The Masai Mara in Kenya is known as one of Africa's finest safari destinations, most famous for its annual wildebeest and zebra migration which has been called "the greatest wildlife show on earth". This area has one of the highest densities of carnivores in Africa, as well as supporting a range of endangered species. Kenya itself is located on the equator on the eastenr coast of Africa. Kenya has ethnic diversity and cultural vibrancy.
This project is situated in the newly established Naboisho Conservancy, in the heart of the Masai Mara eco system and just north of the National Reserve. This conservancy area is geographically linked with a number of conservancies as well as the Masai Mara National Reserve, encouraging wildlife to move over large areas.
About the project
The incredible attraction of the famous migration over the Masai Mara has brought with it some conflict in competition for resources such as predator's praying on local livestock, and the Masai people not being as involved in the tourism project as would be hoped. The aims of this project are to ensure that the Mara remains a valuable source of income for the country and to increase local community involvement in the tourism process.
Additionally, the project aims to monitor and research some of Africa's most endangered wildlife, and in partner with a Big Cat Monotoring project volunteers will help monitor the movement of prides of lions, leopards and cheetas within the conservancy, as well as the interaction between lions and the local communities.
Volunteer work and contribution
Volunteers will be involved in three main initiatives: wildlife monitoring and conservation efforts, environmental education at a local primary school, and developing resources/helping to educate future local tour guides at a guiding school. Activities can include but are not limited to:
Lion research and data collection
Diverse data collection, particularly during the Great Migration in the summer months (game drive routing, road identification, species recording and wildlife monitoring)
Running an environmental club at a local primary school
Help out at a tour guiding school for local residents to become more involved in the tourism process surrounding Masai Mara. This may include teaching English, cultural lessons, computer classes , building/repairing facilities, etc.
During your stay you will be provided with housing in basic but comfortable dormitories at the guiding school, in the heart of the bush. Dormitory rooms are single sex, and include an outside eating and kitchen area. Toilets are basic, and hot water will be limited, but available at night. Towels and mosquito nets will be provided.
Keep in mind: cell phone reception is sometimes patchy, and although you will be provided with a sim card you will need to purchase airtime.
Internet- If you would like to use the internet please bring a laptop and purchase a 3G modem in the airport in Nairobi.
All three meals will be provided for you daily, as well as weekly laundry service, and daily housekeeping.
There are many optional travel and excursion options that you will be able to arrange once on site. These include the following (prices and availability are subject to change):
Walking Safaris - USD30 per person
Night out in the Bush - USD90 per person
Excursion to Masai Mara Game Reserve - USD130 per person (park entrance fees not included)
Balloon Safaris - USD440 per person
Dorobo Bush Camp overnight including guided walk - USD225 per person (park entrance fees not included)
Lamu Getaway - USD995 per person (park entrance fees not included)
2 night stay at Basecamp Masai Mara overnight including game drives in National Reserve- USD300 per person (park fees not included)
1 night stay at Basecamp Masai Mara including game drives in National Reserve - USD200 per person (Park fees not included)
Overnight stay at Basecamp Wilderness - USD 100 per person (full board excluding game drives)
At present, National Reserve park fees are charged at USD60 per person per day.
Min age 18
Good level of English
Motivation to learn about conservation in a serious way
Motivation to work with children or adults
High level of independence and flexibility
Full travel & medical insurance. We encourage all volunteers that sign up for this project to enroll in with AMREF (also known as Flying Doctors) as well as being insured from their home country. This is to care for an emergency airlift evacuation due to the location and nature of the project. Full details will be sent upon registration
Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
To apply for this program, see Masai Mara Lion and Wildlife Conservation