Harnas Wildlife Foundation offers a life-changing experience, where you as the VolunTourist are given the unique opportunity to create and tailor your own Harnas Wildlife Foundation Experience. You can take part in several aspects of conservation, wildlife and community upliftment.
If you are older than 40 or just seeking a more luxurious and relaxed experience, you can join the Harnas Exclusive VolunTourist project which runs for two weeks at a time.
Length of stay at Harnas
VolunTourists can stay for a minimum of two weeks or up to a maximum of three months at Harnas. It is recommend that VolunTourists stay longer than two weeks to make the most of the experience, and to really bond with the animals. At the end of the first two weeks VolunTourists will be equipped with the right skills, knowledge and training to join any of the other Harnas Projects.
Harnas Wildlife Foundation can accommodate a maximum of 50 VolunTourists taking part in the various projects at any given time. High season months are from July through to September, so it is advisable to book well in advance if a visit during this time is intended.
Upon arrival at Harnas VolunTourists are introduced to the VolunTourist coordinators/facilitators and are shown the accommodation and facilities at the VolunTourist village.
The first full day is an induction day, where coordinators give a full background on Harnas Wildlife Foundation and its history, as well as all the rules of how to work, interact and live in this animal kingdom. The second day will be a practical training day where VolunTourists go through a full food preparation and animal care training ensuring that they know what kind of food the different animals get, how to feed them and how to clean their enclosure. New VolunTourists are not allowed to go into enclosures until the following Monday.
Should you have any medical conditions that you need to declare, please do so as soon as you arrive. You can speak to the VolunTourist coordinator in this regard.
Each stay at Harnas is unique. Projects may change and is always subject to the circumstances, time and safety of the moment!
Activities / Program
An average day on Harnas consists of the following list of activities; this however is only a general guideline as each day has to be slightly customized to allow for the unpredictable nature of working with animals or any unexpected urgencies.
1. Animal food preparation (foodprep), animal feeding & cleaning 2. Caretaking 3. Animal walks and interaction 4. Horse riding 5. Feeding tours 6. Farm work 7. Research 8. Projects (generally specific short term infrastructure upgrade goals groups are appointed too to complete)
Your flights should be booked to arrive at Hosea Kutako airport, near Windhoek. We suggest flying with Air Namibia, our business partner in flights.
All travel arrangements before pick-up and after drop-off is your responsibility. Please see our travel checklist for easy assistance.
If you need transfers from the airport to Windhoek, please ask Bookings for assistance.
A Harnas shuttle bus does transport from the point of pick-up in Windhoek to Harnas and back on allocated dates. Schedules transport leaves Windhoek every Friday morning and there is a return bus to Windhoek every Thursday. This transfer is included in your program fee.
All VolunTourists must arrive in Windhoek before Friday (all our programs start on a Friday). The scheduled transfer leaves between 09:00 and 10:00 from Windhoek for Harnas Gobabis every Friday morning. Please ensure that you arrive in Namibia no later than the Thursday before your program is scheduled to start.
Once you have finalized your first night accommodation in Windhoek (this is not included in your program fee), please let us know where we should pick you up. We need to place your name on our transport list to ensure pick-up. If we do not have your name on the list, we will assume that you will be making use if your own transport to get to Harnas. Please let us know where to pick you up at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival.
The trip to Harnas can take several hours, due to stops, pick-ups and drop-offs. There will be a chance to buy drinks and a small meal at Gobabis before we head for the farm.
The transport back from Harnas to Windhoek is always on a Thursday, arriving in Windhoek at approximately 14:00.
All programs on Harnas start on a Friday. We ask all Voluntourist to arrive the day before, i.e. the respective Thursday. Your accommodation for the Thursday night is not included in your program fee. Should you need assistance with booking this night’s accommodation, please contact Marika to find a list of recommended hotels here.
Accommodation on Harnas Gobabis is in one of the wooden cabins at the VolunTourist Village. Four (4) VolunTourists of the same sex share a unit at a time. Showers and toilets are communal for the VolunTourists and separate from the cabins. Harnas supplies towels and bed linen.
Should you wish to share your accommodation with your partner, please let us know and we will try our best to accommodate you, but this is not guaranteed, especially during high season.
The village is run on solar power, and each room has solar panel lights. Since there are no permanent power outlets at the village Harnas offers a separate room where VolunTourists can charge their cell phones, laptops and cameras at the main farm complex which is located about 700 meters from the VolunTourist village.
Harnas provides all food and the Lapa kitchen prepares all meals. Please note that Namibia is predominantly a meat-eating country and that it is not an easy country to be a vegetarian or vegan, but maximum effort is applied to satisfy each individual’s needs. VolunTourists should make sure to communicate special dietary needs long before arrival; otherwise they will have to make do with the given menu.
Harnas offers a laundry service from Monday to Saturday, but VolunTourists are required to wash their own underwear and socks.
Proof of travel insurance
Proof of payment
Marika’s number; +264 81 140 3322
What to pack:
Please remember that even though Namibia is a hot country in general, it can get EXTREMELY cold during the winter months (May to August) and temperatures often go below zero degrees Celsius.
Camera and charger (You will take many photos, so traveling with extra memory devices or blank cd’s/dvd’s is advised)
Cash for personal use (Please exchange your currency at the airport’s beurou de change, as we do not carry cash at our office to allow for this)
Notebook and pen
Small backpack for daily use
Light weight bush clothes (shorts, T-shirts, sweaters, long trousers)
Rain coat (Only if you visit Namibia from September to April)
Fleece or warm jacket
Comfortable shoes for bush walks
Flip-flops or sandals
Sleeping bag – for sleep-outs in the bush
International power adaptor for charging your electronic devices
To do list:
Vaccinations, unless you have any medical reason not to vaccinate:
Vaccinations requirements change, so please check with a specialized travel clinic for up-to-date information.
All the Harnas locations are known to be malaria free; however, Namibia is a country in which malaria does occur. You should therefore use your own discretion about malaria medication while on Harnas but we do advise its use if you plan to travel to the far north of Namibia or to any of the northern bordering countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola before or after your stay at Harnas.
Things to remember:
Did you inform us where to pick you up in Windhoek?
Remain at your hotel until we do collect you.
Are all your transit visas and arrangements correct?
Have you arranged transfer to and from the Windhoek International Airport for your pre and post accommodation at Harnas (the airport is situated about 50km outside Windhoek)?
Some General Africa and Harnas tips:
Namibia is a mostly peaceful and friendly country. Even so, there are certain small things you should remember when travelling in general.
1. Don’t flash your cash.
2. Carry your cash against your body while you are travelling
3. Baboons and vervet monkeys pick each other for ticks. Piercings to them are just another tick to pick! Beware…
4. Harnas is not a petting zoo and interaction with animals is allowed only when management says yes
5. As VolunTourist/Volunteer you will work. Sometimes you will work very hard or tedious, and sometimes your jobs will be fun. Either way, you are acting as an employee on Harnas while at the same time being our guest. We wish to be receptive to your needs but please understand that the jobs you are appointed to be very important.
7. Harnas provides a place to stay on your visit, but we are not responsible for your hygiene. Please remember to pack your own toiletries and even though basic items are available in our staff shop, we do not have a supermarket.
8. Namibian law gazetted a law in March 2012 that does not allow anyone to interact with large carnivores unless permission has been given by the Minister of Environment and Tourism, and that is very difficult to obtain.
9. Finally, we do things like we do for various reasons. You might not always understand why we do it nor completely agree with our actions. We have reasons for this and will gladly share it with you if you approach us in a civil manner regarding the situation. The best practice however is to leave your ideas of conservation at home and come experience this magnificent place for what it is.