Friday, April 9, 2010

N/a’an ku sê - Why Volunteers Matter.

I have asked N/a’an ku sê to write a piece about the role of volunteers ,and their important contribution to succesfully operating the sanctuary,not just in terms of their monetary contribution, but also in the skills and physical effort they contribute.When I spent time at Naankuse, I was amazed at how many people, of all ages travel from afar,to devote their holiday time to the care of some beautiful animals.And by the number who stay for so long, or return, some several times.But then, it shouldn't be so amazing, after all it is a magical place!

And where else can you get your very own personal groomer...

The following has been submitted by N/a’an ku sê.I have added photos to their text.Enjoy.

About N/a’an ku sê
Since 2007, N/a’an ku sê Lodge & Wildlife Sanctuary has been committed to playing a key role in conservation and the protection of the Namibian wildlife, land and people. Our vision is an Africa where humans and wildlife can live and thrive together. Our mission is to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat.

We do not receive any government funding and are solely reliant on voluntary donations and the time of volunteers to continue our vital work to help the people and animals of Namibia. All the money raised through our volunteering program goes directly back into the project which provides employment, education and accommodation to the local Bushman community and helps to ensure the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of the animals which are housed in natural environments around the site.

Our volunteers
We have a very special relationship with our volunteers as they are key to the success of our projects and we simply couldn’t do without them. In return, we provide volunteers with the rare and exciting opportunity to work closely with and actively participate in the conservation of African wildlife.

N/a’an ku sê is one of those places where some people just find themselves. They find their family, their friends, their home and their future here. Many staff members were once volunteers who couldn’t quite bring themselves to leave. Any many volunteers come back time after time to be together with the animals they fell in love with. For the Wildlife volunteers in particular, it’s hard not to form special bonds with some of the animals after spending all day every day with them and in the case of baby baboons, sleeping with them throughout the night too.

To hear direct from volunteers themselves about their experiences, follow these links:

All ages....just a few of the great people you meet.

Volunteers stay with us for any length of time between 2 weeks and 3 months. It’s an extremely sad experience saying goodbye when people leave – for N/a’an ku sê staff as well as the volunteers themselves. Thanks to our Facebook page ( ) we can all stay in touch with each other and volunteers can be kept up to date with the latest goings on here and pictures and videos of the animals growing up.

We run several projects at N/a’an ku sê all of which volunteers can join:

1. Wildlife Conservation Volunteer
Our Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife including a number of lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals and baboons. Our Wildlife Conservation Volunteers provide an important resource in caring for and feeding the animals on a daily basis, helping to maintain the sanctuary and becoming surrogate parents to our baby baboons who need constant care and attention.

Now what does that spell?

2. Carnivore Conservation Research Volunteer
These lions are huge!
Our Carnivore Conservation Research Project plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing threatened cats in Namibia to help reduce human-wildlife conflict. This programme offers a unique opportunity to play a hands on part in the tracking, monitoring and conservation of wild cheetah and leopard as well as caring for other African wildlife.

3. Teaching and Wildlife Conservation Volunteer
Kay found working with the youngsters to be the best experience!
Our Clever Cubs School provides vital free education to San Bushman children whose parents work at the sanctuary and who would otherwise not have access to education. There are currently around 25 children aged between 1 and 7 years attending. This unique programme combines teaching four days a week (assisting our teacher with the children), as well as the opportunity to work hands on at an animal sanctuary one day a week.

4. Medical Conservation Volunteer
Our Lifeline Clinic is a medical outreach project which provides free treatment to the local Bushman community in a remote area of Namibia, called Epikuro. Volunteers assist the doctor and nurse in the running of the clinic, participating in observations, helping in the dispensary and on reception. Volunteers also learn a lot about the San community and their way of life.

To book as a volunteer at N/a’an ku sê or for more information, please email


Jools Stone said...

Hi Jim, thanks for the contact. A shoemaker wearing out his shoes eh? Every day I think I've come across a tarvel blogger with the most int niche out there, and every day someone else tops it! Glad to trade links/guest posts etc.


Jim said...

Thanks Jools.Hope you like it around here.It will be a mix of various destinations we've been to and we'll touch on a lot of issues that I feel travellers can help publicise by learning more and in turn spreading the word.
I'll get your link up today.
We must talk about train travel soon!