Oana Namibia

Oana Nature Reserve, Namibian Deep South, Namibia

Volunteer • Full or Part Time +264 63683029 Ed Barthorp

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, ecology

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Job: Researcher
Oana Nature Reserve, Namibia, Africa: Privately owned 110,000 acre reserve, 50km of Orange River
Location: latitude -28.812458 longitude 18.955156
Closest Airport: Upington (SA)
Closest Border crossing: Onseepkans
Start Date: May 6th
Duration: 6 months (with possibility of extending)
Salary: Unpaid

Benefits: Food & accommodation provided at Oana base camp, vehicle & fuel will be provided and all equipment required for research. The researcher will have private safari large canvas tent. Researcher will be under staff SATIB emergency evac insurance but will need to get his/her own travel insurance for total LOS. Volunteer visa paid for by Oana.

Not included: Flights

Reports To

The researcher will report to Ed Barthorp; the Head of Expeditions and Operations Manager.

Job Overview

Oana Reserve is a reserve of 110,000 acres of stunning semi-desert wilderness that includes both igneous and metamorphic mountain ranges, sandy and gravel plains and 50km of Orange River frontage. This job will provide the opportunity for the researcher to explore the reserve, on foot or vehicle, and given the remoteness find themselves in places quite likely no human has been before. The Namibian Deep South is extremely understudied due to its traditional farming history, and now we have scientists from all around the world enthusiastic to carry out research, you will very likely be leading research in topics unknown to science. We have had numerous scientists here who are convinced there are new reptile, arthropod, and small mammal species to be found on our reserve. This is a wonderful opportunity to carry out a huge range of research designed by you and the reserve manager and a very real chance to get published due to the uniqueness of the research.

Oana hosts, develops and facilitates 1-4 week adventure conservation expeditions. Clients range from UK School residential trips, mid-life short expeditions, gap year 4 week groups, corporate 10 day leadership and skills based volunteering and yoga retreats. Expeditions are exclusive we run 1 trip at a time, all groups are hosted at our tented base camp which includes all the amenities and staff required for comfort and efficiency (power, comms, water etc). The expedition itineraries include wildlife research and the researcher is welcome to use the team as their data collectors. The expeditions are not running constantly and during an expedition the research is one of many projects they will be involved in so you will not be obliged to work with them. Additionally you will have periods of downtime when you can going travelling.

The researchers overarching role will be to develop the research program at Oana Nature Reserve and look to further knowledge and understanding of all fauna and flora. This is a wonderful platform for a scientist looking to build a career in wildlife conservation research, and a fantastic opportunity to greatly increase their experience of wildlife research and their experience in managing a research program and a research team.

Job description:

Overarching responsibilities:

  • Manage the Oana research program.
  • Develop and manage new conservation research projects alongside the operations manager, focused mainly on research but also reserve management. Projects to be ratified by operations manager before implementation.
  • Write out research permit applications.
  • Implement and manage a wildlife-monitoring program for the reserve that focuses on both fauna and flora.
  • Explore potential funding avenues for research and equipment.

Expedition responsibilities:

  • Communicate the research projects to the expedition team and educate them about the research topic so that they can engage with the project.
  • If volunteers from the team are being used, you must work to ensure their safety during the period with them.
  • Ensure equipment is safe for volunteers to use.
  • Learn the maps, tracks, terrain and surroundings of the reserve in order to ensure you always know where you are and in the case of an emergency extract yourself and the group.
  • Keep constant communication with Oana Senior Management team on all relevant matters.

Qualifications and requirements

  • At least an undergraduate degree in a subject loosely related to wildlife conservation (i.e. geography to biology). If unsure please contact us to find out, this is not a strict prerequisite.
  • Ability to develop a research topic, plan out a methodology and carry out data analysis.
  • Be happy to live and work in an extremely remote area, live in tents, be prepared for issues such as vehicle break downs and long walks home!
  • Happy to do a lot of hiking!

If you are interested in the role, please contact Ed at

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