Top 3 Cheetah Release sites in Namibia

– – –  LIMITED OFFER – £100 discount on all new bookings!  – – – 

Neuras is almost like the behinds the scenes of conservation, and even though your not hands on with animals, it is just as rewarding” Julia, aged 22, US

A volunteer at Neuras can expect an unforgettable experience. During your stay, you will help in the entire process of rescuing, caring for, and releasing big cats into a conservation environment, to avoid human-wildlife conflict – all under the breath-taking scenery of the deep red sand dunes and the stunning desert landscape.

You will become an integral part of this ambitious project, the aims of which are to remove the animals from sites and sources of conflict with the local community and farmers, and transfer them to an environment where they can flourish once more. This is the first project to monitor trans-located cats on a sustained and intensive basis.

Hiking up the dunes and running/falling back down was also unforgettable” Lyndsay

wildlife volunteers at Neuras
Running/falling down the sand dunes at Sossusvlei

What will I be doing as a volunteer?

What this means is keeping an eye on the collared cheetahs and leopards that have been released in NamibRand so far, tracking them to find out about their home ranges and behaviour. They are hoping to prove that the animals will stay in the private nature reserve and don’t go on to farmland to kill livestock.
Unfortunately this does not always happen, and only recently one of the cheetah, Einstein, had to be re-captured, as he was caught killing local farmers’ sheep and kudu.

Volunteers will be monitoring the big cats daily, by tracking radio-collared Cheetah and Leopards via radio-telemetry, game counts, checking on camera traps, footprint identification, spoor counts, and direct observations (day and night), whilst exploring the stunning research site – quite a lot of hiking up mountains to get a good signal, but well worth the amazing views and success of finding a signal!

volunteering with cheetah in Namibia
Feeding time at the NCCC

The Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre

A highlight for many, you will also visit another research station, the Namib Carnivore Conservation Centre (NCCC) and participate with this project, meeting and feeding 6 captive cheetahs – they are un-releasable, as they are either problem cats, or they are too tame. These six ambassador cheetahs live a life as close to the wild as can be provided.

Where is Neuras?

Neuras is located on the edge of the Namib Desert in Southern Namibia and is famous for being the “World’s Driest Vineyard” – although Neuras has produced two unique red wines since 2001!! It is through producing wine, eco-tourism and this volunteer programme, that funding is provided for the carnivore research.

3 release sites

All released cats are fitted with VHF or GPS tracking collars to allow their movements and progress to be monitored in their new environment. The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary plays a vital role in the rescue, rehabilitation and subsequent release of cheetah and leopard from around Namibia, to one of three release sites.

1 – The first site is in the Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate, located in the majestic Naukluft Mountains where vital information is gathered using camera traps, game counts and terrain.

2 – The second is situated at the edge of the Namib Desert and provides scientific data on the densities, home ranges and territories of cheetah in the Solitaire area.

3 – The third site is situated within a huge 224,000 hectare reserve where the cats are free to roam within and outside its borders in NamibRand.

Volunteers are based at Neuras, and are likely to visit Solitaire for one day and may also visit NamibRand, depending on the project needs at that time.

– – –  LIMITED OFFER – £100 discount on all new bookings!  – – – 

volunteer with cheetah in Namibia
Some of the cheetahs are too tame to release into the wild

My time at Neuras was wonderful. The accommodation was fantastic! – a nice little luxury from the wildlife sanctuary. It’s a beautiful place. It was a lot of fun going on the game counts, making the enrichment for the cheetahs at Solitaire and climbing the dunes. There’s so much natural beauty in Namibia 🙂Fiona, Australia, aged 23 (Big Cat Release and Tracking Volunteer, & overland Namibia Dunes and Wildlife Experience – 6 Days

Where will I be staying?

After spending at least a week at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, rescuing and looking after any type of wildlife that needs helping, you will be transferred to the stunning desert landscape of Neuras. The accommodation is in beautiful stone-built en-suite chalets, shaded by large Acacia and Ebony tress. The Braai (barbeque) is under a tall, shady tress.

All meals are prepared for you, and served at the lapa area where you can indulge in a menu of refined simplicity, which includes locally inspired flavors paired with the Neuras wines – bliss!

The work at the Sanctuary is very important – we experienced it first-hand when we had to rush out to Windhoek one morning to respond to an emergency call about a baby cheetah in someone’s back garden! The Wildlife Sanctuary is doing a great job of establishing itself as a friend to the farmers and communities, as well as to the wildlife. Katy Bennett, UK, (Teaching and Wildlife Volunteer in Namibia).

There is also a swimming pool for cool dips after a hot day in the desert, and sundowners can be enjoyed in the stone-built lapa, enjoying the amazing vistas.

We also offer a trip to the famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei and you’ll have the opportunity to taste Moose Mcgregor’s world famous Apple Pie at his bakery at Solitaire.

volunteering with leopard & cheetah in Namibia
Tracking the collared cheetah and leopards using radio-telemetry

This exciting Big Cat Release & Tracking Volunteer project, represents a unique opportunity to experience and help in the entire process of rescuing, caring for, and releasing big cats into a conservation environment, to avoid human-wildlife conflict. This has been especially helpful to some, who are hoping to study Zoology, as it really gives a chance to see what conservationists do day to day.

– – –  Special Offer  – – –

For a limited time, Amanzi Travel are offering a massive £100 reduction on all bookings at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary or the Big Cat Release & Tracking project at Neuras – meaning 14 nights from just £675. Just email gemma@amanzitravel.co.uk or phone on +44 (0)117 253 0888 for more information, or to book your place now.

 Do Something Amazing!

3 weeks at Neuras

Right from day one from being picked up, I was made to feel welcome and an important part of the small team.  Kate and Matt are the perfect hosts, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.  The surroundings are perfect. The food is just the best and I was so pleased that I had split the weighting of the projects in this manner.  The research side of the project really appealed and I loved all of the exposure to the Naukluft mountains and Namib desert. Gaining knowledge in the field of tracking released leopards and cheetahs, game counting etc was excellent.  By staying longer, I was lucky enough to experience a wide array of the project activity and its value to the conservation of these magnificent creatures.

Surrounded by stunning landscapes, working with lively, enthusiastic, fun guides who are just the perfect hosts, I have had the pleasure of enjoying a totally amazing 3 weeks at the Neuras research/release project. I would highly recommend people to stay for as long as possible for the expeirence of a lifetime in conserving these magnificent animals.Andrew, UK, aged 39 (Big Cat Release and Tracking Volunteer)

volunteering with big cats in Namibia
Social sundowner sampling the Neuras wines!

Gemma

A truly life changing experience, working on wildlife and community volunteering projects in Africa over 15 years ago, convinced Gemma Whitehouse to give up her job as a Marketing Manager for an international organisation and use her skills and expertise to set up a company that would offer others the same amazing opportunities with a service second to none - thus Amanzi Travel was born.

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