Harnas Wildlife Rescue Foundation, Namibia

© Giraffe crossing the lawn at Harnas Wildlife Foundation
Harnas Wildlife Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to save Namibia's endangered wild animals.

The Harnas Wildlife Foundation is a charitable organisation and one of the few orphanages and wildife sanctuaries for wild animals in Southern Africa. More than 300 animals including lions, leopards, cheetahs, endangered Africa wild dogs, meerkats, baboons and tortoises live on the 10 000 hectare farm which is being transformed into a protected wildlife reserve. Harnas is located approx. 300 km to the east of Windhoek near Gobabis. Harnas is dedicated to saving Namibia's endangered wild animals.

During the past 20 years the Van der Merwe family has dedicated their lives to establishing the most adequate and secure home possible for abandoned or orphaned wild animals and succeeded in creating a Noah's Ark in the African Savannah.

From the time people became aware of the dedication of the Van der Merwe family, not a single week passed without a further injured or orphaned animal finding its way to them. In the past, farmers or trigger-happy game hunters often killed Big Cats that threatened livestock.

Today these animals are transferred to the Harnas Wildlife Foundation in order to protect them from being shot outright. Often animals that annoy their owners or can no longer be cared for end up at Harnas.

Harnas believes in life, and take their role in the conservation and protection of Namibian Wildlife very seriously. Conservation and Animal Welfare comes in many different forms. Harnas helps visitors make that special connection between man and animal. Harnas and Namibia's ambassadors do their best part to create conscious awareness and that is the first step in aiding the plight of conservation.

Funding from Angelina Jolie (the patron of Harnas) has helped turn the area into a 10 000 ha release site and will in future mainly serve as a soft release area for animals that have been successfully rehabilitated. Wild animals which are brought to Harnas can be already released into this area.


The vision of Harnas Wildlife Foundation is all set to become a leader in the Eco-tourism market in Southern Africa. Giving Eco-tourists and donors an amazing opportunity to experience the unspoiled African wilderness and authentic African culture, in the knowledge that they are contributing to both the conservation and development in rural areas like Gobabis.

Projects Include

  • The Wildog Project
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Programme
  • Bushman Camp
  • Game Camp
  • Cheeky Cheetahs Daycare and School-Project
  • Baby Animal Care project

Working Guest Programme

If you would like to experience Harnas in a more intense way than being a regular tourist and are between the age of 18 and 40, you can join the working guest programme. You will need special training before you start because you will be in contact with wild animals.

As a working guest on Harnas you can experience contact with 'tame' cheetahs. However always remember that even a tame carnivore is still a carnivore. The tame animals were raised by hand and are only a small percentage of all the animals on Harnas.

Harnas is always busy and the needs of the animals must be attended to before anything else. The skills of working guests can be used most effectively on Harnas. All working guests coming to Harnas can be certain that there will always be something to help with. You can make the most amazing difference to the progress of each of the projects by using your skills in a practical way. A comprehensive induction and training plan will be given with clear guidelines as to the policies and procedures of Harnas and support in your work.

Supporting Harnas

There are numerous ways you can support this fantastic Namibian Wildlife Sanctuary, by a donation, an adoption, buying merchandise from the website's fanshop or by visiting Harnas to help to take care of the animals. Contact Harnas Wildlife Foundation for more info.

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  • Tel: +27 21 424 1037
  • Fax: +27 21 424 1036
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  • Mon - Fri. 08:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday. 08:00 - 12:00
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