Big Cat Conservation & Research

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.

Suitable for


Typical day

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
Upon arrival into Windhoek Airport you will be met by a project representative in the arrivals hall and transferred to the project site. The transfer is a drive of approximately 45 minutes. Once at the sanctuary you will settle in to your accommodation and spend rest of the day at the site meeting with other volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators before joining an orientation talk.

Day 2 - 5 - Wildlife Sanctuary:
These days will be spent working at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. For this part of your project, you will be taking part in activities such as carnivore feeding, small construction and maintenance projects, caring for orphaned baby baboons and caracal walks among other things.

Day 6 - Transfer to Kanaan:
Today you will transfer to the carnivore research and release site at Kanaan, which is about a 5 hour drive from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Upon arrival you will meet the facilitators before having an orientation talk followed by dinner in the evening.

Day 7 - 12 - Project Days:
These days will be spent working with the staff at the research and release site. Here you will monitor carnivores, set and check camera traps and hike to see the San Bushmen amongst other things. The setting here is utterly stunning, and you will really be able to enjoy the sand dunes, vast grass plains and withered thorn trees – along with the wildlife of course!

Day 13 - Transfer back to the Sanctuary:
Today you will transfer back to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and after dinner, you will spend the first of your final two nights there.

Day 14 - Namibia Wildlife Activities:
This will be your final full day at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. After completing a day of activities at the sanctuary you will enjoy your final night with the team and the other volunteers.

Day 15 - Final Day:
This will be your final Day. After saying goodbye to the facilitators and the new friends you have made, you will take a private transfer from the Sanctuary to Windhoek airport for your return flight, or to commence your independent travel plans.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Other Skills
It is advised that all participants be fit enough to walk between 10 and 15 kilometres on a daily basis, through rough terrain and in high tempretures
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Namibia? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Great Projects

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Free-time activities

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.



What's included?
Airport pickup, accommodation and food & drink is included in the fees.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

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!

Dorm Room Camping
Food & Beverages

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.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Kanaan/Namibia between 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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.

Get ready to volunteer in Namibia

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Namibia. Please check the visa regulations for Namibia.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Namibia.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Hosea Kutako International (J. G. Strijdom) (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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Namibia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Namibia.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Namibia upfront.
Namibia, Kanaan, Namibia