Search Our Site

Desert Elephant Conservation Volunteer Project

Wildlife Volunteers Namibia Swakupmond, Namibia


Join an award winning volunteering project tracking desert elephants and working on a community construction program in Damaraland.

Elephant Human Relations Aid conducts a volunteering in Africa project which has been running for the last 8 years in Namibia. People from all walks of life have joined this volunteer project and made a huge difference to the elephant conservation programme. In fact many volunteers return every year for some more action! So why not join us and find out how satisfying and great fun volunteering in Africa with us can be!

The volunteer program is structured in 2 week rotations and you can sign up for a maximum of 12 weeks. Volunteer group size is maximum 14 and people of all ages and from all walks of life join the program, as part of travel plans during a gap year, working holiday or career break through Namibia and Africa.


Week One - Building Week

Tuesday morning we travel to the local Namibian farm or homestead where you will spend building week, building protection walls around water sources or building alternative water points for the elephants and even the areas newly released black rhinos.

You rise early to beat the Namibian heat and then stop around 12 to travel back to camp for a traditional African siesta and lunch. In the afternoons you start work after 2.30pm and work for a couple of hours, before the time comes to head back to camp in time for the obligatory sundowner. Evenings are spent talking and relaxing around the camp fire, listening to the sounds of Africa.

Building walls is sweaty, hard work but each volunteer does what they are capable of, and you work as a team to complete the project.

Base Camp

Saturday morning you pack up the camp and travel back to the EHRA Base Camp for a much deserved shower and relaxation. The next two days are yours to explore, read, relax, take a swim in the elephant drinking dam and enjoy yourselves!

Week 2 - Elephant Patrol

On Monday morning volunteer teams pack the Landcruisers and leave on Elephant Patrol. This is an amazing week where you join the EHRA trackers on a (mostly) vehicle based patrol where you travel through the area to track the local herds of desert elephants. This week is your reward for all the hard work on building week. 

The aim of this week is to track the elephants, record data on births, deaths and new elephants, GPS their positions and take ID shots and notes about each and every elephant.


  • The project exists solely to conserve the desert elephants and ensure safety and security for the communities who live with the local herds.
  • It's hands on conservation, we are a not for gain organisation so you can be assured your money goes directly to the cause and the volunteers are the most crucial element in our conservation work.
  • The volunteer project is back to basics living, cooking over the camp fire, sleeping under the stars all in with one of the world's most beautiful deserts as its background.
  • You are situated in true wilderness and its highly unlikely you will see any tourists during your time with EHRA.
  • You will learn all about the desert elephants of the region and witness them in their own habitat with highly knowledgeable, fantastic project managers.
  • We have a very special eco-base camp on the banks of the Ugab River which is also a favourite hang out of the desert elephant. Amazing people, amazing elephants, amazing landscape, amazing fun! - life changing!

Key Info

All ages welcome
Max. 14 people



Volunteer teams will be living in mobile base camps in the vicinity of the homesteads and elephants. Tents are provided this week and soon you will make the camp home! All cooking is done over the fire and you work in pairs taking it in turn to be on kitchen duty, which includes providing the first cup of coffee to everyone in bed, to breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have great recipes and we can also cater for vegetarians.

Swakopmund is a great little town, safe, by the sea, surrounded by sand dunes and with lots of activities to keep you entertained, from skydiving, kayaking, dolphin watching, sand boarding to name a few. There are lots of cafes,interesting shops, restaurants, a few bars and even a cinema! For anyone traveling onwards through Namibia we can also help you to plan your trip and recommend the best agents, car hire, places to stay and see.

How to get there?

Fly either into Windhoek International or Walvis Bay and we organise your transfers through to the pick up point which is Swakopmund.

GBP 800 per 2 weeks

All projects run from the Monday morning on the starting date, to the Friday afternoon of the finish date. Participants can book a minimum of one two-week slot, or multiple slots, up to three months (six slots) maximum.




11 January

22 January

25 January

5 February

8 February

19 February

22 February

4 March

7 March

18 March

21 March

1 April

4 April

15 April

18 April

29 April

2 May

13 May

16 May

27 May

30 May

10 June

13 June

24 June

27 June

8 July

11 July

22 July

25 July

5 August

8 August

19 August

22 August

2 September

5 September

16 September

19 September

30 September

3 October

14 October

17 October

28 October

31 October

11 November

14 November

25 November

28 November

9 December

Contact Project: Desert Elephant Conservation Volunteer Project

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for email for the latest news and appeals.
Be sure to stay up to date.

Linking People & Conservation

The African Conservation Foundation is an award-winning charity focused on protecting Africa's endangered wildlife and their habitats.

Connect with us