What is the Wildlife Research & Conservation project in Kenya all about?
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 conservation in Kenya 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 conservation 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.
What skills do I need to be a wildlife conservation volunteer?
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.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
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
Where will I work in Kenya?
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: 2-12 weeks
- Cost: £1995 / $3192 for 2 weeks See drop-down menu for additional weekly pricing
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
- Working hours: Monday -Friday, 07:30 – 19.00 (schedule may vary)
- Project availability: Every other Mondays from January 2021
- Arrival day: Sunday
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.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
|January||3rd, 10th, 24th|
|May||2nd, 16th, 30th|
|October||3rd, 17th, 31st|
|May||1st, 15th, 29th|
|October||2nd, 16th, 30th|
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to 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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