DESERT ELEPHANTS: NAMIBIA
For school groups, international flights from main centres in Southern Africa will be organised to Walvis Bay, Namibia. Land transfers from Walvis Bay to Base Camp along the Ugab River are approximately 4-5 hours. Small groups and school trips can travel on flexible dates whereas individual volunteers (18+) will be transported to Base Camp on Mondays.
Individual volunteers: Please note that all individual volunteers will need to arrive to the town of Swakopmund the Sunday before their Monday pickup. Please contact us to give you more information on transport arrangements.
All participants will require a passport that is valid for at least six months from date of entry. Anyone under the age of 18 requires an Unabridged Birth Certificate and Parent Consent Form. Y4C will provide assistance with the required documentation. Those with a foreign passport will also need to investigate visa requirements.
Average day temperatures in summer (Nov – March) range from 25°C to 35°C, sometimes rising above 40°C in the desert. This is also the rainy season, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. In winter (May – Oct), temperatures during the day can range from 20°C to 30°C, but during the night it can get as low as 5°C. Winter is the dry season.
This will be provided at the time of booking to assist with the dilemma of what to bring. Clothes are climate dependent but the general rule is to layer, as it can be very hot during the day and cool at night (especially in winter). In addition, neutral clothes are important, especially during tracking and patrols, so you blend in with your surroundings. Other recommendations will be given to you on your packing list.
Special diets are catered for whenever possible, so please contact us for special requests. There are no shops while on the programme so please bring any snacks or extras with you. For individual volunteers that arrive on the Sunday, you will have an opportunity purchase items at the many shops located in Swakopmund before departure.
A typical programme for all our volunteers will include a two-part itinerary. The focus of the first half of the programme is on working with local communities to build protective walls around their water sources, or to build new water holes for elephants away from people. The second half of the programme focusses on tracking and monitoring the elephants on patrol and wild-camping. A sample 10-day school group itinerary can be sent to you upon request. It is important to note that this itinerary is flexible and there is an option, for example, to exchange the patrol experience with an adventurous group trek that explores the area on foot and includes navigational skills. In addition, for an extra ‘add-on’, school groups can fundraise to spend the first half of their programme working with local schools on renovation and upliftment projects. Depending on the interests and objectives of your group, we are happy to develop an itinerary that works for you.
HEALTH & MEDICAL
All participants should obtain their own medical advice prior to arrival and are required to have medical insurance in the case of an emergency. All medical coverage must include air evacuation, due to the remoteness of the Camp. The project site is considered malaria-free, but please consult a physician.
There is no wifi at Base Camp and solar electricity is limited but there is a small power station to charge the essentials. During the patrol or trek, you will be without electricity and we recommend a power bank for charging important items.