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Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

Near Windhoek, Namibia
from £525 (1 week)

Ref: AV040

A wonderful opportunity to volunteer with wildlife and big cats on this internationally renowned wildlife conservation project in the breath-taking Khomas region of Namibia. This unique programme combines the chance to teach some of the children of Namibia who are most in need of education with the opportunity to work - hands on - with the animals who come to the Naankuse Sanctuary in need of rescue, care and rehabilitation.  Volunteers of all nationalities work together and although no experience is necessary, they all share a desire to improve the lives of the children and the wildlife in this beautiful African country.

Who can join: 18 years and over and families 6 years and above
Accommodation: Dedicated rooms or walk-in style tents
Transfer time: approx. 45 minutes
Pick up Point: Windhoek airport or Windhoek city
Meals: Meals included
Volunteer numbers: approx. 35 volunteers

Duration & Fees

1 week£525
2 weeks£845
3 weeks£1,195
4 weeks£1,585
5 weeks£2,055
6 weeks£2,395
7 weeks£2,735
8 weeks£2,985
10 weeks£3,561
9 weeks£3,595
11 weeks£3,855
12 weeks£4,195

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Start Dates

Volunteers can join on any day throughout the year and there are inclusive transfers from Windhoek Airport.

This project is open over Christmas and New Year.


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

What's Included

  • A contribution to the project itself including funding for items such as building materials, food, medications
  • Transfers to and from the Windhoek International Airport
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers for the duration of your project
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated above
  • Laundry

What's not included

  • Return flights to Windhoek International Airport
  • Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas (if required) 
  • Use of internet and telephone
  • Soft drinks, wines and spirits

This project provides a wonderful opportunity to combine working with children at the Bushman school, with helping out at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, caring for the animals. Volunteers are able to experience the African wilderness with the knowledge that they are contributing to the conservation of both the people and the animals in the area.

Volunteers will be asked on arrival to split their time between the two projects  Volunteers can join for 2 weeks or more and will be allocated to the teaching project or wildlife care and conservation project for one week blocks.  However, we do ask volunteers to be as flexible as possible as they may be required to help out wherever there is the greatest need at the time. 

While volunteers are working at the school they will be assisting the teacher at the Clever Cubs school which opened in the grounds of the Wildlife Sanctuary in November 2009.  The school provides free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work at the Sanctuary and who would not otherwise have access to education.  There are approximately 25 children attending the school, with ages ranging from 1 - 7 years old.

Time spent working with the wildlife conservation volunteers will include looking after the animals in the Sanctuary including cheetahs, wild dogs, baboons, lions, meerkats and leopards.  Volunteers are an important resource in caring for and feeding the animals on a daily basis.

Assisting at the Bushman School

Volunteers will spend their time assisting the teacher in the San Bushman school in the grounds of the Sanctuary.  The mornings are spent assisting with teaching two groups in the pre-primary class (3 - 6 years).  There is also a nursery class for the under threes run by the nursery assistant.  Subjects taught include English, numeracy, arts and crafts and care of the environment as well as games and physical activities.  The afternoons are spent helping the older children, who return from their schools in Windhoek, in improving their English and with any homework they may have. The main language spoken by the children is Bushman 'click' dialect, but some speak Afrikaans and their English is developing.  Volunteers will have the opportunity to use their initiative and any creative talents they have to improve the education provided and help the development of the school.  Fun activities can be planned for the weekends 

Wildlife Conservation 

The Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary was established many years ago to protect and conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat. Animals come to the Sanctuary from all over Namibia and the aim is to heal and rehabilitate them and where possible to release them back into the wild where they can be free to live a natural life.  Sometimes, for various reasons, animals cannot be released - perhaps because their injury is too extensive or because their contact with humans could put them at risk.  The Sanctuary aims to provide a lifelong sanctuary for such animals.

The Sanctuary, situated in a 3,200 hectare game reserve within striking distance of Windhoek, is set in the majestic savanna of the region with areas of vegetation extending up to a beautiful mountain backdrop. The Otjihase River cuts through the land in the summer months and giraffe, zebra, ostrich, hartebeest, springbok, warthog and occasional cheetah and leopard roam freely across the land.

The resident wildlife at any time will vary but could include carnivores such as wild dogs, lions, lepard, 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. 

Activities at the Sanctuary are planned on a rotational basis so that everyone has the chance to get involved in all of the experiences available.  Possible activities could include:

  • food preparation and feeding the wildlife and farm animals
  • cleaning and maintaining the animal enclosures
  • providing enrichment for the animals - interacting with them, walking out into the bush or perhaps planning special activities for them
  • helping to build new facilities
  • research projects - perhaps monitoring free-ranging carnivores in the area and surrounding farms to help in the Sanctuary's role in conserving threatened species.  To achieve this it is vital that human-wildlife conflict is reduced and this is done through research, relationship-building, improved livestock protection and co-operation ith farmers to reduce their reasons for persecuting the predators
  • tracking and monitoring carnivores (and snakes) around the Sanctuary, horseback riding and game counts in the bush
  • assisting with any new projects that arise at the Sanctuary


Volunteers are split into working groups to ensure variety when carrying out duties which rotate daily.

Clever Cubs Timetable:

7am Breakfast
8am Meeting with volunteer co-ordinator to plan the day's activities
9am Assisting with teaching the pre-primary school children
10am   Assisting the children with break time play
10.30am        Activities such as singing, dancing, story telling
11 am            Helping to give the children their lunch
11.30am   Assisting with break time play
12 pm Pre-primary school finishes - help with planning lessons for tomorrow or join Wildlife volunteers
1.00 pm Lunch and free time for Volunteers
2.30 pm Help the older children with homework and learning English
5.30 pm Dinner and free time

Wildlife Conservation Timetable:

7am Breakfast
8am Morning meeting with volunteer co-ordinator to plan the day's activities
8am Morning activity 1 - varies daily
10am Tea break - depending on activity
10.45am   Morning activity 2 - varies daily
1pm Lunch and free time
2.30pm Afternoon activities - varies daily
5.00pm Educational Talk
5.30pm Dinner and free time

Volunteers should be prepared for the daily schedule to change at short notice to meet the needs of the children, the animals and the project and be ready to take on any tasks that may be required of them.

A guide to School Term Times

First Term Mid January - End March
Second Term End May - Mid August
Third Term End August - Start December

Free Time and Optional Excursions

Volunteers work a half day on Saturdays and are also free to rest and relax on Sundays once the animals have been fed. There is usually a Saturday activity that could be a nature walk across the farm, swimming in the pool or playing football or paintball.  Evenings are mainly spent socialising around the braai (barbecue) and are a time to relax together - perhaps with a sun-downer.   There may be the option on Sundays for a trip to Windhoek or perhaps spending the day relaxing at the luxury lodge with a tasty lunch!  There may also be a chance to visit the Ancient San Skills Academy to learn about signs and tracks of the veldt, fire making with traditional San fire sticks, making bows and arrows, jewellery and craft making and hunting in the traditional San way.   All activities are optional and there may be a small extra charge for some activities.

Another option is to add on a short tour to your volunteer project and see more of Namibia before going home.  Namibia is a beautiful country with changing landscapes and it is possible to join a safari to the Etosha National Park, visit the coastal town of Swakopmund or even sandboard on the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei.  Amanzi Travel can suggest many further options and can offer help with arranging such a trip.

Volunteering in Luxury

For those wanting to volunteer in style, it is possible to join this volunteer project and stay in the luxury lodge on site.  Breakfast and lunch will be taken with the all the volunteers but dinner will be up at the luxury lodge.  Check out the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary Luxury Lodge.

Please contact Amanzi Travel for the price of volunteering at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary with accommodation at the luxury lodge.

A little bit of luxury?

Have you thought about treating yourself to a night or two of luxury at the end of your project?  This is the perfect haven to unwind and indulge yourself before heading home. Take a look at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary Luxury Lodge to see if you're tempted.

Getting There

Volunteers should fly into Windhoek International Airport where they will be met on arrival and transferred to the project (approximately 45 minutes).  Volunteers can be taken back to the airport for their departure flight or into Windhoek Town if they are joining another trip with Amanzi Travel or have onward travel plans.  Volunteers should aim to arrive on a Monday or Thursday when transfers are included.  A small charge is made for transfers for volunteers who arrive on non-transfer days. 

Amanzi Travel holds an ATOL licence and we can arrange any flight requirements that you have upon 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.  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. 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.

Near Windhoek, Namibia, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife VolunteerNear Windhoek, Namibia, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife VolunteerNear Windhoek, Namibia, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife VolunteerNear Windhoek, Namibia, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife VolunteerNear Windhoek, Namibia, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife VolunteerThe sanctuary offers two clean and comfortable accommodation options:  volunteer rooms shared by up to three people (single sex) or large tents with a living and bedroom area which are shared by up to three people.  Twin tents are also available for couples or friends. The rooms are basic but the beds are comfortable and bedding (duvets and pillows) are provided.  There are communal showers and toilet facilities with hot water supplied by solar energy which is sometimes restricted. A few of the tents have basic en-suite facilities at the back of the tent. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.  

Depending on availability we may be able to offer one of the tents on a single occupancy basis for those who would like private accommodation on their own. There is a small additional fee for this.  To find out more please contact

Three balanced meals are provided each day on a self-serve basis. At weekends there is often a braai (barbecue).  Vegetarian options are available on request. Breakfast typically consists of cereals and toast, lunch is typically pasta, stir-fry, burgers or wraps and there is a cooked evening meal - with meat or fish, vegetables and potatoes, pasta or rice.

Volunteers with special dietary needs should ensure they include these on their applicaiton form when booking or contact Amanzi Travel before they travel.

Click here to view the full interactive mapNamibia 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) 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

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

From booking to actually going to Namibia, the entire experience was amazing and we couldn’t have done it without the support from Gemma and Amanzi travel who ensured that they we were prepared and comfortable for the trip. It’s been two of the best weeks of my life and I can’t wait to go again, hopefully for longer!

Ciara, UK, aged 18 (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer, Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

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

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

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)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

The best experience of my life. It's amazing to be so close to wildlife that you wouldn't usually be able to interact with, and each day is so varied - 2 weeks wasn't long enough!  

All of the coordinators are lovely, and the volunteers are very like-minded people, which makes them very easy to get along with! The only thing is that if you wanted to work at the school everyday, you do have to miss out on your group's activities, and sometimes it's not possible to avoid the group activity, but I personally found that I needed the two weeks to experience all of the activities, and only did one morning and one afternoon at the school because the activities were so good! I'd recommend it to anyone who loves animals!

This project is very important - we experienced it first-hand when we had to rush out to Windhoek one morning to respond to an emergency call about a baby cheetah in someone's back garden! The Sanctuary is doing a great job of establishing itself as a friend to the farmers and communities, as well as to the wildlife.

Katy, Wales, aged 18 (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

I had a fantastic two weeks in Namibia as a teaching and wildlife volunteer, as I felt as if I had the opportunity to participate in all of the wildlife activities, whilst interacting with the children and teacher in the stimulating and energetic classroom too. I particularly enjoyed the "ancient skills" workshop where we met the San Bushmen and learned about their culture. 

I felt as if the project is very valuable for the San Bushmen, as it provides them with jobs, food, education and shelter. Also, it is very useful for preserving and protecting local wildlife such as cheetahs and leopards.

Alice, aged 18, Wales (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

Had a fantastic time in Africa. Thank you for all your hard work in organising my adventure. It has certainly been a trip of a lifetime and a life changing experience. Will look through my many photos and send some in the near future.

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A trip to volunteer in Africa should be on everones to do list. It is an extremely rewarding and fullfilling experience. Amanzi Travel took the time to ensure that I was placed in the right projects to suit my needs and requirements. You need to approach volunteering with an open mind but the more you put into a project the more you get out off it. i was well looked after on all my projects from the pick up at the airports right through to the end. Everyone was extremely friendly. The only down side was having to leave Africa. i certainly did not want to come home. Volunteering in Africa has certainly been a life changing experince and one I would recommend to anyone.

Alexandra, UK, aged 36 (Zambia Lion Conservation and Community, Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer, Zambia Teaching Volunteer, Askari Wildlife Conservation Volunteer)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

I had an amazing time at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary Teaching Project. The Clever Cubs School with only two classrooms is one of the smallest schools i've ever seen. The school's budget is tiny compared to that of developed normal schools - but the Namibian teacher Hilma was so creative in teaching the Bushman kids. I assisted her in teaching the children English, first steps in Mathematics, reading and much more.

But I also got the whole experience of African Wildlife. Half of the day I worked in the Wildlife Volunteer programme. First time in my life I got that close to all these beautiful animals like cheetahs, baboons, wild dogs and leopards. The Teaching and Wildlife programme was a perfect mixture and I will definitely come back some day.

Amy,UK (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

We had an amazing time in Namibia! It was great to hear from the staff how important our work as volunteers really was.

Lovisa, Sweden, aged 19 (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer)

Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer

Had a fantastic time… everyone so friendly, and it was amazing to get close to the animals, cheetahs in particular.

Ann, UK, aged 63 (Naankuse Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer)

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