project review

Kelly's Favourite Baboon Clyde

Review submitted by Kelly Spark
Review date 11 Jul 2018


My time in Namibia was the best of my life - I made some amazing friends, human and animal, and I shared a room with two girls who I became very close friends with and who I shared some amazing memories with. Whilst I was there I took part in a big baboon walk and at first I was a little scared as it involves walking with quite a few baboons, one of which is completely wild having been brought in with her baby when she was found with a snare trap around her waist and leg. Once one had sat on my shoulder I started to enjoy it and found it an amazing experience that words just cannot describe!

I also took part in leopard cub walks. Two of them were around 18 weeks when I arrived, and we would walk them down to the waterhole where there were two big trees that we would let them climb up and play together, before walking them back to their enclosure. By the time I left they were around 22 weeks and volunteers would have to start spending less time with them as their natural hunting instincts were starting to kick in. We also had a baby baboon rota to make sure that all the babies were looked after at night. I had them quite a few nights and fell in love with one called Clyde. We would give them their bottles around 7 and then put their nappies on and get them settled. They would sleep with you at night and then bottle in the morning and back into their enclosure. This was a great experience which I hope to do again some day.

I also spent a lot of time with a 13 year old cheetah that had been kept by someone for 11 years and only fed on dog biscuits and she was consequently very malnourished and very thin with very little fur. She had been removed from the person and brought to the centre, and as she was kept from a young age she was completely tame. I would go in with her and groom her and just spend time with her so that she was not always alone.

Every day our dinner and tea were made for us along with amazing cakes and muffins at break time. The accommodation and food were a lot better than I was expecting and all the people and staff were really friendly, and I even helped out in the Bushman school one day. The children were so smiley and I helped them learn a few numbers and played with them in the playground.

I am already planning a return to this project as it has changed my life so much and made me appreciate things at home a lot more. I would recommend this project to anyone who would like to give a helping hand and also anyone who has a love for animals. Thank you for introducing me to this project.


Read more about the Namibia Wildlife Conservation & Sanctuary project.