Wildlife volunteering: Top Travel Experience(s)

Baboon walk, volunteering in Namibia

Baboon walk, volunteering in Namibia

Getting down and dirty, deciding there’s no point in washing your shorts because you’re on enclosure cleaning yet again or it’s just so wet and humid, why bother?

These are the joys of volunteering in Namibia and Ecuador.

Me with Bobby, the big baby baboon

Me with Bobby, the big baby baboon

A Chichico having fun in my hood

A Chichico having fun in my hood – volunteering in Ecuador near the Amazon

Babysitting a little baby baboon named Violet, cute right? Up until she wakes up and goes loopy in the morning when you try change her nappy.

These are the joys of wildlife volunteering.

Violet sleeping

Violet sleeping

Violet Asleep

Violet Asleep

Pulling branches and logs together to create enclosures for monkeys and sloths coming into quarantine so they can be released.

These are the joys of Amazon volunteering.

Macaws

Macaws

Chorongo roaming outside its enclosure

Chorongo roaming outside its enclosure

Getting to hurl raw meat over fences to leopards, cheetahs and lions. Hearing the sound of wild dogs being feed carcases. Cleaning the cheetahs and leopards enclosures… with them inside.

These are the moments to treasure volunteering in the vast plains of Namibia.

Umbelle, Leopard

Umbelle, Leopard

Cheetah Cub

Cheetah Cub

Samira, cheetah

Samira, cheetah

Meatball, Lion from N/a'ankuse

Meatball, Lion from N/a’ankuse

Carnivore Feeding Time

Carnivore Feeding Time

Wild Dogs being fed

Wild Dogs being fed

Getting sick as a dog, from drinking ‘filtered water’. Venturing to the local military hospital with a translator. Discovering no toilet paper or soap. Getting pain medicine shot right into your veins.

These are the joys of volunteering in the depths of the jungle.

Guatin

Guatin

Sticking your hands into a bucket of rotten fruit and veggies frozen to mush up for the monkeys, only to have a mouse jump out at you. Bugs and insects on steroids roaming the rooms and bathrooms. Knowledge that it’s actually illegal to kill some spiders.

These are the scary moments of volunteering in Namibia.

Lapa and rooms

Lapa and rooms

Kagone

Kagone

Feeding monkeys from big Chorongo’s to small little tamarins and pygmy monkeys. Having monkeys and birds climb on you like you’re just another object to play on.

These are joys of volunteering.

Chorongo enjoying its egg

Chorongo enjoying its egg

Pygmy Monkeys feeding time

Pygmy Monkeys feeding time

Red Tiki Monkey

Red Tiki Monkey

Having a baboon toddler jump on your hip for a cuddle, another climb on your shoulder, another start adjusting your hair aka ‘grooming’.

These are the joys of African volunteering.

Baby Baboons

Baby Baboons, Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Me with the tiny babies

Me with the tiny babies

baby-baboon-groom-walk

On my last epic travels through Africa, South, Central and North America I volunteered in Namibia at N/a’ ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary just out of Windhoek and at Yana Cocha in Puyo on the edge of the Amazon in Ecuador.

In both experiences there were definite ups and downs. At times I really didn’t enjoy it, but I look back on the photos and the memories and I’m so pleased that I did volunteer with animals. How often do you have the chance to get that close to incredible animals like these right?

It taught me a lot about wild animals in general and gave me a newfound appreciation for wildlife conservation when it’s done right.

Below is a list of various posts I created during my time volunteering, please peruse them at your leisure:

Namibia:
https://kiwifootprints.com/2014/11/05/week-one-at-naankuse-namibia-wildlife-sanctuary/
https://kiwifootprints.com/2014/11/07/naankuse-week-two-on-the-wildlife-sanctuary/
https://kiwifootprints.com/2014/11/10/babysitting-a-baby-baboon/
https://kiwifootprints.com/2014/11/13/wish-day-at-naankuse-wildlife-sanctuary/
https://kiwifootprints.com/2014/11/14/finishing-up-at-naankuse-wildlife-sanctuary/

Ecuador:
https://kiwifootprints.com/2015/03/19/volunteering-at-yana-cocha-in-ecuador/

This was part of my Top 30 Travel Experiences before I’m 30, for more experiences to inspire, check out the growing travel list here »

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