Morgan Whittaker, 15, has managed to secure one of only 28 places nationwide for the five-week trip.
He said: "This will not be a holiday, but a test of survival skills, while carrying out important scientific projects."
The first part of the fieldwork will be in the desert mountains, known as the Brandberg Massif, and involve climbing, abseiling and caving.
Prehistoric paintings in the cave networks have been observed and documented since the early 20th century, but they have never been mapped, which will form the basis for the work in that area.
The next part of the fieldwork will be based in the savannah grasslands monitoring the elephant herds in conjunction with Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA).
This will involve tracking, observation and recording of accurate data while trekking in an area of big game.
Morgan, a GCSE student at Penryn College, said: "When we leave the grasslands, we will be trekking through one of the Earth's oldest deserts, the Namib Desert, using the survival skills that we will have learned on a training weekend and developed throughout the previous weeks.
"We will be heading for the Skeleton coast, aptly named for the remains of whales and shipwrecks which have washed up there.
"This will be a fantastic adventure, drawing together the skills I have developed over the past few years through my Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze and Silver Awards, expedition club, climbing, fencing and judo.
"It will even count towards two elements of my Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award.
"It will be great to challenge myself, testing my skills in some of the world's more extreme environments and seeing places and creatures for myself rather than on a screen.
Morgan needs to raise between £4,500 and £5,000 and is writing to companies for commercial sponsorship.
He plans to stage a series of fundraising events, including a sponsored walk on March 31. For more information on the expedition visit http://www.bses.org.uk/Expeditions/Age1620/CanyonstoCoastExpeditionNamibia2012.aspx
To contact Morgan e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: This Is Cornwall