Project: Volunteering – Species Conservation in South Africa and Protection of Namibia's Desert Elephants
Location: Zululand/South Africa und Damaraland/Namibia
Duration: July until September 2017 – 8 weeks
Support from NATUCATE-Team: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Arrival: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✫
Project partner: ★ ★ ★ ★ ✫
Accommodation: ★ ★ ★ ✫ ☆
1) Could you give us a short overview of your activities/tasks in the project?
My main tasks in South Africa were the support of the monitoring tours as well as counting the different wild animals for the development of species protection measures. During my time in Namibia and in the course of the ‘Building Week’ I was mainly concerned with providing building material and repairing fences in order to counter the human-wildlife conflict. My group and I spent the so-called ‘Patrol Week’ following elephants with an SUV to watch and document their behaviour and movement patterns.
2) What were your biggest challenges during the project?
Since we changed camps every two weeks it was impossible to really build constant relationships. That was one of the biggest challenges for me.
3) Was there anything that you liked most? Or anything that left you with a negative impression?
I had a really positive impression from the logistical handling in South Africa: Moving to another camp always worked perfectly fine. And our camp in Namibia was also just beautiful.
4) Did you do anything during your free time that you can recommend to following participants?
I definitely recommend spending a few days in Swakopmund – you can relax wonderfully here.
5) Which tips/recommendations would you give to other participants who would like to do this project? (e.g. tips that would have helped you before your journey)
A tip from me to all soon-to-be Namibia volunteers: Bring good and warm equipment for the patrol week!
6) Can you guess how many additional expenses you had? – We can give this information to following participants
I had about 30-50€ of extra costs on site. You only need a bit of money every two weeks when you go shopping for “special food” like chocolate or coke. I also bought a SIM card with data volume after arriving at the airport – both in South Africa and Namibia.