The varied activities allowed us to get up close with many different animals, such a rewarding and unique experience.
I volunteered in Namibia at the wildlife sanctuary for 2 weeks at the start of July 2019. After researching everything The Mighty Roar had to offer, I chose to do this programme as I love animals and have always wanted to go to Africa - so it was the perfect combination!
I was really nervous on what organisation to use to book my trip, but someone recommended The Mighty Roar after they did the Sri Lanka trip and they couldn’t recommend it enough! I then looked into their website and received loads of information about each opportunity!
"I would 100% recommend this project, it was a joy from start to end, my only regret was leaving as I would happily stay there for a couple of months!"
When arriving into Namibia, I had absolutely no issues with transport, it really couldn’t have been smoother. As soon as I arrived there was someone waiting, displaying my name along with other volunteers, I loved this as it gave us all opportunity to meet before heading to the sanctuary! Everyone spoke good English and were very friendly!
The first day was more of a chill day, we got settled into our rooms and got comfortable with the surroundings, the opportunity to join in on activity’s was available but many of us were too tired. The following day started with an introduction, explaining what we would be doing, how everything worked as well as meal times. Following this we participated in our first activities in the afternoon.
There was a range of activities, unfortunately due to my short duration I didn’t experience everything (so I would recommend at least 3 weeks!). We got to take baby baboons for daily walks, took part in the maintenance of enclosures, such as cleaning, decorating (moving furnishings) and also feeding the animals... the feeding brought you so close to the smaller animals as some required hand feeding due to health reasons. Another feeding activity brought us close to the carnivores, we took chunks of meat and through them over into the enclosures for the waiting lions, cheetahs, leopards and even wild pack dogs!
Other activities included research that takes you around the reserve, monitoring species and their numbers as well as the night drive which monitored the reserve for suspicious activity!
My absolute highlight was horse back riding, this took us out into the bush and arms length away from animals like giraffes, zebras and many other herbivores. The horses were so well behaved and really made you feel safe.
There wasn’t much free time, but on Sundays you were able to visit Windhoek to do some shopping (the mall really is amazing), ending the trip with a late lunch before heading back.. however there was limited places, but 9 times out of 10 the people who wanted to go, got to go. In the evenings we would sit around a camp fire with some snacks and some drinks which could be purchased from their onsite snack shop. But you are always given the opportunity to do activities during the weekends if you have free time, which some people would choose to do so they didn’t miss out on anything!
There was about 20-30 volunteers on average, but it never seemed crowded and everyone was willing to get to know each other! I travelled there on my own and met a really good bunch of people, even met 3 of the best girls, who made my time even more enjoyable! But everyone added to the experience, you were never on your own as everyone would make the effort to include you!
The local team was just brilliant, The Mighty Roar themselves dropped me a couple of messages to ensure I was okay. But I couldn’t just name one individual of the local team because they were all so lovely, friendly and welcoming. Their passion and love for what they do really was inspiring. They made everything easy to follow and never made you think something wasn’t good enough! They just made you feel like one of them.
The accommodation was actually better than expected. I thought it would be a bog standard tent but it had flooring, a door and proper beds. You could ask for extra bedding like sleeping bags and blankets on the colder nights, however there wasn’t mirrors in every room and some times the lights weren’t sufficient enough to light the room but this never bothered me personally as I had taken a small mirror with me and I only ever needed the light during the day (when it was light anyway)!
I would 100% recommend this project, it was a joy from start to end, my only regret was leaving as I would happily stay there for a couple of months! I will for sure be returning!!