Volunteer Overview

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So much more than just a volunteer experience!

It is your chance to provide change!

Why not turn your holiday into a true adventure! Get your hands dirty and dive into an exciting volunteering programme where your day starts with the roar of a lion and ends with new found friends sitting around an open fire.

Naankuse is one of those places where some people grow in mind, heart, and soul and just plain find themselves. They find their family, their friends, their home and their future here. Many staff members were once volunteers who couldn’t quite bring themselves to leave. Many volunteers come back time after time to be together with the animals and people they fell in love with. We’d love to add you to that legacy.

We provide 2 weeks to 3 month opportunities for volunteers from around the world to have a life changing experience through our various volunteering programmes, striving to make a difference for conversation in Namibia.

Email us for more information about any of our volunteering opportunities or make a provisional booking
Volunteering opportunities

With the help of our dedicated volunteers and staff, the Naankuse Foundation works tirelessly to protect Namibia’s ancient cultures, majestic landscapes and its incredible wildlife. To do this, we undertake projects in five different sites around the country.

Wildlife Volunteering
Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteering

Originating as a small wildlife sanctuary nestled in the Namibian bush, just 45km from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, the Naankuse Foundation Wildlife Sanctuary has grown into a world-famous conservation organisation. We provide a safe haven and second chance for countless injured, orphaned and conflict animals. Whenever possible our goal is to release animals back into the wild – only those animals too ill, abused or habituated remain at the sanctuary. Our volunteers are critical to enabling us to continue caring for the animals at Naankuse.

Research Volunteering – at Neuras

Set among the stunning scenery of the Southern mountains, ancient canyons and caves, fascinating geological formations and five natural fountains, Neuras is truly a unique research site and is home to one of Naankuse’s carnivore research programmes – in addition to being one of only three wineries in Namibia. Focus areas are Leopard Research, Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation and assisting with the winery.

Research Volunteering – at Kanaan

Approximately 2-3 hours further southwest of Neuras and bordering the Namib Naukluft Park lies Naankuse’s Kanaan Desert Retreat. Red sand dunes, vast open grass plains and imposing mountain ranges make up the serene surroundings of Kanaan. Home to cheetah, brown hyena, spotted hyena, leopard and an array of other desert-adapted wildlife, Kanaan encompasses 352 km2 of desert scenery in which volunteers will get involved in vital research and conservation. Focus areas are Spotted Hyena Research, Small Carnivore Research (Caracal and Black-backed Jackal) – new projects starting soon as well as Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation

Research Volunteering – at Mangetti

Our Mangetti Elephant & Wild Dog Research Project is located east of Etosha National Park. The project covers an area of approximately 3,000 km² and the focus of our work is to mitigate human-wildlife conflict with Namibian landowners and livestock farmers. Human activities have had a detrimental impact on native wildlife including on two of Africa’s iconic species; the African Painted Dog (or wild dog) and the African Elephant, both of which have endured decades of suffering through habitat fragmentation, hunting, and persecution.

Researchers from N/a’an ku sê work in the Mangetti Complex, northern Namibia, to protect wild populations of African wild dogs and elephants, to understand better the levels and causes of conflict between these two species and the local population and implement solutions to mitigate conflict.

Medical Volunteering

The Lifeline Clinic based in Epukiro provides free primary health care services to more than 3,500 patients every year – through both clinic-based healthcare and our outreach around the region. More than 40% of the patients treated there are children and more than 90% are San Bushmen.

A huge focus of our work at the Lifeline Clinic is to tackle the tuberculosis burden within the San population. The clinic is quite literally a lifeline for thousands of San Bushman.

The clinic consists of two doctors, one nurse, one receptionist, and four translators. Medical volunteers are the lifeblood of the Lifeline Clinic. You will be fully immersed in the culture of Epukiro, home to the San Bushmen. Experience day-to-day life and the common struggles faced by the community.

School Volunteering

Through each of our projects, Naankuse provides an important source of employment, accommodation, education, and healthcare to several San Bushmen families. Our aim is to give the next generation of this marginalised community the boost they need to build a brighter and healthier future.

Volunteering at the Clever Cubs School provides a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the local San Bushman children, whilst surrounded by Namibia’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Located at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, the Clever Cubs School co-exists with nature. Clever Cubs is truly a place where wildlife and communities come together.

All funds from our volunteer programmes are ploughed back into our various projects, enabling the N/a’an ku sê Foundation to grow and become even more successful in achieving its vision.

So click on the below and discover the life-changing opportunities waiting for you…

Wildlife Conservation Volunteer

Embark with Naankuse on a conservation adventure!

Medical / Health Volunteer

Being a Naankuse Medical Volunteer is so much more than just being a medic.

Volunteers Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteer’s testimonials

“While at Naankuse, time stands still. All the stresses associated with the outside world and daily home life are left behind. The work is physically exhausting but not emotionally draining in any way. We looked forward to evening visits with all the volunteers. Staff worked tirelessly to ensure our days were packed full of educational, hands on experiences. The animals in their care were well loved and it was evident that the goal was to care for and hopefully return as many animals as possible to their natural home. We would love to return one day and can guarantee that both your time and money are well spent on Naankuse.”
Naomi H. ,Canada October 2018

“We had a great time Naankuse. We found the food at the Sanctuary to be top notch for breakfast & dinner. We had some of our best meals in Namibia here. (I am vegetarian and both the starters & main courses for dinner were very elaborate vegetarian dishes & delicious!. Lunch, however, was the standard option with the meat removed). We were in hut #2 and found the rooms quite comfortable and loved the electric blanket and robes. Anonymous.2018 Orbitz.com

I went to N/a’n ku se from 30th July to 20th August. Being an older volunteer I was at first concerned that I would be ‘too old’ to fit in with the generally youthful volunteers. Well my fears were unfounded as I simply had the most wonderful experience there. Firstly let me thank Cila and all the coordinators for their unwavering devotion to the cause and dedication to the volunteers experience. Tripadvisor

“It is very difficult to scribble a quick review on how fantastic the Naankuse Foundation is. To me, Naankuse is like my second home that I wish to permanently live in. The continuous positive atmosphere and drive between staff and volunteers to conserve and protect the unique Namibian wildlife, environment and the local people is second to none. Aside from the conservation efforts, the fun, friendship, memories and skills that you gain are unforgettable. Whether you wish to visit for a gap year, gain experience or whatever your reason may be, I can guarantee you will not be disappointed. The money received from volunteers and donations is so dearly valued and put to great use. This is clearly seen once you have endured the Naankuse experience. I cannot wait to come back home next year for the 3rd time, I have severe baboon withdrawal symptoms!
Julieanne Q., Ireland, April 2017

We stayed at Naankuse Lodge and Sanctuary for one night at the end of our trip as it was convenient for the airport (about 30-45 minutes). It is a not-for-profit organisation, with all money raised going back into various community and animal welfare projects. The accommodation was nice enough (the room could have had some convenient furniture such as drawers, and fewer toe stubbing hazards!), but a pleasant surprise was the range of activities on offer. We went on the “Carnivore Feeding Tour” – this was excellent. Do it! Our guide was great too. Nice food too.Ebookers.com

There are many good conservation programs that do good for animals in Africa and THEN there is Naankuse which is simply GREAT. Naankuse, its staff, and volunteers are purely dedicated to preserving and protecting the animals of Namibia and beyond! Naankuse does far more than animal care and conservation. Through working with people, they aim to improve human v. animal conflict so that the beautiful and majestic animals of Africa can remain where they belong, wild and free in the veldt. As a volunteer at Naankuse, I truly gained a detailed working knowledge of the animals that we cared for and a love for conserving them for future generations.”
Adam R., USA, December 2015

“Come toNaankuse and Neuras and Kanaan to volunteer and I guarantee you will never want to go on a conventional holiday again. Ideal for the single traveler wanting to meet new friends and do something completely different.”
Chris C., UK, November 2015

Fund Meaningful Travel Experiences

Got an exciting plan for your trip but financially road blocks are in the way?

If you are ready to start planning your trip but discouraged by a financial roadblock, Naankuse has another solution for you. We have teamed up with FundMyTravel, who provides us with an online platform where you can fundraise for your meaningful travel experience. You create a campaign page, complete a brief profile to build trust, add a video and tell your story! 

FundMyTravel has a team of dedicated staff that will help participants reach their fundraising goals. They can provide tips and insights on the best ways to spread your word and offer sharing tools to get your