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, hyenas, African wild dogs and also elephants.

Interns will spent time at the field monitoring sites in the spectacular desert landscape of the southern Namib, the mountainous area near the Naukluft Park or the woodlands of northern Namibia.  Besides tracking and monitoring carnivores and elephants, you may also have the opportunity to visit the world famous Sossusvlei dunes.

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Locations

Pro-Namib ecosystem at Neuras (south)
Situated at the edge of the southern Namib Desert near the Namib Naukluft National Park, the 14,400 ha property consists of open grass plains, rough mountain ranges with stunning mountain features and dry riverbeds. There are 5 natural springs that feed a vineyard and the farm. This mountainous study site offers opportunity for grid surveys of vegetation and transect game assessments.  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
  • Removal of alien plant species

Namib Desert at Kanaan (south)
Located at the edge of the southern 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.

Woodlands at Mangetti (north)

The Mangetti Complex comprises two main areas; the government owned Kavango Cattle Ranch and the nearby Mangetti National Park. In total the area comprises more than 2,000 km² of dense north-eastern Kalahari woodlands and mixed acacia savanna.

The goal of this ongoing program in the Mangetti Complex, northern Namibia, is to understand the causes of conflict between the African wilddogs and elephants, and the local people. Interns will assist the researchers in documenting the movements and activities of these two species, using GPS and VHF monitoring technology, motion-sensitive trail cameras and traditional tracking methods.

Wildlife Sanctuary in the  savanna ecosystem (central)
The wildlife sanctuary in central Namibia plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing wildlife species to help reduce human-wildlife conflict. Since 2008 the sanctuary has 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. Activities at the sanctuary involve animal care such as feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, taking baboons on walks, and maintaining enclosure structures.

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 at the Hosea Kutako Airport, Windhoek on a Monday when you will be transferred to the nearby wildlife sanctuary
  • Kanaan:  Saturday – Saturday
    Neuras:  Saturday – Saturday
    Mangetti:  Wednesday – Wednesday
  • Interns have the option of spending one or two weeks at any one of the sites.
  • This means you will spend a few days at the wildlife sanctuary in between transfers to the other research sites.
  • Interns return to the wildlife sanctuary on the last day where they will stay for one night.
  • Departure: Book your return flight for the day after your return to the wildlife sanctuary

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.

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