Namibia Travel, Tours, Gap Year & Volunteering
Namibia is one of the most beautiful countries in the whole of Africa where you can see exotic wildlife, explore forests, relax on stunning beaches or enjoy adventure sports like sandboarding. If you would like to travel to Namibia, go on a safari or volunteer our trips will appeal to you.
Adventure Tours, Gap Year Trips & Volunteer Programs in Namibia
Namibia Travel Guide
Get inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to book a holiday, travel, go backpacking, take a gap year, or work, volunteer, teaching or study in Namibia.
- Capital: Windhoek
- Currency: Namibian Dollar (NAD) and also the South African Rand is also accepted in some places
- Population: 2,030,000 (approx)
- Language: English, Afrikaans, German 32% + local languages
- International Dailing Code +264
- Country Area: 825,400 sq km
Travelling & Backpacking in Namibia
Namibia is a very up and coming destination with one of the main attractions in the desert with red sand dunes and the Orange River. This is a raw country full of natural beauty, sunshine, stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife and various adventures on are on offer throughout the year. This country has some of the largest sand dunes in the world, you might get to see the coast where the desert meets the ocean which is a really amazing setting.
Namibia also has some of the best beaches in the region and with sunny weather almost all year round you might want to dip in. You might be suprised to learn this is one of the best adventure destinations in the world, you could go skydiving, white water rafting, sandboarding or get close to wildlife like elephants, leopards, rhinos and lions! When you travel to Namibia you will get to make new friends, visit awesome places, meet friendly people, taste local food, see remote towns and experience beautiful sunsets.
Namibia is such a diverse country with so many different places you should see. Here are some of our top recommended attractions which you should add to your Namibia travel itinerary:
- The Kalahari desert
- The Atlantic Ocean coast
- Sossusvlei for sand/dune boarding
- Amidst desert
- National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Jagged Fish River Canyon
- The ‘Giant’s Playground’
- Rock-art sites at Twyfelfontein
Namibia Tours & Wildlife Safaris
Most people choose to visit Nambia for the wildlife, not much compares to seeing elephants and other creatures in their natural habitat. Find group trips, safaris and overland adventures which are a great way to get off the beaten track and see the real Namibia. Seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is an exhilarating experience, get up close to lions, tigers, leopards, rhinos and elephants.
- Get an experienced guide
- See the best places
- Go off the beaten track to see locations difficult to reach
- Eat at the best local restaurants
- Enjoy a stress free journey
- Get an authentic local experience
Public transport can be unreliable in Africa so travelling on an organised trip with a travel operator. A lot of trips include adventure sport activities like walking, treks, expeditions, rafting, biking, hiking and horse riding. There are tours for all budgets and departures all year round, a popular option is to join a small group overland adventure tour of Namibia and then travel into one of the local countries.
Our tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most of our tours specifically cater for the 18-35 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. Our website features lots of cheap tours allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank.
One of the most popular reasons to visit is to see exotic wildlife. These trips are incredible! You will get to see exotic wild animals like elephants and orangutans and get photos and memories to last a memory.
Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location. You might also get to camp.
Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator.
On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible.
How to Book
Search our featured trips above or contact us for specific advice. If you have ever joined a tour and would like to review or share your experience please contact us.
Gap Year in Namibia
Namibia might not be the first country which comes to your mind when thinking about taking a gap year, but you will really enjoy visiting this Southern African destination. Namibia is very easy to get to country, you can fly, cross from South Africa or join an overland tour. We list programs for students, graduates, budget travelers, career breaks and anyone wanting to do something new. This destination ranks highly with travellers, see why for yourself.
Namibia is a great destination, a lot of people don't think about visiting when planning a break away but this country often turns out to be everyones favorite place. The only way to understand is to visit for yourself, try to research all places you might want to visit as there are short and long term trips available depending on your interests and requirements. You will get to see the spectacular Atlantic Ocean and also the mindbogling Kalahari desert, National Parks full of wildlife and also lots of different adventure activities like sandboarding and canyon trekking.
To visit Namibia most people initially take a gap year in South Africa and fly into Cape Town, from here you can travel by land into Namibia. There are also trips from other countries like Botswana or you could catch a flight direct into Namibia. There is great infrastructure for tourists with budget and luxury accommodation throughout the country whilst several travel operators offer gap year packages and trips.
By working on a gap year in Namibia you will be able to help projects and communities in a variety of areas like conservation and community development. Structured gap year programs will provide independent experiences where you can mix with friendly locals and make a real difference. Popular projects include helping exotic animals like cheetahs. You may also be volunteering alongside another international participants and get to meet backpackers from all over the world. A lot of people travel overland throughout this region.
Volunteer in Namibia
Search rewarding voluntering programs in Nambia where you can help wildlife and communities. NGO's, non-profit organisations, charities and international agencies offer rewarding placements to international participants all year round.
Take the opportunity to contribute with a long term aim giving back to the people and communities you meet, as a participant you will get to live in a new destination and also get out to see as much of the country as possible. There are various discover trips available which comprise a combination of voluntary work within the local communities, visiting rural districts of the country to compare the lifestyles and a chance to meet people and see wildlife.
What makes Namibia such a great country to choose to volunteer in is the fact most local people speak English - this makes the whole experience easier. Namibia is a very safe country to explore and you will find most local people will greet you with big smiles. You will get a real feel for this outstanding country, its people and its culture. We have specially designed programs with the concept of volunteering, the chance to travel and also to experience many of this destinations great wonders.
You can help animals, conservation, communities, orphanages and teaching projects. If you dream of getting up-close-and-personal with wildlife there are various wildlife conservation projects in Namibia where you can help at sanctuaries. Programs which need assistance include working with baboons, meerkats, cheetahs, leopards and elephants. You will get to experience life in rural areas of the country which have spectacular settings, this is also a good way to meet new people and do something really worthwhile.
How You Can Help
Conservation Projects in Namibia
On some projects you can work alongside game rangers, field guides and wildlife nature conservation officials to assist with nature development. Opportunities include: water projects, invading plant clearance, animal conservation, wetland/mangrove eco-system conservation. This is an amazing experience which looks great on a CV of any budding conservationist, and provides a great deal of experience working in national parks, with indigenous animal and bird species. Being given the opportunity to work with professionals helps all volunteers gain understanding about the need for nature conservation in Namibia, and the struggles experienced with issues like poaching on a daily basis. It is important for local ranches and conservation projects to work alongside international wildlife organisations to help eliminate poaching which is ravaging the animal population in Southern Africa.
Educational & Teaching Projects in Namibia
People are also needed to assist in teaching local communities about the importance of preservation and improving education standards. You can spend some time at the Sanctuary Pre-School which offers education to the San Bushman children (ages 1 – 7 years old) whose parents work on the sanctuary and who would otherwise not have access to any form of education. This work experience is very rewarding. Volunteers who would like to spend a little more time in the school helping with teaching can join our combined project split between wildlife care and teaching.
Volunteer with Animals in Namibia
There are placements where you can volunteer with big cats and other wildlife on internationally renowned conservation projects which are located in the beautiful Khomas region in Namibia. On these programs you will be based at a wildlife sanctuary which was established to care for and protect endangered wildlife (mainly big cats) from all over the country and now provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife including lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, meerkats and baboons as well as many farm animals. Volunteers will help to care for and feed the animals and help with maintenance work at sanctuaries and are involved in all aspects of work including the rescue, care for, cleaning and feeding and rehabilitation and release of these beautiful animals back to the wild where possible.
One sanctuary is situated in a majestic savannah 3,200 hectare game reserve near Windhoek, plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing threatened carnivores in Namibia and aims to reduce human-wildlife conflict by helping to reduce the number of situations where wild animals are shot or killed. This is done by fitting each large carnivore with a radio collar to track their movements, monitor their welfare and study their behaviour. Since 2008 the Sanctuary has rescued and safely re-released over 50 cheetah, leopard and brown hyena. There are also projects where you will go to more rural areas of the country in out-reach teams.
Other placements in the Namibian mountain ranges allow you to care for and get up close to some of Namibia’s most fascinating wildlife including baboons, cheetahs, meerkats, lions, caracals and leopards. In the heart of a natural savannah, you’ll be surrounded by lush grass plains and stunning mountain views on a 25,000 hectare reserve, home to a range of wildlife including zebra, giraffe, kudu, springbok, warthogs and hartebeests!
You will normally be working in a group of around 5 people, starting bright and early at 8:00am and finishing at 5:30pm, with plenty of breaks. Your daily activities will focus on feeding and caring for the sanctuary’s residents as well as helping with sanctuary maintenance and building new enclosures. You will also be able to help out with taking the orphaned baby baboons for walks so they can forage naturally and exercise and maybe even occasionally babysitting little ones too young to sleep in the enclosures from the comfort of your own room!
General Activities Can Include:
- Carnivore Rehabilitation & Monitoring
- Game Counts
- Footprint Identification
- Camera Traps
- Spoor Counts and Tracking
- Sighting Database
- Night Observations
- Carnivore Scat Collection
- Other Research Activities
- Assisting at Schools
Location of Projects
You can fly into Windhoek which is where a lot of community based projects are found. There are also placements with conservation and wildlife in more rural areas like:
Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate
Neuras extends southwards from the top of the majestic Naukluft Mountains. With its ancient canyons, fascinating geological formations and natural fountains it is a real desert oasis. It is also one of the only three wineries in Namibia, annually producing 3,000 bottles of the world’s driest wine. Volunteer activities here include game counts, checking camera traps, mapping the terrain and tracking leopards and cheetahs in the surrounding areas including NamibRand.
Solitaire Study Area
Situated at the edge of the Namib Desert, Solitaire is a small but beautiful settlement near the Namib Naukluft National Park. The area consists of open grass plains, stunning mountain ranges and dry riverbeds. Here the research team re-introduce captive-held cheetah into a soft-release camp, monitor their adaption and research into the resident free-ranging large carnivores in the area to provide scientific data on the densities, home ranges and territories of cheetah. Volunteer spend one day working with the cheetahs at the soft release camp.
Namibrand Study Area
The NamibRand is a spectacular 172,000-hectare nature reserve situated on the border of the Namib Desert , approximately 80km from the Sossusviel and bordered by the Namib Naukluft National Park and Kulala Wilderness Reserve. The reserve’s carnivore rehabilitation programme was established with the intention of rehabilitating animals captured in other parts of Namibia and translocated to the reserve. The goal is to determine whether the capture of animals in conflict with local communities and farmers, translocation and subsequent release of these animals is a viable long-term solution. Volunteers do not generally stay in this area but may visit the area for research and tracking.
Accommodation is usually provided with a host local family or in shared housing/hostel type dorms. Housing can be either in a volunteer house with three people (same gender) sharing each room, or large walk-in style twin tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by two volunteers (same gender or couples). Private rooms can be arranged at an extra fee. Three meals a day are provided on a help-yourself basis. If you would like a really authentic experience then you have the option to participate on a local homestay.
Free Volunteer Opportunities in Namibia
Some local NGO's and charities offer free and paid volunteer jobs in Namibia. Usually you will need to commit to a long term placement.
How to Apply
You can apply in advance to join volunteer programs in Namibia, placements can be booked for 2015. No previous experience is needed to join most projects unless you want to join skilled medical or veterinary placements. The price you pay can vary depening on the placement and your nationality. Included - 24/7 in-house support, 3 meals a day, serviced accommodation, airport transfer on arrival, project-related transport, trips into national parks, boat trips and guided walks with rangers and guides.This will be an experience which will stay with you forever and guess what you will also get free time to discover more of the country.
Work, Intern, Teach & Study in Namibia
Our directory features companies offering jobs, teaching positions, internships, work experience and study abroad programs in Namibia. Search our directory to find a placement.
What are you waiting for? Start planing a dream trip to Namibia today.