Help with building projects at our wild ecotourism camp in Bushmenland, Namibia



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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    We, Flora, Moritz and our one year old daughter Indigo, are a young family who just took over a remote safari camp in the bush/ tree savannah of Namibia. The setup is situated at the Kalahari Basin in the North East of Namibia in a region called "Bushmanland".
    The camp collaborates with an indigenous village of Ju/'hoan San (Bushmen) people in direct proximity. Income is generated through tourism, which sustains the village nearby 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 benefit.

    Moritz has experience as a sustainability manager on other lodges and had a course for permaculture designer. He happily can put these 2 skills now in practise at the camp here.
    Flora has a background in Fine Arts. Through a collaboration project with the San people regarding their indigenous footwear, she ended up in Namibia and spend the past 6 years on and off working together with them to revive their traditional sandals into a small scale production set up.
    The happiest here of all is Indigo, our little toddler who spends her time free-roaming around the camp or playing with the other kids in the local village.

    Our current set up here as we bought it:
    The camp is build on a dune, overlooking the dry riverbed. It is a sandy area but tree savanna with many bushes, high grasses and big trees. The camp is close to a national park which has little visitors due to its wildness and remoteness. Because of that, elephants are often around, as well as kudu's, wildebeest, the endangered wild dogs, hyenas,...
    The buildings are quick-fix built with corrugated iron or canvas sheets on wooden decks. Water is provided by a borehole. The piping and plumbing has to be partly renewed and repaired.
    The electricity is mostly provided by our solar panels and batteries. Still, we need a generator to run the fridge and pump water in the high tank. We have invested in a completely new solar system which will make us independent from the generator very soon!

    Generally, we aim to redesign our 7 hectare area based on the permaculture principles, keeping the potential hazard of intruding elephants and predators in mind. The camp is protected with a deep trench.
    Our first big project is to build our kitchen with earth bags to have thermal mass features in our hot climate and assess if this building style can be utilised for other projects.

    Given that we are located extremely remote, in the last remaining wilderness of Namibia, and 300 km away from the first real town, we want to become more self-sufficient. Secondly, the structures need to be improved: our tented houses, recycle our wastewater, get rid of the corrugated iron sheds and replace them with natural buildings, setting up a permaculture garden/ food forrest, sandbag buildings, building a sunset and a tree top deck, improving our carbon footprint and find creative solutions for the daily challenges.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    General Maintenance

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    During you stay you will meet the indigenous community of the Ju/'hoan San people, a hunter-gatherer community by origin. You have the possibility to spend time with them, join them when they go hunt or gather in the bush (as they do on a daily basis). You have the opportunity to learn about their traditions and their deep understanding of nature. A journey of multiple weeks here might be a live changing experience if you let it. The community is very open and welcoming, eager to exchange and learn from you as well.

  • Help


    As we just took over, there are many many projects on our to do list! Some examples of the first projects are:
    • A bigger, user friendly kitchen, build with natural materials (we are at the moment testing the different techniques with clay).
    • Shade net garden house, compost (collecting elephant dung!) and several garden beds and plots.
    • Wood oven and outdoor kitchen area
    • A manager house
    • Furniture out of local materials
    • As part of life, general maintenance, repairs here and there.

    We need strong-hearted and preferably handy people, experienced with eg. permaculture/ landscaping/ clay building (earth bag, adobe, rammed earth) / carpenter/ plumber/ electrical engineer.
    You will experience a once in a lifetime stay, off the beaten track within a real, still wild corner of Africa.
    You should be able to work as team player, but manage a project and find creative solutions for our manifold challenges. Straightforward, we offer hard and earnest work combined with good food and drinks with African wildlife surrounding you and amazing starlight nights. You will be part of our family, therefore an openminded, social and proactive attitude would be appreciated.

    The team is always enforced with skilled workers from the village.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    You will be staying in one of the big canvas Safari tents on wooden decks with bathrooms. It's not extremely luxurious but it has everything you need. Central to the camp is a thatched lounge area where the meals take place. Next to it is the kitchen, where we cook all the meals. When there is guests, the staff of the camp cooks the meals, otherwise we cook ourselves. Flora loves cooking and bakes fresh sourdough bread every other day.
    If you like cooking, you are welcome to collaborate in the kitchen, otherwise, we take care of it. We do not eat meat every day. If you are a vegetarian we do not have a problem catering for this.
    Fresh products are brought in once every 2 weeks, so we can not wait for our own garden to provide us with our own vegetables.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The work schedule is open for discussion, to suit all of our needs. In your time off you are free to rest or join in at the village, maybe you want to spend time in nature and have someone from the village as your mentor to learn you survival techniques, tracking, and about the medicinal/ eatable plants.
    There are many different water pans around us, within one hour drive, to do sundowner excursions. There is Khaudum National Park where you can go wildlife spotting or camp out.
    You are welcome to use our car if communicated in advance.
    Further, we are far away from other towns, and try to avoid driving there too often. You will need to be able to disconnect and handle the remoteness. We have satellite WiFi, it is enough to communicate with the outside world, but not to watch Netflix.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    Lots of space!

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Your dog is welcome, but rather a well-trained one, if you know the dog won't run way. Be aware that the camp is not fenced, but only protected with a ditch.

  • 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: 864447494534