Namibian Desert Elephant Project

Company : The Great Projects
Activities: Animal Volunteer Projects / Conservation Volunteer Projects / Expeditions / Safari Tours
Country: Namibia
Location : Swakopmund Namibia
Duration: 2 weeks to 2 months
Approx Costs: 750 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

This incredible conservation project gives you the chance to volunteer with elephants in the beautiful Namib desert!

This unique conservation project gives you the chance to volunteer with Namibia’s magnificent desert elephant populations, and make a difference to the local communities living alongside them. The sole purpose of this award winning project is to protect the elephants and ensure that the communities that share the land with them are safe and secure.

The elephants in Namibia’s desert regions are coming under increasing pressure due to human-wildlife conflict. Where the elephants once had vast swathes of the desert to roam, now they are frequently coming into contact with humans as they begin to settle in what was the elephants home. This is causing some major issues with the elephants often coming into the human settlements in search of water, and this is what the projects wants to help to prevent.

On this project you will be helping the in-country team to achieve their goals via a host of crucial tasks including; tracking and monitoring the elephants, constructing walls to prevent damage to precious water sources and educating the locals about the values of elephant conservation. This is a project not to be missed.



Day 1
At 11am you will be picked up from your accommodation in the town of Swakopmund and transferred to the base camp. This will be approximately a 4-hour drive. In the evening, you will join a full safety briefing and explanation of the project to understand what you will be doing.

Day 2-5
Early in the morning, your group will pack and leave for the build-site which is a1 hour drive away. After this you will set up camp for the week and carry out the various construction tasks required.

Day 6
On the Saturday morning, your group will return to base camp and the rest of the weekend is at your leisure. The area around camp is beautiful and wonderful for adventurous volunteers to explore.

Day 7
The group can join staff on a trip to the local town of Uis, where there is a supermarket, a lodge with internet, a pool and restaurant. In the evening there is a briefing specific to the upcoming week’s elephant conservation patrol.

Day 8-11
The group leaves for elephant conservation patrol duties and spend the week tracking the local herds and recording the data they collect.

Day 12
You will transfer back to Swakopmund to commence your independent travel plans or spend a final night.


Project Activities

Below are examples of some of the activities included in the project

This week involves construction tasks, taking place on the build site. These include the building of protection walls around water sources and alternative water-points for the desert elephants and the area’s black rhinos. Understandably, this week is fairly exerting and involves hard work, but the aim is for volunteers to work together as a team.

Elephant Tracking
This week is spent tracking the resident herds of desert elephants in the area, to record movement patterns and information such as new births, deaths and mating. The elephant's movements are recorded through their GPS positions which are then plotted onto online maps on a collective database. This information shows which farms the desert elephants tend to visit to drink, and therefore where the project needs to build protection walls.

On each patrol there is a different aim, and the current focus is two-fold, one is to have a presence in the area where elephants are under threat and check that all herds are together and without injuries, and secondly to start compiling identification files of ‘new’ herds of elephants in the northern reaches of the area, as these elephants are causing a lot of damage to farms. On each patrol you will also spend a lot of time speaking to farmers and communities and chance will be given to the group to interact with local people. On patrol you may also spot some of Namibia’s other incredible wildlife such as giraffe and zebra.

School Visits
The project has assisted the local school in renovations over the last seven years and they are very proud to have been able to help. The school has over 280 children from the local area, all farms affected by the presence of elephants, and around 80% of these children board at the school. It is a colourful and happy place and the group will definitely enjoy the visit.

Start Dates

Set dates throughout the year. Please enquire for details.

Costs / Benefits

Prices from £895

What's included in the price of the project?
• A monetary contribution to the project itself
• Full orientation and support from the project managers
• Accommodation at the project site
• 3 meals per day

What's not included?
• Any flights
• Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
• Visas if required
• Transfers to and from the airport
• Use of internet and telephone
• Soft drinks, wines and spirits
• Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary
• Accommodation on the first night


The construction work undertaken on this project involves long hours of physical labour, often in high temperatures, and so requires a moderately high level of fitness. In terms of skills, no specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. You must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, often for long hours in the hot, Namibian sun.

Booking / Enquiry

Booking Enquiry

The Great Projects Namibian Desert Elephant Project Reviews

Incredible experience

I went to volunteer in Namibia with the Great Projects and feel so lucky to have found them. They handled everything (flights, hotels, project, airport pick up etc) and were very organized. I left Namibia with so many friends and memories, it was an amazing experience and I can't wait to participate on another one soon.

By: Lori
Nationality: United States
Age: 41

Have you booked The Great Projects Namibian Desert Elephant Project? Please share your experience and submit your review.