This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Elephant conservation volunteering in Namibia
Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture and to get you involved in important conservation projects. It is of utmost importance to us that you will be living and working with local people, supporting not only the animals protected on our projects but also the communities in which you will live and work.
Animal welfare This project has been running since 2004 and was established as a result of the conflict between communal farmers and in the north west Namibian desert and desert dwelling elephants, mainly centred around scarce water resources. The elephants all live in the wild and we encourage a zero tolerance contact policy. These elephants are wild, and will be left to live in the wild with minimal human contact. When tracking the elephants the 4x4 will not invade the elephant's territory and will remain at a respectful distance.
Waste Our base camp in the desert is used an experimental project for natural building materials, recycling, building home made energy generating systems such as wind generators, solar water heaters, composting toilet designs.
All the refuse we produce is removed from the desert environment and brought through to the towns where recycling schemes exist.
One of the most important issues in the desert is choosing non invasive camps during the elephant patrols, staying on established road tracks in sensitive areas and leaving nothing behind.
Meeting local needs Firstly all our protection wall projects are in direct support of the local community. The bi-monthly tracking projects ascertain where the elephants are and which farms might be at risk. Through thorough observation and monitoring, farms can be forewarned and protective walls around the water sources can be built. Farmers and locals can also apply directly for assistance in this matter.
Our impact on the local economy As many local people as possible are employed on this project. We employ our staff from the immediate area which in turn supports many family members. A local man has his own business providing wood (from sustainable sources), a neighbouring farmer's wife has her own business washing the volunteers clothes at weekends for a fee. We source food and fuel for the elephant patrol weeks from a small village called Uis where there is a supermarket and fuel station.
Cultural sensitivity We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural Namibia.