“It doesn’t matter where you are from, what you’re doing…everybody accepts you the way you are. Not only did I meet great people and friends, but I also found myself, and it made me forget pain. Thanks for showing me how easy life can be without anything, but at least a happy life. Thanks for the amazing project! I will never forget this trip and the experiences!” Josi, August 2013
Namibia’s desert-dwelling elephants are one of only two such populations in Africa (the other being in Mali) and are of high conservation priority both nationally and internationally.
The long term welfare of the elephants is addressed through safeguarding farmers water supplies, building new water points for the elephants, educating the local community on the value of these animals and on valuable elephant herd research.
Build week Tips of the Week:
You can never take enough wipes or sanitizer
Use the juice to add to water, you will drink more that way
Blanket plus sleeping bag
Patrol week Tips of the Week:
Snacks to enjoy the long siestas and reflection time
Good camera and binoculars
Warm evening clothes
Although not a separate species from other savannah African elephants, Namibia’s desert elephants are special. They have adapted to their dry environment by having a smaller body mass with longer legs and seemingly longer feet than other elephants, allowing them to cross miles of sand dune to reach water (they can survive for several days without it). They have even been filmed sliding down a dune face to drink at a pool in a desert oasis.
Best bits of the Project:
Liz – Sleeping under the stars, being woken with coffee, delicious evening meals, comfy bed rolls, view from the toilet at top camp, satisfaction at completing the wall, exhilaration at seeing the elephants roaming free and so gently
Courtney- Meeting, getting to know and settling in with a new group of volunteers has been like making an all new family, all so very different but all with a fierce love and devotion to a common cause that brings us together and binds us.
And what better way to get to know people than to work together, to live together, to push your limits, support and encourage each other.
Caroline – Eating and cooking around the campfire, sleeping under the stars and watching them (I’ve never seen so many shooting stars before), having a great and funny time with super-duper people/new friends, building a huge wall and of course looking for the elephants and watching them for hours – every second will be kept in my mind for the rest of my life!
Just bring your energy and enthusiasm to have the most amazing experience ever, and help to conserve this unique desert elephant population.