insyte to the programme

african wildlife sanctuary

"There are no words to describe my time in Namibia - I had the best 3 weeks of my life at the wildlife sanctuary" Maddy 

“If you not only love African Animals but truly care about their conservation and want to see them rehabilitated and thrive in their natural habitats, then this is the experience for you” Michaela

At this exciting wildlife sanctuary volunteers have a rare opportunity to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation and research of African wildlife. 

The award-winning sanctuary relies on volunteers to help achieve its mission to provide a safe refuge for orphaned, injured or ‘problem’ wildlife. They specialise in rescue and rehabilitation so that individuals, once ready, and where possible, are able to be returned to the wild – where this is not possible, they get to live out their days at the sanctuary in a safe and caring environment.

With guests and residents including cheetahs, baboons, leopards, lions and a host of smaller mammals and birds, this is an exceptional opportunity to get hands on with African wildlife and many aspects of their care. Volunteers play an important role, helping with feeding and cleaning duties as well as maintenance and development of the sanctuary. For a complete African wildlife experience, spend an additional week with conservationists at one of the remote research sites, monitoring elephants, carnivores and other animals in the wild.

itinerary

Day 1 (Monday or Thursday) 

Arrive into Windhoek Airport (airport code WDH) and you’ll be met by our staff and taken straight to the sanctuary – your home for the duration of your trip. 

Settle in and get to know your fellow volunteers, the permanent members of staff and the animals who also call this place home. 

Day 2 (Tuesday or Friday) 

After breakfast on day 1 all new arrivals will come together for orientation – this important session will talk you through the history of the sanctuary, its aims and the important program rules to keep you safe. Then you’ll get stuck in ! Duties begin around 8am and tasks at the sanctuary are varied, with all aspects of the program carried out on rotation to ensure that everybody gets involved in the full range of experiences available.
• Food prep and feeding the animals, inc the Big Cats
• Lion guard – group sleep-out near lion enclosure to act as night security
• Baboon walk – escorting baboon troup out into the bush reserve
• Cheetah walk – accompany rangers into the reserve, to provide open exercise for the captive cheetahs
• Enrichment – creation of objects to stimulate natural behaviours
• Intensive care for juvenile wildlife, which may include overnight care for young
baboons and other animals
• Research activities inc camera traps, game counts, footprint identifications, etc
• Horse riding and stable maintenance (no experience required)
• Cleaning and maintenance of animal enclosures
• Other project work 

You may also choose to be involved with the kinder or primary school which are located within the grounds of the sanctuary. These facilities have been established to provide free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work on site and who would otherwise not have access to schooling. 

Weekends The animals still need to be fed, so you should expect some rostered tasks at weekends combined with some downtime. During your free time there’s lots to do…or do nothing at all! Take a walk, swim in the pool or hang out – but always make time for the beautiful African sunsets. Saturday afternoons are set aside for fun and games as a group followed by a braai (BBQ) for dinner. You may have chance to join a trip into Windhoek or to visit the ancient San skills academy to try your hand at a range of tribal skills. 

​Last day – (Monday or Thursday) 

On your last day with us at the sanctuary, having said goodbye and packed your bags, we’ll whisk you off to the airport in plenty of time for your flight onwards, or home. 

your digs

There are two accommodation styles, allocated on arrival – these are standard rooms or large, raised safari tents with proper beds. Both types are very comfortable and twin/triple-share – if travelling solo you’ll be paired with another volunteer (same-gender). Showers and toilet facilities are communal, though some have private. 

meals

Three delicious meals a day are included so you’ll enjoy the luxury of having your breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared for you. You can look forward to some authentic African braais (BBQ) on a weekend too !

snapshot

start date

Mondays and Thursdays year-round (arrive any other day and for a small fee we will organise private airport pickup)

minimum age

17½ if solo, children accepted if accompanied by parent/guardian

important info

  • Fly In/Out : Windhoek (WDH)
  • What’s included: All meals, accommodation, return airport transfers, 24/7 support
  • What’s not included: Flights, visa & travel insurance
  • *Prices start at £1285pp based on a 2 week program. Prices will be advised in writing prior to confirming.

Wildlife Research options
As part of your stay, we recommend you combine time at the sanctuary with a stint at one of the ongoing research sites in the remote and spectacular south of Namibia. A research week (or two) is a fantastic way to have a complete African wildlife experience. Neuras is 4-5 hours’ drive from the sanctuary, Kanaan a bit further at 6-7 hours’ drive. The two locations are very different from each other and the research focusses unique (currently mountain zebra @ Neuras and spotted hyena @ Kanaan) so the projects can easily be undertaken consecutively for a rewarding and interesting experience.

Research weeks are undertaken in small groups escorted by members of the sanctuary team. All transport, accommodation, meals and training are provided, and for a small surcharge per week applies over the standard sanctuary program rate. A more detailed Info Pack is available for these programs, so do please ask. 

Extensive hiking in the mountainous terrain make up a large part of the daily activities, so a good level of fitness is recommended. You will track and monitor animals in the area, contributing to invaluable research that will help mitigate human-wildlife conflict. Volunteers will be involved with all aspects of the research program, including:
• monitoring camera traps
• radio telemetry tracking
• game counts
• feeding semi-habituated cheetahs
• assisting with captures and releases
• Night-drives, sleep outs, horse-riding and sand boarding (Kanaan only)
• Optional day trips to Sossusvlei and Naukluft N.P. (Neuras only)
• maintenance activities (eg enclosure cleaning / road repair / fence work)

First-trip away? Female traveller? On your own?
“10/10 This was such an incredible experience. I was terrified to travel alone as a young female and for the first time. But you assured me I’d be completely fine, which I was ! I’m so happy I went through you guys! This was the best thing I’ve done in my life.” Ash from QLD Namibia is a great option for a first trip to Africa - Australian DFAT rates Namibia "Green" for safety and security - that's considered as safe as New Zealand, Singapore and Fiji !!! On average, over 80% of volunteers here are female. The sanctuary itself is a highly professional operation, a very safe and secure environment, fenced and patrolled. You’re picked up as soon as you arrive at the airport and dropped back at the airport at the end, so there is really no time during your stay that you are on your own. You stay on the sanctuary grounds and rooms are twin-share – when travelling solo you’ll be paired with another female solo traveller. The sanctuary is a large operation with many permanent paid staff working alongside a large team of international volunteers (anything from 30–50 at any given time). It’s a very social and friendly environment. They operate strict health and safety procedures to ensure there are no issues around the animals.

apply

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Great! We will be in touch asap to confirm your volunteer escape!

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