Duration & Fees
Please note: The currency conversion is an estimate based on today's exchange rates and is to be used as a guide only. All payments to Amanzi Travel have to be made in Pounds Sterling (GBP)
Volunteers can join throughout the year. There are set transfer dates from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary to the Medical Clinic outlined in the details section.
The project is closed from mid December - mid January each year.
Volunteers need to arrive into Windhoek Airport the day before the transfer to the clinic and we will arrange an airport pick up on arrival. From the airport, you will be taken first to the project base at the Wildlife Sanctuary and then onto the Medical Clinic.
£180 deposit at time of booking – balance payment of project fee due 12 weeks before departure
- A contribution to the project for items such as medical supplies
- Daily transfers on the project and road transfer to the clinic
- Airport pick up on arrival and departure from Windhoek Airport
- Orientation on arrival and support from the project staff.
- Accommodation and meals as indicated above
What's not included
- Travel insurance (to include cover for repatriation)
- Return flights to Windhoek International Airport
- Visas (if required)
- Use of internet and telephone
- Beers, wines and spirits
The clinic was established many years ago to improve the health and welfare of the San Bushmen, thought to be the oldest culture in the world, and traditionally hunters. They have been forced from their original lands which are increasingly used to graze cattle thus leaving the San unable to live in their traditional style. They are treated as third-class citizens and are extremely poor.
At the clinic in the remote area of Epukiro, volunteers will work alongside the clinic’s staff to learn about the common diseases affecting the local population and how to treat them. The teaching will be tailored to the volunteers’ skills, background and knowledge. Prospective medical students can expect teaching on basic clinical skills, history taking and examinations of patients. Trained professionals will be asked to run consultations with patients and assist during the outreach work, a project run once a week to local communities who are unable to get transport to the clinic in order to screen for cataracts, TB and other medical problems. This provides a brilliant opportunity for trained professionals to have a greater impact on the people who are at most in need of help.
Volunteers may also be asked to undertake a research project/assignment. This should be something that the volunteer is both interested in and will be of use to the clinic and patients. Examples of projects include mapping distances patients travel to the clinic and local patterns of disease, rates of TB amongst patients and compliance with medication, patients' knowledge of HIV transmission and disease.
Volunteers are involved in everyday clinic duties, assisting with medical needs and sharing the positive impact the Clinic has on the health of the local community. Primary healthcare is the first point of call for un-well residents in the area and it’s usually very busy. A decision is made as to whether patients need reassurance, treatment, observation or emergency referral to the clinic.
The doctor and nurse, supported by San translators, treat around 3,500 patients each year, about 40% of whom are children mainly under 5 years of age. TB and HIV are prevalent in the community as is alcoholism and common diseases include fungal infections, intestinal worms, diarrhea, dehydration, malnutrition and mouth infections. Although not severe, if left untreated, such diseases can get worse and lead to complications and even death.
The doctor also carries out regular outreach clinics at local schools, villages and farms and a Community Health Worker scheme helps to teach the local community the basics of first aid and general health care for them to share with their local peoples.
All volunteers, whatever their background and experience, will assist with daily duties which may include:
- Primary Helathcare: observations, reassurance to patients, treatments and emergency referrals
- Observations: pregnancy tests, and urine tests for patients and recording findings
- Weighing babies and recording growth charts
- Blood pressure recordings
- Glucose testing and recording
- Wound dressings and cleaning of wounds
- Family Planning
- Substance abuse counseling
- Help in the pharmacy: stock control, packing medicines and new orders
- Financial record keeping and data capture input
- Accompanying the nurse into the community to carry out procedures
- General maintenance and cleaning of the clinic
- Helping with projects around the clinic such as the vegetable garden
Volunteers often have special skills that are invaluable to the clinic and are encouraged to use them and suggest new activities that they feel the project will be of benefit to the project..
This project is ideal for volunteers with have some medical experience or who are currently working within the profession. It may be of particular interest to medical students wanting to do their electives in a developing country. Volunteers with no medical experience are also welcome.
Please note: Itineraries and activities are subject to change to meet the needs of the project at any given time.
Depending on the length of their stay volunteers may also get the chance to spend some time working with and caring for the animals at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. Many volunteers choose to spend some time at the sanctuary before their time at the remote clinic. If this would be of interest please contact Amanzi Travel to discuss dates and options. The clinic is approximately 4 hours transfer by car from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, which is based just outside of Windhoek. Even if volunteers do not choose to spend time at the wildlife sanctuary they may spend some time at the sanctuary before transferring to the clinic depending on the schedule of the other volunteers, patients and transfers. Link to the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sanctuary currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife including lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Volunteers are vitally important in caring for and feeding these animals on a daily basis. This is an exciting opportunity to help care and preserve orphaned and injured wildlife in this part of Africa.
Volunteers should arrive the day before the transfer date and depart the day after the return transfer.
Below are the dates for the transfers to the clinic from the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary and back again. For each two week booking, volunteers spend 12 nights at the Clinc and 2 nights at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary helping wildlife conservation and looking after the animals there. The dates below are the 12 nights at the medical project.
|Sanctuary to Clinic (Sunday) leaves at 9am
||Clinic to Sanctuary (Friday) arrives back late afternoon
|13 January 2019
||25 January 2019
|27 January 2019
||8 February 2019
|10 February 2019
||22 February 2019
|24 February 2019
||8 March 2019
|10 March 2019
||22 March 2019 *Please see public holidays below
|24 March 2019
||5 April 2019
|7 April 2019
||19 April 2019 *Please see public holidays below
|21 April 2019
||3 May 2019 *Please see public holidays below
|5 May 2019
||17 May 2019
|19 May 2019
||31 May 2019 *Please see public holidays below
|2 June 2019
||14 June 2019
|16 June 2019
||28 June 2019
|30 June 2019
||12 July 2019
|14 July 2019
||26 July 2019
|28 July 2019
||9 August 2019
|11 August 2019
||23 August 2019
|25 August 2019
||6 September 2019 *Please see public holidays below
|8 September 2019
||20 September 2019
|22 September 2019
||4 October 2019
|6 October 2019
||18 October 2019
|20 October 2019
||1 November 2019
|3 November 2019
||15 November 2019
|17 November 2019
||29 November 2019
|1 December 2019
||13 December 2019
||New Years Day
||Human Rights Day /Womens Day
Volunteers will stay in the volunteer house located beside the clinic, along with the resident doctor and nurse. The house has a kitchen, bathroom, living room with TV and bedrooms with single beds and bedding provided. Depending on numbers, volunteers may have a room to themselves or may share with one other volunteer (same sex). The clinic can accommodate approximately four volunteers at any given time, so accommodation resembles a family environment
The sanctuary offers comfortable and clean, shared accommodation in either rooms at the volunteer guesthouse or in large walk-in style twin tents with reception and bedroom area. There are generally three volunteers per room in the guesthouse (single sex) and two volunteers per room in the tent, so it may be possible to accommodate couples together if there is availability on the project on arrival in one of the twin tents. There are communal showers and toilets with hot water supplied by solar energy and power sockets in communal areas.
In both locations three meals per day are provided. Volunteers assist with the preparation of meals.
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.
- 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.
|Summer/wet (October - April)
|Winter/dry (May - September)
|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.
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
Before starting my journey to Namibia, I was very anxious as I had never done anything this this before and had never travelled alone before. Gemma was quick to help settle the nerves by answering any queries that I had promptly and helped keep me informed all the way up until I departed. When I arrived at the Sanctuary, all of the staff were really friendly and helped me settle in quickly. The experiences that I had there are something that I never thought I would have done in my life and I can safely say that it was the trip of a lifetime. (especially the baboon walk!) My only issue was I only went for 2 weeks! The work that is done at the sanctuary is truly amazing and the staff make you feel part of it by involving the volunteers in all aspects of life at the sanctuary, whether it be providing enrichment to the animals or helping to build enclosures for new arrivals. I would highly recommend going to Naankuse and also booking through Amanzi as their customer service and helpful guidance helped put me at ease and make the whole experience a lot less stressful and enjoyable. I definitely plan on returning to Naankuse and Amanzi Travel in the near future!
Jordan, Scotland, aged 24
A wonderful two weeks away arranged by Gemma. Nothing was too much trouble for her - I constantly emailed her questions which she promptly and politely replied to. Naankuse was a little luxury in Namibia, but the work they do for animals, children and San people is amazing. The Namibian Highlights tour was really fun and the accommodation and food standards way above our expectations. Our driver, Gideon was very professional and informative.
Mary and Family of 13, UK (Namibia Short Tour and Naankuse Lodge)
We had a wonderful trip to Africa and want to thank you for all your help getting us there. John loved the sanctuary and I felt very privileged to be part of the Lifeline Medical Clinic staff.
I want to pat Amanzi on the back. When I was at the Clinic there were 5 other volunteers there. All of the other volunteer stays had been organized by different travel companies. I was the only one from Amanzi. While there we compared notes about each travel company and Amanzi far out shone the other organizations. The information I was given in preparation for my trip was outstanding. The others were very lost. They hadn't packed properly, didn't know about currencies, electricity, climate, housing or what to do in an emergency. Thank you!!
Lynda and John, Canada, aged 34 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)
My experience at the Bushman Rural Medical Clinic was one of a life time. Both the Bushman Clinic and the wildlife experience is something I will talk about forever. I think it is important for volunteers to share with the rest of the world, to raise awareness of our beautiful planet and the beautiful people who devote their lives to humanity and ecology.
Lucy, Canada, aged (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic)
The month I spent in Namibia was the single most rewarding activity that I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. This project combines the wonders of African wildlife with the experiences of both ends of the Namibian medical situation. I worked closely with Dr Rudie van Vuuren in his Windhoek clinic, driving every morning through the gorgeous rolling scrub of the Khomas region into the capitol. My time in this clinic gave me an insight into how medicine is practised in the richer more privileged areas of Namibia. It also gave me the opportunity to develop clinical skills that proved vital in the Bushman clinic. On several occasions I was able to observe minor surgeries, one of these held in the Windhoek state hospital that showed me how basic facilities can be and how ungrateful and lucky we are in this country.
After learning enough to be able to help the staff of the bushman lifeline clinic I was driven north to Gobabis, which has the closest hospital to the clinic, and then on to Post 3 or Epikuru. The lifeline clinic lies within a chain link compound along with the accommodation for the sister and volunteers. Whilst in the bush I was lucky enough to be there with a Namibian medical student, Steven, this made translation easier but still tricky at times. Most Herero can speak English but a lot speak Afrikaans and the bushman tend only to speak their native language, luckily a local girl, Natalia, translates. Most cases in the clinic are infections (urinary/respiratory) for which there are antibiotics to treat them. There is a large problem with alcohol in the underprivileged peoples in Namibia, which can be so bad that patients will sell their medication to get a drink. An effect of this aside from the obvious is that it is not uncommon for Bushmen to brew their own alcohol, which is so strong and drunk so regularly that it inflames the optic nerves and causes blindness. Treatments for liver conditions and sight impairments caused by alcohol are not available in the bush however educating the locals could prevent the damage in the first place.
We also got involved in some outreach work in going around the Bushman dwellings, hammered flat tins and corrugated iron if they weren't just a tarpaulin over some branches. Whilst giving out de-worming medication with the help of Simone (bushman handy-man for the clinic) we were lucky enough to come across a homeless mother and her very sick child. After much convincing she agreed to bring the child to the clinic. As soon as they arrived it was clear that the child has severe pneumonia and he quickly lost consciousness, as no IV antibiotics were available he had to be fed and treated via a nasogastric tube for several hours before we could arrange transport to Gobabis and a Hospital.
On one occasion, a Sunday when the clinic is usually closed, as Steven and I were returning form the local shop there was a Herero woman sitting by the gate of the compound. As we approached she started speaking Afrikaans and begging. Steven quickly told me that she wanted us to go and see her uncle who was in agonising pain in his back, knees, feet and hands, he could not move because of it. Five minutes later we were driving though Epikuru with some hastily gathered supplies, all the basics and a shot of diclofenac thanks to Steven’s foresight, the Herero woman directing. We arrived at the stone cube that was their home and went inside. Between two blankets on a cold stone floor was a frail old man curled into a ball. After some very slow and painful movements he produced a key from under a blanket and opened a small chest, inside was his previous medical information on a small battered card. After an examination diclofenac was given and we asked him please come to the clinic tomorrow. Honestly I thought that the next day we would be driving back to the house and examining the same immobile ball of pain and misery that we had tried to help that day. But the next day, after walking across the sandy compound to the clinic in the blazing morning sun coffee in hand, there he was walking through the door a different man. One injection had turned a shadow of a human into the person he had been and with a few pills he could continue to live normally.
When it was time to leave Epikuru I was of course sad, however I knew I would be coming back…
I spent the last days in Namibia at the Wildlife Sanctuary fully involved in the wildlife project that is being undertaken there. This was the perfect way to end the adventure, bottle feeding baboons, grooming cheetahs, feeding lions and leopards and sitting round a fire pit with some of most interesting people I have ever met.
Andrew, UK, aged 19 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic)
...was very glad I went because I ended up teaching the children for 2 weeks which was a wonderful experience and definitely of value as it prompted the Bushmen to set up their own kindergarten after I left. The farm was wonderful and there was always something that needed doing.
Amanzi is obviously a well run company and has a brilliant choice of projects...
Bryony, UK, aged 20 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)
My trip was amazing! I had a wonderful experience and would love to go back in the future.
I spent 2 weeks in a small town working at the Lifeline Clinic for the very poor and neglected Bushman people. During my time there, I helped provide basic treatment for patients that came to the clinic as well as spent a lot of time with the Bushman people in the community. I especially enjoyed playing with the Bushman kids. Hopefully I brightened their lives as much as they did for me. Spending time with them and seeing their smiling faces despite the conditions they live in made me greatly appreciate the life I have.
I spent the rest of my time working in a clinic in the city of Windhoek with Dr Rudie van Vuuren. During this time I learned a lot about basic medicine. As a future medical student, I was glad to get a chance to take patient histories as well as administer injections and draw blood. I was also lucky enough to observe one of Dr V’s surgeries and I spent a night at one of the local hospitals in the maternity ward watching deliveries. Dr V was an excellent teacher and an amazing person in general. I learned a lot and it was very satisfying to help the people in any way I could.
During my time at Namibia Sanctuary I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. There were many other volunteers that I worked with and I made many new friends. When I first arrived I thought 4 weeks would be a long time but it went by way too fast. I wish I could have stayed longer! All in all this was probably the best trip I have ever been on.
I recommend this trip to anybody who loves animals or would like to get involved in medical volunteering and learn from a great doctor.
Mark, USA, aged 21 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)
The volunteer projects were amazing and I learned so much both at the clinic and the wildlife sanctuary. I believe what is being done through this volunteer programme is very valuable to both the volunteers and for the surrounding community (both wildlife and people).
Michelle, USA, aged 20 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic)
Wildlife and research in Gorisas NamibRand was awesome. Cila was a very enthusiastic and infectious coordinator who is obviously passionate about her work. The wildlife staff were also incredibly helpful and are what makes the programs successful.
I was very impressed with the projects and the information provided by Amanzi. There were no surprises and I know exactly what to expect. The projects are well structured and I had an amazing experience. Amanzi was also very helpful with booking post project travel for me which made my whole holiday stress free and very enjoyable. I would definitely book another project with Amanzi.
Kathryn, Canada, aged 47 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)
Our trip was SO wonderful. We definitely enjoyed every minute of it! Have no expectations for the projects, because they will all be a million times better! While you’re there, a dream will come true!
Saskia, Holland, aged 26 (Medical Volunteer at Namibia Lifeline Clinic, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)