Your trip at a glance


  • Experi­ence an unfor­get­table time out in the African wild
  • Support the protec­tion of elephants
  • Acquire valuable skills and know-how
  • Track the desert elephants in fasci­nating Damar­a­land
  • Sleep under Africa's open night sky
  • Get to know three different project locations in Zambia
  • Gather new energy amidst Africa’s unique landscapes


Okavango Delta
Kafue National Park
Landscape during sunset in Zambia

Plan your trip

  • Included in the programme fee
    • Placement in the programme
    • Assistance with travel arrangements
    • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
    • Assistance with booking flights
    • Pre-departure information pack

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Daniel, your travel agent for Southern Africa

You would like to learn more about this trip? Don't hesitate to contact me! Our service doesn't end with your departure: I answer all of your questions and support you before, during and after your stay abroad.


Your Sabbatical with Elephants

Participate in elephant conservation and rejuvenate amidst the stunning landscapes of Zambia and Namibia. Expand your tracking skills in Botswana and learn more about the different wildlife of Southern Africa. Develop practical skills in wildlife conservation, get inspired in the unspoiled wilderness of Southern Africa, and create an unforgettable experience.


Arrival and orien­ta­tion in Namibia

If you commence your Sabbatical in Namibia, your journey begins at Walvis Bay Airport. For an additional fee, transportation will be arranged to take you to Swakopmund. Upon arrival in Swakopmund, you'll have the opportunity to meet your supervisors and fellow volunteers. Here, you'll gain insights into your initial elephant conservation project, including an overview of various tasks. The project officially kicks off the following Monday morning, starting with final preparations and the drive to your designated base camp.


Activ­i­ties during your time out in Africa

During your sabbatical, you can get involved in three different projects: The elephant project in Namibia's Damaraland, the Tracking Adventure in Botswana, and the elephant project in Zambia. The order in which you can tackle the projects depends on the start dates and your preferences. Possible interim periods allow you to either take part in other projects in southern Africa and safaris or explore certain areas more intensively. We will be happy to help you with the organisation.


In the Elephant Project within Namibia's Damaraland, your mission is to address the existing human-elephant conflict. Collaborating with your team, you'll assist the local community in constructing wells and protective walls, while also innovating to create new water sources for the resident elephant herds.

Furthermore, you'll gather data on movement patterns and the animals' behavior through monitoring. This data is instrumental in deriving insights for the development of targeted species protection measures.


On the Tracking Adventure in the Okavango Delta in Botswana you will acquire valuable knowledge of nature in unspoilt wilderness. Experienced safari guides teach the art of tracking and following animals, accompany you and your team to deepen your outdoor and nature knowledge, and learn survival skills. You will spend a maximum of three nights in the same camp before setting off on foot to a new location

Indulge in an immersive experience by opting for eight days of training, unlocking a journey of discovery and adventure.


As an Orphaned Elephants Volunteer in Zambia, you will help for 22 days to collect essential conservation data and protect orphaned elephants which are gradually released back into the wild as part of the station’s release programme.

Together with your team, you will gain insight into elephant behaviour monitoring, learn more about anti-poaching and wildlife rehabilitation, and acquire different methods for collecting biodiversity data in national parks. You will also have the opportunity to participate in various community projects.


Accom­mo­da­tion during your sabbat­ical

In Namibia, the "Building Week" typically involves establishing a base camp near the project site. Here, accommodations consist of two-person tents or communal spaces around the campfire. Subsequently, during the "Patrol Week," you and your team will track the desert elephants of the region, spending each night in new and remarkable locations beneath the open sky. Sanitary facilities in your wilderness camps are generally basic—such as long-drop toilets and bucket showers during the "Building Week," and no permanent facilities during the "Patrol Week."


In Botswana you will experience the Okavango Delta in the picturesque Kwapa region. Here you will sleep in a tent and use the shared sanitary facilities. The camp is unfenced and simple - it's all about getting back to basics and reconnecting with nature.

During your time as a training participant, you will receive three to four simple meals a day. In addition, there is always access to drinking water, tea, and coffee.


In Zambia, your stay in Lusaka offers comfortable accommodations within your own spacious tent, thoughtfully furnished with bed linen for a restful night's sleep. The camp also provides access to shared sanitary facilities to ensure a convenient and comfortable living experience.

As you venture into Kafue National Park, Musa Camp becomes your home, strategically positioned at the shores of Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. The unfenced camp not only boasts stunning natural surroundings but also becomes a frequent rendezvous point for local wildlife, providing an immersive experience.


The third camp, the Kafue Release Facility, is situated approximately a 45-minute car ride from Camp Musa. Nestled along the banks of the Nkala River, this secluded camp is situated adjacent to the project's release station.

As in the previous locations, you'll have the comfort of your individual tent and access to communal sanitary facilities and toilets. In addition to your accommodations, you'll enjoy three team-prepared meals daily as part of the volunteer experience.


Free time as a volunteer in Africa

During your stay in the projects, you will always have some time for yourself. During your stay in Namibia, ample time for personal exploration is woven into the program. If your commitment extends beyond two weeks, a captivating option awaits – a weekend excursion to Swakopmund. Immerse yourself in the charm of this coastal town, savoring the delights of cozy restaurants, vibrant bars, and notable sights. Alternatively, the tranquility of the base camp amidst the wilderness of Damaraland beckons those seeking a peaceful retreat during their free time.


In Botswana, you can explore the vastness of the Okavango Delta, for example on safaris. Alternatively, you can also relax in one of the various lodges. We will be happy to help you plan your holiday in the diverse north of Botswana.

In Zambia, you have one day off per week, which you can use to explore the surrounding region. During the second and third week in Kafue National Park, you and your team will spend this day at a nearby lodge, where you can swim in the pool or simply relax. You can also accompany your team leader on the weekly shopping trip.

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

Review Sabbatical Africa – Julian

“This year I booked a 9-month trip to Africa, consisting of several Natucate projects, and I am simply thrilled. [...] Each project had its own special something and could not be compared to the other. [...] All in all, the time in the projects and the service of Natucate were simply stunning.”

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Review Volunteering Namibia – Jonas

“I felt so close to nature and to all the people that shared this experience with me. I have rarely been as happy as during my time as an elephant volunteer in Namibia. I dare to say that these three months have been the best three months of my life so far.”

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Review Volunteering Namibia – Theresa

“The places where we slept in the desert were beyond beautiful.”

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Review Volunteering Namibia – Hendrik

“All the project supervisors and all the volunteers I got to know are all great and kind people.”

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  • reiseorte-namibia-damaraland-wueste-natucate
    1. Damaraland

    Damaraland is located in the northwest of Namibia. Characterized by gorges, hills and table mountains, it is one of the most impressive and interesting areas of the country. The extraordinary landscapes and the fauna, which constantly need to defy the region’s drought, surely leave each visitor in awe. Particularly in the west, populations of the highly endangered black rhino can be found alongside the impressive desert elephants.

    Damaraland also has a lot to offer culturally: rock and cave paintings from thousands of years ago can be admired as part of a visit to the Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg or Twyfelfontein. Damaraland – a real highlight of a journey through the vastness of Namibia.

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  • reiseorte-botswana-okavango-delta-elefanten-natucate
    2. Okavango Delta

    The Okavango Delta in Botswana is without doubt one of the most spectacular natural sites in Southern Africa, if not in the entire world. Covering more than 20,000 km², the fertile oasis in the northwestern part of the country is the largest inland delta of our planet. The mighty UNESCO World Heritage Site is fed by the Okavango River, which once a year floods down from the highlands of Angola into an endless labyrinth of river courses, islands and lagoons. With a visit to the Delta, one of the last natural paradises on earth awaits you, whose awe-inspiring biodiversity will amaze every visitor.

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  • reiseorte-sambia-kafue-nationalpark-elefanten-natucate
    3. Kafue National Park

    The Kafue National Park covers an area of about 22.400 km² and is Zambia's largest national park. The oldest protected area in the country is characterized by secluded, untouched and diverse expanses of land, which are home to an abundance of wild animals. With elephants, buffalos, leopards and lions, four of the Big Five can be found here, as well as wild dogs, hippos, cheetahs, more than 20 different antelope species and nearly 500 bird species.

    The landscape is characterized by the numerous arms of the Kafue River, wetland biotopes, Miombo forests, vast savannahs, thickets and floodplains – including the spectacular Busanga floodplains. Game drives, bush walks and boat trips allow you to explore this special place up close.

  • Landscape during sunset in Zambia
    4. Lusaka

    Lusaka is the capital of Zambia and located in the southern to southeastern part of the country. More than 2 million people live here on an area of about 70 km². The city often serves as a stopover or starting point for further journeys through the Southern African country.

    A melting pot of cultures and a place of hustle and bustle – a characterisation that couldn’t be truer for Lusaka. However, the parks and green areas just outside of the city, like Lusaka National Park or Munda Wanga Environmental Park, offer peaceful retreats for travellers and residents. The colourful street markets and (art) museums are further stops worth exploring on an excursion through Lusaka.

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Background of your Conser­va­tion Sabbat­ical in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia

Majestic, huge, highly intelligent – elephants are truly fascinating animals that roam the African wilderness.
However, these gentle giants encounter various threats that this sabbatical tour aims to address. Not only does it offer an immersive experience in the breathtaking natural landscapes of Southern Africa, but it also provides a platform to advocate for the well-being of elephants.

In Namibia's Damaraland the human-elephant conflict poses a significant challenge. The local population often competes with elephants for the same water sources, leading the giants to venture into human settlements, unintentionally causing damage. To mitigate this conflict, the species conservation project employs construction measures to prevent elephants from straying into settlements. Simultaneously, the initiative seeks to develop alternative water sources, ensuring both humans and animals have undisrupted access to drinking water. This dual approach aims to protect elephants and foster harmonious coexistence.

Immerse yourself in tracking and orientation in the African bush during the Tracking Training in Botswana. Over eight days, seasoned experts share vital knowledge as you explore Botswana's pristine wilderness on foot. Appreciate the captivating nature of the Okavango Delta, gaining a fresh perspective on wildlife diversity. Track elephants, zebras, antelopes, and lions to understand their roles in the ecosystem. This distinctive experience also supports your experiences in other elephant conservation projects by showcasing these majestic animals in their natural context and illustrating their harmonious interactions with other species.

In Zambia, our partner takes in orphaned elephants at an elephant nursery near Lusaka. There they receive round-the-clock care before moving to the reintroduction centre in Kafue National Park. Here they learn to live independently after they are no longer dependent on milk. The programme integrates community work to engage local residents in conservation and emphasise healthy ecosystems. Working with communities is crucial to emphasise the benefits of functioning ecosystems.

Embark on a journey that not only explores the wonders of Southern Africa's landscapes but also actively contributes to the preservation of elephants. Join us in this meaningful endeavor, where conservation meets adventure!


Conscious Travel with Natucate

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