About Nomadic Tours

Our Nomadic Tours were born out of the dream to offer the beauty, splendour and healing power of Africa to travellers on a budget, allowing them to experience pristine beaches, breath-taking mountains, memorable animal encounters and some of the best bars and restaurants around. Experience all of this and more along with yoga and wellness experiences to make sure your time in Africa is memorable, revitalizing, heart-happy and adventurous.

View our current retreats below and join us on one of our wellness in the wilderness adventures!

Set Date Tours & Retreats

OVERVIEW.

Ladakh (La-Dags – “land of high mountain passes”) is mainland India’s most remote and sparsely populated region, a high-altitude desert cradled by the Karakoram and Great Himalaya ranges and crisscrossed by myriad razor-sharp peaks and ridges. Variously described as “Little Tibet” or “the last Shangri-La”. The population of Ladakh is predominantly Buddhist and Ladakh has been deeply influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, which follows the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools. In these forms of Buddhism, Buddha is worshipped a deity who has attained Nirvana (freedom from the cycle of birth and death). This journey is a perfect blend of culture and nature. As the journey proceeds, this land of mysteries and legends will unfold a unique culture and life before you. You will visit ancient monasteries and palaces and learn how Buddhism came to this remote kingdom, land locked by high mountain passes and deep river gorges.

The mythology of Tibetan Buddhism has many tales of various spirits and demons. These representations of both good and evil qualities are depicted in the form of masks and their stories are enacted as masked dances during the annual festivals of various Gompas in Ladakh. You will definitely feel blessed to be part of the Hemis festival and the annual international Yoga day in these beautiful landscapes of Ladakh. This journey gives you an insight of living like a local, interact with Lamas, you will attend the morning prayers in the monasteries, archery games , cycle in the Himalayas, stories of Pashmina, horse polo and lot of other activities. You will definitely cherish the memories of this trip for the rest of your lives.

HIGHLIGHTS.

➔ Celebrate International Day of Yoga in the valley

The participants will celebrate the IYD in the Himalayas – where it all began – with the beautiful backdrop of the valley and serene surroundings. This will give you an insight into the age old philosophy – a means of discovering self.

➔ Participate in a monastic festival – Hemis Tsechu

More than six centuries ago, a great Guru trekked through the Tibetan and Indian Himalayas. On his way, he set up 108 monasteries – centers of Buddhism to study and meditate in. Following the Rimpoche, these monasteries soon became famous as centers of learning and spreading of non-violence throughout the high Himalayas. Naropa is a festival that occurs once in 12 years – celebrating Buddha’s teachings at Hemis Tsechu. An immense Thangka is unrolled during this time. The 100ft tall cloth depicts various aspects of Buddha’s life – and significant changes that occurred to him. An event that will inspire each and everyone of you.

➔ Interact with the the Lamas

Explore the waterways around which these hamlets reside and meet the local inhabitants. Along with the physical, though, the culture of Ladakh also encompasses a great deal of the spiritual. With Lamas in the many monasteries (Thiksey,Shey Monastery and Spituk Gompa) acting as mediators between this world.

➔ Morning prayers in the Monasteries

Attend the morning prayer session with the monks in Thiksey monastery and light up 100 butter candles in the honor of the Buddha.

➔ A game of horse polo (as a player or a spectator)

An opportunity for you to to play (or witness) the local sport of Ladakh.  Every major village has a polo ground and the game is an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Ladakhi people where music, especially drums, accompany the scoring of each goal.

➔ A session of archery

Archery is a local sport and there are so many key learnings from this sport. It is about precision, balance, composure, and teamwork. It is so much about how one hits the target than just hitting the target.

➔ Cycle around the Himalayas

Cycling in the Himalayas is a dream for everyone. Such is the beauty of the place. It is not the easiest of the task though. It will test your endurance, skills, and awareness. Lessons learnt during this exercise will help you counter difficult situations at work.

➔ Excursion to Alchi and Lamayuru Monasteries

➔ Excursion to Turtuk village – the last village on the India-Pak border

➔ Excursion to Pangong tso

ITINERARY.

Day Date Program
01 Monday, 18 June Arrive Delhi.You will board the connecting flight to Leh. You will be greeted by a local representative and transferred to your hotel. Evening is at leisure. Welcome dinner will be served at an exclusive venue. Overnight in Leh.
02 Tuesday, 19 June This day is at leisure to get acclimatised to the high altitude.  As most of the destinations and attractions of Ladakh including Leh are positioned on the high altitudes, above 10, 000 feet, travelers  and other visitors might suffer from headaches, dizziness and Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS. Thus, a little planning for acclimatization to the high altitudes of Ladakh surely becomes one of the most important things to do during your Ladakh tour. You will spend the day at leisure or you can stroll around in the evening. Overnight in Leh.
03 Wednesday, 20 June This morning after breakfast drive to Wari La to cycle with the wind. Wari La is one of the most scenic passes in Ladakh, Wari La is also the fourth-highest motorable road in the world. This pass connects two of the most exotic valleys in this trans-Himalayan region. Here you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the Nubra valley, which lies beyond the pass, as well as the many villages that dot the Indus valley. Wari La was opened only in the year 2008 as an alternative route into the Nubra valley. Post a short safety briefing session at the top, you’ll be ready to cycle down the best track that the Ladakhi Himalayas have to offer. The road criss-crosses its way on the mountain side into the green oasis of Sakti village. This exhilarating ride comes to an end at Kharu town.Return to the hotel for lunch. After lunch leave for the orientation tour of Leh. Visit the famed Leh Palace, a nine storied wonder that is home to some of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture. Make your way through endless winding alleys and stairways that burrow around series of old mud-brick Ladakhi houses and chortens. Other well-restored buildings that is part of your itinerary includes the 17th-century Munshi Mansion, which was once home to the Ladakhi Royal Secretary, and now houses the vibrant LAMO Arts Centre.

No cultural tour in Leh and Ladakh can be complete without a walk through its many hamlets. These tiny oases serve as a relieving sight from the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the region. The true sources of the traditional way of life in Ladakh, these silent sentinels of traditions are a sight to behold. Make your way through mud-bricked lanes, lined with poplar trees along the path. Explore the waterways around which these hamlets reside and meet the local inhabitants. Along with the physical, though, the culture of Ladakh also encompasses a great deal of the spiritual. With Lamas in the many monasteries (Thiksey,Shey monastery and spituk gompa) acting as mediators between this world. In the evening stroll in the Leh market to witness the locals and their ways of earning their livelihood. Overnight in Leh.

04 Thursday ,21 June This day is dedicated to celebrate the international Yoga day in the serene environs of Ladakh. Early morning proceed to an exclusive venue for Yoga sessions with the Yoga guru. Indulge in this ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment. This is a half day activity. Late morning breakfast will be served at the venue. Return to the hotel. After lunch attend the lecture on Buddhism, spirituality and also meditate with the monks. Evening is at leisure. Overnight in Leh.
05 Friday, 22 June Excursion to Lamayuru and Alchi : This day after attending the morning prayer at monastery, you will leave for Lamayuru (2.5 HRS). Arrive Lamayuru and visit the Lamayuru Gompa or the famous monastery in the Lamayuru region. It is hard to say whether the monastery is named after the place or the place got its name from the monastery, as it is one of the most famous monasteries situated in Kargil, Himalayas. The region lies at an altitude of 3510 meters. A tour to Lamayuru Gompa is an essential part of a visit to Leh and Ladakh, along with the world famous monument in the Kargil district. Lamayuru is believed to be the oldest and the biggest Gompa situated in Ladakh. In this monastery, a total of 150 monks live as permanent residents. After lunch proceed to Alchi monastery – known for the beautiful wall paintings that date back to the year 1000 A.D. It was built by Rinchen Zangpo. The wall paintings in Alchi Monastery are of great artistic expertise and depict the spiritual ideals of Buddhism and Hinduism in the lives of the Kings of Jammu and Kashmir. Alchi Gompa comprises of temples of Rinchen Lhakhang at Lotsa Lhakhang, Jamyang Lhakhang (Manjusri temple) and the Sumtsag Lhakhang. There are a number of Buddhists images and statues too, in the monastery. The main image is that of Vairocana. The paintings in the monastery reflect the Indian style. In the evening drive back to Leh for overnight stay.
06 Saturday, 23 June Hemis Festival: Based on Tibetan and Buddhist Legends, Hemis Festival is said to have its origins back in 8th Century. Lord Padmasambhava also known as Guru Rimpoche is believed to be the local savior who banished demons and evil spirits. The festival highlight is the Dance performances and plays by masked Lamas. The masked dance represents the good prevailing over evil. The participants of the spellbinding performance are dressed in vibrant costumes and bright masks. It’s time to celebrate the Ladakhi Hemis festival. In the quaint Hemis Jangchub Choling Monastery, the colorful extravaganza of celebrating the birth of local savior Lord Padmasambhava is under fervent preparations. 45 kms from Leh, capital city of Ladakh Witnesses’ international crowds come to join the festivities. Dance, music, prayers, masked performances and a medley of colors will be seen everywhere you see. The otherwise quaint and rugged landscape of Ladakh turns vibrant and chaotic during this monastery festival. Return to the hotel and spend the evening at leisure. Overnight in Leh.
07 Sunday, 24 June This morning after breakfast indulge in Archery session followed by a game of horse polo. After lunch leave for Nubra valley driving over the Khardung La pass, one of the highest motorable passes in the world. The road winds down from the pass to the lowlands where winding channels of the Shyok and Nubra Rivers crisscross the wide and flat Nubra valley. From far the valley seems parched and dry but as you go closer the valley mainly consists of prime farmland, the reason why it is also called the Orchard of Ladakh. In the evening, we will have a performance by a Ladakhi cultural group who will enchant you with their elaborate, colourful, and majestic dance with slow and gentle movements matched by their traditional dresses. Overnight in Nubra Valley.
08 Monday, 25 June After breakfast, drive to Turtuk – the land of Balti people, located at an altitude of 9846 feet above the sea level , this beautiful village is on the edge of Shayok valley. Until the year 1971, Turtuk was a part of Baltistan and was under the control of Pakistan. The story that goes around in Turtuk by the elders is one worth hearing about how on that one eventful evening they went bed in Pakistan occupied Kashmir or PoK and woke up in India. To enter Turtuk one has to walk over a wooden bridge that crosses over the road and flowing stream. The village is very scenic with plenty of small colorful flowers and apricot trees all over the village. The village grows four different varieties of apricots and this fruit is the major source of income to the people. There are so many apricot trees in the village, that climbing on one of the trees and plucking the fruit is a must do thing for everyone who visits this beautiful village during the month of July and August.The elders from the village are generally busy all day in their farms. A stroll through the village is very pleasant taking you through lush green wheat field where you can meet cute little smiling children. Nearly all the women in the village work in the hay fields along with their teenage children, while the men are mostly shepherds and tend to their apricot business. They also provide mules and porters to the army. The village is situated on a flat plateau amidst the mighty Trans-Himalayas and the village really gives travellers a feel of what heaven on earth might look like. With its small colorful flowers and rosy cheeked children wandering the village lanes like naughty angels, while they play and run around the place, Turtuk makes people feel like they are in paradise.

Drive back to Diskit monastery and Hunder sand dunes for a joyrides on the Bactrian camels. Native to the steppes of central Asia, the Bactrian camel has two humps, in contrast to the single-humped camels. The Bactrian camels, found only in Hunder, were the main mode of transport when Ladakh was an important stopover on the ancient trade routes with Central Asia.

In the evening return to hotel for overnight stay.

09 Tuesday, 26 June This morning is at leisure to explore on your own. In the afternoon drive back to Leh and explore the markets for the amazing souvenirs shopping and interact with the people. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Leh.
10 Wednesday, 27 June Day excursion to Pangong Tso – Pangong Lake also known as Pangong Tso is a beautiful endorheic lake situated in the Himalayas and is 134 km long, extending from India to China. Pangong Lake is situated at a height of 4350 m and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country. The beauty and allure of this lake has attracted people from all over the country and beyond.The one factor that makes this Lake so popular is the fact that it keeps changing colors. Situated in the Himalayan range it is approximately 140 km from Leh. The name of the lake Pangong was got from a Tibetan word Banggong Co that means a narrow and enchanted lake. And now you know that the lake has got its name rightfully.Spend the day soaking into the breathtaking views of the lake with picnic lunch. Return to Leh in the evening. Overnight in Leh.
11 Thursday, 28 June This morning you will drive to Leh airport to board the flight for Delhi where you will board the international flight for onward journey.

 

HOTEL OPTIONS.

Destination 04 star 05 star
Leh Grand Dragon/ The Zen Ladakh TUTC Chamba Luxury camp
Nubra Lchang Nang Retreat TUTC Diskit Luxury camp

DATES.

18 – 28 June 2018.

 

COSTS.

Starts from $3400 per person sharing in luxury 4 Star Hotels.

 

INCLUSIONS.

The rates given in the quotation include the following specific services:

  • Meeting and assistance on arrival and departure by our representative
  • Accommodation in the hotels mentioned, or similar for a total of 10 nights
  • Meal Plan: All meals are included in the cost.
  • All activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Transportation by an air – conditioned vehicle in Delhi and non air-conditioned in Ladakh as per the itinerary .
  • Services of an accompanying guide throughout the trip in Ladakh.
  • All entrance fee and permit fee.
  • Presently applicable Government taxes, which are subject to change.
  • Professional and service charges for preparation and operation of the tour program.

The rates include only the services listed above.

 

The rates do not include:

  • International airfare
  • Insurance
  • Visa
  • Items of a personal nature such as cost of telephone calls, torches, beverages, tips and gratuities.

 

Assumption of risk and liability:

  • While we make every effort to provide on-time service, we do not guarantee tour start and finish times, which may be delayed by any number of factors, including weather, traffic, road conditions, mechanical problems or any other conditions beyond our control. We are not liable for any inconvenience or expense caused as a result of such delay.
  • In event of illness, accidents, flight cancellation or delay caused by occurrences beyond control. Indian Outskirts, its associates and agents shall not be responsible or liable for damage whatsoever. Indian Outskirts is however committed to making all available arrangements for your care and safety. Moreover the best mutually acceptable alternatives and adjustments in the itinerary will be offered on the spot.
  • Indian Outskirts further reserve the right to change, alter or cancel a trip when considered necessary, to ensure the safety, or due to unforeseen factors beyond control.
  • We provide no insurance cover.

Note : Prices are subject to revise in case of any steep increase in fuel price, addition/ revision in Tax structure or any other unforeseen reasons.

 

PAYMENT TERMS & POLICY.

Payment Terms:

Payment for the above tour will be in Rand by one of the following options based on the exchange rate applicable on the date of transaction after mutual confirmation:

  • By Bank transfer : Also known as ‘SWIFT’ payment which is done through the bank. Our bank details will be specified in the invoice, and any applicable bank charges will be borne by you.
  • By International Credit Card : By way of PayGate.

 

Payment Policy: 

On confirmation of tour, an advance deposit of 50% of the tour cost + full airfare. Balance should be credited to our account 45 days prior to arrival.

 

Cancellation Policy:

 

If the tour is cancelled Cancellation charges
Up to 50 – 45 days prior to the date of arrival 15% of the total tour cost
Less than 45 days and up to 30 days prior to the date of arrival 40% of the total tour cost
Less than 30 days and up to 15 days prior to the date of arrival 75% of the total tour cost
Less than 15 days Full tour cost

 

Liability:

The above quotations are subject to amendment should suppliers amend their rates prior to commencement of the tour. Unforeseen conditions may necessitate some modifications to the itinerary. Indian Outskirts reserves the right to make such changes, alter or omit any part of the itinerary as the situation demands.

Indian Outskirts, while undertaking tours, transportation, hotel accommodation and other services only act as an agent on the clear understanding that they shall not be, in any way responsible or liable for any accident, damage, loss, delay or inconvenience caused in connection with the travel facilities, whether arranged by the Company, its employees & agents or not.

All bookings are accepted and executed with utmost care, yet no responsibility is undertaken for any change or deviation on account of factors beyond control.

Indian Outskirts is not responsible for the re-routing of the itinerary due to flight and/or train cancellation. Any additional expenses necessitated by such an event will be borne by the clients.

In case of cancellations or re-scheduled services by air companies, hotels, Transport Companies or other suppliers, passengers will be assisted by Indian Outskirts and any extra cost arising from this assistance, not provided for under the program, will be charged separately.

 

 

“If you want to know your past life, look at your present condition.

If you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.”

               Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava)

All Year Tours & Retreats

WHAT WE OFFER:

Here at N/a’an ku sê volunteers create a new home in the heart of Africa where they stay any length of time from 2 weeks to 3 months. All funds from the volunteer programmes are ploughed back into the projects, enabling the N/a’an ku sê Foundation to grow and become even more successful in achieving their vision. With no previous experience or qualifications necessary to participate in the program, the projects offer people the opportunity to make a lasting and tangible difference to the lives of the vulnerable San community and Namibia’s wildlife. In return you are provided with a once in a lifetime experience of living and working in the real Africa, meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds as well as gaining a unique opportunity to take a hands on role in conservation, rehabilitation and humanitarian work. As volunteers, you come for various reasons and from all walks of life. Whether they are wildlife and nature enthusiasts, pre-veterinary or medical doctors, teachers, conservationists, gap year students or simply those with a taste for adventure and a desire to make an impact in Africa, volunteers will find that while at N/a’an ku sê they will grow as a person in mind, heart and soul.

With the help of our dedicated volunteers and staff, the N/a’an ku sê Foundation continues to work toward an improved Namibia through the implementation of various projects that operate in 4 different sites around the country. These projects include wildlife work such as rehabilitation and captive care at the N/a’an ku s sê Wildlife Sanctuary as well as carnivore conservation research at Neuras and Kanaan, the two sites operating in the South of Namibia. Other projects and activities focus on aiding the San community and include the Lifeline Medical Clinic in the east of Namibia as well as voluntary participation at our Clever Cubs School for San children at the Wildlife Sanctuary.

VOLUNTEER OPTIONS:

Wildlife Conservation Volunteering:

  • At the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary (Clever Cubs School available here as an activity or project) near Windhoek, volunteers will focus on caring for animals in rehabilitation or permanent captivity
  • At Kanaan Desert Retreat & Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate in the Southwest of Namibia, volunteers will focus on researching free-ranging populations of carnivores to aid in N/a’an ku sê’s role of mitigating human-wildlife conflict through research and understanding of these animals as well as relationship-building and cooperation with local farmers to reduce the motivation for persecution of predators.
  • At Mangetti in the North East of Namibia, volunteers will focus on researching free-ranging populations of African Wild Dog and African Elephant to aid in N/a’an ku sê’s role of mitigating human-wildlife conflict through research and understanding of these animals as well as relationship-building and cooperation with local farmers to reduce the motivation for persecution of these species.

Medical Volunteering:

  • At the Lifeline Clinic in the East of Namibia (Epukiro), volunteers will work with the local San population to provide healthcare

Volunteers may choose to combine various projects and activities and rotate amongst the different sites or may choose to focus on only one project or area of interest for the duration of their stay – the experience can be tailored to suit the needs and desires of each volunteer. The pre-booking of project itineraries in advance is advised but can also be adjusted upon arrival subject to project availability.

DATES:

The retreat runs year round.

Start dates for the wildlife programs are Mondays and Thursdays with pick-ups from the airport or Windhoek included in the cost. If a you arrive on a different week day, then a N$ 500 fee will be incurred. Start dates for the medical project are any day prior to departure to the clinic at no additional cost.

Transfer dates to, between and from Neuras and Kanaan (the 2 southern research sites) occur on Saturdays, where as our Mangetti (the northern research site) occur on Sundays . Most volunteers choose to combine time at the wildlife sanctuary with time at their research sites.

ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD:

Upon your arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, one of their drivers will welcome you with a sheet indicating your name. When you arrive at the sanctuary, you will be welcomed by the Volunteer Liaison Manager and you will be allocated to your accommodation and a brief orientation.

They have two options of accommodation at the Wildlife Sanctuary; volunteer rooms with up to four people (same gender) sharing each room, or large tents with a living and bedroom area to be shared by up to two people (same gender or a couple). The rooms are basic but the single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are communal and hot water is supplied by solar energy and therefore sometimes restricted. Power sockets for electrical items are available in communal areas.

Three balanced meals are provided per day on a self-serve basis. On weekends they often have a braai (barbecue). Vegetarian options are available upon request. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements prior to arrival at the project.

A kiosk is available at the sanctuary for beverages and snacks. We accept Namibian Dollar and South African Rand currency for the purchases.

The facilities at their research sites are very similar to the ones provided at the sanctuary, with accommodation being either in guesthouse rooms or in large tents. They will provide you with three meals per day.

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

During your time at the Wildlife Sanctuary, you may enjoy activities such as a nature walk across the farm, swimming in the pool, playing football or paintball, followed by a sundowner and braai (barbeque). Saturday afternoons are comprised of a fun activity, and on Sundays you may have the opportunity to go into Windhoek or go for lunch or even an overnight stay at their luxury lodge. You may also have the opportunity to visit the Ancient San Skills Academy to learn about signs and tracks of the veldt, fire making with traditional San fire sticks, making bows and arrows, jewellery and craft making, and hunting in the traditional San way.

Another option as an add-on to your stay at the Wildlife Sanctuary is to book a tour to see more of the country. In Namibia, a beautiful country of changing landscapes, there is much to see and experience. Optional tours include a safari to Etosha National Park, a visit to the coastal town of Swakopmund, a chance to sand board on the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei and many more options, with which we can assist you.

At Kanaan and Mangetti you may enjoy nature walks, swimming in the swimming pools, sundowners and a braai.  At Neuras you can enjoy optional day trips to our iconic Sossusvlei and or Naukluft Mountain Hike at a surcharge. At Neuras you can enjoy a leisurely stroll

At the Lifeline Clinic you may spend some of your free time visiting the local San Bushman village, playing football with the local children or visiting nearby villages to learn more about the San community.

THE VENUE:

The N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary

Conveniently located just 45 km from Namibia’s capital of Windhoek and 35 km from the airport, yet nestled in the African bush surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of nature, N/a’an ku sê’s main site is home to the Wildlife Sanctuary and Clever Cubs School. On this project, volunteers will have the rare and exciting opportunity to actively participate in the conservation, rehabilitation, care and research of African wildlife. The sanctuary, which is the heart of N/a’an ku sê operations, currently provides a safe refuge for orphaned, injured or ‘problem’ wildlife including several lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, caracals, warthogs, antelope and baboons as well as a host of birds, smaller African mammals and farmyard animals.

The Wildlife Conservation project may also entail volunteering with the San children and assisting the teacher at their Clever Cubs School, located on premises at the N/a’an ku sê Sanctuary. This Pre-School provides vital free education to the San Bushman children whose parents work on site and who would otherwise not have access to education.

Wildlife Conservation Volunteering at Neuras, Kanaan & Mangetti

N/a’an ku sê provides volunteers with the unique opportunity to visit one or all of their carnivore research sites in Northern Namibia: Mangetti Elephant and Wild Dog Research Project OR Southern Namibia: Neuras Wine & Wildlife Estate and Kanaan N/a’an ku sê Desert Retreat. At these projects, you will have the chance to monitor large carnivores and other animals in the area, contributing to invaluable research that will help mitigate human-wildlife conflict in Africa.

Both Neuras and Kanaan run on a seven-night schedule with transportation to and from the Sanctuary on Saturdays, as well as between sites. Mangetti also runs on a seven-night schedule with transportation to and from the Sanctuary on Sundays. Conservation volunteers have the option of spending one or more weeks at all or either sites as part of their trip, where they will focus on the research of free-ranging animals. Due to space limitations, it is recommended to reserve a spot at Neuras, Kanaan and Mangetti in advance of arrival, preferably at the time of booking although it may be possible to add this to your itinerary upon arrival at the Sanctuary pending availability.

Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate

Set amongst the stunning scenery of the Southern mountains, ancient canyons and caves, fascinating geological formations and five natural fountains, Neuras is truly a unique research site and is home to one of N/a’an ku sê’s carnivore research programs – in addition to being one of only three wineries in Namibia.

At Neuras, volunteers will get ample field experience and be involved first hand with all aspects of their research programme which includes monitoring wild carnivores such as leopard, cheetah and hyena. Activities here also include data collection and processing, checking camera traps, game counts, mapping and exploring the terrain and environment. As an additional optional day activity, you may also get the opportunity to visit the world famous red sand dunes at Sossusvlei or go on a beautiful morning mountain hike at the Naukluft Mountains that is bordering to the north of Neuras. Daily activities usually entail easy to intermediate hiking in the vast outdoors of this semi-desert landscape of Neuras, which extends southwards from the top of the majestic Naukluft Mountains, forming an unbelievable oasis on the edge of the Namib desert. You should not miss this fantastic environment.

Kanaan N/a’an ku sê Desert Retreat

Approximately 2-3 hours further southwest of Neuras and bordering the Namib Naukluft Park lies N/a’an ku sê’s newest research project site, Kanaan Desert Retreat. Red sand dunes, vast open grass plains and imposing mountain ranges make up the serene surroundings of Kanaan. Home to cheetah, brown hyena, spotted hyena, leopard and an array of other desert-adapted wildlife, Kanaan encompasses 352 km2 of desert scenery in which volunteers will perform vital research.

Wildlife Conservation volunteers at Kanaan may be involved with mapping the terrain, assisting with capture and releases, tracking, game counts or horse back game count, camera traps, maintenance and security on the reserve as well as night drives and sleep-outs. During free-time, volunteers may choose to enjoy sundowners in the beautiful Namib desert while taking in the breath-taking scenery of Kana.

Mangetti Research Project

The Mangetti Elephant & Wild Dog Research Project is located east of Etosha National Park. The Mangetti research covers an area of approximately 3000 km² to engage Namibian landowners and livestock farmers on the topic which provides the greatest challenge to the conservation of endangered species: Human-Wildlife Conflict. The impact of human activities on native wildlife has never been more apparent than it is in respect to two of Africa’s iconic species; the African Painted Dog (or wild dog) and the African Elephant both of which have endured decades of suffering through habitat fragmentation, hunting and persecution.

Volunteers will assist our researchers in documenting the movements and activities of elephant and wild dog. Using GPS and VHF monitoring technology, motion-sensitive trail cameras and traditional spoor (footprint) tracking techniques, come and delve into the lives of the World’s largest land animal and one of Africa’s most endangered carnivore species.

Medical Volunteering 

The clinic provides primary healthcare to around 4,200 people each year, the majority of whom are San. They examine and treat patients at the clinic and transport those who need further medical treatment to the hospital, over 120km away. The patients live in Epukiro (or Pos 3 as it’s commonly known) and come from the surrounding villages and settlements, often travelling 50-100km to attend our clinic. At the primary healthcare clinic they consult with each patient, examine and assess their ailments, establish a diagnosis and treat accordingly. Around 40% of all our patients are children.

Whether you have no medical experience or you have worked in the field for 40 years – the activities of the Medical Volunteer program vary and will be tailored to each person depending on prior experience.  Volunteers will participate in and assist the doctor and nurse with the running of the Lifeline Clinic and help provide primary healthcare to the local community.

The project at the clinic runs on a 12 night schedule with transfers to the clinic departing every second Sunday and arriving back on the farm on the Friday of the following week. Depending on the day you arrive, you may also have the opportunity to work with the animals if you choose to combine your time with our Wildlife Volunteer program.

ABOUT YOUR HOSTS:

Marlice van Vuuren, one of Namibia’s most well-known conservationists, and her husband Dr. Rudie van Vuuren, with the support of long-term friends Chris Heunis and Jan Verburg, started N/a’an ku sê Foundation in 2006. The aim of the foundation is to protect and conserve the vulnerable land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and rescue species threatened by an ever-shrinking habitat. N/a’an ku sê, meaning “God will protect us” in the beautiful clicking language of the San, carries out the vital work of improving the lives of African wildlife as well as those of the marginalized San Bushman community.

The N/a’an ku sê Foundation continues to grow and thrive with several projects taking place for volunteers to participate in while making a real difference. These projects include wildlife conservation, rehabilitation and research as well as work with the San community at our school and medical clinic.

The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is renowned amongst conservationists worldwide, has received global awards and has even received the support of celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

COST:
Rates start from R950 per person per night, all inclusive.

A NOTE ON VISAS:

A work visa is required to volunteer at Naankuse. We work with an agency in Windhoek. Please contact us for more details. Please be informed that a work visa is a necessary requirement prior to booking arrival. This process can take six to eight weeks to be completed.

PAYMENT AND CANCELLATION:

The full, non-refundable payment is due to us 4 weeks prior to your start date. In case of a cancellation before the 4 weeks prior to start date, we can use any payment already made toward credit for your next booking. In case of cancellation within the 4 weeks prior to start date, there will be no refund or credit, and payment is due in full; however, they will honour your booking for a future placement (i.e. a change in date) if desired.

The EcoQuest course is designed to provide an ecological learning experience and is primarily aimed at those who are looking for a more in-depth bush learning experience. It consists of two components – learning about the fascinating elements of nature and how each are carefully interconnected to one another in a specific region, while at the same time experiencing some aspects of typical safari guide training.

WHY DO THE COURSE

If you are an adventurous spirit wanting to gain a greater understanding of nature and the environment, whilst experiencing the excitement of the bush, then EcoQuest is for you. In addition, we show you how to drive a 4×4 vehicle, to identify common birds, plants, trees, tracks and how to track game.

Some subjects covered on the course:

Ecology

Common Trees and Shrubs

Animal Tracks and Tracking

Bird Identification and Behaviour
Animal Behaviour

Astronomy

Orientation and Navigation

Bush Skills

Positioning Vehicle for Photography

Correct Use of Binoculars

VENUES

  • Karongwe Camps

Karongwe Camp is on the banks of the Karongwe River (mostly a dry river bed) in the 9 000 hectare (22 239 acre) Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park. Through Karongwe Game Reserve flow three rivers which are tributaries of the Olifants River, carving their way through the bedrock and dividing the reserve. The vegetation of the reserve falls within the Savannah Biome of southern Africa with distinct vegetation zones being represented – mixed Lowveld and Mopane bushveld along with grass savannah, riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops.

  • Makuleke Camp

Situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern sector of Kruger National Park is the Pafuri region, an area spanning 24,000 hectares (59305 acres). Within the Pafuri area is the Makuleke Concession, the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and the most diverse and scenically attractive area in all of Kruger National Park.
The Makuleke concession is not accessible to the ordinary tourist visiting the park. This area belongs to the Makuleke community. This is quite a historical event for South Africa as the Makuleke people were removed from this area in 1968 and after a lengthy process it was finally re-instated to the community in 1998 after a very long struggle. This area is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger National Park and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilizations.

ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD

The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per tent. Single requests are required to pay double rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.

Early morning wake-up   (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal)

Brunch after activity   (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)

Afternoon tea   (light lunch/ sandwiches)

Dinner     (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)

CERTIFICATION

All course participants receive an EcoTraining certificate of participation.

DATES

  • 2017 Dates [6 nights / 7 days]

28 June – 02 July (Karongwe) – Family EcoQuest

09 July – 15 July (Makuleke)

20 August – 26 August (Karongwe)

30 September – 06 October (Makuleke)

  • 2017 Dates [13 nights /14 days

26 August – 08 September (Karongwe & Makuleke)

10 December – 23 December (Karongwe & Makuleke)

  • 2018 Dates [6 nights / 7 days]

2 July – 8 July (Karongwe) – Family EcoQuest

29 October – 4 November (Karongwe)

14 November – 20 November (Makuleke)

22 November – 28 November (Makuleke)

10 December – 16 December (Karongwe)

  • 2018 Dates [13 nights /14 days

16 July – 29 July (Karongwe)

18 August – 31 August (Makuleke & Karongwe)

1 November – 14 November (Mashatu & Makuleke)

COSTS

2017 rate per person [6 nights / 7 days]: R14 500
2018 rate per person [6 nights / 7 days]: R16 500

2017 rate per person [13 nights / 14 days]: R25 700
2018 rate per person [13 nights / 14 days] : R28 100

In an Africa where humans and wildlife sometimes struggle to co-exist peacefully, this program provides a haven and second chance for animals in need. The Wildlife Conservation volunteers come from all backgrounds, nationalities and with varied familiarity with animals and wildlife, from absolutely no experience to those with a professional background in veterinary or conservation science. What the volunteers do have in common is a love of wildlife and a passion for aiding in the conservation and care of Africa’s diverse species.

 

WHY DO THE COURSE

As a Wildlife Conservation volunteer you provide an important resource in caring for and feeding the animals on a daily basis, as well as helping to maintain and develop the program. As a wildlife volunteer you should be ready to be actively involved in the day-to-day activities which support the program.  At Buffelsdrift the goal is to release animals whenever possible so that they may be free to live a natural life in the wild. However, sometimes an animal comes to us that cannot be released for various reasons such as habituation to humans which would put the animal at risk if released or an extensive injury. The aim is to provide a lifelong home for these animals.

Because they release and/or relocate whenever possible, the animals at Buffelsdrift will vary at any given time, but may include carnivores such as Jackal, Lions and Caracals; birds such as Peacocks and birds of prey; antelope such as Oryx (gemsbok), Springbok, Nyala, Grey Rhee buck and kudu; small mammals such as Meerkats, Rock dassies, Mongoose, Genets and Bush pigs as well as a host of other species and farm animals.

Activities at Buffelsdrift are carried out in a rotational group system to ensure that everybody gets exposed to the variety of experiences available.  Possible tasks as a Wildlife Conservation Volunteer at Buffelsdrift include:    Preparing food and feeding the wildlife; cleaning and maintaining enclosures; providing enrichment to the animals in the form of interaction, walks in the bush or implementation of special activities for them; providing intensive care for juvenile wildlife including overnight care for some animals; physical labour such as building new facilities; research which may include the monitoring of free-ranging animals in the area, analysing camera traps and GPS data; time in the environment such as tracking & monitoring a variety of animals species (and sometimes snakes!) on or near property and game counts in the bush and assisting with the various projects that arise at the sanctuary.

Weekends at Buffelsdrift tend to involve a Saturday activity that can vary from paintball, a nature walk through the reserve, “boere sport” competition, volleyball or challenges and quizzes. You will also be able to enjoy the activities in the surrounding area such as Zip lining, Cango Caves, Ostrich Farm and Wine Tasting at Karusa Wine Cellars. Evenings involve a braai and time to socialize and relax together. Sundays you may have the option to visit Oudtshoorn or spend some time at their luxury lodge for the day.

Sounds like a great way to visit Africa? Then book your trip now!

 

THE VENUE

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge opened its doors in October 2005 and they have already made their mark nationally and internationally. In this short space of time they have already been voted the top Game Lodge in the Southern Cape by the Professional Management Review and by the AA Awards as one of the top three in South Africa.

 

ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD

Accommodation is in large newly built tents with up to four people (same gender) sharing each room. The rooms and tents are basic but the single beds are comfortable with bedding provided (duvets and pillows). Showers and toilet facilities are en-suite and hot water is supplied by gas geysers. Power sockets for electrical items are available in each tent and in the communal area. Three meals are provided by the volunteers with assistants of a staff member.

 

DATES

This project can be joined on a Tuesday or Thursday of the week and any time of the year. You may extend for any length of time (minimum of two weeks)

 

COSTS

R890 per person per night, all inclusive.

Please note that rates do decrease for longer stays. Contact us for more details.

Rates include accommodation, all meals and transport to and from George Airport. Volunteers must arrange their own flights to and from George Airport.

OVERVIEW

Walk Your Way… in the magnificent setting of the Cape Peninsula, meeting others and creating time and space for a personal journey and a unique adventure.

This is your experience.

WHY CAMINO?

It is a retreat. A time away from your normal routine. To use how you like: asking and answering life’s questions; healing hardships and heartaches; challenging your physical ability; a space to be quiet and alone or just an adventure open to whatever it brings you.

Many pilgrims set off on their Camino for no particular reason and, as the journey unfolds, they uncover thoughts, feelings and realisations about themselves, their relationships and more.

The route is a sacred route, which sets it apart from a hiking trail, and it is hosted by our diverse sacred sites found in South Africa. We celebrate and showcase all of our diversity without bias: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hare Krishna, Afrikaans Calvinism, African traditionalism, Sufism. The Quakers, the Rosicrucian’s and any other sacred way.

The natural setting will thrill any nature lover. Views of the city below, the mountain above and the canopied footpath ahead, are familiar scenes along the route. And of course the coast line with its own wealth of living beauty. At a few places along the way you’ll actually see both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Only then can you grasp the vastness and abundance of our unique Cape Peninsula. From Table Mountain to Cape Point is famous for its rich and dramatic beauty.

Landscapes change throughout, and on one particular day you’d have walked through wine lands, forests, fynbos thickets and rocky hillsides, ending at a sea-side village. You’ll be in the company of birds and hopefully you’ll spot baboons, snakes, bushbuck and other small animals. And friendly residents walking their dogs.

While the route is lush with flora and fauna, it’s usually only a stone’s throw away from urban suburbs, where nearby facilities can assist any need or desire. All the legs offer accommodation and restaurants along the route, so get ready for Cape Town’s unique and flavoursome cuisine.

Inspired by an ancient pilgrimage walk across Europe, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Cape Camino route is approximately 200km and takes between seven and nine days to complete, depending on your pace and choice of legs.

HOW

On foot; discovering yourself and the route step by step, creates a unique awareness of self as well as your environment. Discovering resources you did not know you had. Walking a Camino is inspirational and seeing the world one step at a time will change your perspective.

WALKING PACKAGES

Not all walkers are comfortable planning, arranging and booking their own Cape Camino experience, so we have a professional logistics team that will design your route, book your establishments and send you a detailed itinerary.

And, not only are they the same individuals who were so deeply inspired by the European Camino and who came back to create and develop this special South African route, but they also have great relationships with, and know the in’s and out’s of, each service provider you’ll be visiting.

From basic sharing to private stays, a wide range of options available.

PACKAGE OPTIONS 2017:

1 Day Camino (Guided)
R 2 245.00 per person
R 1 695.00 per person – Min 2 pax

Included:
Guide expert, Cape Camino Passport (to be signed along the route), 1 Cape Camino t-shirt, maps, lunch.

3 Day 2 Night Camino (Guided)
R5 236.00 per person with backpacker accommodation.
R4 136.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in backpacker accommodation

R6 691.00 per person with guesthouse accommodation.
R5 591.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in guesthouse accommodation

Included:
Guide experts for 3 days, Cape Camino Passport (to be signed along the route), 1 Cape Camino t-shirt, maps, 2 nights back packer / guesthouse accommodation, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners.

5 Day 4 Night Camino (2 Day Guided then 3 Days Self Guided)
R7 673.00 per person with backpacker accommodation
R6 573.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in backpacker accommodation

R10 582.00 per person with guesthouse accommodation
R9 482.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in guesthouse accommodation

Included:
Guide experts for 2 days, Cape Camino Passport (to be signed along the route), 1 Cape Camino t-shirt, maps, 4 nights back packer / guesthouse accommodation, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners.

7 Day (4 Day Guided then 3 Days Self Guided Camino)
R12 309.00 per person with backpacker accommodation
R10 109.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in backpacker accommodation

R16 673.00 per person with guesthouse accommodation
R14 473.00 per person sharing. Min 2 pax in guesthouse accommodation.

Included:
Guide experts for 4 days, Cape Camino Passport (to be signed along the route), 1 Cape Camino t-shirt, maps, 6 nights back packer / guesthouse accommodation, 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners.

CANCELLATION POLICY:
50% deposit secures bookings.
40 days prior to Camino: 100% refundable.
30 days prior to Camino: Non refundable.

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