The HArnas wildlife foundation was founded by Marieta van der Merwe and her husband in 1978 when Nick and Marieta saved an abused vervet monkey. After this the farm continued to expand and today they are working on building new farms around Namibia.
But enough facts. My trip started many years ago when I came over a project called Noah’s arc while surfing on the internet. It was a project where you got close contact with african animals and lived and worked on a farm while helping with the daily work and animal care. I thought that this sounded amazing and talked to my mom about it soon after the discovery. She was skeptical about the travel, but mostly it was because it was located in Africa. I read that the project was for people from 18 and up. I was 17 at the time, but I sent an e-mail asking if it was ok that I was 17. Which it was not.
Two years went by and I didn’t think much about the Noah’s arc project, and then my mom was a participant in a Norwegian television program and there she met a woman working with snakes. During the breaks they talked about their kids and my mom mentioned that I wanted to go to Africa. Vibeke, which was the name of the lady, said that she had been to Africa several times and after a while they realized that they were talking about the same thing.
After that the planning went smoothly. Instead of booking through a company like explore or something similar I contacted Harnas directly. This was a very practical way to do things. You had to do some of the stuff yourself, but it was cheaper and that is important to me when booking this kind of expensive trip. And yes, volunteer work costs money and is usually pretty expensive.
After getting my visa, date of arrival and where to stay my one day in Windhoek I was almost ready to go. Some things you should by before going to Africa, at least if you are going to work like I did is: pants that can take a lit of work, tops and tees you are not afraid to get dirty, good shoes, flipflops (it tends to get warm in the weather even in the winter), jacket, first aid kit, small bags of washing sope and dry shampoo.
The plane ride down to Johannesburg and to Windhoek was smooth and without complications. You have to book your own plane ticket both to and from Windhoek other than that they pretty much do everything for you. When I arrived in Windhoek a car was waiting for me with Blue crane safaris in big letters on the car. Two other people came at the same time as me. One from Norway and one from Denmark. We dropped off the norwegian girl at her hostel before driving to the danish and mine. The hostel was nice and OK for a one night stay. After a few hours another Harnas volunteer appeared and like me she was from Norway. The booking of the one day stay in Windhoen is arranged by blue crane safaris and as i said they also pick you up at the airport.
After a few hours of getting to know each other we decided to go to Joe’s beerhouse in the city to eat. We had heard about it from other people visiting Namibia so we decided to eat there. When we got there we were positively surprised and sat down to eat at once. I decided to eat something I had never tried before. I love visiting new places and try new food. In australia i tried kangaroo and crocodile. It’s quite tasty. So back to Namibia. I decided to try the zebra and that was a good choice. I had never thought that zebra would be that good.
The biggest adventure of my 20 year old life were about to start!