Hands-on Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary

Namibia

Help provide a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife! Provide animal care, rehabilitation and enrichment while learning about conservation in this hands-on and interactive environment. Work with San bushman children at the Clever Cubs School, helping to provide a full curriculum of English, mathematics, arts and crafts and environmental studies to children who would not otherwise have access to education.

Marlice van Vuuren, one of Namibia’s most well known conservationists, and her husband, Dr. Rudie van Vuuren, with the support of long-term friends Chris Heunis and Jan Verburg, started N/a’an ku sê Foundation in 2006. The aim of the foundation is to protect and conserve the vulnerable land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia, and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat. N/a’an ku sê carries out the vital work of improving the lives of African wildlife as well as those of the marginalized San Bushman community.

N/a’an ku sê is renowned amongst conservationists worldwide, has received global awards and has even received the support of celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Student programmes at N/a’an ku sê offer the unique opportunity to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community as well as Namibia’s wildlife. In return, students are provided with the once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the African bush while taking a hands-on role in conservation, rehabilitation and humanitarian work.

Quick Facts

Location: Namibia

Duartion: 14 Days

Student Limit: Up to 20 students

Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Namibia! Upon arrival in Windhoek, you will be transferred to the wildlife sanctuary (about 40kilometers) where you will meet your programme coordinator.

At the sanctuary, you will have the chance to settle into your accommodation before receiving a thorough orientation about Namibia, the sanctuary, the wildlife and your schedule for your time in the bush!

Day 2 - 13
Your days at the N/a’an ku sê Sanctuary will compel you to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation and research of African wildlife. This is an exceptional opportunity to get hands on with African wildlife and many aspects of their care. Additionally, you will also have the opportunity to volunteer with the San children, singing, dancing and playing as you assist with teaching at the Clever Cubs School.

Have a look at the activities you could be involved with during your time at the N/a’an ku sê Sanctuary, and let us know which (or all!) you would like to experience:

Food preparation and enclosure cleaning: A vital part of the day-to-day running of the sanctuary, food prep, feeding and enclosure maintenance help ensure the nutritional needs of each animal are met while also checking up on the health and happiness of each animal in their home.

Carnivore feed: This coordinator-led activity gives you an up-close view of N/a’an ku sê’s lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs, allowing you to learn about animal backgrounds and interesting wildlife facts.

Animal enrichment: Walk with juvenile baboons to provide them the opportunity to forage, explore the veldt and splash in waterholes! You may also have the opportunity to spend time with cheetahs, facilitating exercises that engage their speed and fitness skills. With orphaned and injured animals arriving throughout the year, you never know who may be in need of some extra tender loving care!

Project Work: Project work at the sanctuary varies depending on the needs of the project but may include digging waterholes for new enclosures, making and decorating enrichment toys, digging holes and constructing fencing or renovation projects at the school.

Research: Analyze camera trap images and data, track GPS monitored animals and conduct game counts in the sanctuary to help collect vital information that contributes to an understanding of the health, movement and behavior of wildlife in Namibia.

Clever Cubs School: Fall in love with the enthusiasm and smiles of the pre-school aged children at N/a’an ku sê’s very own early childhood development school. The Clever Cubs School provides free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work on site and who would not otherwise have access to education. Assist our teacher with instructing English, simple maths, arts and crafts, sports and environmental studies to help prepare them for future education in mainstream schools.

Extra Activities: Take a nature walk through the farm, play volleyball and relax by the pool or participate in sanctuary challenges and quizzes. Whether it is a braai (barbecue) or time together around an open fire, there is never a dull moment at N/a’an ku sê!

Day 14
Today you will have to say goodbye to the incredible people and wildlife who have impacted your stay in Namibia. Transfer to the airport for your flight home, and begin planning your next visit to N/a’an ku sê!

About the Sanctuary

The animals at the N/a’an ku sê Sanctuary come in need of rescue, rehabilitation and sometimes relocation. In Africa, where humans and wildlife sometimes struggle to coexist, the N/a’an ku sê Sanctuary provides a haven and second chance for animals in need. Your work at N/a’an ku sê provides an important resource in caring for and feeding the animals on a daily basis, as well as helping to maintain and develop the sanctuary.

N/a’an ku sê’s goal is to release animals when possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild; however, sometimes animals cannot be released for various reasons, such as an increased risk in release due to habituation or an extensive injury. In such cases, N/a’an ku sê aims to provide a lifelong sanctuary for these animals.

Because N/a’an ku sê releases and relocates when possible, the animals at the sanctuary will vary at any given time but may include carnivores such as wild dogs, lions, leopard, cheetah and caracal; primates such as baboons and vervet monkeys; birds such as peacocks and vultures; antelope such as oryx, springbok, duiker and kudu; small mammals such as meerkats, rock dassies, polecats, genets and warthogs, as well as a host of other species and farm animals.

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