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I Dream Africa provides a comprehensive directory of activities, hot spots, top locations etc. in Namibia. Combined with the directory, I Dream Africa also provides tour packages allowing clients to experience Namibia at its best.
Wildlife Tracking
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Wildlife Tracking

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Big Cat Tracking at N/a’an ku sê Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary

Experience the stunning African Bush, track wild leopard and cheetah in their natural habitat and help to make a difference in conservation. And all right on your doorstep at N/a’an ku sê Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary ( also part of the Harnas Foundation), only 42km from Windhoek.

At N/a’an ku sê they employ innovative research and conservation methods to help reduce human-wildlife conflict and to prevent continuing devastation of wildlife numbers.

By taking part in their unique half or full day tracking programmes you will have the chance to track wild leopard and cheetah in their natural habitat. You will also learn about N/a’an ku sê’s important Conservation Research programme, how farmers can and do use farmland for conservation and how you can help the conservation of Namibia's wildlife and people.

N/a’an ku sê have radio collared a number of cheetah and leopard in their 50,000 hectare study area near Windhoek. This allows their research team to monitor them closely to reduce human-wildlife conflict.

Full day tracking:

Join the Conservation Research expert for breakfast at their stunning Lodge at 7am. Here, you will be shown the home range maps of some of their released cats as well as learning about the various types of radio tracking collars and how they work. It's then time to head out into the field on the game viewer for a packed morning; checking box traps, carrying out spoor (paw print) counts, and then participating in the tracking of the big cats themselves. After an al fresco lunch in the veld, you will undertake a game count during which time you will have a good chance of spotting Oryx, Hartebeest, Kudu, Springbok, Steenbok, Warthog and other African wildlife.

Those joining the half day programme will experience the whole morning's activity (excluding lunch and the afternoon game count). Alternatively you can choose to enjoy lunch followed by the wildlife game count.

Grootberg Conservancy – Grootberg Lodge

Situated 90km on the C40 from Kamanjab, this conservancy was set up as a community based project to allow the local people to participate and benefit from tourism. The European Union provided valuable funds for the construction of Grootberg Lodge, situated on the top of Grootberg Pass with stunning views over the 12,000ha conservancy.

In the Grootberg Conservancy in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, two black rhinos have been placed in the care of the local custodians. These prehistoric beasts have been fitted with radio transmitters and through the lodge you can participate in a 3/4 day rhino tracking activity. Not only will you have the chance to track black rhino but to see other game as well such as desert elephant, springbok, kudu, giraffe and many species of bird.

Persons under the age of 12 years are not allowed to participate in the rhino tracking patrols. Should you be traveling with children under this age please consider the 3/4 day Himba Excursion as an alternative for this day also offered from Grootberg Lodge.

They offer rhino tracking on tailor-made safaris or self drive safaris through Rhino Camp.Save the Rhino Trust was set up in the early 1980’s to protect the dwindling black rhino populations in the arid western section of the Kunene Region from poachers and ultimate extinction. It is one of Namibia’s longest standing and most proactive Non-Governmental organization and employs around 30 Namibians in the rural western area. Today, the black rhino (Diceros bicornis bicornis) population has more than doubled in the Kunene/Erongo regions since the project started and thanks to the protection of a special branch of the Namibian Police’s Protected Resources Unit and the surrounding communities. It is also the only rhino population in the world to have survived and increased its numbers outside of a formally protected park.

SRT has rhino patrols where local game guards work in five groups, each regularly patrolling a specified area within the 25,000sq kms rhino range. The rhinos are picked up from radio collared transmissions and GPS during such patrols by mainly by vehicle, foot and camel and followed on foot until sightings whereby the animal is observed at close range through binoculars and notes made for any distinguishing marks and body condition assessed, this information is recorded and photos taken and then entered onto the computer database for analysis and maintenance of these records are continued on each individual.

SRT is also active in other community support, it assists in education and training centers and health programmes, as well as being involved in setting up several craft centers to sell locally produced crafts giving work opportunities and income for rural communities especially also for women.

The pride in the success of this whole project from the protection and greater awareness of the rhino in the region is evident with the local Damara and Herero tribes who actively support the project and reap the benefits that tourism and the support SRT brings.

Tracking Black Rhinos in Namibia Safari

This three-night safari is run for private groups and offers brilliant insight into the wildlife and rugged habitat of Namibia's Damaraland region while contributing directly to a worthy conservation cause. Guests travel into the wilds of Damaraland with the Rhino Camp team and their superb trackers.
Guests will camp out in a remote part of the massive 450,000 hectare Palmwag conservancy, enjoying the desert scenery and its wildlife. Gemsbok, Springbok, Ostrich, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, and the rare desert Elephant are all found in this area. The highlight of this safari however, is tracking the Black Rhinos.

SAVE THE RHINO TRUST (SRT)

The desert adapted black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis bicornis) surviving in the Kunene Region (former Damaraland and Kaokoland) in the arid north-west of Namibia are the only Rhino world-wide, that have survived on communal land with no formal conservation status. In the early 1980's in this vast, strangely beautiful and spectacular desert scenery, a savage slaughter of desert wildlife was taking place. As the Rhino numbers shrank to near extinction, a group of concerned people (scientists; geologists; community leaders; nature conservation officials; farmers; journalists; housewives and businessmen) gathered together to form a Trust fund.

The aim of this Trust was to stop the horrendous slaughter of Rhino, Elephant and other wildlife, which was taking place in the desert. Military staff of the SADF and white government officials, who paid subsistence farmers to hunt the rhino living high in the mountains where they were not easily shot from vehicle or helicopter, was perpetrating the killing. Within a few years of determination and hard work and with the help of international funds the Save the Rhino Trust was born, officially recognized and registered as Charitable Organization number 53. Since the founding of the Save the Rhino Trust 20 years ago, poaching has drastically declined and the Rhino population has more than doubled. Initially convicted poachers were employed by the Save the Rhino Trust (as they had extensive knowledge of the habits of Rhino). The aim to stop the extermination of the endangered Black Rhino from the communal land has been enthusiastically supported by the Chiefs and headmen as well as the neighboring farming community.

Ever since the Trust was formed, collaboration with Government and the local community has been achieved, with the aim to provide security for the rhino, to monitor the Rhino population in the region, and to bring benefit to the community through conservation and tourism.

The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

The perfect place for you to live your dream whether your interests lie in helping orphaned or injured African wildlife, researching cheetah and leopard or making a difference to the medical welfare of the under privileged Bushman community. The Sanctuary has 3 projects available to you: Wildlife, Research and Medical. The Wildlife and Research projects work hand in hand, so not only will you assist the project coordinators with caring for the large carnivores and various other species of African wildlife rehabilitated at the sanctuary, but you may also have the opportunity to research and release cheetah and leopard in the local area. In addition, depending on the length of your stay, you may be privileged to join our wild cheetah release and tracking project in the beautiful release site, Namib Rand Nature Reserve, located in the south of Namibia.

The Medical project can be booked as an individual project or it can be combined with the Wildlife and Research projects, depending on the length of your stay. The main aim of the Bushman Clinic is to provide accessible affordable primary healthcare to the people living in the region of Epukiro in the east of Namibia.

Background

Namibia is a country blessed with breathtaking sceneries, magnificent vistas and the most diverse array of unique landscapes. Besides its beautiful land, Namibia is fortunate enough to possess healthy populations of wildlife; it is one of the few African nations where six species of large carnivores still occur: cheetah, leopard, lion, spotted hyena, brown hyena and wild dog.

At the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary it is our vision to play a pro-active role in nature conservation because we believe that we hold this invaluable heritage in our trust for future generations. Threatened animals are rescued (following a range of complete health check ups) and are then cared for or relocated to suitable protected areas or other conservation friendly farms with the correct habitat and food chain. The wildlife sanctuary itself will only accommodate animals which cannot be rehabilitated back into their natural environment; mostly for reasons of human impact. We strongly believe the wild belongs in the wild, and thus all our efforts are directed at long term rehabilitation.

People are key to the success of our idea and we wish to share with you the incredible experience, sense of fulfillment and achievement associated with caring for, researching and releasing our spectacular wildlife. We hope that you will build memories for a lifetime.

Wildlife Project

If you are looking for a hands-on wildlife experience, then the Wildlife Project is right for you! Participation in the volunteer program provides employment to the local Bushman community and ensures the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the wildlife that are housed in natural environments around the reserve. This is a particularly popular program for volunteers who have a passion for various forms of wildlife. Other programs tend to focus on one species of animal, but the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary offers a wide variety of animals and activities that volunteers can experience.

The Sanctuary currently provides safe haven to lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah, baboon, meerkat, African wildcat, caracal, jackal and tortoise. The reserve on which the sanctuary resides is also home to all kinds of wildlife living in their natural environment, freely roaming the land including leopard, cheetah, kudu, oryx, hartebeest, duiker, warthog, ostrich, caracal, jackal, baboon, African wild cat, mongoose, meerkat, vulture, eagle, and various other bird species - the list is endless!

During your time on the wildlife project you can expect to participate in the following activities:

Animal Time - food preparation, feeding the animals, grooming, de-ticking, walking and playing with the animals, riding or exercising the horses, baboon and caracal walks, as well as cheetah time

Farm Work, Security & Maintenance - enclosure/fence patrol, building and maintenance both on the reserve and around the perimeter
Guest Carnivore Feeding Tours - assisting our tour guide with preparing meat & feeding the Lions, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Cheetahs and Baboons
Veterinary Care - should the need arise, we may ask you to assist us with caring for sick or injured animals

Extra Activities
4 x 4 Driving Course (approx $50 USD for 1 1/2 - 2 hours)
Arnhem Bat Caves (approx $35 USD)
Flying with Rudie (various options and costs available)
Nature walks, volleyball, football with the Bushmen, trips to Windhoek, evenings at the Guest Lodge and sleep outs in the summer months - setting up camp under the stars and watching the sunset surrounded by nature is an exhilarating experience. Making a camp fire, baking bread on sticks and having a braai (barbeque) is all part of the fun!

Research Project

If you are looking for a hands-on scientific experience, then the Research Project is right for you! The Namibian land is becoming more and more fragmented as a result of commercial farming and farmers often come into conflict with large carnivores (leopard, cheetah, brown hyena) as they pose a threat to their livestock. It is our vision to play a pro active role in reducing conflict between human and predator. This initiative aims to trap, radio collar and monitor predators. Once we have fitted a radio collar, we will release them in order to track their activities and movements using telemetry, GPS and other suitable methods. At the moment the research program is monitoring the activities of five study animals, two leopards and three cheetahs.

Volunteers will work alongside experienced bushman trackers and follow predator spoors. Working with bushman people shall ensure high data quality as well as the best learning experience for our volunteers. The data obtained will be logged into a GIS database and updated on a regular basis. Our research program puts special focus on working on commercial farmlands in order to alleviate existing human – carnivore conflicts. We believe this to be of utmost importance as commercial farmlands still harbor the vast majority of Namibia’s cheetahs and leopards. Thus, our involvement is particularly concerned with generating information which can be used to lessen farmers’ losses, increase tolerance of so-called “problem animals” and expose the public to the importance of conserving these amazing natural assets.

You can expect a whole new perspective on wildlife while participating in our research program. Activities may include:

  • Capture and immobilization of large carnivores
  • Wildlife census (either from the car or at waterholes)
  • Searching for cheetah marking trees
  • Locating collared carnivores through telemetry
  • Identifying, counting and tracking carnivore spoors
  • Setting and checking box traps
  • Vegetation survey
  • Data entry

On top of the aforementioned activities, research volunteers may have the opportunity to assist us in the monitoring of three cheetahs that we have released into a conservation area in the South of Namibia recently (NamibRand Nature Reserve). This is a chance not to be missed! Volunteers together with a member of the research team will travel to the reserve for approx 7-8 days to locate the cheetahs by means of radio-telemetry and record their activities on a daily basis. The NamibRand monitoring does not take place between Nov/Dec - Feb as the heat is unbearable.

Research volunteers need to be fit for hilly country, unpredictable weather and steep paths. Some activities will require walking long distances while others can be conducted from a car. It would be advantageous if you could bring your binoculars, GPS devices, compasses, and/or range finders as they can be useful during some of the activities or during your time “off duty.”

Costs (Wildlife/Research Projects)

  • 2 weeks: GB£945 / US$1595
  • 3 weeks: GB£1295 / US$2195
  • 4 weeks: GB£1595 / US$2695

Volunteers can spend all of their time at either the wildlife or research project or experience a combination of the two projects.

Important Note:
Due to fluctuations in the major currencies, Enkosini will be using the USD rates as our standard until further notice. The GBP rates above are indications of approximate recent values. Please visit www.xe.com to convert from USD to your currency.

Volunteers receive a US$100 / GB£50 discount when joining multiple Enkosini Eco Experience programs (one discount only).

The volunteer contribution covers meals, accommodation, activities, airport transfers from Windhoek to the Sanctuary, training, and donation to the project. Flights and travel/medical insurance are NOT included. The only additional spending money required will be for personal purchases (curios, alcohol, soda, chocolates, sweets, toiletries), communication (phone/email), social excursions away from the sanctuary, and pre/post project travel.

Dates & Travel
There are no set dates for this project so volunteers just need to inform Enkosini Eco Experience of the date they are planning to arrive. Volunteers are required to sign an indemnity form acknowledging and accepting the consequences of working in close contact with wild animals.

The closest city to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is WINDHOEK. Flights are available from Europe to Windhoek as well as from Johannesburg/Cape Town to Windhoek. Great fares from Jo'Burg to Windhoek can be found at www.kulula.com. We can arrange "meet and greet" pickups at the Windhoek Airport.

Meals & Accommodation

Food is basic but tasty. Breakfast is self service and includes toast & cereals. Lunch is typically cold and varies between sandwiches, soup or filled pancakes and fruit when available. Dinner is typically a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque) and typically includes meat (local game), vegetables, bread, pasta and rice.

Accommodation is basic, clean and single-sex sharing with 3 beds in each room. The single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (sheets, duvets and pillows). Bathrooms include 3 showers, wash basins and 3 toilets. Towels are provided on arrival (although towels for sunbathing should be added to your list of things to bring).

Electricity is available in the rooms. The plugs used in Namibia are 3 large round pins (same as the South African style) so you will need to bring an adaptor in order to charge electronic items such as phones and camera batteries. Please be sensible when using electricity, as it is much more of a luxury in Africa than it is in your home country. Also please be prepared for frequent power cuts and try to be understanding and flexible about charging your items and bring spare batteries!

A laundry service is provided twice a week. However, you will have to hand-wash your own underwear and socks so please bring travel wash with you.

Communication

Due to the rural location of the project, there is only very unreliable internet service at the camp and therefore this is used for emergencies only. If you get the chance to take a trip to Windhoek, you will be able to access the internet from there.

We suggest that you bring your mobile phone with you (roaming activated). It is also a good idea to unlock your phone in case you get the opportunity to buy a local Namibian SIM card for about £15, which will allow you to call and text home cheaply and easily. Due to the rural location of the project, the mobile phone signal is quite weak, although there are a few spots around camp where you can get reception, but you will need to walk around a bit to find these! The international dialing code for Namibia is +264.

Visas
When you arrive in Namibia you’ll be asked to fill out a visa form. You should state that you are visiting Namibia on holiday and are a paying tourist. Please do not mention that you’re going to volunteer whilst in Namibia. The immigration services do not fully understand voluntary work and may think you have come to find paid work.

Other
We welcome volunteers from all across the world aged 17+ to join our projects. No experience or qualifications are necessary.

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