WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Poor local economic circumstances combined with inadequate law enforcement have resulted in indiscriminate poaching of wild animals across Namibia, mostly for their meat and hides, whilst the international trade in animal hides and trophy hunting further decimates Africa's wild animals. The Namibia wildlife sanctuary is fully devoted to caring for sick and orphaned animals and to supplying them with habitats which are as natural as possible. They may come to the sanctuary from many different sources; some are tame animals that the owners can no longer look after, others may have been found trapped in snares or rescued from poachers intending to sell them. The sanctuary does all it can to release these animals back into the wild, but unfortunately this is not always possible, so that they are provided with the best possible home for the rest of their lives. You will be working closely with the animals, preparing their food, checking enclosure perimeters and checking the health of the animals. It is a truly magical place and one which you will feel very privileged to have visited and contributed to.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This project provides you with a rare and exciting opportunity to work closely with and actively participate in the conservation of African wildlife. You will care for and witness the injured or orphaned animals being fed in the sanctuary on a daily basis as well as cleaning enclosures and helping to develop and maintain the sanctuary. The animals that make their home here include mammals as diverse and exciting as lions, cheetahs, baboons, meerkats, jackals and much more. Participation in the programme provides employment to the local Bushman community and ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which are housed in natural environments around the site.
Your weekly activities may include:
Feeding and caring for the animals:
You will be responsible for preparing the food and feeding all of the small animals on site. Animal feeding tasks may also include throwing meat to the lions, leopards, cheetahs and African wild dogs.
You will also help to maintain the animal enclosures on the farm, clearing out old food and mess, cleaning waterholes and removing old bones from feeding.
You may get to spend part of each day playing with and looking after some of the animals on the farm. The orphaned baboons play a large part in our project, and volunteers take the bigger baboons on a walk at least every other day in the field to allow them to forage naturally and to give them regular exercise.
When we have baby baboons on the project, walks take place every day to give all our volunteers the chance to bond with our baby baboons. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the African sun, explore the farm and play with these cute babies.
Please remember that the animals are rescued, taken in, cared for and if possible, released into their natural habitat again, therefore the variety and number of animals at the sanctuary can change.
Farm work, security & maintenance:
Part of your daily routine may include building and maintenance both on the farm and around the perimeter. Farm work projects vary depending on what is currently needed on the farm and previous projects that volunteers have helped with include building fencing, maintaining perimeter fencing, and building a new baboon camp enclosure for our bigger baboons to move in to, complete with new toys. You need to be prepared for hard work but it’s very rewarding to see the results of your efforts.
Security on the farm is essential. You may take part in border fence patrol in pick-up trucks on our reserve after being briefed on our procedures. As new animals arrive new enclosures may have to be built. You may also get to assist with security duty, where volunteers spend the night on a platform looking out for poaching activities.
Part of your daily routine will include project work which varies depending on what is currently needed on the farm. Current long-term projects include the removal of black thorn bushes to make way for other species.