Israel - Desert Alpaca Farm
Volunteer at this unique "B & B" in the peaceful Negev Desert which successfully combines agriculture and tourism while sustaining itself through the use and production of alpaca wool. With over 200 animals at the farm, feeding them is a huge part of the job but you will also be able to assist with many other tasks. Expect to be treated as part of the family that owns this special place.
|Location of Project||Negev Desert|
|Project Length||Minimum 4 weeks - Maximum 10 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Ben Gurion Internation Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Volunteer Work||Caring for animals, hospitality tasks|
|Number of Participants||2 international volunteers|
|Age||21 - 30|
|Food||Food budget provided, fully equipped kitchen for volunteer use|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Health Insurance||Comprehensive health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
|Orientation||All necessary introductions and training provided upon arrival|
What's Not Included
The Negev Desert stretches across almost half of Israel’s land and has been the site of many historical happenings. Despite the fact that this land is considered a desert due to the low amounts of rainfall, it still supports a diverse ecosystem and is covered with stunning flowers during the winter months. The alpaca farm is located in the Negev highlands area near the Ramon crater and a 2 hour drive from Eilat and the Red Sea.
About the Project
This family-owned and run farm has been a dream in the making. The owners’ desires to raise interesting animals led them to the Andes Mountains where they met and fell in love with llamas and alpacas. After learning about how these animals were used by locals to provide milk and wool, the family decided these would be the animals they would raise. The family searched for just the right area for their farm and settled in a beautiful section of the Negev Highlands. The farm has now grown into a main attraction in the area and serves to educate tourists about the animals in addition to supporting a wool hut where the alpaca wool is spun.
Orientation in Jerusalem
Your volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at a fantastic hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great way to meet fellow volunteers and travelers, and includes the following:
- Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
- Expert advice for traveling around Israel during and after your volunteer placement
- Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
- Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant nightlife
- 1 night dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms are available at an extra price)
The GoEco orientation will begin at 10:30 AM on the start date. The next morning, you will travel to your project with public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and the project will be provided upon registration.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
You will be an integral part of the daily activities on the farm and work side-by-side with the full-time staff. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about agriculture and the hospitality industry. The work will vary according to the needs of the farm but general duties may include:
- Preparing food and feeding the alpacas, horses, donkeys, camels and other animals (200+ animals)
- Training llamas
- Assists with all aspects of running a B&B including guest check-ins, guest activities, cleaning guest rooms and common areas
- Milking the goats
- Educating visiting guests and school groups about the farm, agriculture objectives and sustainability
- Preparing breakfast for the guests and selling snacks
- General tidying of the guest house
- Assisting at the wool factory and learning about shearing and yarn production
- Assist with the leadership training program
A typical day: You should be prepared to wake up early so you can start feeding the farm animals around 8am. Following this, you will have time for breakfast and then start your project for the day which could be assisting with guest check-ins and activities or helping at the wool factory. Because of the desert heat, you will have a 2-3 hour lunch break mid-day followed by a bit more work and feeding the animals again around 4pm or 5pm depending on the season.
*Please note that volunteer activities and schedules can change at any time based on the needs of the project.
You are expected to work 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. During non-working hours, you can take advantage of horseback riding and hiking trails.
Extras: While at the farm, the owners will do their best to welcome you to the farm and make sure you get the most out of your volunteering time by offering you some extra activities including: 2 horse rides or riding lessons, at least one llama picnic trip on the edge of the Ramon Crater, an evening out at a local jazz club, and traditional Israeli dinner celebrations every Friday evening.
Holidays: Please note that the month of October contains several holidays that may affect your trip. Expect to have a half day off of work on the 11th, 16th and 23rd of October, and a full day off of work on the 12th, 17th and 24th.
Accommodations: you will share a caravan with another volunteer or a staff member but will have your own bedroom. The caravan has a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and living room. There is also an area just outside the caravan with a fire pit and hammock, perfect for relaxing and star-gazing.
Food: you will be taken into town every week to go grocery shopping with the food budget provided by the project and you will prepare meals as a group.
Internet: there is no WiFi at the farm but you can use the office computer in the evenings.
Laundry: there is a washing machine which you can use.
The alpaca farm is located in a very interesting section of the Negev Desert with historical and geological attractions as well as breathtaking scenery in just about every direction. Just a few minutes from the farm is the Ramon crater site, the Ramon Nature Reserve which is full of incredible hiking trails, a desert wildlife zoo and the Albert Promenade. Less than half an hour away, you can visit the Beerot Campsite to learn about the Bedouin lifestyle, the ancient city of Avedat and its wineries and much more. Once in town (just 3 km away), it is easy to use public transportation to visit other interesting cities in Israel including Eilat, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
- At least 21 years old
- High level of spoken English
- Hands-on experience working with animals is required
- Hands-on experience working with horses is especially valuable
- Hard-working and flexible