Assist the team as a Big Cat Conservation Volunteer with data collection to help with research on carnivore species in the stunning Kanaan.
About the Project
With over a third of the world's cheetah population, Namibia is at the centre of the species' struggle for survival. It is estimated that 95% of cheetah numbers in Namibia live outside of protected areas of conservation, meaning that they are readily killed by farmers who view them as a threat to livestock. Because of this, cheetah numbers are falling, resulting in their endangerment – something which the project is trying to address and counteract.
Kanaan is the newest addition to the project network – a true desert gemstone situated within the heart of the country. Previously utilised as a film, photography and holiday destination, the aim here is to establish an unfenced wildlife reserve in order to provide a refuge or safe haven for an extensive array of endangered species.
During your stay, you will be able to help record statistical data of the wildlife species resident here, ultimately contributing to the long-term management of the area. The main flagship species here are cheetah, brown hyena, spotted hyena, leopards and an extensive variety of desert-adapted wildlife species.The work here is being started from scratch, so as a volunteer you will really be able to make a significant impact.
This conservation and research project includes both conservation work at Kanaan and also at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Whilst at the sanctuary you will have the chance to work on research and data collection regarding the area's cheetahs and carnivores and site maintenance. You will also help out with the carnivores, baboons, caracals, and other animals at the sanctuary. This project provides the unique opportunity of experiencing the power and majesty of the continent's most magnificent big cats first hand whilst actively working towards the conservation of the species.
Prior to Arrival
In order to join this project you will need to apply for a work visa before travel. We will provide further information and documents for this upon booking. We can also put you in touch with an agent in Namibia who can organise this for you.
There is the option to enjoy a lot of hiking and exploring in the area, learning about the native flora and fauna as a group with the project staff. In such a beautiful area, this is a popular past time for all volunteers.
You will need to fly into Windhoek International Airport (also known as Hosea Kutako International Airport) on your project start day between 7am - 5pm, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the project. This transfer will take approximately 45 minutes.
At Kanaan, you will be staying in a beautifully renovated farmhouse with shared rooms and a bathroom. Depending on the time of year, tented accommodation may also become available. The guesthouse does have electricity, but you will need to bring your own South African socket adaptors to charge electric appliances. 6 volunteers can be accommodated at any one time, which means that you are guaranteed an intimate small group experience with a lot of hands-on experience!
At the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary there are two accommodation options: volunteer rooms for up to three people (same gender), or large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by two volunteers (same gender or a couple). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy.
Accommodation Upgrade at the Sanctuary
The adjacent Lodge at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary contains six luxurious chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, a bar and a swimming pool. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation and stay at the lodge over the weekend or at the end of your stay, depending on availability. Lots of volunteers do take the opportunity to visit the lodge for a delicious buffet lunch on a Sunday.
Accommodation Upgrade at the Research Site
Whilst at the research site there is an opportunity to upgrade your accommodation. The upgraded accommodation is in a newly built luxury tented lodge. The rate for this upgrade is £40 per person per night for a double room and £50 per person per night for a single room.
Three meals a day are provided. Breakfast includes toast and cereal, lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir-frys, and dinner includes meat, fish, vegetables, rice, potatoes and pasta. On weekends, there is often a braai (barbecue) in the evening. Tea, coffee and water are freely available throughout the day and other drinks and snacks can be purchased at the Sanctuary.
A vegetarian option is always available – however please let us know your dietary requirements on booking. Please note however that given the remote location of Kanaan, some fresh produce may only be available seasonally. Please also note that your own snacks and drinks should be purchased before you arrive at Kanaan.