Set in the sandy plains of Namibia, this award-winning project aims to preserve the last two populations of African desert elephants. When you are not carrying out activities to help these magnificent creatures, there is plenty of time to socialise with the locals, an exciting chance to learn more about their fascinating culture and way of life. Sleeping under a tarpaulin (and even up a tree at base camp!) means you will be able to view the herd of nearby elephants before falling asleep under the stars. What could be more beautiful than witnessing the sun setting across the breathtakingly beautiful Namibian plains, where elephants roam freely?
Whilst on this project you will be contributing to the conservation of these great giants by undertaking activities such as tracking and monitoring the local herds, constructing wells and other features to provide water, and educating the locals on the importance of protecting elephants. You'll gain valuable knowledge about the behaviour and movement of these wild herds, which can then be used to help increase understanding amongst the local population. As awareness increases, it's hoped that elephant numbers will continue to rise. They say that 'an elephant never forgets' - this project is a sure way to make incredible memories that you will never forget.
What We Love
Discover Your Inner Builder: Get your hands dirty as you carry out important construction work, such as building a wall to protect water sources to help improve the locals’ quality of life
Be an Elephant Tracker: Learn more about Africa’s wildlife as you travel across the desert, tracking and recording the movements of local herds. See what other animals you can discover in this intoxicating wilderness.
Back to School: Travel to different schools to educate the children on the importance of the project and the conservation of elephants in general. Help to inspire a new generation to want to protect this breath-taking environment.
This experience has achieved a Gold World Rating!
This experience delivers a high level of sustainability!
What makes this experience sustainable?
At the start of the 1990s there were fewer than 300 desert elephants remaining in western Namibia. They’ve faced several threats to their existence over the years, including poaching and habitat loss. One key issue is human-elephant conflict; as more people start to live in the areas that the elephants used to roam, elephants are left with less and less space. Elephants can also damage human water sources, making them unpopular with locals. This project educates people on how to live alongside the mammals, helping to improve human-elephant relations. The construction work done on the project benefits both the local people and the elephants by ensuring there is an adequate supply of drinking water, and that the animals are not able to damage essential sources. All of the efforts undertaken on this project will contribute to helping these animals to flourish.
Tracking the local herds ensures that up-to-date records of the elephants are maintained; this data is vital as it can be given to governments to further aid conservation efforts and can identify which areas and farms are most vulnerable to the elephants roaming and consequently require protection. The monitoring work done by volunteers also means that any elephant found with an injury can be quickly and effectively treated – the project gives volunteers hands-on conservation experience, and also makes a valuable contribution to the protection of these incredible creatures.
Arrive in Africa: The adventure begins as you are transferred from the Swakopmund accommodation to base camp. The evening provides a safety briefing and explanation of the work that you will undertake whilst on this project.
Start the Construction: On the second day you will travel to the build-site where you will set up camp, allowing you to become closer to the African wildlife. Whilst here you will complete a range of construction activities over the next few days.
Explore Base Camp: Today you will return to base camp where you can take it easy and go for a stroll around camp to explore the natural surrounding area.
Free Day: Take a trip to the local town with the staff to explore a local supermarket and enjoy the comforts of an internet lodge, pool and restaurant - a nice luxury after all your hard work! In the evening you will be briefed on the elephant conservation patrol work which is to follow.
Track Elephant Herds: This is your chance to get up-close to these magnificent mammals as you carry out patrols and track the local herds, whilst recording the data found and contributing to the continued conservation of these elephants.
Final Day: This is your last day! Say 'farewell' to your group before being transferred back to Swakopmund. From here, you'll either head back home or continue travelling independently.
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- A monetary contribution to the project itself
- Full orientation and support from the project managers
- Three meals a day
- Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
- Visas if required
- Transfers to and from the airport
- Soft drinks, wines and spirits
- Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary
- Accommodation in Swakopmund the day before your project starts
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat directly to the operator!
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to enquire about full project dates, availability and costs
- To secure a place on this project a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.