This internship offers a rare opportunity to gain experience in 3 integral areas of wildlife conservation: rewilding, reserve management, and permaculture. You will become part of our expedition management team who host adventure-conservation expeditions that make up the business branch of the Oana Nature Reserve and funds the reserve management. You will join the reserve management team and gain first hand experience in reserve management and rewilding and also get involved in permaculture and sustainability projects. When possible, you will also get a chance to join the Oana Community Trust management team. This is the non-profit branch that engages with the local Nama community and community-owned conservancies of the Namibian Deep South.
AS AN INTERN, YOU WILL GET TO:
- Assist in carrying out wildlife research projects involving camera trapping, small mammal trapping, horned adder VHF tracking, brown hyena and leopard research, game counts, endemic Hartmann’s mountain zebra, mist netting for birds, burrowing ecosystem engineers, and apex predators
- Participate in rewilding when possible. This will involve assisting in the reintroductions of ostrich, meerkat, grey rhebok, cheetah, giraffe, red hartebeest, and blue wildebeest
- Learn about biodiversity surveying and build your knowledge on insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds, and riverine wildlife in a highly understudied part of Africa with potential for new species
- Experience hands on reserve management and rewilding by removing invasive trees and human infrastructure. You will also get involved with the construction of sand dams and wildlife hides and learn how to manage and maintain waterholes, tracks, and fences – a crucial part of reserve management
- Develop sustainable permaculture projects at the camps and learn about existing projects
- Learn how to manage a tented base camp, expedition team, and plan 3-day walking and river rafting expeditions
- Work alongside local Nama employees and learn their unique click language, how to cook traditional Nama food, and other traditional ecological skills
- Assist in managing the expedition’s community projects in the village of Warmbad and meet local communities in the community-owned conservancies while getting involved in the planning and implementation of wildlife and humanitarian projects
- Experience various adventure activities such as a 3-day foot expedition exploring 110,000 acres of African mountains and plains and a 3-day river rafting expedition down the Orange River
- Live in a desert base camp and have exclusive access to the Oana Nature Reserve
About the Destination
Oana Nature Reserve is one of the most spectacular areas in the Namibian Deep South, a region of semi-desert broken up by the Orange River. The reserve extends for over 110,000 acres that includes 31 miles of river frontage. It was established by Ian Craig of Lewa Conservancy in Kenya and Pete Morkel, a renowned wildlife vet, to provide a sanctuary for the critically endangered black rhino and to conserve a unique ecosystem in an area threatened by commercial farming.
The land is an ecotone that hosts the Nama Karoo biome, Succulent Karoo biome, and Namib Desert biome. Only 1% of the Nama Karoo is protected and the Succulent Karoo is one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots on earth. The terrain itself is a chaotic geological fusion of metamorphic and igneous mountain ranges, sandy and gravel plains, seasonal riverbeds, and the Orange River that provides a kaleidoscopic landscape of colour and shapes. It is the ultimate place to escape into nature.
Depending on the schedule for the week, you will be staying in either a tented base camp or the headquarters accommodation. Base camp is a Bedouin style tent with flushing loos, hot showers, and a chef. It is set at the base of our mountains with stunning views over the plains. The headquarters accommodation is a lovely house with flushing loos, hot showers, a self-catering kitchen, and swimming pool. This accommodation makes a nice contrast with the wilder base camp.
Fun & Travel
Desert and River Adventures
Oana Nature Reserve is located in a remote part of Africa where weekend trips are not available. But there are plenty of other activities and experiences that will keep you busy, such as a safari in the north, rafting expeditions, and tracking megafauna such as elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, and zebras in Sandfontein Reserve.
Dates & Rates
Our internship fee includes:
- Accommodation at headquarters and base camp
- 3 meals a day prepared by a local chef at base camp
- Food is provided for you to cook yourself at headquarters
- Upington Airport or Karasburg bus station pick-up and drop-off
- Experienced and trained international and local staff who live alongside you everyday
- Induction, orientation, and training for each project or activity
- All the necessary project equipment
- WiFi (on a voucher-based system)
Our internship fee excludes:
- Travel Insurance (fully comprehensive)
- Visa-related costs (multiple-entry volunteer work visa required)
- Trips and safaris outside Oana Nature Reserve
- Soft drinks and alcohol from base camp bar