350 to the project visited to help the project itself. Therefore, our ecotours and projects are not only designed to be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life, but you will also join a project knowing that your travel truly does help to save endangered animals and the local communities with which they live alongside.

Here at The Great Projects, we believe that we should practice what we preach. We send volunteers to worldwide destinations on a range of truly unique and thoroughly worthwhile projects that make a real, sustainable difference to their causes. What’s more, The Great Projects provide them with dedicated UK-based staff that ensure volunteers have informative and friendly help throughout all stages of their experience, from initial enquiry to their return.

Through this, we can show volunteers that there is a better way to holiday. Our award-winning wildlife volunteering abroad with animals projects and signature tours are not only designed to provide truly unique and life-changing experiences for volunteering worldwide, but our donation and conservation pledges ensure that your travel will have a lasting and sustainable impact on some of the planet's most incredible and endangered species and the local communities which live alongside them.


Further, The Great Projects does not only aim to provide travel destinations that hold responsibility for animal welfare, but also to the environmental, economic and social impact of our conservation projects as a whole.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Here at The Great Projects, we are completely dedicated to providing our volunteers with the utmost protection with regards to health and safety.

Adventurous travel always involves some degree of risk. Our priority is to keep you safe and protect you as much as possible whilst still giving you an authentic experience of life in your chosen destination.

We conduct extensive risk assessments to make sure we have identified potential hazards and done everything we can to reduce them and we make sure you have the information you need about the destination you are visiting and how to stay safe and healthy while you are out there. We also are partnered with Endsleigh Insurance who are able to offer volunteers comprehensive insurance for all of our projects.

189 reviews · rating4.6

Petra Noordanus rating5

2024 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

My experience with The Great Project is very good! I had a great time at Naankusé Wildlife Sanctuary. Everything was well organized and when we had changes to our arrival time at the last minute, this was arranged immediately. I recommend The Great ...
Chiara Tiberti rating4.8

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

Staying in Naankuse and Timbila was a wonderful experience. An opportunity to live Namibia's culture and its wildlife in a different and precious way. We loved it! The Great Project supported us perfectly in organizing the trip; really an excellent experience. ..
Louise Tessier rating4.2

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

I wanted to go to Naankuse for a long time and the experience was good. There are many volonteers at the farm (close to 70) and it can take a little while to feel comfortable. The activities are interesting and the staff that accompagnies us are very friendly and it’s clear that they care about ...
Elisabeth Kroes rating1

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

What a money they make in this volunteer-factory. Paid for 3 weeks, left in 2 days! Poor management, throw you in the deep and lets see if you can swim.... no decent info/instructions but promotion about paying for other ...
Ann Van Hove rating4.2

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

Naankuse is a lovely home for the animals. They do their very best to care for the animals and release them in the wild when possible. If it's not possible they provide a loving home for life. I found it a great experience as a first time volunteer on my own. Yes, it's hard work and you have a ...
Stefanie Lange rating5

2023 at Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

Namibia Volunteer. It was the greatest adventure of my life and I loved every second. The country is so beautiful and the Namibians are so friendly and so proud to show us their country. It was nice to help the people and learn from them. I learned so much about the country and the animals. Life ...

Location

Africa > Southern Africa > Namibia > Windhoek

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