Volunteer in Kenya and work on this Masai Mara Lion, Wildlife Research and Conservation Project to have the trip of a lifetime! You will help with solutions to reduce conflict between the people living on the land and the wildlife in the area. Population growth has increased the higher demand for cultivated land and grazing areas, which has infiltrated wild animal’s habitats. This has led to occurrences, such as elephants raiding fields and lions preying on local livestock, which creates tension and leads to the injuring or killing of these threatened species. As land for both the people and the wildlife becomes constricted by urbanisation, it’s more and more important to find a strategy for coexistence as predators sometimes kill livestock.
Part of this project involves extending help to the Masai preservation efforts by bringing much needed tourism investment to the community. 85% of tours within the Masai are run by externally employed guides, but this project aims to equip the local community with the necessary skills to get employment. The Masai Mara is considered one of Africa’s finest safari destinations, famous for its annual wildebeest and zebra migration, which has been called “the greatest wildlife show on earth”. Volunteer in Kenya and support the Masai with their community and wildlife work.
Why choose this project?
This project is led by a team of researchers who are aiming to find a way that the local Masai tribes can live harmoniously with the wildlife. To help them achieve this, you will record data about population movements of the wildlife within the Masai. As the Masai is incredibly vast, volunteer support is essential for the researchers’ ability to gather data. You will learn about the efforts taken to balance the interests of humans and wildlife on this project.
Role of the volunteer
As a volunteer, you will be trained in consistent and accurate collection of data in the Naibosho Conservation area, including regular censuses of the wild animal population. You will be part of a team monitoring the the movements of big cat populations, including the lion, leopard and cheetah. You will also assist with research into elephant populations through taking photographs and observing the size, composition and location of elephant groups. Additionally, you will conduct research on spatial dynamics and social ecology at the local guiding school.
You will be involved in Community Outreach Projects. One of which includes running an environmental club at a local primary school once a week. You will focus on developing students’ English skills while encouraging a passion for wildlife, the environment and conservation. These students will then be responsible for transferring their learning and skills through workshops and presentations at the school. Finally, volunteers will help support the local guiding school staff with sessions on first aid, photography, visitor management, camp management, cuisine, driving skills, natural history, animal behaviour and many more.
Both qualified and non-qualified volunteers can join this project. All volunteers should have a positive attitude and be 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
To see some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlfe
To learn about life in a rural African tribe
To continue local efforts providing the Masai with skills to work in the tourism sector
About the Location
The Masai Mara, based in Kenya, is considered one of Africa’s finest safari destinations. Volunteers will have the opportunity to see many of the world’s most famous species, 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.
Overall Kenya has a tropical climate – hot and humid at the coast and more temperate inland, up to the snowy peaks of Mount Kenya. While it is considered not to have distinct traditional seasons, it certainly has rains and dry periods. December to February is the hot, dry season with average temperatures around 28°C.
During your time on this project, you will be staying in simple, yet secure, dormitories behind a local school. The school provides rudimentary accommodation with electricity, running water amongst other basics requirements. There is also a cook onsite who will prepare meals for all volunteers and there is an outside eating/kitchen area where volunteers can eat together and socialise at mealtimes.
Remember you will be living in the Kenyan bush, so you will need to be accompanied by a guide when going for walks. There will also be an “askari” (Masai guard) positioned at your accommodation during the night who will accompany you when walking anywhere within the compound (e.g. to go to the toilet/showers) for your safety.
What to do in your spare time
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 – 8 weeks
- Cost: Starting at £1476 / $2583 for 2 weeks
Additional weeks’ costs are available in the drop-down menu
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
- Project activities: work alongside local Masai expert instructors, educate children, lion monitoring, photograph elephants
- Working hours: 07:30 – 19.00, Monday -Friday (schedule may vary)
- Project availability: every other Mondays, project closed between Mid-December and Mid-January, contact an advisor for details
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: volunteer dormitories at the local school
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Airport pick up and drop off from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
- Weekly laundry service
- Training: pre-departure information pack & on-site orientation
- Daily transfers to and from your project.
- 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.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.