Volunteering at a Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary

Ella with Cheetah at Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary Namibia

I visited the African continent for the first time in 2012 as part of a school trip which involved wild camping in the Zambian wilderness. I enjoyed myself so much that the first thing I did when I returned home was research potential trips back to Africa for the following summer.

I stumbled across the opportunity to volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia for 2-weeks. The experience promised to be hands-on one with close contact with some of my favourite animals including lions, leopards and cheetahs. Next thing I knew, it was all booked.

But there was one thing about this trip that terrified me. I was going totally solo.

I knew that none of my friends would have been interested in coming and I wasn't prepared to miss out on this experience as a result so I took the plunge and booked a solo-trip to sub-saharan Africa.

Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Namibia.

Below is a chronological list of all my blog posts from this trip.

Arriving at N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary

After 3 plane journeys and over a day's worth of travelling, I finally arrived in Namibia. Since visiting Africa last year, in 2012, I had been determined to go back. In fact, as soon as I got back from Zambia last year, I almost immediately booked my trip to Namibia. Namibia was my first solo… Read More

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Taking a Caracal for a Walk

I awoke to my third day in Namibia, again at 6.30. It's not so bad getting up early when you know the day ahead of you is going to be an adventure. I got up and headed down to the volunteer base area where I have my morning cup of tea and some breakfast. I… Read More

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Orphaned Caracal Cub Arrives

On the evening after my caracal walk, I got to meet another caracal. A tiny caracal cub had been rescued. I assume the mother had been killed and the poor defenceless cub was left an orphan. The cub was so young, it hadn't even opened its eyes. A few of us volunteers were fortunate enough… Read More

Meeting African Wild Dogs

It was Friday, the last working day of the week. As I ate breakfast, I was thrilled to discover that I had two very exciting activities lined up for the day. The first of which was patrolling the enclosures of some of the key animals in the reserve: the African Wild Dogs and Lucky, the… Read More

Friday, 2 August 2013

Feeding Cheetahs & Leopards

After getting to know the African wild dogs and Lucky the three-legged cheetah that morning, it was time to get to know some of the reserve's other rescues. This included over 12 cheetahs, another wild dog and a leopard. They were all due their daily feeding and I was going to be taking part in… Read More

Into the Lion’s Den (Literally)

Saturdays are a day off from the daily routine, where we participate in a completely different activity. Today's activity was cleaning out the lion's enclosure. To do this, Meatball and Goballina (the two lions) had to be sedated. As you can expect, it's not safe to tidy up a lion's habitat whilst the lions are… Read More

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Meeting Samira the Cheetah

It was in my second week at N/a'an ku sê that I had the luxury of meeting Samira. During one of our research tasks, we had to take paw-prints from Samira so that they could be put on the sanctuary's database. Each cat leaves unique paw-prints in the earth that can be used to identify… Read More

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Looking After a Baby Baboon For the Night

Baboons were one of the key animals at the wildlife sanctuary and they were there in abundance. Unfortunately, mother baboons are shot frequently by farmers and their orphaned offspring are then rescued. The baboons then go through several stages and become part of a troop at the sanctuary. The first stage is the baby stage,… Read More

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

My Last Week in Namibia

During my last week, I took part on many exciting activities such as: game count, research and being in a hide and watching animals come and go to a waterhole. On my last day of activities (Friday), I could choose to do whatever two activities that I wanted. I decided to go on a caracal… Read More

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Bushman Village

On my second and final Saturday at N/a'an ku sê, we went to the Bushman Village. The Bushman Village was a new addition to the reserve. The Bushman Village is known as the Ancient San Skills Academy, which is a traditional San Village that San Bushmen base themselves at for various periods of time. The… Read More

Sunday, 11 August 2013