Volunteer in Southern Africa – Elephant Conservation

Pod Volunteer

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Join Pod Volunteer to protect, track and research elephant herds in the beautiful Southern African desert.

Volunteering overseas is a great way to enhance your CV since it shows potential employees that you are not afraid of working hard, taking on new challenges and working in new environments. You do not need to have specific qualifications or experience to join our placements as relevant training will be offered whilst at the project.


How can I help?

Volunteers are part of the Desert Elephant Conservation team who strive to create a positive relationship between the subsistence farmers and desert elephants in the harsh Namib Desert. The volunteer role which is based in the stunning Namibian desert rotates weekly, the first role is based at a community building project and the second involves researching the elephant population out in the desert.

During the first week, the team work with the farmers to help reduce the conflict between the elephants and the farmers by building protective walls around their water points, or constructing new water points for elephants away from the farms. On the elephant tracking week, volunteers have to opportunity to learn how to track elephants and assist the research staff in monitoring the movements of elephants in the region.


When can I join?

Fortnightly start dates throughout the year for placements of 2-12 weeks.


Where will I be living? 

The project is located in the Namib Desert, traditionally knowns as Damaraland. On the first night at the project and during desert weekends the team will stay at the base camp which includes a kitchen area. During the building week and elephant tracking week you will live at a basic camp site in the desert. You will be sleeping on a mattress in an open area surrounded by vehicles and it’s an amazing experience to fall asleep in the desert under the stars.

Before or after your placement, you can arrange trips from Swakopmund to explore the sand dunes, relax at one of the many cafes or visit the seal colony.


Placement fee

Volunteer placements start from £995 for 2 weeks. This includes transfers from Swakopmund city, accommodation, all main meals when at the project, your induction and training + planning your trip support from the Pod team.


Why join a Pod Volunteer project?

We a non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001.

We believe in the highest standards and are recognised as a leader with awards including Best Volunteering Organisation at the British Youth Travel Awards.


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