Volunteer in Namibia
Read some of our recent volunteer testimonials
Carolin Gunther 5 - 16 November 2012
It’s really hard to summarize the great 2 weeks I had with EHRA. It was such an amazing, incredible and breathtaking experience! It was so far the best time I had, it’s a great project and absolutely useful. That was very important for me when I was looking for another volunteer project. When I found EHRA I was really impressed and I thought it must be the best one – and it is the best one! This time exceeded definitely all my expectations! On the whole, 2 weeks are too short!
Eating and cooking around the campfire, sleeping under the stars and watching them (I’ve never seen so many shooting stars before), having a great and funny time with super-duper people/new friends, building a huge wall and of course looking for the oliphants and watching them for hours - every second will be kept in my mind for the rest of my life!
Thanks to the wonderful group I had around me! We had a great time in the beautiful Damaraland and we saw the Cheetaaahs!
A HUGE Thank You goes to the whole EHRA staff!!! You definitely deserve the award for “Best Volunteering Organisation”! Just carry on.
Julie Grosso 19 - 30 November 2012
I feel so privileged to see happy, healthy, and confident elephants living as they are meant to live in the wild. This is the perfect way to see Namibia.
Thank you EHRA staff and fellow volunteers for making my two weeks an incredible experience.
Tips: Bring boxed red wine for the camp fire, and don’t forget your flip flops!
Jesse Arrowsmith 30 July - 24 August 2012
I would highly recommend the EHRA program for anyone. The program is professionally run and allows you to contribute to a very worthwhile project. I will treasure my experience forever and in addition to the good feeling of making a difference during build week the memory of seeing my first wild elephant up close still takes my breath away.
Filip Vandeweyer 23 April 2012 – 13 July 2012
Before signing up with EHRA, I looked for half a year almost every day on the website. Eventually I signed up for the full 3 months. It’s a gamble, because let’s be honest, you’re giving money to people you don’t know. In hindsight, I don’t think I could have spent my money any better.
3 months with EHRA; this means a couple of tons of sand, a few tons of rocks, over 200 bags of cement, 5 walls and thousands of elephant pictures.
It’s incredible how people from all corners of the world come to Namibia to pile up a bunch of rocks, so one more farm has a secure water supply and another possible human-elephant conflict is being avoided. The reward: a sincere and heartwarming thank you from the farmers and the experience of a lifetime especially if an elephant (or even rhino!) comes closer then you could ever have imagined.
Three months flew by, and it feels like I’ve been there for only 2 weeks. All good things come to an end, but this was the end of an EHRA.
Michael Blodgett 4 June - 14 July 2012
There is no way you can leave EHRA without knowing you’ve had one of the most sensational experiences you’ve ever had in your life. Whether it was from seeing the beauty of an African sunset from the top of a massive granite koppie, tracking herds of elephants in their own habitat, or staring in disbelief at the size of Voortrekker’s footprint, I’ve never felt more alive in my life than I did while I was volunteering in Namibia. EHRA allows you to experience the Damaraland region the way it should be experienced by completely immersing you in the serenity of the bush, all the while surrounded by a diverse and lively group of volunteers, a friendly and experienced staff, and good food. (Great food) Chicken moambe and pap, anyone?
Ingela, Julia and Espen July 2012
You enter the EHRA basecamp and your daily life changes completely and you definately challege your comfortzones. You explore emotions and touch feelings you might never felt before. You share daily life far away from standards you are used to with people from different parts of the world who have values and backgrounds that are different from yours. BUT, you unify under the same mission , to build rockwalls in a primitive way with your bare hands and simple tools as well as processes, in order to crearte a win-win sitution between the locals and the desert elephants. To suddenly see and exeperience the desert-elephants, those you visioned during your building week, became a mighty humble feeling as well as a unique memory for life. Counting shooting stars while you sense the smoke from the fireplace and hear the calm breath from some of your peers who are sleeping after a heavy workingday.
This is a microscopic extract of what we as a family experienced during two fantastic weeks with EHRA during July 2012.
Our contribution to the important mission of the EHRA project, and the great employees who make your voluntary weeks a genuine experience, feels small and we hope many more volunteer will support the great EHRA work and mission.
Geraldine Ischer 23 April - 1 June 2012
During my gap year, I wanted to go to Africa more than anything. I searched for the perfect volunteer project, I knew exactly what I wanted : a month in Namibia with elephants. EHRA was absolutely everything that I was looking for. The landscape, the work, the people, the ELEPHANTS... hhhh everything was amazing. I will never forget the first night I slept under the stars during build week, I couldn't fall asleep because the stars were so breathtaking that I couldn't stop looking at them. The food was delicious (really delicious!) I even took photos of the recipies so that I could try them at home. I was supposed to stay 4 weeks but I loved it so much that I decided to add two more weeks and I am really glad I did. Ehra has actually influence my decision to move to Africa after university. Since I came back from the life changing trip, I've been missing it a lot ! I am sure I will come back one day and do the project one more time. I have without a doubt nothing bad to say about my trip to Namibia. It was perfect and I really recommend it too every nature loving adventurers out there !
Kyla Mandel 18 - 29th June 2012
I only volunteered with EHRA for two weeks in June but it was the best two weeks of my entire summer. I was initially attracted to this program because of the unique mix of hands-on work building walls and the chance to see elephants in their natural habitat. Camping under the millions of stars, cooking meals together, and working hard during the day to build the sturdy stone walls and find elephant footprints brings everyone together instantly and you can’t help but make great friends. On our trip we had the chance to see a family’s home which had been trampled by elephants the night before. Seeing this allowed me to truly understand why EHRA does what it does; we help to forge a better understanding of how to live harmoniously with the elephants rather than simply seeing them as troublesome creatures. Seeing the elephant herds was incredible. We heard them trumpet, saw them throw dust on themselves, and were also lucky enough to see their 8 week old babies. This is a trip I will remember for the rest of my life, and I strongly encourage anyone interested in volunteering to stay for longer than just two weeks, you won’t regret it.
Colin Valentine 4th - 29th June 2012
Just a short note to say thanks to you all for accomodating me at such short notice--and in my usual shambolic manner--and for providing me with an enjoyable, insightful, and very worthwhile time with EHRA.
Abby Hoffman - 21 May - 13 July 2012
My experience with EHRA was unforgettable. Building weeks were my favorite part because it was astonishing to see what a group of 14 people could accomplish in such a small amount of time. I also made amazing connections during build week because while you work, you can’t help but to talk and get to know each other. Some days we would also play music while we worked, and people would sing along or dance. In addition, we enjoyed playing cards and going on hikes during afternoon siesta and sitting around a campfire, eating delicious food and listening to bush stories or star gazing at night. Even though we did some hard work during build weeks, it was always fun and I made some great friends all over the world that I still keep in touch with!
Ingrid Martin 23rd April - 5 May 2012
Volunteering with EHRA was the best thing i have done for a long time. Amazed by the different kinds of people of all age brackets it attracts , all having one thing in mind wanting to do something positive and strong feelings to protect wildlife.
Claudia Ruecknagel 21st November - 17th December 2011
When I tried finding the right volunteer project for myself last year I wanted to do something useful for humans as well as working with animals in the wild. I found EHRA and thought: this is it.But I never expected it to become such a wonderful experience.We definitely all got so much more out of this whole project than we all thought before. Living in the bush 24/7, physically working from 8 till 5 with a little siesta during the day, being surrounded by strangers all the time in the beginning and no shower for 5 days was really pushing the limits but getting close within hand reach to the elephants was all worth it. And I made friends who will stay with me for a long time since EHRA.Volunteering is the way to go - and everybody involved in EHRA is putting so much effort and love in the project that nobody will walk out of this experience without saying they absolutely loved it. I cant wait to go back.
Emily Webber - 10th - 21st October 2011
Everyone should experience EHRA! We all had our own reasons for doing a trip like this, some wanting to escape the city life, some to find themselves, some just there for their friend, but whatever the reasons the end result was same for everyone, totally inspired. For me, two weeks wasn’t enough and having to come home was a real shock to the system, there simply wasn’t a moment that I didn’t love, even the land cruiser break downs! I will never forget sleeping under the stars rolling over and watching a bull elephant eating out of the tree less than 10 foot away, or laughing and singing with new friends, seeing black rhino in the wild, making 4 whole roast chickens for dinner, taking a shovel and matches to the toilet, new found love of peanut butter and jam sarnies, the stars – brighter and clearer than I have ever seen, the sound of trumpeting elephants in the dark, or the joyous feeling of a shower after building week! (If you like home comforts, this probably isn’t the trip for you, if you can handle Glastonbury festival then you’ll be just fine!) I feel very privileged to have been able to be a part of something that I feel is so special and does such great work. I will be back, hopefully for longer this time! Thank you EHRA for memories and an experience I will never forget!
Alessandro Cabai 1st - 26th August 2011
I'm really sad here in Italy... today I started to work in office ... sadd saddd!!! Thanks for last month .. probably the best time all my life!! EHRA is really amazing volunteer project!! All staff are wonderfull including Rachel and Johannes! I met only nice people!! I worked hard and helped as best I could! What can I say?! Sleeping under the stars, living in nature, helping each other, see animals, eating around the fire .. absolutely unforgettable moments!! I hope to see u soon .. if possible I would like to go back for some (2, 3, 4..!) month to help Ehra! I can't stay far from you!! :)
Katrin Junker - 18th July - 12 August 2011 and 2010
Imagine living out in the bush for two weeks, waking up with the sun in your face, collecting rocks, shovelling sand and mixing cement to help the amazing desert elephants as well as the local farmers, enjoying the tasty evening meals cooked on the fire and sleeping under millions of stars. That is EHRA. Imagine having breakfast and watching a herd of elephants walk by, listening to the sound of breaking wood at night knowing the elephants are close or sitting on a big rock watching, smelling and listening to the elephants drinking only a short distance away. That - with a bit of luck - is also EHRA. I liked it a lot - enough to come back a year after my first trip with EHRA - and I can warmly recommend it to every openminded nature lover who is not scared of hard physical work and dirty clothes, cold nights in the African winter and hot days in the summer or close encounters with all kinds of fascinating creatures of the Namibian bush. You will enjoy it!
Darcy McNicholl 6th June - 12th August 2011
After ten weeks with EHRA I can’t help but feel lost returning home and living away from the bush. Being in the presence of elephants and being apart of a project that allows you to have such an intimate experience with the wild has forever altered my perspective of western life. This experience has caused me to revaluate what I really need as well as appreciate how important it is to concentrate my studies towards preserving the environment. Although I must return to modern life to do so I will still miss cooking out on an open fire and being able to fall asleep starting up at Scorpio up in the cloudless sky. Even though I have to leave EHRA eventually we take with me a wealth of experiences and stories that will over time define who I am as a person and reinforce my love for the bush and the biota that lives within it. All I can say is that the bush is infectious; once you experience it you will spend everyday dreaming of a way to get back. For now I must return to my studies but I know that my days in the bush are not over yet.
Cristina Pedrini 1st - 12th August 2011
Unfortunately I returned home, Italy is too far from Namibia. People here ask me how it was with EHRA, there are not enough words to describe what this experience was for me...
you are to share the effort of hard work and the joy of being together with people from all over the world, together we feel that our help, even if small, is a part in a major project. All this in an amazing place, where the horizons are never ending, and where you can sleep under a sky full of stars you’ve never seen that before. Even if I struggled with the English language, I am glad too that I have known all my friends. Thanks EHRA for all this, I brought home with me a beautiful memory of you!
Pippa Tronc and Pete King 23rd May - 3rd June 2011
We spent two weeks in the desert with EHRA in May '11. This was the experience of a lifetime, I often catch myself daydreaming
Geoff and Jane Stoyles 14th - 25th March 2011
As an older couple we were quite aprehensive about taking this trip but we really enjoyed the whole experience! Be ready for things not to quite to plan and remember, this is Africa so things are not always done in the way you might expect!
Jacob Kornerup Ditlevsen 14th - 25th March 2011
Aled Morris - 28th Feb - 11th March 2011
My time with EHRA was more than I could have ever expected. I made some great friends and have taken away some even better memories from my time with you guys.Namibia's beauty is difficult to translate into words. There is such a difference between the lush green areas surrounding Windhoek, compared with the arid desert we pass along the way to Uis and then the bushland which surrounds base camp. It is as if there is a postcard-photograph view everywhere you look. Once we arrived at the build site the experience really began. Cooking over an open fire for fellow volunteers and staff next to the Ugab river bed was a great challenge and one I looked forward to every time I was on 'duty'. The building itself was hot, physical and great fun with everyone pulling together and chipping in to help each other out when needed. Neil and Matthias are always on hand to give their expert advice on rock selection to mixing cement and general information about the area we were in. I feel that I learned a great deal about the environment, the culture of the locals and the challenges that Namibia faces - this again was down the the in depth knowledge and passion for conservation that Neil possesses. I will never forget one night whilst on tracking week when we set up camp at the foot of a koppie and watched G6 walk off into the distance, later there was a stunning lightning storm on the horizon whilst fireflies flew around us and we stared up at the Milky Way. That was unbelievably beautiful.
Sally Mortensen 02/08/10-13/08/10
My two weeks with EHRA really was the single best experience of my life. It exceeded all of my expectations! The only problem was that it wasn't long enough. Its not often that you get to live the way we lived out in the bush. Every night I would be so excited to go to bed just so I could gaze up at the amazing starlit sky and wait for a shooting star. There's nothing better than getting back to basics and forgetting about the materialistic things back home. The people are awesome!! Especially the leaders. Not once did I question my safety as I knew I was in the hands of real professionals and also really fun guys! Working in the community and feeling as though you're a part of something is such a rewarding experience. And of course the elephants are incredible! I felt so privileged to be watching such magnificent and graceful creatures. Thankyou EHRA! I will definitely come again!
Francesca Nuttal 15/03/10 - 21/05/10
Volunteering for EHRA is one of the best things I have ever done, I booked in for two weeks and stayed for ten. The project is a perfect mix of serious hard work and constant fun, the volunteers and staff are some of the most wonderful, crazy people you will ever meet and every night I went to sleep knowing I'd done, felt or seen something truly special. Building the walls and tracking the elephants is incredible and really important, but there is so much more to EHRA than the work they do with the locals. Whether you're there for two weeks or three months, its about getting to leave the rush and baggage of normal life behind and live in the most natural, basic way in one of the most staggeringly beautiful, remote and magical pieces of the world; where you sleep under stars, cook over fires, forget what the date is and get up before the sun does. I live by the lessons I learnt there and could never do it justice. I challenge anyone not to fall in love with this place.
Karin Bosveld 13/09/2010-24/09/2010
Back home in London after two weeks of being an EHRA volunteer in Namibia, and suffering serious withdrawal symptoms!
It has been an amazing two weeks and thank you to all who made this happen! There have been so many highlights, but just to name a few... Sleeping under the stunning Namibia skies and experiencing its magical sunrises and sunsets. I can now build a wall - bet that no city girl in London can say the same! A very close encounter with Boss the adolescent elephant bull of the H2 herd whilst sitting on top of the jeep (shaking like a leaf may I add); seeing Ben wearing a pink tutu on his head; staying in hyena camp where time has stood still for millions of years; and last but not least beating Neil whilst playing ping pong - he was not happy! Oh, and the fun of getting stuck in the desert for a day. Even the mechanical challenges, four cars broke down completely, could not break the spirits of the fantastic group of people I was surrounded by at all times. Annabelle: my brilliant cooking partner, Katie: 'the voice' of Hull, Sam: my jeep/lip balm buddy, Rene: de Zwollenaar, Ben: 'Mr Nature' himself, the super lovely Chris: you have converted me into a bird afficionado (have even bought THE book), Cornelia: popping up when least expected to make my day, Gareth: Mr muscle thanks for literally carrying me to my water bottle, Joe: the surprising source of all knowledge, and Matt: thanks for joining me on this incredible adventure. And then of course the fab foursome: Neil, Doreen, Stafford and Matthias, your energy, enthusiasm, knowledge is incredible! Let's hope I can join you for another adventure not so far into the future!
Clare Fyfe 21/06/10-13/08/10
I'm considered by friends and family to be a bit of a city girl although I do live in the Scottish countryside so it was a surprise to them to hear I'd booked up for 8 weeks with EHRA. The whole idea of tracking the eles fascinated me and I wanted to join a real - out in the desert - programme; I was not interested in anything cosy or cuddly. Build week is a great way to get to know one's fellow volunteers and to participate in something lasting and so worthwhile - it's a good feeling to see the wall growing in front of your eyes; day by day. Camping out each night is special and I will never forget the eles walking by as I was drifting off to sleep on our night watch - I was not 'on watch' at the time I hasten to add - my turn came later. Being able to observe eles in their own habitat, not on a reserve, is a privilege and the memory will stay with me always. Thank you EHRA for enabling me to a) have the time of my life and b) for doing what you do!
James and Bev Bexton 16/08/10 -27/08/10
What a fantastic experience! We wanted to be part of a project that was fun, where we learnt new skills, and that we felt made a real difference to the community in which we were working. This project achieved all three. We met some great people and Neil, the project leader, was both knowledgeable and sensitive to the Namibian environment. We felt in safe hands while getting up close and personal to the elephants. We would recommend this project to anyone!!
Andy McBride 05/07/2010 - 16/07/2010
I have just returned from a trip to the World Cup and the EHRA project in South Africa and Namibia; and despite being a football lover, the highlight of my stay, and my year, was without doubt the EHRA project. If you love adventure, wildlife and authentic experiences, this is the trip for you. It is a given that you will learn lots about elephants, but you will also learn about other people, how to cook over an open fire and yourself. Neil and his assistant Matthias had a fantastically reassuring mix of intimate knowledge of the bush, people, leadership and most importantly a great sense of humour that helped bring our diverse group together.
We saw elephants up close, met local people, saw eagles, baboons, a leopard (well, half the group did), jackals, scorpions and genets to name a few, and you will also see some crazy dancefloor moves on the last night in Swakopmund! It all added up to my favourite holiday in years and unforgettable experience. In fact, it was so good that I decided not to catch my flight home and stayed another two weeks in Namibia. What more can I say?
Katrin Junker 21/06/2010 - 16/07/2010
I decided to join EHRA because I wanted to do something different. It had to be useful, situated in Namibia and in favour of Africa's fascinating wildlife. In fact, my four weeks with EHRA turned out to be much more than that. Collecting all those rocks and building the wall, following and watching the elephants, camping out in the bush and sleeping under millions of stars, meeting a whole bunch of like-minded people and making new friends was just a wonderful experience! Would you have known that elephants can walk so silently that you won't hear them come, that elephant dung keeps insects away when you burn it and doesn't even smell bad or that ant lions can only walk backwards?
I will never forget the last night of my second building week. It was just after sunset, we were sitting round the fire, when I suddenly noticed something moving not far away in the bush. Cows, I thought, as they had walked past and almost through camp a few times during the week already. Then I realized those cows had trunks! - Neil, the elephants are right there! - It was a herd of nine animals. Amazing!
Joining this project was one of the best things I have done so far. Don't be surprised if I come back soon...
Claes Kilander 21/06/10 - 30/07/10
I love Africa! I love Namibia! And I loved my 6 weeks with EHRA. It was without a doubt the single best experience I have ever had. It is such a different environment and after only two weeks back in Sweden I already want to go back. The project itself, the places you visit and work at and the people you meet and spend your days with are all amazing. Volunteer work like this attracts normal people and not just treehuggers. I've made lots of new friends and done many things that I would never get a chance to do back home.
Aaron Sohi 07/06/10-18/06/10
Thank you EHRA for making that two weeks two of the best of my life. The welcome was warm, the staff were great and willing to help at all times, and always with a smile on their face. The experience is ingrained on my soul, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Rajesh Sadanandan 10/5/10 - 21/5/10
The volunteer project was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life....living in the desert, under the african skies, in the company of scorpions, hyenas, flies and the majestic desert elephants..far away from the complicated rules and expectations of the modern day civilization, i was at peace...a lot of ... See Morethanks to the EHRA team and a lot of respect to the matriachs that rule the namibian deserts...last but not the least, a big thanks to the whole group of volunteers who made my life so exciting in the last 3 weeks in Namibia ...i owe them a lot!...would love to come back some day...hope it will happen!
Maria Hannis 29/3/10 - 21/5/10
My name is Maria and i have just completed the best 8 weeks of my life. I live in England and work as a Beauty Therapist and this was the most life changing experience i have ever had.
Robin Wild 01/02/10 - 23/04/10
I first came out to EHRA to figure out if conservation is what i wanted to do as a career. The project has fully confirmed that now. It is a project that brings people from around the world, young and old, together. The build week is physically tough but more rewarding than you think. That last stone being placed is a great feeling. Patrol is by far one of the best experiences of my life. Close encounters with elephants, cooking over a fire, sleeping under the stars, all experinenced with good groups and good leaders. I cant wait until I have the chance to come back out again. Thanks
Joanne Davies 01/03/2010 - 26/03/2010
I was in search of a once in a lifetime experience, a lifelong ambition to see elephants in the wild. I certainly found it. It far exceeded all of my expectations and I did find it very difficult to leave. I was expecting to really rough it, when I arrived at EHRA base camp it was so welcoming and not to mention Eco friendly. I'm not going to go into detail about the base camp because I think it needs to experienced to be appreciated. The heat was extreme, the work weeks were hard but well worth it and satisfying. The guys on the project are friendly, passionate and knowledgable about what they do, and I have learnt so much from them all.
There were so many highlights of my trip, including all the people on the trip who were all friendly and fun. Learning about people and the communities in the area, not to mention all the wildlife, including birds, bugs and plants. Sleeping under the stars, watching the most amazing sunrises and sunsets, living in such scenic surroundings. Learning to start and cook on an open fire, and the food was so amazing, I can honestly say I have never eaten so well. And as for seeing the elephants in the wild well, WOW, WOW and more WOW.
Pete Van Leeuwen 1/03/10 - 12/03/10
I found EHRA while searching the web from my Brooklyn apartment. I was looking for quite some time for a project involving elephants that WAS NOT some silly vacation package disguised as a volunteer program.
It seemed legitimate from the beginning and turned out to be better than I could ever have imagined in a thousand different ways. The work we did was hands on, good old hard labor, but instantly gratifying in the sense that each day, you can see what you have accomplished and throughout the course of one short session (or however long you choose to stay on) you may immediately experience the change you have helped to create. Through fairly simple steps, and a great organization of very competent and caring leaders, we reduce conflict between elephants and farmers, one well at a time. Then the following week, we went on "patrol" and track the herds and check up on them, which in the case of the week I was there, turned out to be of great importance, as the herd had been shot at that week and there were a couple of elephants that needed attending to.
All the people on the trip were lovely folks, many of whom I will keep in contact with and am proud to know. The food cooked over the camp fire every night was excellent. Much better than I could possibly have imagined, coming from the greatest food town in the world. Certainly another great surprise. Being woken with coffee in bed every morning was a brilliant way to start every day.
The country side is wildly beautiful. The afternoon light is incredibly perfect. The desert heat is even quite nice.
I only can think of great things to say about EHRA. They are doing what we all should want to do, and that is change the world for the better. They are cutting straight to the chase. "Well done!"
Susan Whitcomb 15/02/10 - 26/02/10
"I found EHRA in Pamela Grout's book, One Hundred Volunteer Opportunities to Enrich Your Life, and it really did! The experience fed my love of adventure and helped me understand the connections between the land, the animals, the people, the economy and the politics of Namibia like nothing else could. The EHRA staff are so knowledgable and fun; they and the other wonderful volunteers have a special place in my heart."
Heidi Speerstra 01/02/10- 12/02/10
I have travelled a lot around the world but this time I was looking for something more. When travelling you normally try to see as much as possible of a country or region within a limited period of time, but to actually experience the local life you need to stay at a place for a longer time. I was looking for something in Namibia in combination with the environment, so when I saw the website of EHRA I knew I had to look no further.
One of my criteria was a reliable organization and a cause I could really believe in. Improving the relationship between humans and elephants in Damaraland is that cause. You know that the local farmers area depending on the area to feed their cattle and also the elephants have a right to be there. How to make it possible that they can live together is something worth working for.
And literally work for, the first week you need all your muscles, but at the end of the day you get rewarded with a nice meal. The second week you will be on patrol, looking for the different herds and check if they and their babies are OK.
My lesson I took away from the whole experience is that some problems are not easy to solve, but can only be made possible through persistence of the EHRA team.
Rob Chilton: 12/10/2009 to 04/12/2009
It is 2am. I am sleeping outdoors in the desert wilderness of Namibia under a brilliant full moon. It is a warm night, but suddenly I wake up, stone cold. I hear heavy breathing. The hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. I get goosebumps. I slowly sit up in my sleeping bag and turn around. Standing 10 feet away and looking right at me is an elephant. A big elephant. I freeze. I am terrified and feel utterly powerless. The elephant, whose name I later find out is Matilda, looks at me for another 10 seconds and then gently scuffs her foot in my direction as if to walk towards me. She pauses. Then, with a little swish of her trunk, she turns and strolls on past our campsite. I turn to my fellow EHRA volunteers, some of whom are also sitting up and have just witnessed my close encounter, and some of whom are quietly snoring, oblivious to our nightime visitor. As Matilda silently pads away, we point, wave and giggle to each other. Our guide, Dave, walks over to me, grins, and whispers, "That was pretty cool, hey?" I lie back down and try to go back to sleep, rather difficult with three gallons of adrenaline surging through my veins.
Lynne Thorne: 12/10/2009 to 23/10/2009
Two treks and several volunteer projects later I still rave about EHRA and my time in Namibia in 2008 and 2009. It's hard to put into words what is so exhilarating about volunteering with EHRA. Perhaps it is the simplistic and basic way of living, only having to worry about carrying and being reliant on a small amount of possessions, sleeping under the stars under the amazing southern African sky, the beautiful sunsets, the stunning and dramatic scenery and of course the elephants.
After what can only be described as an often exhausting but rewarding building week the hard work pays off on patrol and sometimes before then. My very first afternoon in base camp Long Shanks, a wonderful bull, wandered through base camp with his back brushing the branches as we sat motionless on the platforms feet away from him.
And it's difficult to describe the emotion when privileged enough to have a herd of elephants relaxed enough to sleep surrounding you and to spend your days observing the elephants in their world. With an open mind and a sense of anything can happen (because believe me it does) this experience will not fail to make you want to return to EHRA, the desert elephants and Namibia
Tony Pateman: 12/10/2009 to 23/10/2009
I spent three wonderful weeks with EHRA. Namibia could not be a more magical place and I couldn't have chosen a better company to experience it with. No words can describe the beauty of the changing desert landscapes of the trek from vast golden plains to narrow rocky gorges.
Hamid Hashemi: 31/08/2009 to 11/09/2009
Volunteering with EHRA in Namibia was a completely new experience for me, however it was one of the most incredible things I have ever done. It was strange to wake up and find yourself in the middle of the African bush staring up at a clear morning sky. While the building week was very hard work and involved a lot of sweating and muscle-aching, it was so much fun. I would often stop and think where I was and exactly what I was doing, and it blew my mind.
The patrol week was awesome, getting so much contact with the desert elephants and getting to see them behave in their natural environmet was fascinating. They really are some of the most beautiful creatures on this planet. I remember one night, we were sleeping in a dried up river bed and during the night, we heard the low but loud grumble of a bull elephant. Having been woken up I looked up at the sky, and was amazed to see the dust of the milky way streaking across the sky.
Siggi Hosenfeld: 31/08/2009 to 25/09/2009
If you’re looking for the most rewarding experience in conservation efforts, EHRA is the place to be!! If you, on top of that, are fascinated with elephants and want to see a bit of Namibia, than there couldn’t be a better project to volunteer for! Many thanks for an amazing time & I will be back!!
Peter Owen: 31/08/2009 to 11/09/2009
The trip was everything I was hoping for and in some instances more! The scenery and wildlife were very special, to get that close to a herd of elephants was something I will remember for a long time to come.
Sam Tilly: 31/08/2009 to 11/09/2009
My time spent with EHRA was incredible. With beautiful scenery, wonderful people and amazing wildlife it was a life changing experience. It was unreal watching the sun rise in the morning and fall every evening - revealing the beautiful nights sky. Building was hard work but satisfying, we worked as a team and had a laugh..with little help from all th