Volunteer in Namibia
Namibia is a popular place to volunteer as there are a large selection of rewarding programs available where you can work to help wildlife or improve the lives of people and communities. Find volunteering programs with local NGO's, non-profits, charities and also large international volunteering organizations who offer placements to international participants.
Volunteer Programs in Namibia
Search structured, free and low cost volunteering programs in Namibia.
Guide to Volunteering in Namibia
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 combination packages with the concept of volunteering, the chance to travel and also to experience many of this destinations great wonders.
Types of Volunteer Programs in Namibia
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. View our Africa volunteer programs for more options.
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.
Teach 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 the Clever Cubs School
Work with Cheetahs in Namibia
For people seeking the worthwhile adventure of a lifetime you might want to be involved in a big cat release and research program. International volunteers are key to the success of the wildlife sanctuary - participation in the programme ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of cheetahs which have found a safe home there you can help to care for all of the animals whilst also getting the rare opportunity to work alongside big cat experts and Bushman trackers in the conservation research programme at satellite programmes. You will get to help with all aspects of the work being done, there are three research sites across Namibia – including the NamibRand, Solitaire and Neuras, places of outstanding natural beauty where tracking the big cats is an amazing experience. Volunteers can join this part of the project for a minimum of a week.
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.
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.
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.