Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering Botswana

Species Conservation – Okavango Wildlife Monitoring

Prior to departure to Botswana

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

In order to apply for this project you need to be over 18 and have sufficient English skills to follow the course contents and consider a stay of at least four weeks. We need a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness, since you will undertake long walks in extreme temperatures. Furthermore, you might need a Visa for your volunteering work. Depending on the duration of your stay and your destination the requirements might vary. You might check out the foreign department’s website for the Visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

What services are included?

We will arrange and organize your spot in the project in Botswana and help you with any kind of problems and questions during your preparation and during the project. Arrival and departure flights are not included. The team in Botswana will pick you up at the airport in Maun and get you to the camp at the Okavango Delta. Food and accommodations are also included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

You will need a travel insurance to start your volunteering work with NATUCATE. We can provide you with all the necessary information. In general you need to talk to your doctor and make sure you are vaccinated against Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella. We advise you to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, Polio and Tetanus. There is also a high Malaria risk in Botswana and you might want to get preventive medicine. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department and inform yourself beforehand about possible risks and how to prevent them. There are plenty of poisonous or dangerous insects and animals in Botswana – a certain kind of attentiveness is advisable.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

You should pack outdoor clothes that are without attracting attention and dark colored (brown, grey, green and khaki). You can expect high temperatures; therefor it is advisable to pack light clothes that cover a lot of skin for the day. For the nighttime longs sleeved shirts and long pants are necessary to protect you from the cooler temperatures and mosquito bites. Furthermore you will need hiking boots, gloves, raining clothes, a headpiece, sunscreen, insect repellent and a water bottle. For your life on the camping sites you will need sufficient camping gear like a sleeping bag, lighter, knife etc.

Arrival in Botswana

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We will support you during your organization and planning process. You will have to book your flight to Maun on your own. It’s easiest to get a ticket to Johannesburg or Gaborone and a connection flight to Maun. The team in Botswana will pick you up from the airport in Maun.

What happens after my arrival?

After you have been collected at the airport, you will spend your first night in Maun bevor you set out for the Okavango Delta the next day. Your accommodation is located in the Khwai Community Concession. During the project the volunteers will drive off-road vehicles to get to their locations.

During the project in Botswana

What is the project’s procedure?

Your day starts when the sun rises. The group will start together and track marks, monitor cameras and observe birds. The team will return to the camp around noon. They will discuss what they have discovered and check the new data. In the afternoon you will prepare collected data. Once it has cooled off a little bit you will set out for another excursion into the bush. You will try to spot animals, eliminate alien plants or go on a patrol. In the late evening you can relax and enjoy your time around the open fire with the other volunteers.

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

Your tasks consist of collecting raw data by spotting nesting sites, monitoring the population of different animals and document their movement patterns. Furthermore you will be involved in in the field of protecting the animals and observe the endangered species. The tasks depend on current needs and problems.

How big is the group?

Generally the group consists of five people to ensure high learn quality and sustainable process within the project.

Life on site in Botswana

What is the accommodation like?

During the project you will spend the nights at the camp in spacious tents for two people. There will be a shared bathroom and a kitchen for free use. You can also find a washing machine on site. There is also some common space for bonfires and other activities.

Is it possible to get placed with a partner or friend?

It is possible to get placed with your friend just let us know when applying.

How is the food provided?

Participants will take turns in cooking and cleaning. All groceries will be provided for the volunteers.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

Yes, it is possible to eat vegetarian during the project. Just let us know about your diet beforehand.

How are working time and free time divided?

There is no strict schedule or time table during the project. You working time will vary depending on the daily needs. Usually you will get up when the sun rises, have a break during midday heat and go back to work in the afternoon. The evening hours are usually off.

How can I spend my free time?

During your free time you can discover the Khwai Community Concession or the Moremi Game Reserve. You also have the opportunity to visit Maun or go on a round trip to see the Okavango Delta or the Chiefs Islands.

Do I have a contact person on site?

On site you will be working with a team of volunteers and project leaders. The supervisors will be e responsible for you and may help you with your problems.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

In general you don’t need a lot of money during the project. You might spend money for additional snacks, beverages or free time activities, as well as extra transfers besides the project. You won’t be able to withdraw cash while you are at the camp. Maun is the closest city so you should get some cash before leaving the city.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

There is no available internet at the camp. Sometimes you get the chance to use internet at some nearby camps or in Maun. You should take your own cell phone or laptop to get connected to the internet.

Is it possible to wash my clothes in the camp?

Yes, in the camp there is a laundry where you can wash your clothes at any time.

Is there electricity in the camp?

Yes, the camp is supplied with solar energy. In every room there are elctrical lights and electronical devices can be recharged.

What’s the weather like?

The climate in Botswana is hot and dry. You will experience semi-desert heat with temperature around 35 °C between December and March. During the summer they can drop below 20 °C. The winter temperatures are a little bit cooler. During the night the temperature can even be around 0 °C with daily temperature fluctuation of 20 °C. Botswana doesn’t get a lot of precipitation. The most rainfall occurs between December and March.

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