One great perk in choosing to spend a year to work with animals and make a positive contribution to the global effort of wildlife conservation in Africa, is the fact that one can pack one’s bags and embark on any of the overland tours offered by the local conservation organisations. The thing is, it’s not all work, work, work-volunteers can actually have fun, and lots of it. After all, your stint in the African continent is meant not only to be enlightening and educational, but exciting and unforgettable as well. And what better way to deepen your knowledge of the African continent and its myriad inhabitants than by travelling with your friends northward?
One of the most popular overland tour packages is a northward journey that typically lasts for about two weeks. If you want a little break from your work with animals, taking part in an overland journey that touches base in what are considered the best parts of Namibia can provide you the reinvigorating experience you actually need. And why Namibia, you may ask? For one, the country is home to breathtaking landscapes that range from deep canyons and deserts to the most surreal-yet-beautiful environments in the world. Most such tours depart from Cape Town in South Africa and proceed toward the north. Travellers will be able to enjoy the sights and visit important destinations such as the Orange River and the Cedreberg Mountains.
From Appreciation to White-knuckled Participation
Namibia’s natural bounties are, quite naturally, major tourism draws. But as a volunteer, your work with animals gives you the advantage of having prior knowledge of the country’s (and thereby, of the entire African continent’s) flora and fauna. Such knowledge allows you to make a deeper appreciation of the need to survive and thrive of the country’s diverse species. You’ll encounter the towering dunes of Sossusvlei or the seemingly endless expanse of the Kalahari Desert and immediately “get” these places’ endemic animals’ will to survive. What’s more, in the city, Swakopmund, you can unleash the daredevil in you, with high-octane activities such as skydiving, sandboarding or the so-called ‘4X4-ing.’
Learn As You Help
The said overland tour also enables you to learn first-hand about one of only a small handful of countries in the world that have actually integrated the issues of wildlife conservation and protection of natural resources in its national constitution. By touring the country and having a personal encounter with its people, places and culture, your work with animals takes on an even deeper meaning. You will also gain a more solid understanding of the whys and hows of conservation and the grave need to keep its ecosystems sustainable, especially when you witness the diversity of its flora and fauna. Or, you can simply explore the desert on a quad bike or an actual camel-you call the shots.