VolunteeringWe are always looking for more people to help out at REST.
Volunteers and students from around the world have been involved with REST throughout the years. Students range from undergraduates doing course work to Masters and PhD degrees. Both volunteers and students are very involved in the day to day running of the organization and much of the research. Daily work can include everything from animal handling and painting new walls to moving rocks to build a new roost for birds or fixing our roads after heavy rains. Everyday tends to bring new challenges and jobs. Once a week we feed the wild vultures and the day is spent monitoring raptors coming in and out.
REST tries to find out what people enjoy doing most and let them concentrate on that work while still helping out with many other duties. Many volunteers bring building, artistic, craft or computer skills that are necessary and valuable. In addition, we are open to day visitors during the week and volunteers help our staff show people around. We firmly believe that knowledge of our animals and work is important ( and we will train you), but enthusiasm is what makes the visitors experience memorable and excites them about our work. Students typically consult with Maria Diekmann and their professors to find out the best type of project that REST can offer them at that time. While they usually focus on their study research, they are also expected to help with the daily work on the farm.
REST does not have scheduled visiting dates so volunteers and students come and go on their own schedules. Some stay for only a few weeks and some for up to a year. We usually have 1-4 volunteers/students staying at REST at any one time. Once here, REST also does not have pre set scheduled activities. A day can change from minute to minute with just one call to rescue an animal. For this reason, we have found that the people who enjoy their stay with us the most, are self sufficient, hard working, easy going people who can enjoy living and working without many of lifes comforts (such as a pool when its hot…although we do have a small algae waterhole!). If you are looking for a more structured holiday type experience with animals, there are quite a few good organizations that provide that and can be found through the internet.
Visas from the Namibian government are required by both volunteers and students. Only visitors solely traveling are legally entitled to the free 3-month tourist visa acquired at the airport. All others must be applied for before entering the country.
There are costs involved with these visas and your local embassy can provide details. Since many have had difficulties getting information quickly through embassies we do have a Namibian contact who can provide explanations, paperwork and processing. Work Visas are valid for 3 months and can usually be renewed if there is a strong motivation.
Contact details for volunteer information:
- Housing consists of 5 walk in A frame tents on cement platforms within walking distance to a community kitchen, living room, 2 hot wood showers and 2 flush toilets and basic solar lighting. Bedding is provided. Tents are located in the bush. Living is comfortable, but not luxurious.
- REST provides at least one trip to the local town of Outjo per week per person for shopping and internet access. We are working on having our own WIFI but signal is still weak on site.
- Food and personal items are not included in the weekly fee. We recommend buying mainly canned and dry goods and fresh items do not last as long and are relatively expensive. There are 2 major grocery stores in Outjo.
Due to lack of reliable public transport, REST has partnered with a local taxi service that gives our volunteers special travel rates.
You can contact him on WhatsApp.
Henry: +264 81 300 6769
The mainliner bus is also an option. It does not drive every day and no pickups are available from REST but can be organized through the town of Otjiwarongo to the centre a distance of 70 km.
If your flight arrives later than 1pm, we ask you to book an airport transfer & accommodation in Windhoek for the night in order to ensure your driving to us is safer as driving after dark can be more dangerous.