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Wildlife Volunteer Program in Namibia

Wildlife Volunteer Program in Namibia

Eager to volunteer with a world-famous wildlife conservation organization in Namibia? International Volunteer HQ’s Wildlife Conservation project is a thrilling opportunity for you to help provide a safe haven and second chance for African animals, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, antelope, warthogs, baboons, and more! Whenever possible the goal is to release animals back into the wild, with only those too ill, abused or habituated to remain at the sanctuary permanently, where volunteers are critical to enabling the project to continue caring for the animals.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from $1196 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Protect and care for sick, injured or abused African wildlife

  • Explore Namibia’s central highlands and experience living in the outback

  • Stay in semi-permanent tents in a wildlife sanctuary with other volunteers

Key information

Protect & preserve endangered wildlife
Based at a wildlife sanctuary
Stay in semi-permanent tents on-site
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from $1196 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 24 weeks
Get up close to African animals
Up to 7 hours volunteering per day

This program is ideal for:

Active volunteers who love animals, enjoy being outdoors, and have a desire to contribute towards wildlife conservation efforts in Africa.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Volunteers are crucial in helping to care for the animals that are in rehabilitation or permanently residing at the sanctuary, as well as helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary. This is an exceptional opportunity to get hands-on experience with African wildlife and the many aspects of their care. The sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned, injured or conflict wildlife including several lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals, warthogs, antelope and baboons as well as a host of birds, smaller African mammals and farmyard animals.

Volunteers will have the rare and exciting opportunity to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation, care and research of African wildlife. Tasks may include:

  • Food preparation and small animal feeding
  • Carnivore feeding
  • Providing intensive care for juvenile wildlife
  • Cheetah run observation and the education of cheetah physiology
  • Small construction jobs include building camps and new facilities, breaking down old structures, maintaining roads, fence work and assisting with the various projects that arise at the sanctuary.
  • Monitoring high-profile species on the reserve
  • Spoor tracking of reserve animals which involves joining skilled trackers to identify game and carnivore numbers and learn the ins and outs of animal populations
  • Rhino Rangers “Lite”: This task provides a taste of the freestanding “Rhino Rangers” program itself and includes activities such as tracking, overnighting in the bush and wildlife monitoring
  • Focused research including monitoring free-roaming carnivores, analyzing camera traps and analyzing GPS data
  • Assisting with ongoing research projects on the sanctuary
  • Game counts on horseback
  • Attending conflict calls (if they arise)
  • General maintenance and cleaning of the sanctuary grounds

It is important to note that much of the work on the reserve is physical and requires a lot of walking, so volunteers are advised to have a medium to high level of fitness to take part.

As an IVHQ wildlife volunteer in Namibia you will be able to experience most of the jobs on the sanctuary; as the tasks are rotated among the volunteers to ensure each person has an opportunity to both help with sanctuary/farm maintenance and interact with the animals equally.

Not all tasks on the project will involve direct contact with animals, and it is important that volunteers keep in mind that these other tasks are still crucial to the well-being of the animals, and form an important part of the sanctuary’s work.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Wildlife Conservation volunteering in Namibia with IVHQ?

As a wildlife volunteer in Namibia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Supporting conservation and wildlife preservation efforts
  • Helping care for orphaned and injured animals
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining a wide range of conservation volunteer experience
  • Learning about wildlife and the challenges it faces
  • Experiencing life in the African outback

Volunteer requirements

  • To join this program independently volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
  • If you are under the age of 18, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18 and have parental consent to join the program (minimum age of 12).
  • All volunteers over the age of 18 must have a clear criminal background check. For those aged 16 or 17, 2 character reference letters will suffice in lieu of a background check.
  • Medium to high level of fitness is required for this project
  • Volunteers must wear a uniform while working (one pair of pants and one shirt is provided as part of your program fee and extras can be purchased onsite). Volunteers can also purchase a jumper/jacket or wear their own, as long as its natural colors Black, Khaki etc.
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

SV
Svetlana Vikhnevich
21 Feb 2024

I gained unforgettable memories and many new friends from different countries. The Namibia program provides many volunteer opportunities, but I wish I had more than two weeks to be able to make a bigger impact.

...
MD
Maggie Duvall
21 Feb 2024

Go to Namibia! It's a beautiful country and with lovely people. There is a great variety of things to do, you will not regret it.

...
SM
Sue Margolis
26 Jan 2024

The sanctuary is an amazing place. If you want to work with all kinds of wild animals, this is the program for you. The variety of tasks keeps you busy and allows you to see all of the safari animals up close and work with the vet.

...
FX
Fanyin Xu
17 Jan 2024

I met lots of great people, volunteers and local staff at the sanctuary. I got to know Africa from a new perspective and I absolutely love the nature and animals there. The local food was amazing! I will really miss some of the meals served.

Don't be afraid to try something new because everyone here is just like you. I will cherish this experience forever.

...
SY
Simone Yanez
16 Jan 2024

The guidance from IVHQ was very helpful! I was given all the information I needed in terms of what to bring and what to expect which was incredibly useful.

In Namibia, I gained a lot of confidence in terms of knowing that I am able to be independent as this was something I struggled with. I definitely pushed myself out of my comfort zone, but ultimately I met such a large range of people from across the world - all with incredibly interesting stories and I found a deeper love for helping to rehabilitate animals.

I am so glad I got to immerse myself into what working at an animal sanctuary is like. I felt that I was genuinely positively helping these animals through our jobs which ranged from feeding to cleaning to preparing the food for a variety of different species.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

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Volunteer Abroad in Namibia with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Namibia volunteer program is based at a wildlife sanctuary in the Khomas Region, one of the fourteen regions of Namibia. The name refers to the Khomas Highland, a high plateau landscape that is characterized by its vast valleys, mountains, and riverbeds, making it one of Namibia’s most scenic locations. The desert-like region is home to rich flora and fauna, including iconic African wildlife. This makes it a popular place for outdoor adventures and activities, such as safaris, camping, hiking, and game drives.

Arrival and orientation

The Namibia Program has available start dates every Monday, and volunteers can choose from a duration of 2 - 24 weeks.

We ask that you arrive at Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport on your Monday start date. Your airport pick-up and drop-off is included in your program fee, and the local team can provide a pickup anytime on Monday. The airport is approximately 20 miles from the sanctuary and volunteer accommodation.

Orientation is provided by our Namibia based local team and begins first thing Tuesday morning, with the volunteer work commencing on Tuesday afternoon.

Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Namibia – an introduction to the country, Namibian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Namibia, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day You will be provided with your orientation and introduction to your placement by a local team member and introduced to the placement staff.

Weekdays

Volunteers can expect to work two to three activities a day between the hours of 8am and 5pm. A typical daily schedule would be as follows:

7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 AM Volunteer work begins in the sanctuary.
12:00 PM Break for lunch.
1:30 PM Volunteers resume work within the sanctuary.
5:00 PM Volunteers return to the accommodation to clean up before dinner.
7:00 - 7:30 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation.

Saturday

7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8:00 AM Volunteer work begins in the sanctuary.
12:00 PM Break for lunch.
2:00 PM Fun non-work related activity followed by a braai (barbeque).

Please note that the volunteering schedule works on a rotational group system, which ensures every volunteer gets to experience as many of the activities as possible. Your daily schedule will vary depending on the season and the nature of the work being done at the time.

Sunday

Volunteers can explore the sanctuary, relax beside the pool, or travel into Windhoek where they can take part on a city or township tour, traditional cooking classes or join a safari.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated at the sanctuary in semi-permanent tents, separated by gender. Volunteers can expect to share with up to 2 other volunteers (tents are twin or triple share), and twin shares can be arranged for couples.

Volunteers taking part during the winter months (May to September) need to keep in mind that it can be cold in the early morning and overnight, and will need to bring a sleeping bag and extra layers.

Please note there is no WiFi on site so volunteers will need to purchase a SIM card, and credit, at the airport upon arrival.

Laundry services are available on-site for volunteers on selected days and if free of charge.

Accommodation upgrades are available in the volunteer accommodation (private tent) and in a nearby lodge at an extra cost, subject to availability.

If you need to arrive a day or two early or depart a couple of days later, extra nights of accommodation at the sanctuary before or after the program can be arranged for a small cost, also subject to availability.

Meals

Volunteers are provided with three meals per day. Breakfast is self-serve and consists of cereals, fruit, yogurts, toast and spreads. Lunch varies from cold to hot meals such as wraps, salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches. Dinner consists of a hot meal such as a traditional BBQ (braai), stews and chicken dishes.

The local team is happy to accommodate special dietary requests. Please let your IVHQ Program Manager know of any special dietary needs in advance so we can ensure the local team is prepared for you.

On Sunday, a small team will participate in food prep in the morning and a different small team will participate in the afternoon, so you will have half the day off.

You are welcome to purchase your own groceries to supplement these items for your personal preferences. Volunteers can purchase these when they arrive, before traveling to the sanctuary, or you can book a transfer to the city center with the local team so that you can purchase essentials, snacks or souvenirs at an additional cost.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks $1,196 Equivalent to $85/day
3 weeks $1,764 Equivalent to $84/day
4 weeks $2,332 Equivalent to $83/day
5 weeks $2,900 Equivalent to $83/day
6 weeks $3,468 Equivalent to $83/day
8 weeks $4,287 Equivalent to $77/day
10 weeks $5,025 Equivalent to $72/day
12 weeks $5,829 Equivalent to $69/day
16 weeks $7,752 Equivalent to $69/day
20 weeks $9,516 Equivalent to $68/day
24 weeks $11,407 Equivalent to $68/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations (none legally required), criminal background check.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Namibia generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Check what's required to visit Namibia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Windhoek
Population 2,567,012
Languages English, Oshiwambo
Currency Namibian Dollar
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

Namibia has a typically subtropical desert climate. The summers are hot and partly cloudy and the winters are short, cool, dry, windy, and clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 46°F to 87°F and is rarely below 39°F or above 95°F. The hot season lasts for almost 4 months, from early October to the beginning of February and the cool season lasts for 2.5 months, from late May to early August. The coolest month is July, and volunteers taking part over the cool season will need to keep this in mind and bring warmer clothing, especially for early mornings and evenings at the accommodation.

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