Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Agency
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founded in 2003
The Great Projects
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Coordinator | Hannah
Coordinator | Hannah

High­lights

Take part in animal welfare activities such as enrichment and ‘walks’ in the African bush
Help to improve the standard of life for some of Namibia’s most in-need animals through the maintenance of their environment
Support the project team as they aim to rehabilitate and release as many animals as possible back into the wild
Feed, care for and learn all about Africa’s incredible wildlife species
Here you'll direct all of your efforts towards the long term rehabilitation of animals. Experience hands-on volunteering with cheetahs, baboons, big cats and much more! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Groups

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 engaging in baboon and cheetah walks in the bush 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 which 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 Walk

Much like baboons, cheetahs have often fallen victim to the human-animal conflict: by venturing onto farms in search of food, these beautiful big cats have inadvertently become targets of angry farmers and are sometimes shot at, resulting in injury or even death. Those which survive their injuries are taken in by the sanctuary and are provided with large enclosures, while volunteers help to aid their enrichment by taking them out on walks.

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 leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs, whilst the project facilitator shares their impressive carnivore knowledge with you.

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!

Food Preparation

Keeping a sanctuary running can be hungry work, and that goes for the animals, too! You will help to prepare a range of meals for the sanctuary’s resident animals, such as a platter of vegetables or large chunks of meat for the carnivores. All meals must provide the correct nutrition to the animals at the project, so this certainly is an important part of your efforts.

Enclosure Cleaning & Animal Feeding

The sanctuary is ever-growing, which means the need to keep on top of animal care and the cleaning of enclosures becomes all the more demanding. You will distribute food amongst the animals, and you will also assist in making each enclosure as comfortable as possible for those who reside there. Meerkats, lambs and warthogs are just a handful of the animals you may encounter during this activity, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to what could otherwise be thought of as dirty work!

Horseback Riding

During the project, you may be invited to help feed, clean or exercise the sanctuary’s resident horses. You will learn how to canter and gallop as you explore a more scenic side to Namibia, taking the time to observe the local wildlife as you go.

Reserve Research

You will join the project team in retrieving camera traps from the neighbouring reserve, helping to sort through and analyse the data gathered. This data will help to provide a clearer understanding of the animals in the region. Additionally, you will head out in search of a number of free-roaming elephants, rhinos and wild dogs (amongst other species) which have previously been released by the project; this will be done by GPS tracking.

Night Watch

Every two weeks, you will have the opportunity to take on a new role as a member of the project’s anti-poaching team, heading up to a viewing platform where you will keep an eye out for any unusual activity. This activity will be undertaken in shifts, and even if the night turns out to be uneventful, this is an excellent opportunity to partake in a little star gazing under the magnificent African sky.

Project Work

Building and maintenance are both necessary aspects of keeping the sanctuary running as smoothly as possible, and you will help to construct new enclosures and fences whilst also taking the time to remove alien plants from the reserve. 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.

Clever Cubs School

The project site is not only home to a wildlife sanctuary, but to an education centre called the Clever Cubs School. Here, the children of the local bushmen come to gain an education, and should you wish to exchange five of your days at the sanctuary in order to help out here instead, you will most likely be welcome to do so! This activity only takes place during term time, but it is certainly a fun and rewarding experience.

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, or 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.

Ancient San Skills

Nobody knows and understands the vast southern African landscape quite how the San people do: their expertise in understanding their native flora and fauna is unparalleled, so why not see what you can learn by spending some time with them? This activity is dependent on whether enough volunteers wish to take part and is also subject to availability, but should you wish to take part, you can do so for N$250 (approximately £12.50).

Neuras Conservation and Research Site

For an additional £120, you may wish to swap out one of your weeks at the sanctuary for a week exploring the mountainous Neuras region. Here, you can take part in data and research analysis as you explore the region’s rocky landscape, also helping to set up camera traps as you go. A week at this research site may even see you paying a visit to the world-famous Sossusvlei region, which is home to one of the world’s tallest sand dunes: Big Daddy.

Kanaan Conservation and Research Site

Not interested in Neuras? Perhaps Kanaan is more your kind of thing: surrounded by red sand dunes, this research site offers an insight to the lives of Namibia’s desert-dwelling wildlife, including (but not limited to) a range of beautiful big cats! Take part in the recording of statistical data and mapping of this unique region, ultimately aiding the research team in improving their understanding of the wildlife found here.

African Wild Dog & Elephant Monitoring at Mangetti

Finally, you may opt to switch a week at the sanctuary out for a week at the Mangetti Research Site. For an additional £120, you can help to monitor elephants and wild dogs found in the region, taking note of any patterns in their movements, group compositions and even mating habits. The ultimate aim here is to change the perception of local farmers who may otherwise view the animals as a threat to their livelihood, meaning your time at Mangetti could have a lasting impact even long after you return home.


Swimming
Hiking
Riding

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 (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, Saturday and Sunday from 07:30 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by The Great Projects
  • 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 other volunteer of the same gender. If, however, you are joining this project as a couple, you will be accommodated together.

Each cabin has an adjoining, open-roofed bathroom, complete with a western-style toilet and a hot water shower (please note that the water is heated by solar energy, and therefore may be intermittent). Plug sockets and electric lighting are also available.

Alternatively, you may wish to upgrade to a luxury chalet. Each chalet boasts a private veranda which overlooks the bushveld, whilst an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning complete the accommodation. The chalets are located at the project’s own luxury lodge, which 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; please speak to a member of our travel team for more information.

Guesthouse Bedroom (Double) Camping
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 a 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?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
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

You can choose to arrive on any Monday or Thursday 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
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in GBP (USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
£895 ($1,172)
3 weeks
£1,395 ($1,827)
4 weeks
£1,795 ($2,351)
5 weeks
£2,195 ($2,875)
6 weeks
£2,595 ($3,399)
7 weeks
£2,995 ($3,923)
8 weeks
£3,395 ($4,447)
9 weeks
£3,795 ($4,971)
10 weeks
£4,195 ($5,495)
11 weeks
£4,595 ($6,019)
12 weeks (max. stay)
£4,995 ($6,543)
Average fees
£432 ($566) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects 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 The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Great Projects cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.

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  Africa Southern Africa Namibia  Windhoek, Windhoek

Wildlife Sanctuary Supporter

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

$432/week

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