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Namibia Carnivore Conservation Programme

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Namibia Carnivore Conservation Programme

Get up close and personal to two of the African big cats on this research programme and work alongside carnivore research experts as you track and monitor these elegant creatures.

Prices from $2,745

Namibia is a land of breathtaking sunsets, a place where you will find African wildlife roaming and an African nation that has a proud and fascinating cultural heritage preserved in the form of thriving indigenous communities imbued with the customs and traditions of their ancestors. Visit Namibia for an adventure into some of Africa's most dramatic terrains and enjoy an unforgettable project experience that will stay with you forever!

Come to Namibia and work with biologists at the forefront of their field, help with cutting edge research into the behaviour of cheetahs, leopards and hyenas and aid in the protection of these fascinating big cats from poaching and other threats. This project offers a hands-on scientific experience as well as helping to conserve habitats and wildlife. You could be involved in the setting and checking of box traps and capture of large carnivores, undertaking wildlife census and game counts, identifying, counting and tracking carnivore spoors, identifying cheetah marking trees and locating the collared cheetahs and leopards on the study site through telemetry tracking.

As the precious Namibian landscape becomes increasingly fragmented by farming and human wildlife conflict escalates significantly, the need to take action is urgent. For anyone with a passion for wildlife and a desire to carry out essential conservation work, as well as experience a travel destination that is endlessly beautiful and unique, this is the perfect project.



  • Visit unique & beautiful Namibia
  • Work with biologists at the forefront of their field
  • Aid in the protection of fascinating big cats


  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Book early to avoid disappointment


Location Namibia
Activities Tracking
Data collection & processing
Caring for the animals
Care for baby baboons (when applicable)
Carnivore capture
Transport Airport pick-up & drop-off
Short drive to project site
Accommodation Shared volunteer house and additional tented accommodation


Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Airport pick-up
Ground transfers
Local orientation
Project training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Namibian Wildlife - The Facts

  • The cheetah is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list for endangered animals
  • One third of the entire cheetah population live in central Namibia
  • The leopard's range of distribution has decreased radically over the last few years as a result of hunting and loss of habitat.
  • Commercial farmland provides the habitat for 90% of the national cheetah population

This research programme started in early 2008, tracking cheetahs and leopards on Namibian farmland to reduce human wildlife conflict and help protect and conserve large wild carnivores.

Although vast areas of Namibia remain undeveloped and well preserved, other more fertile regions are becoming more fragmented as new commercial farms are built in several locations. These farmers do not tolerate predators, as they pose a significant threat to their livelihoods, often killing many of the livestock. In order to reduce human animal conflict and promote conservation, it is essential that strategies are developed that ensure that local communities do not lose out financially from the presence of the animals on their land. In order to produce interventions that are relevant and effective, vast data sets and significant resources are required. By volunteering on a project such as this, you are providing essential manpower to maintain these conservation efforts and to save the lives of these majestic creatures, as well as helping local farmers to provide for themselves and their families.


This project will offer you a unique opportunity to play a hands on role in the tracking, monitoring and conservation of wild cheetah and leopard, as well as caring for other African wildlife as you spend one week at one of our remote wildlife release sites. You will be involved first hand in all aspects of the conservation programme, including data collection and processing and carnivore tracking in the field. The project is based both at the wildlife sanctuary in central Namibia and in a stunning nature reserve to the south-west.

The remainder of your placement will be spent at the farm, working at the wildlife sanctuary as you help support the local staff with their daily tasks including feeding the animals and helping out with the general care of  the sanctuary's lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and meerkats. You may also get the oppurtunity to become a surrogate parent to orphaned baby baboons, if there are any on the project at the time, bottle feeding and sleeping overnight with them. The aim is to enable you to experience African wilderness and track big cats in the wild as well as contribute to the conservation of these large carnivores.

At the sanctuary your work programme may include the following:

  • an introduction to carnivore management, research and conservation
  • spoor tracking and counts
  • box trap checking
  • game counts
  • carnivore tracking
  • marking tree search
  • carnivore capture and immobilisation
  • feeding, camp maintenance and building
  • road kill surveys
  • footprint and scat method projects
  • data entry and analysis

Whilst at the remote field site your work programme may involve the following:

  • VHF and GPS tracking of released cheetah and leopard
  • sightings database project work
  • scat collection project work
  • night observations
  • bird (raptor) monitoring
  • road kill surveys
  • data entry and analysis


Upon arrival at Windhoek you will be collected by a member of the project team, who will take you on the short drive to your project location where you will spend the majority of your stay. Once there you will receive a full induction to the project. Please aim to arrive on the Monday. You will be dropped back off at the airport at the end of your stay.


You will stay in a large tent with a living and bedroom area with shared rooms. The single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Electricity and solar heated showers are available, however please be aware that sometimes water levels are restricted and electricity has been known to cut off during storms. Power sockets for electrical items are available in the volunteer house and can be used by all volunteers. There is also weak mobile phone reception at certain points around the camp.


Three basic meals are provided and typically include meat, vegetables, pasta and rice. A vegetarian option will be available. You will prepare your own breakfast, which includes toast and cereals. Lunch varies and can include sandwiches, wraps and burgers. Dinner is typically a hot meal or on occasion a braai (barbeque). Vegetarian and other dietary requirements are catered for, but please advise any special dietary requirements on arrival at the project.

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

A fantastic opportunity  | 19 Nov 2019
It was a fantastic opportunity to see how a cheetah capture and release works from beginning to e...

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An unforgettable experience  | 19 Nov 2019
What an amazing experience! I didn’t want to leave! I spent one week at the sanctuary a...

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An experience you'll never forget  | 18 Nov 2019
We would really recommend this project to anyone with an interest in wildlife research. It allows...

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A lifelong dream completed  | 17 Nov 2019
    Since I can remember I always had a passion and great love for Cheetahs. &n...

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As a Biology student, I wanted to explore a field in which I would love to work in, that's wh...

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Enjoying...everything  | 13 Aug 2018
What I enjoy most about Namibia is well, everything ... from the daily wildlife tasks such as cut...

Read more


Namibia offers a wealth of activities and sights to explore before or after your project. Travel to the Namib Desert to experience the sparse beauty of this extreme environment and see the wild horses of Namibia. Go dune surfing down the vast sandscape – a truly exhilarating rush! See the Kolmanskopp ghost town, an eerie place steeped in history, or venture to Cape Cross to catch sight of the vast seal colony that resides there. Admire prehistoric rock art, or take a hot air balloon ride where you will get the chance to view the Big Five from above, or even try a plane ride above the stunning scenery. Adventure sports such as biking, trekking and climbing are also readily available. Talk to your colleagues and project staff to get the best prices and information about local tours and book these direct.  

During your time at the project you may have the opportunity to enjoy a number of activities included in the cost of the programme, such as a nature walk across the farm or an eco challenge competing in groups against your fellow volunteers, followed by a braai (barbeque) and an overnight sleep out in the field, stargazing and waking up to a fantastic sunrise! During your free time, there is a small swimming pool available for your use as well as a volleyball net and a lawn area for you to relax on in the sun. Occasionally, the volunteers play football against the local bushmen.


As well as taking part on this project volunteers can choose to do an online FGASA accredited field guide course at an additional cost of $425. This Level 1 course gives you the knowledge and skills to get you on your way to becoming a field guide who is able to work as such throughout Africa. This course covers an extremely comprehensive grounding in the identification of the living and non living features of the environment, the ability to interpret and interact with this environment and an understanding of the responsibilities of being a field guide. Course components include animal behaviour, conservation management, astronomy and much more. The course can be completed online before or after your project and greatly complements the practical work you will be involved in in Namibia. Please note that this is an extra and is not part of the Namibian project.


3 weeks $2,745

Extra week $695


Weekly. Please aim to arrive on a Monday or a Thursday.


From 3 weeks


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off
  • Ground transfers
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Windhoek (WDH)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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