Join this pioneering wildlife conservation initiative with Oana Namibia and help turn old withered land into a place where endangered species can thrive once again. This expedition combines cutting edge conservation techniques, community development, and adventure in a true desert wilderness that offers extensive opportunities for scientific and field research. This is the ultimate opportunity to experience the real wild side of Africa, where anything can happen.
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Transform ailing land into a refuge for critically endangered wildlife such as the Black Rhino and other vulnerable and endangered species
- Contribute to long-term sustainability by removing fences and other infrastructure so animals can roam freely and the grass and flora has a chance to regenerate
- Help fix water points and build sand dams that will provide a year-round supply of water for wildlife and encourage the growth of plant life
- Visit a local community outside of the reserve and spend time hanging out with locals
- Eradicate invasive plant species so native plants and birds can return and flourish once again
- Track and monitor some of the most elusive animals in Africa on day and night safaris
- Embark on an unforgettable 4-day rafting trip down the Orange River
You will be staying in a Bedouin style tented camp in the Oana Flora and Fauna Conservancy, a private nature reserve where the semi-arid desert of the Nama Karoo meets the succulent Karoo biome. The reserve is situated on the Kum Kum plain near the Namibia / South Africa border and encompasses 30 miles of the Orange River, one of the longest rivers on the African continent.
The Oana reserve stretches across over 100,000 acres of mountainous terrain that is home to unique plants such as the Quiver tree and animals such as the African leopards, caracals, honey badgers, Namaqua chameleons, and African black eagles. Surrounded by spectacular quartz and volcanic mountains and the wide-open skies, you will experience a true desert wilderness.
There are three different accommodation tents at base camp and a main ‘hang out’ tent. The accommodation tents are safari style tents with comfortable beds and the main tent has a dining area, fully stocked bar, library, sofa, and plenty of cushions. The bathrooms have hot showers and flush toilets and electricity is generated through solar power for a real off grid experience.
Work & Impacts
Physical Conservation Work
Oana Namibia aims to transition old farming and trophy hunting land to its natural ecosystem, so physical conservation work is a major part of this expedition. You will get your hands dirty by removing old livestock fences, scrap, and alien plant species. You will also help build sand dams that will ensure a year-round supply of water for wildlife and re-seed the once grassy plains. The physical conservation work you do on this expedition is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the reserve and for creating a healthy refuge for animals to thrive.
Collecting data is a crucial part of conservation work. You will get involved with various aspects of field research such as tracking and monitoring wildlife such as African leopards, conducting biodiversity surveys, counting game, and deploying camera traps. The data that is collected is used for developing strategies and measuring the progress and success of the project. You will also get a unique chance to track nocturnal animals such as brown hyenas, aardvarks, and bat eared foxes on foot beneath the glow of the moon and Milky Way on night safaris.
It’s not all work and no play in Oana. You will get ample opportunities to go biking through the volcanic mountains of Oana, white river rafting down the Orange River, and going on multi-day hikes that take you right into the heart of the surreal Namibian wilderness. A 3-day foot expedition and 4-day rafting expedition are major highlights on this expedition. You will immerse yourself in nature and get to camp out beneath the stars beside the Kum Kum Rapids.
The Finer Details
- Airport pickup and drop-off
- All transport and transfers
- Accommodation for the duration of your trip
- Three meals a day and snacks and beverages
- 4-day rafting trip with Gravity Adventures
- SATIB Evacuation Cover insurance
- Multi-day hike through Oana Nature Reserve
- All conservation and community programs
- Airfare to and from Upington
- Personal travel insurance
- Visas and related costs
- Alcohol and soft drinks from the bar
- Any additional activities and tours
- Personal items such as souvenirs
Why do an expedition with us?
When you travel, there should be no compromises. Even if you have limited time, you should be able to explore while still doing some good in the world. This is what we do. We create volunteer travel expeditions that give you a chance to see all the beauty and wonder of Africa while changing lives.
As the leading volunteer organization in Africa, our mission is to create experiences that make your time here as memorable and unique as possible. Our expeditions are a big part of making that happen. They are the ultimate way to see, do, and achieve so much more during your trip.