The Mighty Roar

Carnivore Research and Conservation Assistant

Ranskalahari Highway, Namibia show on map

Want to be a part of conservation in Neuras, Namibia? Well we cannot think of a better project to volunteer on! Assisting with data capture of native carnivores.

You will play a vital role in collecting data on threatened carnivores, where you will be working daily with free-roaming big cats and other wildlife and actively contributing to their protection and conservation. All data collected is then used to help reduce human-wildlife conflict in the hopes of preventing further declines of these magnificent species.

This incredibly diverse and breath-taking landscape is home to an array of amazing wildlife, such as cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok, steenbok and ostrich.

You will take part in crucial conservation activities such as setting camera traps, game counts, capture mark release and GPS / radio telemetry tracking. You will be observing and monitoring carnivores and other animals in their natural habitat, adding invaluable knowledge to research which is used to help sustain these often-threatened species for future generations.

As part of the research volunteer programme you may have the opportunity to see a release or capture or take part in tracking the collared animals to check on their health in the wild. Since the programme began in 2008, staff and volunteers have combined their efforts to successfully rescue and release over 80 cheetahs, 30 leopards and 15 brown hyenas!

Carnivore numbers are starting to decline and several species are becoming endangered. The large majority of cheetahs and other animals live outside of protected conservation areas and often results in them being killed by farmers who view them as a threat to their livestock.

The focus of the project is to locate carnivores that local farmers think may be a problem and to then collar and track them to record vital data on their movements and kills. This data can then be supplied to the farmers to show that they are not a threat to their livestock, thus reducing the conflict between humans and animals as well as enabling them to stay in their natural environment.

This way of reducing human-animal conflict in the area is seen as one of the best opportunities to secure the future for the animals. Locals gain insight and a better understanding of them and become deterred from killing those that venture onto their property.

Typical day

Game Counts
It is important to monitor the fluctuation of  population density of herbivores to assess the overall health of the ecosystem. You and other volunteers will participate in regular game counts to assist in these monitoring efforts where you will record numbers, age, sex and group compositions. You may get to observe desert adapted animals like mountain zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok, steenbok and ostrich.

Camera Traps
Camera traps provide additional eyes and because they record 24/7 they often observe wildlife that we may overlook. This helps the researchers assess which species are present, and where they are most active, especially for animals that are usually very cryptic or entirely nocturnal. You will get to assist with all aspects, from setting them up in the field through to collecting and assessing the data gathered. When placing and checking on the camera traps you will get to go on some amazing walks that provide far-reaching and beautiful views!

Capture Mark Release
To understand how wildlife interact in the challenging and demanding environment requires indirect monitoring techniques such as GPS tracking – especially for the more elusive animals like leopards. You will help the researchers to identify areas of known carnivore activity as well as assist with placing and checking cage traps. When species of interest are captured, the animals will be immobilised and fitted with either a GPS or VHF tracker to they can be continually monitored. After release, the monitoring will begin and along with the research team you will be able to study the animals and their movement patterns. Please note this activity only happens when it is needed.

Radio Telemetry Tracking
Using GPS collars is only one piece of the puzzle though and does not tell us much about the breeding success, prey selection, health status and other important ecological parameters of a study animal. Direct observations are necessary and this is where radio telemetry comes in. Using the antenna to locate the radio transmitter in the study animal’s collar, you will head out into the field with researchers to make visual assessments of the animals and to collect useful data.

Hiking and Exploring
During your time here, you will get to enjoy a lot of hiking and exploring in the area. The environment at Neuras is spectacular and it encompasses many diverse and breathtaking landscapes. In the North of the region there is the majestic Naukluft Mountain Range and the Tsauchab river system that empties into the world famous Sossusvlei pan. The Southern end of the estate is a geological maze of extensive canyons and unique underground cave complexes. This will give you the opportunity to learn lots about the native flora and fauna and provide many fantastic photo opportunities.

Helping in the Vineyard
Being the base for a large vineyard, all profits raised from the wine made here go straight back into the conservation efforts. You could be involved in all aspects of the winemaking process from picking the grapes all the way through to bottling the end product. You will of course have the chance to taste the wine – very popular amongst the volunteers!

Other Activities
As a volunteer you could be required to help with a task with very short notice. This could be anything from repairing a fence through to releasing a cheetah, so be ready to assist when needed! There are also optional day trips to the iconic red Sossusvlei Dunes where you can experience the stunning landscape –  a must see for anyone visiting Namibia.

Details on Arrival

Every Friday

Free-time activities

The tranquil seclusion and peacefulness of nature that the desert solitude provides allows you to get away from it all. Your day starts with the waking silence of the desert and ends with newfound friends sitting around the pizza oven looking up at the clear night sky.
Sightseeing
Safari/Zoo
Hiking

Program 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 (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
required
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

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

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 Mighty Roar 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 Mighty Roar.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Mighty Roar (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Mighty Roar

Fees include accommodation, registration fee, some meals and airport pick up

Airport Pickup at Hosea Kutako International Airport
You should arrive at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek (WDH) on the day before your selected start date, being any Thursday. You will be met by one of our local team members or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign and who will then take you to the Wildlife Sanctuary – around a 45 minute drive.
Accommodation

You will be staying in luxury tented accommodation located just across from one of the natural springs.

Each tent has 2 single beds and everyone shares the bathrooms that provide hot water. We recommend that you bring a sleeping bag, especially during the winter months.

The main lounge area has a swimming pool that is ideal for cooling down after a days work in the sun! There is also a BBQ where many volunteers congregate around during the weekends.

Electricity is available in the main building where you can charge your phones and cameras.

Mobile phone signal can be tricky to get and is only available in certain spots around the estate. You will be able to access the Internet for a few hours each night, but this can be intermittent.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

You will receive 3 meals per day, which are all served within the volunteer accommodation or packed and taken out into the field. The menu rotates on a 3 week basis and there is a lot of meat served (usually for both lunch and dinner) which is more than most meat eaters are used to (so a few volunteers often end up to swapping to the vegetarian option).

You can expect some of the following:

Breakfast – Cereal, toast, coffee, tea, sometimes eggs, bacon and muffins
Lunch & Dinner – Pizza, quiches, wraps, stews, pasta, rice, curries

With notice we can cater for all dietary requirements:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,479.00
3 weeks
$2,084.00
4 weeks
$2,689.00
5 weeks
$3,294.00
6 weeks
$3,899.00
7 weeks
$4,504.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$7,529.00
Average fees
$683.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Ranskalahari Highway/Namibia between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Mighty Roar will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Namibia.
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 Mighty Roar during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa Namibia  Ranskalahari Highway, Farm Frauenstein 277

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