Join a safari in Namibia and volunteer at Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA)
Recently Chameleon Safaris launched a range of Mindful Travel in Namibia. The idea behind these safaris is to allow visitors to Namibia to see the sights such as Etosha Park and Sossusvlei and get involved with local communities and ground-level projects. Three of these safaris offer a volunteer opportunity at Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA).
What is EHRA?
Namibia has the largest population of free-roaming desert-adapted elephants in the world. However, as these animals are not restricted to a national park, they often come into contact with local communities. This contact often comes in the form of conflict around water sources, where elephants may break into wells and dams. On occasion, very naughty elephants even break into homes to steal food, a rare resource in this arid area.
EHRA hosts several initiatives such as; waterpoint conservation, patrols to track and monitor the elephants, and community development to promote a positive relationship between humans and elephants.
While writing this blog in February of 2022, we received the terrible news that the EHRA base camp was washed away during extremely heavy rainfall. Thankfully no one was hurt during the flood, but valuable equipment was lost. If you are not able to volunteer but would like to assist, you can donate to EHRA
What to expect at EHRA?
While volunteering at EHRA, you will have a hands-on experience. Volunteers help out in all manner of conservation efforts with your time as a volunteer split into two parts:
- Week 1: Build Week: building protective walls around windmills, water tanks, and pumps.
- Week 2: Patrol Week: Monitoring and identifying elephants, recording new births, deaths, injuries, and taking identification photos for our database
Accommodation at EHRA
Everyone sleeps in a large tree on a wooden platform at base camp! There are also showers and long-drop toilets.There are no washing facilities on either build or patrol weeks, but you can enjoy a shower at the EHRA base camp when we return in between the two projects.
While tents can be provided but most people sleep on a large tarp under the stars on mattresses. As the camp on build week is in the same spot, we set up a private long drop style toilet. However, the camp locations change every night on patrol week – wild camping experience using the bush toilet!
Your impact as a volunteer at EHRA
- Fight the eradication of the free-roaming desert elephant population in Namibia.
- Find practical solutions to combat elephant-human conflict
- Experience hands-on conservation by building walls and structures
- Partake in elephant tracking, monitoring and documenting behavioural and movement patterns.
- Create a difference in the lives of local communities and Namibia’s free-roaming desert elephants.
For more info and bookings on these safaris visit:
- Dunes Wildlife and EHRA Safari
- Okonjima, Etosha, Swakopmund & EHRA Safari
- Etosha, Himba People, Skeleton Coast & EHRA Safari
If you are not currently able to volunteer at EHRA and have a large garden, you can also choose to adopt a Namibian elephant for a year.