What is the Big Cat & Elephant Research Project in Kenya all about?
Assist local conservationists with their research into some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and elephants, in a key area of the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem. Working in a newly established conservancy and a biodiversity hotspot, you will witness some truly spectacular wildlife whilst contributing to key conservation and conservancy management initiatives.
Why choose this conservation in Kenya project?
Given the vastness of the Maasai Mara, volunteers are needed to support key monitoring and conservation efforts. Working alongside wildlife researchers and conversation experts, volunteers will collect important data relating to the movements and density of big cats and elephants, and in doing so, help secure the future of the wildlife in the area.
Role of the conservation volunteer
As a volunteer, you will contribute to the conservancy work in the area, conducting game counts and assisting with monitoring the movements and behaviours of the big cat populations. You will learn how to collect accurate data in the Pardamat Conservation area, track elephant sightings and go on daily game drives to identify and monitor lions, cheetahs and wild dogs.
You will also contribute to practical conservation initiatives to help tackle the various environmental problems, including removing invasive plant species, reducing soil erosion, collecting litter, and repairing fences and roads. You will also visit local schools, meet trainee Maasai guides, and engage with members of the community about wildlife conservation.
What skills do I need to be a wildlife conservation volunteer?
Both qualified and non-qualified volunteers can join this project. Volunteers should be flexible, positive and willing to work as part of a team. Qualifications or experience in the field of education, environmental sciences or conservation work are sought and may allow you to have a higher level of involvement at the different placements. Volunteers with no specific skills will work across all areas and receive training for the required work. You will be asked to provide a CV/resume.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
Where will I work in Kenya?
The Maasai Mara in Kenya, is considered one of Africa’s finest safari destinations. Here, you will have the opportunity to see some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife, including: zebra, wildebeest, elephants and big cats.
Kenya takes conservation very seriously. With 65 national parks, 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites, hundreds of unique species and an economy reliant on tourism, it has introduced wildlife conservation to the public school curriculum.
During your time on this project, you will be staying in safari-style tents based at a local wildlife college. The accommodation, situated in the heart of the Kenyan bush with free roaming wildlife, provides an authentic and unforgettable experience.
It is important to remember that you will be living in the Kenyan bush, so you will need to be accompanied by a guide when going for walks.
At weekends, staff can help you plan additional activities. Most volunteers will spend their weekends participating in one of the excursions (fees paid locally) to nearby towns for cultural events or festivals. Most commonly visitors like to plan adventure activities and take advantage of Kenya’s amazing safari options, for example, viewing wildlife in Lamu or Eagle View Camp. Alternatively, those wanting a different view, can book a hot air balloon flight to see the plains and wildlife from above!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2-12 weeks
- Cost: £2680/$3750 for 2 weeks, see drop-down menu for additional weekly pricing
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Working hours: Monday-Friday (hours may vary)
- Project availability: Every other Monday
- Arrival day: Sunday
What is included
- Accommodation: safari style tents
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pick up and drop off
- Training: pre-departure information pack & on-site orientation
- Monday transfer to and from the Mara
- Support: 24 hour support from on-site coordinator
- Activities: staff help organise weekend activities (activity fee costs paid locally), including Masai Mara National Reserve, trips to the Kenyan Coast, Lamu Getaway, and/or a balloon ride over the Maru reserve
- Fundraising Guide
- Working alongside qualified professionals
What is not included
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
|May||1st, 15th, 29th|
|October||2nd, 16th, 30th|
|April||1st, 15th, 29th|
|September||2nd, 16th, 30th|
Easy 4-step application process
Apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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