To get away from it all i opted to volunteer and work toward conservation , rehabilitation and research at the N/a’an ku sê foundation in Namibia. Go on their site at http://naankuse.com , they describe their mission and goal, very impressive. I was introduced to it via the great projects who specialize in volunteering trips around the world
I spent a little time at the sanctuary a 3200 hectare property sanctuary for animals in need of rescue, rehabilitation and sometimes relocation. Food prep, animal walk, game count , set up camera trap, animal feed, are a few of the the thing to do there.
Then i went to the very scenic and impressive Kanaan Desert location , 33000 hectares to establish there an unfenced wildlife reserve, which is based on scientific and sustainable management practices and which provides refuge for a suite of endangered species such as cheetah and hyena. The work there are taking down fences, game count, camera trap management, data processing, locate hyaenas , cheetahs or leopard tracks, poop or marking in order to define a pattern , install a camera trap and connect the dots…the project there is mostly on assessing the population of spotted hyaenas outside of game park.
after that i went to the neuras conservation and wine estate, 14,500 hectare. A sort of oasis in the desert with a vineyard , the longest canyon in the world. The work there was mostly like at kanaan, walk a lot and figure out the hyaenas. Study that hasn’t been done since the 90’s…how many hyaenas outside of game park?
It was an amazing and fulfilling time with amazing people, animals and scenics. A much better option, i think, than expensive safaris or backpacking in that region. It is also sending a positive sign to the tourist industry in regions where there is still wild life and must be protected.
My experience in namibia with locals as well as participating in conservation was far more enriching than any backpacking trip i did anywhere in the world. Tourism and backpacking is to me so passè and overrated . Participating is much better than just being a consumer…the great projects organizations has many trips around the world where you can participate and mix it up with locals as well as learn and have an over all good time. Visit them…