Oana Flora & Fauna

Conservation Animal and Community Adventure

Orange River, Namibia show on map

Volunteer Tasks: Leopard population study, Eradicate invasive species, Build wildlife hides, Track wildlife, Develop water points, Mammal game counts, Botany survey

Oana is 45,000 hectares of wild land with 50km of Orange River, it is untouched by research and conservation and therefore truly exciting project. This is the start of a long standing project which is going to make its mark in conservation. Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to contribute to the land management and the re-wilding of the conservancy. Volunteers will be involved in conservation discussion groups, to gain a situated understanding of the issues, the challenges, the natural habitat and the historical context of the development. We have secured the 45,000 hectares from ex farmers and hunters, the land needs a lot of attention and surveying in order for us to achieve our conservation goals which is to turn the land into a National Park within the next 10 years. Volunteers will be part of game changing conservation and get the unique opportunity to help transform the land and into a National Park. Volunteers will be involved in the whole re-wilding process, studying indigenous and alien populations, prey and predator densities and reintroducing wildlife to help restore the ecosystem. 

During the early morning and late afternoon, there will be opportunities for practical interventions. These are more physically demanding aspects of the conservation project, which involves some hard labour and if lucky some close proximity with wild animals. The volunteers will be given advanced notice and the activities are designed to accommodate individual needs.  The goal is that every student learns about the practical realities of land conservation which is often not glamorous and hard work but awfully satisfying and humbling.

Volunteers will conduct biodiversity surveys to discover what species are indigenous or invasive, leopard population study, camera trap surveys and faecal and dietary analysis, botany survey, small mammal study, large mammal game counts using ridge lines as transects, amphibian survey along the Orange River and insect pitfall traps.  

Volunteers will be expected to get stuck in and do manual labour, as well as the research side of things. You will need to be well equipped with good paid of hiking boots, binoculars, a wind breaker, water bottle and a sleeping bag. Think true explorer style!

Projects are lead by Edward and Andrea who both have an MSc in Conservation from DICE and any data collected will contribute to scientists in the field and therefore be used for wider conservation project and national surveys. 

Volunteers will be based in a tented Bedouin style tented camp, fully equipped with solar power, running hot water and all the home comforts to make your experience epic!

Typical day

  • Wake up at 7 am, 20 min yoga session is optional and starts at 6.30am
  • The day starts with the yummy smell of breakfast, a fresh batch of pancakes or home made bread cooked on the fire accompanied by fruit, yoghurt, cereal, juice, tea, coffee and biscuits. Lots of food to go around and nutritious. 
  • After breakfast we have short discussions, topic presentations or instructions of daily activities.
  • Then we are out all day with a pack lunch either
  • Build wildlife hides, set up camera traps for the leopard population and home range study
  • analyse faeces – dietary analysis using microscopes
  • identify and eradicate invasive species on the Orange River

Getting stuck in and working hard all day long!

  • Back to camp for around 3pm this is your time to relax, have a cup of tea, read a book, shower, wonder off and take photos, chat with Ed and Andrea (project leaders) and simply hang out!
  • 5pm we could go for a little hike up epic viewpoints and have sun downers (non alcoholic drinks for under 18’s)
  • Back to camp by 7 pm and sit around the bonfire telling stories and star gazing
  • Dinner at 7.30/8pm and then movie night with popcorn, sometimes quiz nights or just enjoy the stars and have marshmallows on fire then off to bed in your Bedouin style luxury tented camp, from your bed you can see shooting stars through the net windows - it's truly epic!

Details on Arrival

Please note we have set expedition dates*

Expedition dates for 2017 are:
May 5th - June 8th
July 3-24th 
September 15th - October 20th 
October 20th - November 10th 

You can fly to Upington from Johannesburg or Cape Town, the cheapest is from Johannesburg.
We will collect you in Upington and then drive you through the Onseepkans border crossing into Namibia
We have set start and end dates to our expeditions which run from March - November. We prefer if volunteers arrive and leave together, if you arrive outside of the start date you will have to pay a little extra fee for transport to collect you from Upington.

Free-time activities

In your free time you are welcome to do yoga, meditation, read, watch movies, chill out and do whatever you like.

We have plenty of arts supplies if you want to be creative.

If you are into permaculture we are building a vegetable garden and irrigation system at camp which you are welcome to help out with in the afternoons.

Please note we are very far away from anything so you can't go off on your own on the weekends, we have a range of field excursions we will take you on which are included in the package such as Fish River Canyon, Game Reserve for wildlife viewing, 4 day white water rafting trip on the Orange River enjoying lush beaches.

If you would like to extend your trip and visit Namibia/South Africa after you leave us we can suggest lots of places to visit and help you organise the trip. Key places are Etosha National Park, The Namib desert, Skeleton coast, Swakomund, Cape Town to see Table to Mountain and lions head and enjoy the nightlife. 

Water Sports

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)
Health Declaration
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
someone who loves to get stuck in
anyone who appreciates the wilderness
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Oana Flora & Fauna straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for


Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Oana Flora & Fauna cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Oana Flora & Fauna.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Oana Flora & Fauna (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 Oana Flora & Fauna

The longer you stay the more activities you get to do:

  • Mountain biking included in 2 week package
  • 3 week packages include a 4 day white water rafting trip on the Orange River which is truly epic - a highlight for most groups
  • Trips longer than 3 weeks include field trips to Fish River Canyon or a Game Reserve for wildlife tracking and viewing
  • Trips longer than 3 weeks also include game capture field trip (May-September)

Airport pickup, accommodation and food & drink are included in the fees. If you arrive on the set arrival and departure dates. Anyone arriving outside of the dates we have to charge a little extra fee because Upington airport is 4hours drive away.

Price does not include personal travel insurance, flights, staff tip, soda drinks and alcoholic beverages from our bar .

Airport Pickup at Upington Airport

We provide airport transfer from Upington airport in SA we then drive you through Onseepkans border crossing which is a tiny border and very quick and drive into Namibia. 

If you arrive outside of the set arrival and drop off dates then we can arrange airport transfer but there will be a small additional charge because the airport is 4hours drive from base camp. 


Don't be put off by camping, we have built a high end amazing tented camp which has all your comforts and needs thought out. The camp is kitted out with candles, lanterns, rugs, cushions all the cosy bits to create a wonderful Bedouin style atmosphere. There are plenty of books and cosy hang out spots. 

There is running hot water, solar power to charge all your equipment and you will sleep on proper bed stretchers with mattresses so you are off the floor. You will sleep in 3's and if we have a big group then guys will sleep in a group of 8 in the big main tent. There is plenty of space you each get a plant to take care of, a bed side table and shelves for your clothes. 

Showers are private, and plenty of space to keep your toiletries. It's all bit fancy for the bush!

Food & Beverages

3 meals a day provided cooked by our fabulous chefs, delicious and hearty meals plenty of food to go round.

We cater for Vegetarians.

Snacks provided in between meals so no one will go hungry.

Only extra are soda/fizzy drinks and alcoholic beverages from our bar.

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 Upington Airport (UTN) in Upington. 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.
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)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Orange River/Namibia between 2 weeks and 5 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Oana Flora & Fauna 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 {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Africa Southern Africa Namibia  Orange River, Karasburg region

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

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