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VOLUNTEER WITH NHOMA SAFARI CAMP 

AND HELP BUILD THE BRIDGE BETWEEN CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE. 

High­lights

 

✔️ Experience one of the truly last wild and untouched areas of Southern Africa!

✔️ Spend time among the indigenous community of the San people and learn from their deep connection and wisdom of nature.

✔️ Live and survive in the wild bush amongst free-roaming herds of elephants, endangered wild dog packs, many types of antelopes, leopards, hyenas and even lions.

✔️ Protect the indigenous knowledge that remains with the elders of the community and help to transfer and preserve it for the next generations.

✔️ Learn about Permaculture and how to minimize your own carbon footprint and grow your own vegetables. 

✔️ Learn practical climate adaptation solutions working with local, natural resources.

Nowadays struggle for the Ju/'hoansi bushmen, is to find the balance between development and conservation. This volunteering program is based on an eco-tourism approach, whereby social and material well-being of people is raised, without sacrificing the environment or viability of the socio-economic cultural system. 

Our volunteer program is designed in collaboration with the village and invites people to stay for a longer period of time, resulting in a more lasting, deep-going experience and  mutual exchange for volunteers and the local community. Your stay will give you extensive insights into their history, current and past struggles through participating in activities including harvesting and preparing local foods, gathering medicinal plants, ostrich eggshell bead making, traditional games and lores, and generally taking part in their daily lives.
A journey of multiple weeks at Nhoma has the potential for a life changing experience. The community is very welcoming, eager to exchange and learn from your knowledge as well.

The crucial need to find the balance between development and conservation is an ongoing concern of the Ju/'hoansi. This volunteering program is based on the eco-tourism strategy whereby social and material well-being of people is raised, without sacrificing the environment or viability of socio-economic cultural system. Our program for volunteers is designed in collaboration with the village and invites people to stay for longer period of time, resulting in a more lasting, deep-going experience and exchange for both volunteers and the local community. Your stay will allow you better insights in their history, current and past struggles, local foods, knowledge about the bush, traditional rituals, their daily life, and much more.

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The challenge

 

The Ju/'hoansi San in North-Eastern Namibia lived a hunter-gatherer way of life for over hundred thousands years in the Kalahari. Only in the 1950s, they encountered the first white people, which was the start of a rapid change of their lifestyle. With the government forcing them to stop their mobile movement, setting hunting restrictions and reducing the lines of their lands significantly, the traditional way of living off the bush was under threat. Specifically Nhoma (N//oq’ma) village, which falls out of the protecting Nyae Nyae conservancy, needs to rely on other sources for income.

(Be) Part of the solution. 

At Nhoma, we believe that part of the solution lies in creating diverse work opportunities, based on traditional skills, but also offer jobs that enable them to live partly from foraging and allow them to stay on their ancestral lands. For the past 18 years, the camp has created work opportunities for trackers, hunters, jewelry makers, wood sculptures, traditional sandal makers, nature guides, chefs, waiters and many more.

Through the income generated, the village nearby is able to stay on their ancestral land and partly continue their traditional hunter-gatherer way of life. We see this collaboration as healthy symbiosis and are interested to deepen this relation for the both benefits.

A journey of multiple weeks here might be a life changing experience if you let it. The community is very open and welcoming, eager to exchange and learn from you as well.

The voluntourism program is structured in a 2 week rotation and you can repeat for a maximum of 8 weeks. The idea is to participate half of your time at the camp. The projects we work on are based on permaculture. We work with natural resources, grow our own food, build a food forest, .. and include the villagers in these projects. Building an off-grid permaculture paradise is hard work. As a reward for your contribution, the other half of your time you spend with the villagers next door. They will take you along in their daily activities.

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WEEK 1:

The first week’s activities are all centred around the camp. The camp is an experience-oriented accommodation for volunteers and tourism, and collaborates with the indigenous village of Ju/'hoan San people, who live about 300 meters away. Profit generated through tourism sustains both the lodge and the village nearby. Ideally, in a pre and post-corona era, it creates an income for the village of about 120 people to stay on their ancestral land, and continue to live remotely and self-sustaining by means of a partly hunter-gatherer way of life. 

We will take you on an informative journey and show you insights on natural building with local resources, using simple permaculture principles and tools in order to live a sustainable off-grid life. 

The week starts with a tour around the different accommodations and facilities. We will give you an insight of the principles we have used whilst building up the camp. Moritz will give you an introduction into the different resources we use from the area and how we put them to best use. 

A building week is depending on current stages, but usually this week is built up by the following core tasks: 

  • COLLECT: Driving around in the area to collect materials we need: Gathering, chopping or digging and bringing it to the building site. 

  • PROTECT: Making fire stop corridors or elephant ditches to protect the camp, village and food forest from unwelcome visitors. 

  • ERECT: Exploring methods of natural building, preparing the right mix and contributing to one of our building projects with cob, mud brick, earth bag or rammed earth,… 

  • GROW: Our growing food forest and big garden plots need watering, seeding, mulching, weeding, composting, trelling. We make a strong, wild compost from biochar, elephant dung if available and greens from the kitchen and the garden. Our vermicompost will show you how worms can make composting so much fun!!

WEEK 2:

The second week is centred around the "n!ore", meaning living territory of the community and the space around it to forage. You will get the first two days an insight into the daily lives of the Ju/'hoansi and their traditions. You can join in on small excursions to gather bush food or grasses for hut making. The program is not fixed and depends on the seasons and availability of resources. 

Other activities may be preparation of veld foods, cooking, jewellery making, traditional sandal making, tool making, ... 

You will learn to use whatever nature has to offer and things that are around you.

The next 2 days you join a group of villagers to go out in the bush. On your paths might be interesting findings such as wild honey or other veld food. You will leave the comfort of our camp and set up a mobile camp together with some community members for one night. During the day you will learn to differentiate the tracks and read signs of nature. You will be sharing food and campfires together accompanied with great storytelling. Early mornings you will go out checking the traffic of wildlife that passed in the area that night. 

During this week you will also learn about conservation in many ways, and ancient techniques of living hand in hand with nature. 

Spending time with this community can be a life-changing experience. You will go home enriched with the wisdom from another culture and perhaps put some of your gained knowledge into action in your individual path in life. 

Join us for a two - week stay in 2021 starting on the following dates:

27 August - 9 September

10 September - 23 September

24 September - 7 October

8 October - 21 October

22 October - 4 November

Pick ups from Grootfontein to Nhoma on the starting day are included. To reach Grootfontein there are several options on which we can give you information. 

The camp closes half November 2021 until February 2022.
Please send a direct message for the intakes of 2022.

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Safely apply for our program on Volunteerworld:

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