Wine & Wildlife research project
In the local language of Khoikhoi, the original name of the project means “place of abandoned water” and owes its early existence as a farm to several crystal clear cold water springs.
The Wine & Wildlife project covers an area of approximately 144km2 and was purchased in 2012 with the intention of wine growing from the Wild Animal Station.
- Minimum age requirement of 18
- Volunteer for 1 – 12 Weeks
- Airport transfers included
- All transport to project included
- Accommodation & Meals provided
- Price starting from 783€ (2019)
- Volunteer Visa required (We assist you with the whole process)
Shiraz, Merlot, and Petit Verdot vines are planted on the property. The project has since become known as one of the driest vineyards in the world, not because of the grapes, but because of its desert location and low annual rainfall.
Meanwhile, research in the area plays an equally important role. The project mainly focuses on the conflict between humans and animals in connection with the predation of jackals. The jackal is not among the endangered animals, which results in many farmers abusing jackals and keeping them on their farms for fun. The project seeks to analyze the seasonal presence of jackals on farms around Neuras and to examine whether new protocols can be developed to protect livestock throughout the year.
Another conflict exists between agriculture and nature, as there is a high density of Hartmann’s mountain zebra in this area. These are seen as competitors for pastureland and many farmers consider the mountain zebra an ordinary meat source and decide to shoot it. The project estimates that there are a high number of zebras in the area, but does not know if this affects the overall population. The zebra is classified as an “endangered” species, which is why the zebra hunt is controlled by permits, but there are many discrepancies regarding this status as abundance is present here.
The reserve is bordered to the north by the Naukluft Mountain Range and the Tsauchab River System, which flows into the Sossusvlei Basin. The southern part of the project is a geological labyrinth of an extensive canyon with a unique underground cave system.
Volunteers support the team in wildlife observation and census, monitoring and evaluation of GPS data and all other wildlife management tasks. This is mainly about the problems with the jackals and the mountain zebras described above. The tasks are similar to those in desert research.
Also, two varieties of wine are produced there. You have the opportunity to help with the grape harvest, the bottling, labeling, etc. and get to know the entire process of wine production (depending on the season). Everything is still done there by hand.
A highlight is certainly a trip to the Sossusvlei sand dunes (optional, for a small fee) – an absolute must-see in Namibia!
- GPS tracking
- Camera traps
- Animal observations and animal counts
- Data analysis
- Maintenance tasks
- Assistance with the production of wine
Volunteer work hours:
- Volunteers are expected to work 8 hours per day.
- Working days depends on the current situation on the research site, you should be willing to be flexible.
Important information regarding the project:
- Are there internet facilities available at the project? There is no internet available. There is also no cellphone reception.
- How many volunteers can help? 12 Volunteers at any given time.
- Any medical recommendations? The project recommends tetanus and rabies vaccine.
You live in a tent camp, which lies directly opposite a natural spring. There are six tents for 2 persons each. The bathrooms are shared. There is a swimming pool and a BBQ area. 12 volunteers can participate in the project at the same time. This guarantees a family atmosphere. You also get three meals a day there. Vegetarian food is available but must be booked in advance.
- Accommodation provided in tented camp opposite a natural spring. (Shared)
- Shared bathroom facilities
- Swimming pool & BBQ (Barbeque area)
- 3 Meals provided daily (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- Placement at project personally visited & approved by a Claim Victory member.
- Detailed information & service package with all needed information
- Flight advice & checking of travel insurance
- List of fellow travelers who will be joining you at the project
- Airport transfers (Pick up & drop off) at Windhoek airport (Hosea Kutako international airport)
- 1 Night accommodation in Windhoek provided (Breakfast included)
- All project related transport
- All project related costs (Accommodation, meals & activities)
- Dedicated volunteer coordinator located on-site at the project
- 24/7 Local emergency assist number of Claim Victory
- Feedback/Debriefing (Optional)
- Certificate of volunteering (Optional)
Want to get the most out of your visit to South Africa? Why not add a tour to your adventure!
- Namibia introduction experience (+200€)