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The Safari Guide to volunteering in Namibia.
Namibia is an excellent country not only to view its fantastic wildlife, but to work with it as well. One of the most interesting wildlife volunteer projects in Africa, that gives you the chance to study Namibia's famous desert elephants is located in Namibia.
Volunteer work with desert elephants in Namibia
This project gives you the chance to work with some of the most incredible elephants in Africa.
During your stay, you will be based in 'Damaradland' which is located in the northwestern regions of the Namib Desert. It is a harsh but beautiful tribal wilderness area that runs parallel to the Skeleton Coast national park and is home to a small population of elephants that have adapted to living in the desert.
The worlds biggest mammal can survive in this areas partly because of prehistoric water courses that run through the area. You will also find open plains and grassland as well as massive granite hills known as koppies.
During your volunteer week, you will be living in a mobile camp or at the project base camp, depending on the distance from the project site. You will be accommodated in 2 man tents. Whilst on patrol, we camp wild, and sleep under the stars on our bedrolls with mosquito nets.
It is important to note that this program is not just about being an observer of conservation from the comfort of a game drive vehicle. As a volunteer you will spend days out in the desert on patrol, camping wild and living close to the earth, the elephants as well as the local people. The majority of the volunteer work is with the local subsistence farmers, where you will help in the building of protective walls around their water points, to protect them from the elephants. You will also be involved in teaching local people the skills needed in managing the conflict with the resident elephant populations. Other duties will include assisting the project staff in monitoring the elephants movements.
An average day on the project will involve an early rise and a cup of coffee around the campfire. After the team member who is on duty has served breakfast, you will move out to the project site for the day.
The work that you do will depend on what is most needed at the time you are there, but you can expect to work on a wide range of projects with everything from teaching local farmers wives to make paper using elephant dung, to building a wall around a local farmer's windmill to help protect it from the elephants.
You will usually have lunch at the base camp and then relax during the mid day heat. After lunch, you may be on kitchen and camp duty for the day, or have to work out an educational play for the local school.
You will spend most evenings in the boma, eating and talking about the day's events.
There may also be times that you will go on a patrol tracking the elephants for a few days at a time, where you will carry basic camping equipment in the 4x4. On patrol you will camp wild and sleep under the stars. Depending on the situation, you could end up tracking the elephants in the 4x4 or on foot and other times you may have to sit patiently and observe the elephants from a rocky outcrop.
Of course it is not all about work, you will also have plenty of time to enjoy the surrounding scenery as well as the diverse wildlife in the area. As well as the desert elephant, you can expect to find black rhino, ostrich, springbok, giraffe, kudu and the roar of desert lions!
- More Details & Enquiry Form >> Namibian Desert Elephant Project
- View All >> Volunteering Wildlife Work in Africa
Four times the size of the UK, Namibia is a vast country that offers plenty of scenic variety, wildlife and culture. It is one of the best places to view wild cheetah's, is a 4x4 safari paradise and an all round suburb safari holiday location. Attractions include the Ethosha National Park, the Caprivi Strip, Fish River Canyon, Ruacana Falls and many other excellent national parks, game reserves and wildlife areas.
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