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Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Gobabis, Namibia
from £895 (2 weeks)

Ref: AV011

Are you looking for a new and exciting experience that will be out of the ordinary? Do you want a change from your predictable day to day life?  Do you want a challenge and a chance to make a real difference to wildlife in Africa? Do you want to learn how to read nature and its wildlife and take part in adventures that will never be forgotten? If the answer is YES Then Noah's Ark is the project for you - an energetic programme that offers a real practical experience - including aspects of conservation, animal care, research and environmental studies. No experience is necessary – just to be an animal lover, want adventures and be able to expect the unexpected. 

Who can join: 18 years of age and above
Accommodation: Dedicated Volunteer Village
Transfer time: approx. 3 hours
Pick up Point: Windhoek City
Meals: Meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx 30

Duration & Fees

2 weeks£895
3 weeks£1,285
4 weeks£1,645
5 weeks£1,995
6 weeks£2,395
7 weeks£2,755
8 weeks£3,145
10 weeks£3,925
Exclusive Guest Programme
14 days£2,100

Exclusive Guest Programme - Standard Rooms per person twin sharing

14 days£2,208

Exclusive Guest Programme - Luxury Rooms per person twin sharing

14 days£2,300

Exclusive Guest Programme - Standard Rooms single occupancy

14 days£2,520

Exclusive Guest Programme - Luxury Rooms single occupancy

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Start Dates

Volunteers can join on any Friday throughout the year.

This project is open over the Christmas period.

Payment

£180 deposit at time of booking – balance of project fee due 12 weeks before departure

What's Included

  • Transfer on your Friday start date from your accommodation in Windhoek to the project base
  • Return transfer from the project base on your Thursday end date to Windhoek Airport or your accommodation in Windhoek.
  • Full induction and training on arrival
  • Support from the Project Managers
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated

What's not included

  • International and domestic flights to Windhoek
  • Travel insurance to cover your project (to include cover for repatriation)
  • Work/business Visa as detailed in the pre-departure pack
  • Any pre or post trip accommodation and airport transfers if required.  Please note: Amanzi Travel can pre-arrange these for you as detailed in the pre-departure pack.
  • Personal items, clothes, travel goods etc
  • Use of the telephone and wi-fi
  • Drinks and snacks purchased from the onsite bar
  • Trips undertaken other than in the planned programme

Noahs Ark is the oldest and longest running wildlife rehabilitation centre in Namibia.  It was established with the aim of giving animals a second chance at life. Over the years the numbers of lions, cheetah and other species have plummeted and the rehabilitation project hopes to make a real difference by re-establishing these big cats back into the wild and to this end works with other Wildlife Conservation Agencies to release animals into dedicated protected sites in Namibia.  Sadly rehabilitation is not possible for all the animals rescued and the farm also provides a life-long home for the ones that will not survive in the wild.  

The first animal rescued was a vervet monkey that had been abused by its owners, followed shortly by a group of lions made homeless on the closure of a zoo in South Africa.  Hence what started as a personal hobby has become a full time occupation for the Noahs Ark residents and staff and for the past thirty years the reserve has been actively involved in the rescue, care and rehabilitation of neglected, abused and abandoned animals.  More than 380 indigenous wild animals have been rescued to date, with many of them still living at the farm. 

Volunteers from all over the world come to the Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary to make a difference by working with the wildlife and giving these animals the care and attention they need.   By joining this project volunteers will have the opportunity to give a "second chance" to the many animals that have found a safe home at the sanctuary, by care and rehabilitation of those that can return to their natural habitat where they can continue to lead a life free of human disturbance.  A truly unique experience!  This is a very popular project and volunteers are advised to apply early to be sure of securing a placement.

Daily Activities

Daily activities may include:  

  • Food preparation
  • Feeding and enclosure cleaning
  • Animal interaction and care
  • Building of enclosures, waterholes and fences
  • Fence patrols possibly on horseback
  • Game counting
  • Animal studies
  • Research on rehabilitated animals
  • Bush walks and sleepouts
  • Animal walks
  • Star gazing

Food Preparation
This is the major core responsibility of all volunteers who can expect to spend a significant amount of time working on this task.  All volunteers are put into teams on arrival and each team is assigned its own group of animals.  Each team will be responsible for the preparing of all food, the feeding and cleaning of enclosures for the animals assigned to the group.  This activity brings volunteers close to the animals and it is through this daily interaction that often the strongest bonds are formed.

Baboon Walks
These walks give the young orphan baboon troupes the chance to exercise, explore, clamber up and down trees, play-wrestle in the bush and "just be baboons".  When they get tired they will often hitch a lift on the shoulders of volunteers until the next novelty catches their attention.

Farm Work
This can take many forms, from cleaning out large waterholes to constructing new enclosures.  Cleaning up old bones and other debris from the outside enclosures can be very hard work but it is vital to the continued wellbeing of the animals for whom the farm is their home.

Lifeline Patrol
Volunteers on this patrol check the perimeter fences of the Lifeline nature reserve area to ensure there are no holes, damaged areas or other concerns, again a task crucial to the safety of both the animals that have been released into the reserve as well as to the surrounding farmlands.

Research
Volunteers may have the opportunity to get involved in some of the research initiatives.  Anyone who is particularly interested may have the chance to increase their involvement during their stay.  They will help to radio-track the cheetahs that have been released into the Lifeline reserve area and to study how these originally hand-reared animals are adapting to independent life.  Their locations and behaviour patterns will be noted as will if and when they make a kill.  The work done at the farm on adaptability of these hand-raised cheetahs is groundbreaking - and it defies the notion that hand-raised big cats cannot be released into the wild to hunt for themselves.  It is hoped that this research will go to further help big cat conservation efforts and see more big cats released into the wild.  The team is also invovled in research on wild dogs - also called the African painted dog.  These unique animals are increasingly rare in the wild and it is hoped that the research will contribute to the knowledge needed to preserve these beautiful creatures.

Leisure Time
At the weekends and during free time volunteers can relax on the beautiful reserve and enjoy the African bush and magnificent animals that are literally everywhere. There is also a nice bar and bbq area to socialise and a pool.

Animals you might expect to find at the Sanctuary

The sanctuary is a haven to a wide range of animals from wild big cats to domestic animals such as cows and horses.  You can expect to find: meerkats, mongooses, wild dogs, hyena, cheetahs, leopards, lions, baboons, vervet monkeys, warthogs, vultures, caracels, horses, cows, domestic cats and dogs. 

Volunteers comes from all over the world - from the USA to Japan, from Norway to Brazil - and are of all different ages and backgrounds.   Most volunteers travel independently and they may be studying or working but in all sorts of fields and the opportunities to make good friends are endless.   Volunteers - who wll of course all be animal lovers - should come with an open mind as life will be very different from life back home.  However they will very quickly get used to the daily life and not want to leave and in fact many volunteers return time and again to experience life at Noah's Ark.

No experience is necessary – just a passion for wildlife and conservation and an ability to expect the unexpected!  Volunteers will develop new skills and will leave the project feeling that they have really made a difference to animal life and conservation in the beautiful country of Namibia.

We also offer a Noahs Ark Veterinary project for those who work in field of Veterinary Field or are studying to do so - Noahs Ark Veterinary Care Volunteer Project 

Induction

Upon arrival all volunteers are introduced to the head co-ordinator and the "village mom" and are shown their accommodation and the facilities at the Volunteer Village.  The first day offers a quick induction including a full background on the project, its history, policies and rules as well as guidelines on how to work and interact with the various animals there. 

After an early breakfast on Saturday there will be a full induction and a tour of the farm and work areas.  On Sunday all volunteers will meet the animals outside the farm area and the afternoon will be spent forming teams, meeting the cheetahs and baboons and some sports and leisure activities.  After the evening dinner there will be time to socialise with other volunteers.

Monday and Tuesday will include training on food preparation and cleaning and from Wednesday onwards volunteers will join all activities as full team members.

Getting There

Flights should be arranged to arrive into Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.  As the shuttle transfer to the project leaves early on Friday morning, volunteers are asked to arrive on the Thursday before their Friday start date and spend the night in Windhoek.  Amanzi Travel can arrange for the transfer from the airport to Windhoek and accommodation in a very nice local backpackers - Chameleon - for the Thursday night.  Most volunteers use this accommodation and full details will be in the pre-departure information sent to all volunteers when making their booking.  The airport is about 30-45 minutes away from Windhoek.

The shuttle will then pick up the volunteers from their accommodation at approximately 9.00 am on Friday morning and transfer them to the project base at Gobabis - a journey of about three hours.  Volunteers' transfers to and from the project base on their start and end date are included in their project fee and the return transfer will get volunteers back into Windhoek on the Thursday around lunchtime.  Volunteers can then either get a late afternoon or evening flight out of Windhoek on the Thursday or Amanzi Travel can pre-arrange overnight accommodation and an airport transfer for the following day. 

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and can make any flight arrangements on request.

A perfect way to explore more of Africa

Before heading straight back home, why not take an Overland Journey through Africa to explore more of the wonderful sights and experiences that this beautiful continent has to offer.  You can take a trip that starts and finishes in the same city (eg Windhoek to Windhoek) or you can use it as an opportunity to get your from one city to another (eg Cape Town to Nairobi).

“This has got to be the best way to see Africa in a short period of time ... brilliant. The guides were fantastic, the campsites great, and the food excellent. The overland trip was excellent - really well run”
Southern Sun 21 days, Cape Town to Victoria Falls - Jennie and Stuart, Sweden, aged 32 and 34.

“I didn’t know I could become such close friends with people in just a week. The trip attracts a great group of people who are so easy to get along with. My group ranged from 20 to 70 and we all sat down with a drink, played cards together and just gathered around the campfire.  It was an experience of a lifetime and I will definitely recommend this to my friends and family”
Tanzanian Game Parks and Zanzibar, 10 Days and Masai Mara Safari, 3 Days - Sara, Canada/Malaysia, aged 20.

 From 3 days to 56 days, take a look at the exciting Overland Trips here.

Support and Orientation

Support and advice is available from Amanzi Travel office staff and project/trip leaders. Upon booking, you will receive a comprehensive pre-departure pack that provides all the details you will need to prepare for your trip to Africa.  This document includes information on accommodation, staff, visas, optional activities, packing checklist and medical advice and if you have any questions that are not answered in the pack we are always on hand to help and advise. We will do all we can to ensure that you are well prepared and looking forward to your trip to Africa. You will also receive an in country orientation on arrival.

A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week emergency contact number is provided for everyone who travels with us.

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence (9401) and is able to arrange your flights on request giving you financial protection for your flight and trip costs. We also offer advice on personal travel insurance for your trip.

Gobabis, Namibia, Noahs Ark Wildlife SanctuaryGobabis, Namibia, Noahs Ark Wildlife SanctuaryGobabis, Namibia, Noahs Ark Wildlife SanctuaryGobabis, Namibia, Noahs Ark Wildlife SanctuaryGobabis, Namibia, Noahs Ark Wildlife SanctuaryAll volunteers will be staying in the Volunteer Village which is about 10 minutes' walk from the main sanctury area, and right next to a waterhole where it is magical to watch kudu, wildebeest, eland and springbok - as well as the occasional giraffe or zebra - taking a drink on the way to breakfast as the sun rises over the grassland.  Volunteers will live in large wooden cabins which each sleep up to four people of the same gender.  There are communal showers and toilet facilities, a bar/eating area where all meals will be taken, and a small swimming pool.   All towels and bed linen is supplied and there area shelving units for clothes etc.   Each room has a safe for important documents or expensive items.  There is wi-fi available for use at a small fee and laundry services are provided.

The volunteer village is run on solar power and each room has solar panel lights. Separate facililites for charging cell phones, laptops and cameras are available.  Each cabin is allocated on a single sex basis;  however depending on occupancy and season it may be possible for a couple to share a cabin.  This must be requested in advance and can never be guaranteed as it depends on volunteer numbers.  

Volunteers are provided with three meals a day which are generally basic but tasty and filling. Breakfast may be porridge, cereal, eggs or pancakes and lunch and dinner may be burgers, goulash, pasta or rice dishes. Although Namibia is a meat-eating country, vegetarians and other dietary requirements such as gluten-free or lactose-free can be catered for but please ensure that you include this information on your application form.   There is a bar on site where volunteers can buy drinks and snacks as well as a souvenir shop. 

Click here to view the full interactive mapNamibia - Work At a Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Why visit Namibia?

Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that makes one question whether something so visually fabulous could actually exist. It is characterised by vast open spaces, with breathtaking scenery and great contrasts – ocean, dunes, mountains and deserts. A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main regions. The Namib Desert and vast plains of the Skeleton Coast in the west; the eastward-sloping Central Plateau; the Kalahari desert along the borders with South Africa and Botswana; and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions – a magical undeveloped oasis of waterways and wildlife, providing abundant game and birdlife viewing opportunities.  Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park. The Namib-Naukluft Park is superb for hiking, with a number of spectacular trails. It is also home to the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei - said to be the highest in the world - and the fascinating Sesriem Canyon. Windhoek is the country’s geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers, anglers and beach-lovers won’t want to miss Swakopmund, with its lively entertainment and sporting activities.

Highlights

  • Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s finest parks, both in size and diversity of wildlife.
  • The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest conservation area in Namibia and one of the largest in the world.
  • Two spectacular deserts - the Kalahari and Namib - each with distinctive wildlife and scenery.
  • The Namib, at 80 million years, is the world's oldest desert. Namib means “open space”.
  • The Namib and Damaraland offer remarkably clear skies for astronomers and keen star gazers.
  • Stunning Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon – it is 161km long, up to 27km wide and 550m deep.
  • Sossusvlei are said to be the highest sand-dunes in the world.
  • Superb birding and good fishing is available from the banks of the Kavango and Kunene Rivers on the northern border.
  • Popular self-drive destination with excellent infrastructure.
  • Largely malaria-free.
  • More than 300 days of sunshine per year.

Climate

Seasons Max Min
Summer/wet (October - April) 40 °C 20 °C
Winter/dry (May - September) 25 °C 0 °C
Rainfall: October – December “little rains”, January to April more stormy period

The winter months (May - September) range from 25 to 30°C during the day but night temperatures may drop to below freezing. June to August is the dry season with very little rain. This can be a good time for game viewing as wildlife converge at the waterholes.

The summer months (October - April) can reach highs of over 40°C and nights in the 20°C range (in the arid central Namib Desert temperatures can fall to below freezing during the night). This is a summer rainfall area, but overcast and rainy days are few and far between. Welcome thundershowers may occur in the late afternoon, bringing relief to flora and fauna. In October and November, large herds of blue wildebeest, zebra, springbok and oryx migrate from the Namutoni area to Okaukuejo, where they remain until May.

Rainfall is heaviest in the northeast, which enjoys a sub-tropical climate, and reaches over 600mm annually along the Okavango River. The northern and interior regions experience ‘little rains’ between October and December, while the main stormy period occurs from January to April.

Key Facts

Population – 2.1 million
Capital - Windhoek
Currency - Namibian dollar
Language – official language English; most widely spoken is Afrikaans; half of all Namibians speak Oshiwambo as their first language. German is also widely spoken, plus some Portuguese.
Namib – means “open space”
Etosha – means “great white place”
Time difference – GMT +2 hours
Telephone – country code 264, international access code 00

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Expect the unexpected! Be prepared to work hard, live without essentials but make new lifelong friends. Allow the animals to melt your heart and experience special interactions that you didn't know could be possible. Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary will imprint your heart and mind and make you see life in a different way FOREVER!!

Helen, aged 33, UK (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

This experience was the best in my life - not only because of the interactions and taking care of the animals, but also because you learn a lot about people cause you live with them 24/7! I definately want to come back to see how are things going there and if my animals are doing well and also to see some friends that are still working there. I would recommend this project for anyone who wants to "Have A Real Namibian Animal Story" ... I already miss all my friends and animals so much !

Valentin, Fance, aged 19 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noah's Ark cheetah

My experience at Noah's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary was absolutely incredible, and I am already planning a visit back there at the end of the year. It was hard work at times but it was all worth it when you were cuddling the animals and you saw how happy they were. Amanzi Travel were great in the pre-departure stage of my trip, Gemma always answered my questions promptly and booked all my pre and post project accomodation for me wherever I needed it.

Clare, aged 20, Australia (Namibia and Botswana Adventure - 14 days (Northbound), Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

This was the best experience of my entire life and i did not want to leave! 3 weeks was not long enough. I interacted and helped so many different animals and people as well as experiencing a completely different culture and way of life. I would recommend this project to anyone who loves animals and who wants to make a real difference to their lives as well of the lives of the bushmen and people that live there. You will make tonnes of new friends, and keep them for life. I cannot recommend this project or Amanzi Travel more highly.

Laurel, UK aged 21 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Gemma was fantastic when it came to organising my trip to Africa. I am in Australia  but the time difference and distance was no problem for Amanzi Travel who are based in the UK. I had a few issues however Gemma was very helpful, professional and understanding. I did the Noah's Ark project and thought it was wonderful. It's very hands on - so expect to get very dirty! You get to meet exotic animals up close and personal. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and I would recommend Noah's Ark to everybody!

Karyn, Australia aged 26 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Thank you for all the help and support, the trip was amazing!   

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary is amazing. It was really nice to get away from your normal life and just be with the animals, and meet a lot of great people.

Christina, Norway, aged 32 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Thank you Gemma! I had a truly amazing time, one that I will never forget!  I was really happy with both of the places I was at and will recommend them through Amanzi Travel to my friends if they ever want to do a similar kind of trip.  Thank you so much again for all your support and guidance that helped make my trip fantastic and unforgettable!

I had a fantastic time at Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and experienced the 'real' Africa. If you are like me and want hands on experience with wildlife conservation then this Sanctuary is for you - they truly enforce the conservation and rehabilitation of these endangered animals and I never for a moment felt that the animals weren't benefitting from our help.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Noah's Ark Wildlife Sanctuary and met some wonderful people along the way. The animal interaction that one was able to have with such amazing creatures is out of this world and something I will never forget. 

The animals and activities are fantastic and I feel my hands on experience with animals has grown enormously. I highly recommend both of these projects to anyone whose best interest is in the animal's welfare and doesn't mind getting their hands dirty and live away from the 'luxury lifestyle'. You will have the time of your life!

The service provided by Amanzi Travel was excellent and I always felt my trip was in good hands. If I ever had any concerns, I knew I could ask in confidence and always have a constructive and prompt response.

Grace, aged 19, UK (Naankuse Big Cat, Wild Dog and Elephant Conservation Project , Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

Truly Amazing trip and a life changing experience! Feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to get so up close to the animals. Hugging cheetahs and having leopards snuggle with you when you sleep is something beyond and the sound of lions roaring every sun rise will stay with me forever! only wished I'd stayed longer!!! I also met some amazing people who I hope to keep in contact with!
Unforgettable experience and Amanzi were so helpful and friendly, and Gemma always provided help with any queries I had. 

Hazel, UK, 18 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

In short, it was a wonderful and powerful experience --- and a big part of me is still there two weeks after arriving home!  Thank you, again, for all your pre-departure help and, of course, my feedback form will include rave reviews of Amanzi!

Marty, US, aged 33 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary - Luxury Project )

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

I wanted to personally thank you for helping to organise my experience at Noah’s Ark for me... Thank you so much for providing me one of the best months of my short life... Off to my next adventure!

Jordan, USA, aged 22 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

I had the most fantastic experience and one that I will never forget! It’s so incredible to be able to get so close and bond with all the amazing animals there and I am definitely wanting to go back!

It was great to be able to help out as a volunteer, but then get to spend so much free time with the animals. Very valuable (project) every activity we did was for the benefit of the animals.

Thank you very much I had a fantastic time. I just got back yesterday as we went to Cape Town for just over a week afterwards.

Laura, UK, aged 19 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary - Luxury Project )

Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary

It would be a good project to do if you do not have much previous experience of travelling as it is very well organised with lots of people to contact if there’s a problem and the farm you stay on is secure. If I do decide to do another project I will definitely look at booking with Amanzi Travel again. You were very helpful and organised a lot for me, saving me so much time.

Romily, UK, aged 22 (Noahs Ark Wildlife Sanctuary)

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