Carnivore Conservation

As a wildlife conservation intern, you will be part of an ongoing research program including carnivore tracking in the field, monitoring camera traps, game counts, data collection and some animal husbandry. Field work with carnivores may include cheetahs, leopards and hyenas.

Part of the program will be at a wildlife sanctuary in central Namibia (sw Africa) while the majority of the time will spent at the field monitoring sites in the spectacular desert landscape of the southern Namib. The landscapes vary from savannas, mountains, canyons, grass plains to red sand dunes.  Besides tracking and feeding carnivores on a daily basis, you may also have the opportunity to visit the world famous Sossusvlei dunes.

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Locations

Week 1 – Wildlife Sanctuary in the  savanna ecosystem
The first week will be spent at the Naankuse wildlife sanctuary in central Namibia where interns will work with other volunteers caring for wildlife housed in the sanctuary. Other activities involve setting camera traps and conducting game counts of plains game on the farm. The wildlife sanctuary plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing threatened cats in Namibia to help reduce human-wildlife conflict. Since 2008 they have rescued and safely re-released over 50 cheetah, leopard and brown hyena. Carnivores are re-located to safe conservation areas in the south of Namibia where each animal is fitted with a tracking collar to monitor their welfare.

After the first week in the African bush savanna in central Namibia, interns will be transferred on Saturday to the release sites set in the vicinity of the spectacular Namib Desert. in southern Namibia.

Week 2 – Namib Desert 
Interns have the option of either spending one week at Neuras or one week at Kanaan.

Pro-Namib ecosystem at Neuras
Situated at the edge of the Namib Desert near the Namib Naukluft National Park, the 14,400 ha property consists of open grass plains, speckled with camel thorn trees, rough mountain ranges with stunning mountain features and dry riverbeds. This mountainous study site is perfectly suited for resource assessment studies and camera trap surveys . The property measures 145 km² offering ample opportunity for grid surveys of vegetation and transect game assessments. In addition, the property has a unique hydrology which could be studied, including 5 natural fountains that feed a vineyard and the farm. Here, previously captive-held cheetah were released into a 500 ha soft-release camp to monitor their adaptation to the new environment. Activities include:

  • Cheetah enclosure checks and maintenance
  • Assisting with daily feeding and health assessments of the cheetahs in the enclosure
  • Documenting space use of cheetah housed in the large enclosure
  • VHF telemetry and GPS based tracking of free-ranging large carnivores
  • Game counts (day and night)
  • Setting and monitoring camera traps
  • Species identification and inventory including all taxa of animals and plants
  • Exploration and mapping of the property
  • Removal of alien plant species

Namib Desert at Kanaan
Located at the edge of the Namib Desert, NamibRand Nature Reserve is a visual and biological gemstone. The 224,000 ha reserve is home to an incredible diversity of desert and semi-desert dwelling wildlife and plants and borders both the Namib Naukluft Park as well as the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Here you will experience magnificent vistas and a diverse array of unique landscapes as you track the carnivores across their local habitats which include red sand dunes, open glass plains, and riverines.

Activities are similar than those at Neuras and include among other activities radio tracking of free-ranging carnivores, setting and monitoring of camera traps, and game counts.

Interns return to the wildlife sanctuary on the last Saturday where they will stay one night.

Accommodation and Meals

Two options of accommodation are available at the wildlife sanctuary; volunteer rooms with up to three people (same gender) sharing each room, or large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by up to two people (same gender or a couple). The rooms are basic with comfortable single beds. Bedding is provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy, therefore sometimes restricted. Power sockets (220V) for electrical items are available in communal areas. Accommodation at the study sites in the southern Namib Desert is in tented camps with all the amenities.

Three meals are provided on a help yourself basis – Breakfast includes toast and cereals; Lunch includes pasta, wraps, burgers or stir fry; and Evening Dinners include meat, fish and vegetables with rice, potatoes or pasta. On weekends barbecues are often served.

Duration

This 2 week internship is open throughout the year except for the holiday season around Christmas and New Year. Interns have to book a minimum of 2 weeks and it can be extended up to 3 months.

Note: Interns work in a group at all three sites and throughout the duration of the project.

Arrival and Departure

  • Arrival in Windhoek, Namibia: Each Monday
  • Transfer to the Namib Desert: Saturday at the end of the first week
  • Return to the Naankuse wildlife sanctuary: Saturday afternoon of second week
  • Stay the last night (Saturday) at the wildlife sanctuary
  • Departure: Book your return flight for the Sunday and NOT the Saturday

Application Form

Application Process

  • There is no specific booking date, but full payments need to be made 2 months prior to the commencement of the project.
  • Any person above the age of 18 years is encouraged to apply.
  • Once we have received your booking form you will be pre-booked on the project and be sent a confirmation letter. Our office will also sent you the work visa aplication forms.
  • After receiving the deposit, your place on the project is secured.
  • Eko Tracks will also send you a pre-departure package with information about the passport, flight schedules, vaccinations, and a packing list to assist you in preparing for the trip.

Prices:            No price increase for 2017                        

2 weeks             US$ 1,390
3 weeks             US$ 1,790
4 weeks             US$ 2,190
8 weeks             US$ 3,850
12 weeks           US$ 5,450
Deposit             US$    600
For stays longer than 3 weeks, contact our office.
Outstanding amount is payable 2 months prior to the commencement of the internship.


Prices



Price Includes:

  • Work visa
  • Airport transfers to and from the sanctuary at the start and conclusion of the project
  • Accommodation at all the sites
  • Three meals a day. Meals at the sanctuary are prepared by staff.
  • Transportation on-site
  • Transportation to and from the Namib Desert
  • Project components – orientation and training
  • All activities, game drives and game walks
  • Full time staff members to supervise and support interns
  • Academic supervision and project management
  • Field guides on site
  • Survey equipment, radio telemetry equipment

Price Excludes:

  • International roundtrip airfare to South Africa
  • Compulsory travel, medical and evacuation insurance
  • Immunizations
  • Drinks. These can be bought at the wildlife sanctuary and in towns
  • Communication (phone calls, emails)
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel excursions and adventure activities