Operations Officer

at Oana Namibia (view profile)
Location Namibian Deep South, Namibia
Date Posted 18th February 2019
Category In the field
Job Type Part-time


Job Description: Operations Officer



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: March 20th

Duration: 6 months (with possibility of extending)

Benefits: Flights to Upington from UK, first 3 months’ probation period unpaid, next 3 months paid ZAR 9,200 p/m. Food & accommodation provided at Oana base camp, officer will have private safari large canvas tent. Officer will be under staff SATIB emergency evac insurance but will need to get his/her own travel insurance for total LOS.


Reports To

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

Job Overview

Oana Reserve is a private 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 officer to explore the reserve, on foot or vehicle, and given the remoteness find themselves in places quite likely no human has been before. There will be opportunity to observe and track wildlife, aid in researching the fauna and flora and to significantly contribute to re-wildling the reserve.


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 overall role of the Operations Officer is to develop foundations and put them in place to ensure the expeditions function smoothly, maximizing customer experience whilst ensuring safety. The Operations Officer will be in charge of Risk Management (i.e. updating risk assessments, developing SOP & ERP’s, due-diligence etc.) The Operations Officer will be in charge of prepping conservation project and adventure activity tools such as servicing and safety check on all mountain bikes before & after each expedition. The officer must ensure the safety of the clients above all other matters. The officer will work closely with Edward and take care of pre-expedition planning and preparation. The officer will be the link between the Operations Manager and the clients, will have a prominent role in leading activities and projects and will work to ensure activities and projects are carried out effectively and safely.


Currently on site Oana has a chef and housekeeping staff. Casual workers are employed on contract basis when manual work needed.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Update and organize Oana’s current Risk Management documentation, ensure all risk assessments are up to date, carry out due-diligence on all third part providers, develop SOP’s for all adventure activities.
  • Put new Risk Management documentation in place – i.e. log books for hikes and mountain biking
  • Whilst on Expedition with clients, ensure the safety of clients at all times by maintaining control of the group and constantly carrying out dynamic risk assessments.
  • You will be required to give the health & safety briefing to clients on Day 1 of their expedition. Develop presentations and hand out we can send to clients pre-departure.
  • Adequately administer first aid when required.
  • Learn risk management protocols for both in-camp and out in the field.
  • Develop systems for each type of Expedition to help Oana staff get organized and prepared (develop checklists, oversea booking forms, check clients have correct insurance, indemnity forms, camping equipment, project materials, group briefings, refueling, driving routes, safety requirements etc.)
  • Assist in the planning of projects/activities when required.
  • Assist or lead projects and activities in the field including driving clients around the reserve and assisting on taking clients on hikes and daily conservation activities.
  • Assist on the daily conservation projects.
  • Assist in scouting routes for single-day and multi-day hikes.
  • Assist or lead on construction projects either in camp (i.e. kitchen construction) or in the field (i.e. dam construction).
  • Engage socially with the clients.
  • To be skilled in navigation, familiarize yourself with the land and car tracks before first expedition.
  • Collect and drop off local staff from Warmbad town (1hour drive from base camp)
  • Assist with driving Oana chef to Karasburg (2hours from base camp) to do the weekly supplies run.
  • The Officer must quickly look to learn:
    • The map of Oana and all its tracks.
    • The locations of activities/projects.
    • What each activities/project entails.
    • Equipment required for each activity/project.
    • Where everything is stored at base camp.
  • Assist or delegate in the following aspects of base camp management (only when required):
    • Pump water.
    • Chop firewood.
    • Keeping storeroom and work shed clean and tidy.
    • Fix minor breakages if possible (plumping, loos, showers, tents, equipment etc.)
    • Construction (securing equipment, tents, building benches/tables etc.)
    • Ensure all the moving parts of base camp are running smoothly.


  • Experience in leading expeditions or being part of a leadership team.
  • Experience in being part of an expedition in remote territory.
  • Extensive skills in organisation.
  • Extensive skills in communication.
  • Training and experience in first aid in remote areas and ability to administer first aid and manage a casualty situation.
  • Training and experience in risk management and an ability to carry out dynamic risk assessments and a keen awareness for potential hazards/danger.
  • Experience and skills in off-road 4x4 vehicles.
  • Experience and skills in orientation through map reading and use of GPS and an ability to read terrain.
  • High level of physical fitness required.
  • Qualifications in team leading, team building, risk management or first aid is a bonus.
  • Experience in vehicle mechanics is a bonus.

It is not a strict prerequisite to have all the qualifications listed above, if you feel you have the capacity to carry out the role please do make contact with us.


To apply for this position please contact Andrea at [email protected]

See website for more information www.oananamibia.org

Deadline for application March 7th 2019


We are particularly keen to hear from members of the Explorers Connect community so please mention Explorers Connect in your application.