The Great Projects

Carnivore Research Assistant

Windhoek, Namibia show on map
Join the project team in collecting data on Namibia's native carnivores, in their stunning natural habitat, and help to reduce human-wildlife conflict! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Set in the wild and stunning area of Neuras, this project was built to reduce the human-wildlife conflict that unfortunately, is having a detrimental effect on Namibia's carnivore population. The main focus of this project is to gather vital data on native carnivores such as cheetahs, leopards and wild dogs, and supply this data to various local farmers.

Unfortunately, some farmers believe that big cats are threatening their livestock and will set traps to capture and kill any carnivores that wander onto their property. By providing monitoring and observation data, collected by the team and volunteers alike, you will be able to demonstrate to locals that the animal in question is not a threat and relocate the carnivore if they are still suspected of being a problem. 

As a volunteer on this project, you will experience the Namibian desert in all of its glory by partaking in project activities such as game counts, radio telemetry tracking, camera trap setting, and capture, mark, release. As Neuras is home to a large vineyard, you may also be involved in all aspects of the seasonal winemaking (including taste testing!) with all the profits heading straight back into animal conservation and research.

Create unforgettable memories while playing a pivotal role in saving and preserving Namibia's endemic carnivores, and work towards building a future for humans and wildlife to co-exist harmoniously. 

Typical day

First Day

Arriving at Windhoek Airport, you will be met by a project representative and will transfer to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will spend your first night. You'll spend the evening relaxing before your early transfer the next day.

Second Day
Today you'll transfer to the carnivore research site which will take approx. 4.5 hours' drive, upon arrival you'll witness the breath-taking scenery and will settle down for the afternoon/evening before your first days' volunteering the following day.

Project Days
For the next 2 weeks, you'll jump into action playing a crucial role in carnivore conservation and research! With a heavy focus on data collection, you'll work with the project team on various memorable tasks including the following:

Game Counts
As a volunteer, you'll regularly take part in game counts. You and the researchers will head out in search of the resident carnivores and will record information such as the number, age, sex and group compositions of local mammals in the area. The information gathered from each count will allow the research team to further understand the capacity and prey base of the large carnivores.

Camera Trap Setting
You'll help to set up, collect and collate the data from camera traps, allowing the research team to gain a better understanding of some of the overlooked and nocturnal species that live on the research site. Volunteers spend some time learning about, assessing and entering the data gathered from these traps!

Cheetah Feeding
There are 7 rescued cheetahs that call the Neuras site home and as a volunteer, you will assist in caring for these incredibly beautiful carnivores. You'll prepare their food, feed them and take part in cleaning their 50-hectare enclosure. This is a vital aspect of the work here and is the perfect opportunity to see these remarkable carnivores up close!

Capture, Mark, Release
During your time in Neuras, you might have the opportunity to be apart of the capture, mark, release of elusive big cats, such as leopards. Sometimes it is necessary for an animal to be fitted with a GPS  or VHF collar for continued monitoring purposes. These collars are an invaluable tool in tracking these animals and help to establish the carnivores movement patterns. 

Radio Telemetry Tracking
Sometimes observation in person is the most effective way to collect information on a carnivore. Volunteers may have the chance to get out in the field and use telemetry equipment to locate the animal and make direct visual assessments! 

Wine Making
January- March is the season for winemaking! Volunteers staying at Neuras during this time will be involved in all aspects of the winemaking, you may even have the chance to taste a glass or two! 

Last Day at Neuras
After breakfast, you'll transfer back to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary where you'll spend your final evening. Enjoy a night by the fire with your fellow volunteers relaying your experience and relaxing before your flight home or commencing your onward travel plans the following day. 

Details on Arrival

To take part on the Carnivore Research in Namibia project, you will need to arrive in Namibia on a Friday. There are a number of places available for 2018 and 2019 dates (subject to availability). Please contact us to see if your preferred date is still available! 

Free-time activities

As well as the other listed activities, volunteers have the chance to enjoy a relaxing swim in the neighbouring rivers and for an additional cost could book on a day trip. Day trips to Sossusvlei, the highest sand dunes in the world and hiking in the Naukluft mountains can be booked on site. 

Swimming
Sightseeing
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 (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Due to some hiking involved, we recommend that volunteers come with at least a moderate-good 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 function well as part of a team.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Included Services

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Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if The Great Projects cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Great Projects.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Great Projects (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 Great Projects
  • A contribution to the project itself (including funding for items such as building materials, food, animal medications, tracking equipment, etc)
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Transfers to and from Neuras
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your time on the project
  • Accommodation, three meals per day, and tea and coffee
Airport Pickup at Hosea Kutako International Airport
You should arrive on a Friday between 7am - 5pm, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary (approx 45 minutes drive) for a nights' stay before the following day transfer to the Neuras site. 
Accommodation
At Neuras, you will be staying in fixed tents located across from natural springs. There are two to a tent - same gender or couples. Bed linen and towels are provided and there are showers and toilets facilities on site. There is a main lounge area with a barbecue facility (usually referred to as a Braai). Please note there is no mobile reception in this area. Whilst at the research site there is an opportunity to upgrade your accommodation to a stone built en-suite chalets for an additional fee.

Food & Beverages

 Three meals a day are provided for you on a help yourself basis whilst on the project. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day and other drinks can be purchased from the bar at the project site. You may be asked to assist in the preparation of the meals and on some nights volunteers will get the chance to enjoy a pizza that they have cooked themselves in the dedicated pizza oven!

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)
16 days (min. stay)
$1,438.00
16 days (max. stay)
$1,438.00
Average fees
$629.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Windhoek/Namibia between 16 days and 16 days. 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.
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 Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa Namibia  Windhoek, Windhoek

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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