Responsible tourism: Namibia carnivore conservation & research project
With over a third of the world's cheetah population, Namibia is at the centre of the species' struggle for survival. It is estimated that 95% of cheetah numbers in Namibia live outside of protected areas of conservation, meaning that they are readily killed by farmers who view them as a threat to livestock. Because of this, cheetah numbers are falling, resulting in their endangerment – something which the N/a'an ku se Foundation is trying to address and counteract.
The Carnivore Conservation and Research Project focuses on reversing this pattern, aiming to alleviate existing human-wildlife conflict, through new approaches and assessing whether the translocation of cheetahs and leopards is a viable, long-term option for dealing with this conflict. The project locates proven 'problem carnivores', at risk of being killed and tracks their safe reintroduction into protected conservation areas. Volunteer in Namibia and you will play a vital role in this process of working up-close with these incredible cats, and thus actively contributing to their protection and conservation.
Whilst on the trip, you will be staying in a recently renovated farmhouse, which has been restored. This farmhouse has been, and still is, a part of the natural landscape and as it has become part of the environment in Kanaan it does not intrude upon the natural landscape. The farmhouse uses environmental measures, and we ask that guests please be conservative with resources, particularly water in this arid region.
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. On this trip you will have the opportunity to interact and learn from the local sans people. The Sans are experts in their environment, and the local guides have tapped into this information many times to provide great insights into the environment in depth.
Understanding and respecting the Sans community is paramount to the success of any project, and making sure we respect them to ensure a long term success, and not degradation of their culture. You will have the chance to learn some of their bush skills, and embrace their culture during your stay.