Experience life in the desert and help out at our Marama bean and goat farm in Botswana



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    We have a farm in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. It is situated 40km from Letlhakeng village, and is a 23 hectare 'Marama' bean and goat farm. We are looking for anyone interested in fencing, helping us to build, to cook or entertain, to keep things interesting.

    Our neighbours are Bakgalagadi, and they have a very rich culture, and volunteers can learn about many aspects of their culture including medicinal and nutritional indigenous plants of the area. Our goats are very friendly too, and we have a few other wild creatures that live on the farm, such as mongeese, ground squirrels, monitor lizards, hares, and other small mammals. There are no other pets on the farm (besides the goats) - for those who have allergies to cats or dogs. The highlight of living in the desert are the stars at night, the incredible sunsets and the amazing wildlife and plants.

    Life is very simple, we collect water from a nearby borehole with a donkey cart, we braai or barbecue or use gas for cooking. There is a generator for emergencies, but mostly we use solar. Accommodation is in tents for the moment until we build more permanent structures. The nearest village to buy most supplies is 40km away, however a tinier village with limited supplies is 10km away. Most use donkey carts, or ride horses to get around from farm to farm, or public transport for travel to Letlhakeng or Gaborone. It is very easy to access public transport from the farm, as we are a couple of hundred metres off the main road, and public buses and combis pass daily. We will pick you up from Gaborone, and if you need to rest for a couple of days before leaving for the farm, we have a small house not too far from the city.

    Volunteers are only expected to work four-five hour days, with the weekends free to adventure about, and we are also flexible if short vacations want to be taken in between too, as we are close to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve which has incredible wildlife and is an amazing experience not to be missed.

    Weather can be very extreme in the desert, in Summer it is blazing, sometimes up to and over 40 degrees, whereas in Winter it can be freezing. The best time to visit in our opinion is April May, but every month is different.

    We are very nature-oriented - living in our wilderness means treating all creatures kindly, including the plants. As the conditions are quite remote and rustic this would only suit those able to entertain themselves, and those not scared of a few wild animals.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Animal Care

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The farm is located in a Bakgalagadi region, this is one of the oldest groups living in Botswana. Volunteers will have the opportunity to meet many local residents, learn a bit of their language, and might get the chance to experience how these people live, learn about their culture of food, music and art. Traditional mud huts are plentiful in this area, so sustainable building techniques can be learnt. Volunteers can also learn about the amazing Indigenous food plants and medicinal plants that grow in this area.

  • Help


    Fencing - We are looking to finish fencing our farm. So far we have only done 400m, we still need to do over 2000m, anyone willing to give it a try or who have experience would be more than welcome.
    Building - Builders and general maintenance, as we would like to get a permanent bedroom and lounge area set up, using very basic material - gumpoles, and zinc roofing.
    Animal care
    Farm work - Harvesting beans and fruits when in season
    Artists, musicians, Yoga teachers or anyone who doesn't mind helping with building or fencing work and can bring the interest and fun to life on the farm.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Setswana: Fluent
    German: Beginner
    Northern Ndebele: Beginner
    Portuguese: Beginner
    Shona: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    Currently in tents. Volunteers can have their own tent, or share if they choose. Tents come with either a camp bed, or a blow-up mattress. Cooking is done either on a Braai (barbecue), or over a fire, or on a gas cooker. We harvest local fruits, nuts and vegetables, or buy in most groceries. It would be easiest for a vegetarian, as there is currently no freezer for meat storage, just a small camping fridge.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    There are a few spectacular wildlife game reserves nearby - Khutse Game Reserve; Central Kalahari Game Reserve - here you can see Lion, Leopard, occasionally Elephants, lots of different antelope, and incredible scenery, The stars at night are absolutely incredible. Learning to drive a donkey cart, or ride horses, or visit Jwaneng 'Diamond capital' of Botswana, visit Gaborone the Capital city which is only a 2.5hr drive from the farm. Laze about in hammocks and read books.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I am usually free on Mondays, Thursdays and Weekends, on the other days I'm busy around Gaborone so wouldn't really be able to chat much.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    There is lots of space, and that suits us fine, as we're equally independent, and love our space, plus it would add to the workawayers freedom and enjoyment of our environment here.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 245636176665