For the enthusiastic traveller, this 12 day package is the perfect combination of a tour to Etosha & rewarding you with volunteering at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary. Etosha National Park is renowned as one of the best game reserves in Africa, a haven for wildlife, and supports one of the most important ecological and wildlife systems on the continent. At 22,270 km sq this huge park hosts an impressive collection of game including the white rhino and endangered black rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe and numerous species of antelope as well as an impressive 340 species of birds – enough to keep any nature and wildlife enthusiast happy. Also included in this fabulous short adventure is an overnight stop at Swakopmund, the adventure capital of Namibia and a visit to the RAMSAR Protected site of Walvis Bay Lagoon to see the flamingos in their thousands. Then, head out to the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary for 6 days of action. Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides a safe haven for injured, orphaned or conflict animals. Whenever possible the goal is to re-introduce the animals into the wild. Only animals too ill, abused or habituated remain at the sanctuary.
Day 1: Monday Chameleon Backpackers
We will be collected from the Hosea Kutako International Airport on arrival and transferred to Chameleon Backpackers in Windhoek. Upon arrival we have time to check into our accommodation, and if time permits we have the opportunity to join one of the optional activities that Chameleon Safaris has to offer, pop into their office and have a chat with one of the consultants. Enjoy your evening with a delicious “potjiekos” at the Chameleon Backpackers’ bar. Overnight accommodation is in twin share rooms with en-suite bathroom.
Day 2: Tuesday Halali, Etosha National Park
We will be collected from our guesthouse/hotels at 07:15 and brought to Chameleon Backpackers Lodge for the pre-departure talk and to meet the rest of the group. After the departure from Windhoek, we stop briefly at Otjiwarongo to collect some last-minute supplies before continuing on to Etosha with a light lunch pack whilst “on the move”. We enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park visiting waterholes looking for predators as well as zebra, giraffe, elephant, rhino and many different species of antelope arriving at our lodge just before sunset to settle into our rooms, with en-suite bathroom and tea/coffee facilities. A visit to the flood lit waterhole is highly recommended while dinner is prepared by our guide over an open fire.
Day 3: Wednesday Etosha Village, near Anderson Gate
We start our first game drive at sunrise to catch the predators while they are still active, visiting many waterholes. Our second game drive mid-morning takes us to the impressive Etosha Pan “great white place” where we can get out of the vehicle and experience this 4500 sq km “saline desert” before continuing our game drive to look for the Big 4. After lunch we begin our final game drive across the park towards Okaukuejo calling into some well-known waterholes and leave the park prior to sunset. Our lodge tonight is located just outside the park gate and accommodation tonight will give you a comfort and modern atmosphere in twin share rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Dinner is prepared by our guide and another early night is recommended.
Day 4: Thursday Swakopmund – End of Safari
Enjoy an early morning breakfast and departure from our lodge is at 07h30. The route today takes us into the dramatic and beautiful scenery of Damaraland. We have the chance to meet the wonderful Himba & Damara ladies who sell their handmade arts and crafts to support their rural families. A light roadside lunch is served en-route in the shadow of Namibia’s tallest mountain, the Brandberg, and we can interact with some of the colourful local characters who live in this harsh environment. On the drive down the Skeleton Coast we explore the remains of a small shipwreck before arriving in Swakopmund mid-afternoon. We will be dropped at the accommodation of our choice by the guide.
Day 5: Friday Chameleon Backpackers, Windhoek
Leisurely breakfast and the option to join one of the many optional activities available here such as: quad biking or sand boarding just to name a few. For those interested in birds our driver will be happy to take us to Walvis Bay to see the flamingos in the Walvis Bay lagoon which is a protected RAMSAR Site for birds and a visit to Dune 7, the highest dune in the area, to experience the “sand sea” along the coastal strip. We will return to Windhoek in the afternoon with a light lunch served en-route. We make a brief stop at the Okahandja Wood Carving Markets where we can haggle for locally produced goods from the carvers themselves before being dropped at Chameleon Backpackers. Dinner tonight is at own expense in one of Windhoek’s excellent restaurants and our guide will be happy to make some suggestions.
Day 6: Saturday Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary
A leisurely breakfast and after breakfast we will be transferred to the volunteer centre at Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides a safe haven for injured, orphaned or conflict animals. Whenever possible the goal is to re-introduce the animals into the wild. Only animals too ill, abused or habituated remain at the sanctuary. Depending on our arrival time we have the opportunity to meet some of the other volunteers and meet some of the animals that we will be working with before we join the Naankuse team for an induction presentation and a lovely welcome braai as our evening meal.
Day 7: Sunday Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary
Our morning starts with an early breakfast and Sundays are rest days but not before we prepare and feed the orphaned and injured animals. This usually takes between 1 and 2 hours in the morning. The rest of the day we can spend enjoying the beautiful outdoors, around the pool reading a book or learn more about the conservation work done at the volunteer centre.
Days 8 – 11: Monday – Thursday Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary
The next 4 days are spent with early morning breakfasts and a quick morning meeting with the team and then getting straight into a full day of conservation activities. It is the perfect opportunity to learn about and actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation, care and research of the African wildlife. The wildlife team takes us out for group based morning activities, such as feeding orphaned and injured animals, cleaning enclosures or project work and animal enrichment. After a morning full of fun and work, we enjoy a light lunch at the Lapa.
After lunch we start the afternoon activities with a presentation from the research team before we learn about the on-going projects Naankuse is involved with to support wildlife conservation. Research activities may include; monitoring free roaming carnivores, analysing camera traps, analysing GPS data or game counts. Dinner each night is a delicious home cooked meal served at the Lapa.
Day 12: Friday International Airport – End of services
A leisurely breakfast and after breakfast we will be transferred to the International Airport approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight departure.