Carnivore conservation & research in Namibia

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Carnivore conservation & research in Namibia


This project plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing threatened big cats in Namibia, and to help reduce human - wildlife conflict. The work carried out by this project aims at assessing whether or not translocations of cheetah and leopard are a viable, long-term option for dealing with so-called ‘problem animals'. Since the programme began in 2008, it has been responsible for the rescue and release of over 100 carnivores, including cheetah, leopard, caracal and brown hyenas.

Rescue and release of ‘problem’ big cats is something that the project staff and volunteers continually work towards. This can either be achieved through ‘soft-release’ or ‘direct-release’. Any large carnivores who have been held in captivity for long periods of time, or those who have been rehabilitated from ill-health undergo a soft release into the wild, which involves their gradual re-introduction over a period of time. This allows them to learn how to survive alone once again.


There is a common misconception that volunteering abroad must be a good thing and will positively benefit not just the volunteer but the host community and those involved. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The increased demand for volunteer placements in developing countries has been met by an influx of new projects and volunteer-sending organisations created purely to meet this demand. The result may cause devastating effects to local culture and result in the exploitation of both the volunteer and the host community.

This project strives to adhere to the strict Responsible Travel policy, and has been developed so that it addresses actual local needs and has the community’s needs at its heart. Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.

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