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Frequently Asked Questions

With Naankuse a world of volunteering opportunities awaits – opportunities that will, no doubt, change your life.


We are sure that most of you have a lot of questions but not to worry - here are your answers!

  • What will I contribute?
    Volunteers contribute to Naankuse in two ways, physically and financially. Day to day maintenance of the Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as food preparation and feeding, is performed by our dedicated volunteers. For social animals like our baboons, volunteers provide vital daily interaction. In the case of research, volunteers join our research team to collect crucial data on Namibia’s wildlife. Financially, the volunteering fee goes towards keeping the sanctuary running. Without this stream of revenue, we could not continue to provide homes and care to injured and orphaned wildlife.
  • Why volunteer with us?
    The experiences provided at Naankuse are rare and unique. ​ Volunteering at the Wildlife Sanctuary gives you the special opportunity to work hands-on with Namibia’s wildlife. We actively participate in conservation, which means at any time volunteers can be whisked away to assist in carnivore releases or mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. A whirlwind of exciting wildlife experiences, Naankuse provides you with the chance to make the wild your home. ​ With their diversity of wildlife amid spectacular scenery, Kanaan and TimBila are the perfect locations to become involved firsthand with all aspects of our carnivore research programme from data collection and processing to ample field experience. ​ You may also have the chance to be involved in humanitarian work with the San children at our Naankuse Primary School or the San at our Lifeline Clinic, providing vital education and healthcare to individuals of this ancient culture. ​ What will you get out of it? That is entirely up to you, but many people find their experiences to be life-changing. One thing is for certain, you will leave with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
  • What are the requirements to be a volunteer?
    We welcome volunteers from all across the globe and from any age 18 years old and above. There is no upper age restriction to joining us, but please bear in mind you need to be fit enough for outdoor activities. ​ You need to speak English while working on our sites. If English is not your first language, you should be able to speak it reasonably fluently. The Lifeline Clinic employs local people who can translate from San, Afrikaans, Otjiherero and Damara into English. ​ No qualifications are necessary to volunteer and anyone can be a volunteer as long as they are prepared to work hard. Just bring a good attitude, team spirit and you are ready to go!
  • How long can I volunteer?
    You can stay for a minimum of two weeks up to a maximum of three months.
  • What is the volunteer schedule?
    The volunteering schedule works on a rotational group system, which ensures every volunteer gets to experience as many of the Naankuse activities as possible. ​ The groups join two activities a day between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm. Lunch is from 1 pm to 2:30 pm. ​ Weekends are not part of the rotation schedule. On Saturdays, volunteers participate in certain activities in the morning, and in the afternoon, enjoy a fun non-work-related activity. This is followed by a braai (barbecue). On Sunday, it is mainly food prep and feeding in the morning and a quick small animal feeding in the afternoon. All non-working hours are free time to explore the sanctuary!
  • Can I volunteer to more than one project?
    Absolutely! In fact, Naankuse encourages experiencing all aspects of our organisation. Tailor your trip to suit you by booking a full Naankuse experience. Explore the red dunes of Kanaan, the Naukluft Mountain range at Neuras, wildlife abundance at TimBila Nature Reserve or help clean up the coastline at our Coastal Conservation Project. Volunteer at Harnas, the oldest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia or assist in providing free healthcare to the marginalised San community at our Lifeline Clinic. And why not end your stay at our luxury charity Lodge where you can relax by the pool? Naankuse has everything you need and combining volunteer projects is recommended for a full experience.
  • How many other volunteers are there?
    At Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary: Depending on the season, volunteer numbers can range from 15 to 65. At Kanaan, Neuras, TimBila and the Coastal Conservation Project: Kanaan: up to 8 volunteers Neuras: up to 8 volunteers TimBila: up to 10 volunteers Coastal Conservation Project: up to 9 volunteers At the Lifeline Clinic: Depending on the season, volunteer numbers range from 2 -6. At Harnas: Depending on the season, volunteer numbers range from 10-30.
  • Where is the Wildlife Sanctuary? How far are other sites?
    Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary is located just 45km east of Windhoek (Namibia’s capital city) and 35km from Windhoek International Airport, in the Khomas region of Namibia. The travel distances to the other sites from the sanctuary are as follows: Neuras: 4-5 hour drive south Kanaan: 8-10 hour drive south TimBila: 4-5 hour drive north Lifeline Clinic & Harnas: 4-hour drive east Coastal Conservation Project: 5-hour drive west
  • Can I volunteer with friends or partners?
    If you book early enough there should be no problem in volunteering with your friends or partner. Please let us know upon booking if you wish to share a room with them. We will then also aim at putting you in the same groups for the volunteering work.
  • Can I stay at the lodge and volunteer at the Sanctuary?
    Yes, clearly there is a price difference, and you will need to discuss this with to check availability and rates.
  • How much does it cost to volunteer?
    Please download our rate sheet here. The prices stated are per night, so you need to multiply it by the number of nights you wish to stay. The longer you stay, the lower the nightly rate. Naankuse solely relies on generous donations and volunteering fees. Every cent of your volunteering fee is ploughed back into our projects, allowing us to achieve our goals and continue our good work. The cost of volunteering depends on the length of your stay. For a quote, please complete the enquiry form. ​ The cost we quote includes: Transfers to and from Windhoek International Airport to the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary. Transfers from the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary to the Lifeline Clinic or Harnas Wildlife Foundation on the set transfer days Accommodation (includes towels and bedding) Daily meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner Full support and assistance from your program coordinator throughout your time at Naankuse. ​ We do not cover the cost of: Flights Visas Personal travel and health insurance All items of a personal nature e.g. curios, gifts, clothing, toiletries, etc. Snacks and alcoholic drinks
  • Can Wildlife Conservation Volunteers help at Naankuse Primary School?
    Absolutely! The Naankuse Primary School is located at the Wildlife Sanctuary so volunteers can easily combine school volunteering with wildlife conservation volunteering while staying at the sanctuary. Please note that we have two different categories: Category 1 requires no experience. Volunteers can sign up 24 hours in advance for a morning or afternoon at the school. The list is in the food prep area. Category 2 is for teachers or student teachers, and a minimum of 4 weeks volunteering is required. Please take a look at our Volunteer Projects Overview where all requirements for our school volunteering are explained in detail.
  • What fitness level is required for Kanaan, Neuras and TimBila?
    Hiking and trekking the mountainous terrain make up a large part of the daily activities at Neuras and thus a good level of fitness is recommended. Kanaan and TimBila have less hiking involved. Activities can be tailored to suit the fitness needs and levels of most people. Appropriate sturdy (hiking) footwear is required on all three projects.
  • Can anyone volunteer at the Lifeline Clinic?
    Yes, all volunteers are welcome at the Lifeline Clinic. No medical background is required but, if you have it, that's most welcome. There are many humanitarian projects at the Lifeline Clinic, e.g. a feeding program that takes place twice weekly, an agricultural project and a primary school. Regular outreach sessions to remote communities also augment the clinic program. The following backgrounds will certainly be useful: Healthcare professionals: doctors, nurses and allied health professionals e.g. pharmacists, physiotherapists, optometrists, occupational therapists and paramedics. Other professionals: e.g. gardeners, engineers, plumbers, painters and decorators, joiners, teachers, statisticians and data analysts, etc. Students: e.g. medical and nursing students, as well as those who are thinking of applying for a healthcare professional career. ​ Although it is true to say that “the more experience you have, the better” — what is more important than your qualifications and experience is your attitude and approach to life. We are looking for volunteers who are self-motivated, flexible, able to work both independently and in a team, patient, kind and considerate, able to cope with setbacks, and, of course, have a sense of humour!
  • I am a qualified doctor/nurse planning to volunteer at the Lifeline Clinic. Do I need permission to practice?
    Qualified doctors and nurses who volunteer at the Lifeline Clinic work under the direction of the resident clinic doctors (or in an advisory capacity to the clinic doctors) and as such do not require an authorisation to practice. ​ The resident doctors have “authorisation to practice” in Namibia. This authorisation is required to work independently and takes significant time and effort to acquire.
  • How do I check availability and book?
    To check availability, please complete our enquiry form. The bookings team will get back to you within 48 hours.
  • When and how do I book?
    After sending the booking form, you will receive a confirmation email with an invoice. Payment is required 4 weeks prior to arrival. Please follow the payment instructions outlined in the confirmation email.
  • How far in advance should I book?
    We recommend that you book as early as possible for the following reasons: ​ Our off-site projects (Neuras, Kanaan, TimBila, Harnas, the Lifeline Clinic and the Coastal Conservation Project) can accommodate a limited number of volunteers (see question above) and can be fully booked, particularly during our high season in July, August and September. Flights tend to be cheaper the earlier you book.
  • Are there certain arrival, departure and participation dates?
    For Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary Program: The Wildlife Conservation Volunteer program at the sanctuary runs 365 days a year. Due to fewer flight options available during the Covid pandemic, we have stepped away from fixed arrival and departure dates. Volunteers can arrive any day of the week. Transfers to and from the airport or Windhoek are included in our rates. For Kanaan, Neuras and TimBila: Transfers to, from and between these sites occur on Saturdays. The departure point is the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary. Day of arrival at Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary: latest on Fridays. Day of departure: earliest on Sundays. Multiple week bookings are possible and encouraged. Stays for less than one week are not possible. For the Lifeline Clinic: Transfer days are on Sundays and arrival back at the sanctuary is on Friday afternoons. Day of arrival: latest on Saturdays. Day of departure: earliest on Saturdays. Extended stays are possible, but a weekend at the sanctuary might be necessary between rotations. Departures from the sanctuary are included in the fee of the program. For Harnas: Transfer days are on Mondays and arrival back at the sanctuary is on Mondays. Day of arrival: latest on Monday morning, but we recommend arriving on Sunday to avoid stress if flights are delayed. Day of departure: earliest Monday afternoon. Extended stays are possible. For the Coastal Conservation Project: Transfer days are on Fridays and arrival back at the sanctuary is on Fridays. Day of arrival: latest on Thursdays. Day of departure: earliest on Saturdays. Extended stays are possible.
  • When and how do I pay?
    After sending the booking form you will receive an invoice. Payment is required 4 weeks prior to arrival. The payment page gives you the instructions for payment. If you bank in ZAR or NAD, please use the electronic bank transfer as instructed on the invoice.
  • Which airport do I fly to?
    Flights should be booked to Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), Namibia.
  • How do I book my flight?
    Volunteers book and pay for their flights independently. You book your flight to Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport (WDH), Namibia. Once you have booked your flight it is important to emails us at with: Arrival date and time in Windhoek Departure details from Windhoek Flight numbers
  • Do I need a visa?
    Most nationalities do not require a prearranged visa. Check our Pre-Departure Pack (add link) for more details. Our volunteering programs can be done on a regular tourist visa.
  • Which travel insurances should I get?
    For your participation in our project please ensure you have travel and health insurance and that this also covers Covid-related issues and repatriation. Please make sure that you are covered for the whole duration of your trip, from the day you leave your country to the day you return. You will not be able to participate in the project without appropriate health and travel insurance. Insurance details to be sent to • Insurance company name • Policy number • Contact telephone number of the insurance company • Your emergency contact person’s name and number Please ensure that you take a copy of your insurance paperwork to the project with you.
  • What should I pack?
    Volunteer work in research and conservation involves hands-on work with the animals so you are likely to get very dirty! Volunteer uniform is mandatory during working hours. You will receive one set of volunteer uniform (T-shirt and zip-off trousers) from us. Additional sets can be purchased in our shop. Please bring sturdy closed shoes. Personal Admin: Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation Naankuse emergency contact number Photocopies of all the above to be left at home with your next of kin Spending money – bring Namibian Dollars (NAD) or SA Rand (ZAR). You can withdraw or transfer cash from the airport on arrival. Small amounts of money can be withdrawn from an ATM at the volunteer bookings office at the sanctuary Proof of inoculations (please speak to your GP about necessary immunizations) General: Toiletries – Please bring biodegradable products if possible. As the Wildlife Sanctuary uses recycled water for our sprinkling system as part of our environmental awareness, we ask that volunteers please bring biodegradable products (i.e. shampoo, soap) for use from overseas to prevent our sprinkler system from malfunctioning. Sleeping bag: useful for winter months at the Sanctuary and the Rhino Rangers program, possible overnight sleep outs in the field on our off-site projects Silk or cotton liner: Ideal for hot nights or as an extra layer to your sleeping bag. Sunglasses (high UV protection) Sunscreen (high factor needed) Torch and batteries (preferably a head torch) Alarm clock/watch - your cell phone will be sufficient Camera/batteries/film or memory card Water bottle - at least 75cl Day pack/rucksack for everyday use Mobile phone set for roaming – local SIM cards are available at the airport or the sanctuary Swimming towel - 1 towel is provided in your tent Sewing kit and pocket knife for general use (not in hand luggage!) Plug adaptor (3 large round pins) Travel Guide, such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide The evenings can be quiet so bring books, cards, iPod etc. We do sell some basic toiletries. Sunday trips to Windhoek are available but it is advisable to bring enough of what you need for the duration of your stay. Clothing: if possible, please mark your clothing with your name prior to arrival Sets of outdoor loose fitting cotton clothes with adequate cover for cool mornings and evenings Sun hat / bandana Sturdy closed-toed shoes for walks in the field, as well as boots or sturdy trainers for project work Gardening gloves to protect your hands Casual clothes for day trips to Windhoek and for weekend activities Flip flops/sandals Underwear enough for at least seven days (laundry services are available on premises) Pyjamas/nightwear Lightweight fleece or jumper Waterproof jacket Warm clothes for winter and early mornings. Volunteer work at the sanctuary includes being very hands on with animals, project work and walking with baboons, so you are likely to get very dirty! Old and dispensable clothes with your name written on it are advisable for daily activities. The type of clothing you should bring depends on the time of year you visit. May to September is the winter period and can be very cold at night and in the early mornings and daytime temperatures can vary. A sleeping bag is recommended! October to April is the summer period and the rainy season is from November-February. Whilst during this time it is generally hot during the day, it can rain and become chilly in the evenings, particularly at our research sites, so do pack a jumper or fleece and waterproof jacket. Medical Kit: Hand sanitizer and wet wipes Personal first aid kit Re-hydration salts (great help for sun strokes) and Imodium or similar product Any personal medication e.g. prescription drugs/inhalers Lip balm with SPF Sanitary products if necessary Mosquito repellent (please bring non-DEET mosquito repellent since DEET is not environmentally friendly) Ear plugs – you may be sharing a room with 1 or 2 people and sometimes even an animal
  • What is the weather like?
    At Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary: As a desert country, Namibia experiences an average of 300 days of sunshine in the year with hot summers and generally mild winters, with temperatures tending to drop at night. ​The dry winter season generally runs from May until September, where daytime temperatures remain pleasant and warm, ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius and often plummeting in the evenings, sometimes falling to below zero degrees Celsius. Be sure to pack some warm clothing and a sleeping bag for the chilly evenings in this season! ​The summer season from October to April consists of hot days ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to sometimes 40 degrees Celsius and cooler nights. From November to March, Namibia experiences its rainy season and is sometimes blessed with sporadic rainfall which can include flash floods and heavy thunderstorms. At Kanaan Desert Retreat & Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate: In the desert areas, the winter and summer season follow a similar pattern to the rest of the country, but little rainfall can be expected. Temperatures may rise above 40°C in summer months (October to April), sometimes even up to 50°C. In the winter months (May – September) temperatures still, reach a pleasant 20° C to 25° C. At night temperatures may drop below 0° C though. At the Lifeline Clinic & Harnas: The Omaheke region has a semi-desert climate. This means that there are very hot summers, mild winters and the temperature drops significantly at night. At the Coastal Conservation Project: A moderate coastal climate with no big variations in temperature throughout the year. Temperatures usually range from 18° C to 25° C.
  • What currency do I need?
    The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (NAD). South African Rand (ZAR) is also accepted in Namibia and 1 SA Rand is equivalent to 1 Namibian Dollar. There are ATM machines at the airport, Windhoek and on your way to our various volunteer projects. There may be a small charge for cash withdrawals. We recommend that you withdraw cash at the airport when you arrive. There is an ATM in the volunteer bookings office at the sanctuary but only small amounts of cash should be withdrawn there. ​ If you wish to exchange cash, then please do so at the airport upon arrival. We only accept Namibian Dollars or South African Rand.
  • Should I bring antimalarias?
    For volunteering at the Lifeline Clinic and Harnas, which is in the Omaheke region of Namibia, and at TimBila, which is in the Otjiwarongo region of Namibia, FitForTravel suggests that during the rainy season (Nov-June) there is a low risk of malaria. ​ The Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, Neuras, Kanaan and the Coastal Conservation Project are not located in malaria risk areas. ​ Please contact the bookings manager for further information. Please note it may be necessary to take malaria tablets should you decide to travel to other parts of Namibia during your stay or after the project. Please consult with your doctor for advice.
  • What vaccinations will I need?
    Different countries offer different advice about travel immunizations. We, therefore, recommend that you seek medical advice at least 6–8 weeks before you leave about what is recommended for travel to Namibia. ​ If you are arriving from a country that has a risk of yellow fever transmission, you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate for entry into Namibia. This may not apply to travellers on scheduled flights who have only been ‘in transit’ through countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission and who have not left the airport or adjacent town. ​ We recommend you have rabies and tetanus vaccinations, but there are others your clinic will recommend. You may wish to look at the FitForTravel website for more information prior to seeing your doctor or nurse. Don’t forget your vaccination certificate!
  • Do I need health insurance?
    Yes, you will need health insurance that also covers Covid-related issues and repatriation. Please make sure that you are covered for the whole duration of your trip, from the day you leave your country to the day you return. You will not be able to participate in the project without appropriate health and also travel insurance. Insurance details to be sent to • Insurance company name • Policy number • Contact telephone number of the insurance company • Your emergency contact person’s name and number Please ensure that you take a copy of your insurance paperwork to the project with you.
  • Are there any requirements with regards to Covid-19?
    Currently there are no entry requirements for Namibia with regards to Covid-19. Please find our Covid-19 FAQ for further details.
  • Can I wash clothes?
    Free laundry services are available on most of our sites. There is a washing machine in the Lifeline Clinic which volunteers are welcome to use. Washing powder is provided. Wet clothes are air dried on a washing line (usually very quickly because of the heat). There is no tumble dryer.
  • Is the water drinkable at the Naankuse site?
    It is safe to drink from the taps at the Naankuse Sanctuary, Neuras, Kanaan, TimBila and Harnas. However, as an alternative, bottled water can be purchased from the bar when available or in town. ​ We do not recommend that you drink the water from the taps at the Lifeline Clinic as it has a high salt and calcium content. The water is from boreholes and has minimal bacterial/viral load – it is safe to brush your teeth with. The house and clinic have a reverse osmosis water filtration system, and this is backed up by 25 Litre water containers that are filled in Windhoek or at the Wildlife Sanctuary. We also have up to 40,000 Litres of rainwater as a backup for when the water goes off in the village (which is common in rainy season).
  • Is there electricity?
    General info: Electricity is 220 Volts and the main socket type is earthed with three pins (as used in South Africa – Type M). Please bring plug adaptors so you can charge mobile phones and cameras. Power cuts can occur and can be prolonged, particularly in the rainy season and particularly at the Lifeline Clinic. At the Naankuse Sanctuary a generator is available to supply power in case of power outages. At Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary: Naankuse is fully fitted with electricity. Power sockets are available in the communal lapa area for charging purposes. However, adaptors must be self supplied. ​ At Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate: Power sockets are available in communal areas for charging purposes. However, adaptors must be self supplied. At Kanaan Desert Retreat: Electricity is especially limited at Kanaan. Due to the rural nature of the Kanaan site, power is restricted to minimal usage. Kanaan is largely solar powered to make it as eco- friendly as possible. At TimBila Nature Reserve: Electricity is limited at TimBila. This reserve is largely solar powered to make it as eco-friendly as possible. ​ At The Lifeline Clinic: The Lifeline Clinic is fully fitted with electricity, and power sockets are available in the communal house. At Harnas: Details still to be added.
  • Is there a shop at Naankuse?
    Naankuse has a bar that sells drinks and snacks in the evenings (except Sundays) and a coffee shop that sells drinks, snacks, Naankuse merchandise, some basic toiletries and additional sets of the volunteer uniforms. It is open during the lunch break (except Sundays). There is an option to join the Sunday Town Trip to visit a craft market and a shopping mall to make additional purchases.
  • Is there mobile and internet coverage?
    Mobile phone: The Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, Lifeline Clinic, TimBila and the Coastal Conservation Project are covered by Namibia’s main network provider, MTC, but some of the remote areas you may visit during your time there may not have reception. Neuras is a rural property and can be safely reached through a landline or in certain mobile reception hotspots. There is no phone reception at Kanaan, but there is a landline. It is worth considering buying a local SIM card to insert in your phone during your visit (giving you a Namibian number with an 081 prefix). You can then buy well affordable data bundles. If you plan to do this, you will need to get your phone unlocked before you leave. You can buy a local SIM card at the airport for only NAD 10. Internet: Naankuse sites vary in their internet bandwidth and service. As such the offering to volunteers varies. Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary – free Wi-Fi is available, but with many volunteers using it simultaneously at times, the performance may vary. Lifeline Clinic offers free Wi-Fi, but it may not always be reliable. Neuras offers a few hours of free Wi-Fi during certain mealtimes to volunteers. Kanaan offer Wi-Fi at limited hours to volunteers. TimBila offers free Wi-Fi that is mostly reliable. Harnas offers free Wi-Fi, but it may not always be reliable. Coastal Conservation Project offers free Wi-Fi that is mostly reliable.
  • What is the emergency contact information for Naankuse?
    If an emergency at home necessitates a message being passed to you urgently, please use the following contact details: Emergency number: +264 81 261 2709 (Back-up Naankuse Lodge: +264 61 307 337)
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