Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: Desert Elephants in Namibia
Start Dates are every other Monday of each month.
Aid elephant conservation in the stunning Namibian desert on this award-winning project! Help to protect Namibia’s population of desert elephants and secure the safety of the communities living alongside these herds.
During the 1980’s, before the international ivory ban, Namibia’s desert elephant population nearly ceased to exist due to rampant poaching. Luckily since the ban was established in 1989, desert elephant numbers have increased. Yet, they still face the threat of human-animal conflict. The aim of this project is to reduce the strain between humans and elephants and produce a solution for both to live on the same land and live off the same resources.
Volunteers, join staff in the beautiful and vast Namibian wilderness, assisting with a whole range of incredibly unique and exciting conservation activities. From elephant patrols and tracking to building elephant water-points and educating the locals on the importance of elephant conservation, this project has everything you need to truly make a difference to the lives of these incredibly beautiful creatures and the lives of the local people.
The second week of this project is spent tracking the local herds. After locating the elephants you’ll observe and record significant information such as any births, deaths and incidents of mating! Volunteers will also record the movement patterns of the elephants, plotting the GPS position on an online collective database. This helps to determine where the elephants plan to visit for their next drink and shows where protective walls and alternative water-points need to be built.
Volunteers are involved in a number of important construction tasks. One of the tasks is constructing protective walls around water sources, and building alternative water-points for the elephants and newly-released black rhinos!
There is a different aim for each exciting elephant patrol, one focus is to have a presence in the area where elephants are under threat and checking the herds are together without injury. Another focus is the compilation of identification files of new herds of elephants. This is particularly based on herds in the North of the area where the elephants are damaging farms. Whilst on patrol, you’ll interact and talk to farmers and members of the community and help to change the locals’ perception of the elephants.
The project has provided support to a local school for the last 7 years and they are extremely proud of their continued efforts to help the school develop. The school educates 280 children all from the local area. 80% of these children board at the school due to the presence of elephants having an impact on their home farms. Visiting the school is always a treat for volunteers as it is a colourful and lively place!
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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