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Kenya - Community, Marine, and Wildlife Expedition

Immerse yourself in the heart of Africa researching dolphins, witnessing rare wildlife, and working with community development and education initiatives.



$2,725

 

Fast Facts

Location of ProjectShimoni, Kenya
Project Length4, 8, 12, 16, 20 or 24 weeks
Arrival AirportMombasa International Airport
Volunteer WorkEnvironmental conservation and community development
Number of ParticipantsUp to 20 international volunteers
Age18 - 100

What's Included

AccommodationMixed dormitories
FoodAll meals included
SupportIn-country staff and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersFrom the Reef Hotel in Nyali, Mombasa – airport pickup for arrivals between 6pm-midnight the Friday evening before the project start date.
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation First aid & CPR training and introduction to TEFL provided upon arrival

What's Not Included

Flights, travel health insurance, visa costs, personal kit, additional drinks and gratuities, extra local excursions, international and domestic airport taxes
 

Location

Located in southeastern Kenya, on the boarder of Tanzania, lays the fascinating fishing village of Shimoni. Known for its colonial routes as a British outpost in the 1900’s, Shimoni, translated as ‘the place of the hole’, derives its name from the many caves that run along the seashore. Shimoni is the access point for the Wasini Island, a sparsely populated village known for its ruins of early Swahili civilization and magnificent coral gardens. Apart from the apparent historical value of both villages, there is a magnificent landscape with a unique bio-diversity to discover, making the area a central focus for environmental conservation initiatives and expeditions. Both areas are adorned with secluded white sand beaches and stunning water that serves as a popular destination for keen divers. 

 

About the Project

This is a community-based expedition that works to develop three main aspects: oceanology, environmental conservation, and community development. Daily tasks vary from marine research and conservation development, environmental and terrestrial conservation initiatives, and community development and education. The project aims to implement educational and environmental conservation initiatives within the community, so as to create opportunities for sustainable tourism and further the preservation of marine and terrestrial wildlife.  

Volunteers will receive extensive training in all aspects of the program upon arrival. Training will include: oceanology and marine research, turtle biology and identification, threats and conservation for terrestrial environments, primate survey techniques, biodiversity and human impact, English language teaching techniques and certification, and first-aid certification. The program operates from two main bases – Wasini Island in Mkwiro Village which contains dolphin and teaching rotations as well as a reconstruction project, and Shimoni Village where volunteers will participate in teaching and monkey rotations as well as the health care project. Both bases require volunteers to wear clothing that will cover their knees and shoulders; women are required to wear a head scarf in the Mkwiro Village. 

 

Volunteer Work and Contribution

Volunteers will work closely with the local community and staff, swapping between the three main aspects of the project; terrestrial and wildlife conservation, marine biology, and community development in order to ensure the desired outcomes of the program. 

Marine work focuses on the data collection and research of dolphins in and around the Kisite-Mounguti protected area, snorkeling with turtles, and on special occasions spotting the visiting Humpback Whale. Research days can be physically and mentally challenging with long hours on the boat, though hard work is often rewarded with a snorkeling trip in the coral reefs.

The primate focus of the program requires survey walks through the coastal forest, home to the rare Black and White Angolan Colobus Monkeys, with census and data collection on the birds, monkeys, butterflies, and other species. 

Community initiatives rely on volunteers to teach English and promote sustainable tourism initiatives. Volunteers are responsible for one-on-one teaching, tutoring of students that may be struggling with their language development, and organizing other entertaining activities such as sports, games, and art. Traveling into the savannas, volunteers will work with rural communities to promote alternative solutions to wildlife poaching, educating on the importance of protecting Kenya’s big game.

 

Program Add-Ons:  

Take your volunteering experience one step further!  

Through the Internship Certification Program, you’ll have a personal mentor who will help you develop leadership skills, routinely assess your progress and provide a professional reference upon completion of the program. 

Take part in the Biological Survey Techniques Course for in-depth training that will allow you to effectively plan and execute your own field surveys in the future.     

There is an additional cost for these programs.

 

Living Arrangements

Accommodations: mixed dormitories with bunk beds, 6-8 per room. Small lockers are provided in the hallway. Communal area and kitchen is an open ‘banda’ (hut like structure). Bucket flush and squat toilet facilities. Fresh water is available for cooking and drinking only.

Food: food is provided, with volunteers taking turns to prepare meals. Meals are basic and cooked in traditional local style. Volunteers will have a chore roster involving cooking, cleaning, and other general tasks, to complete after project duties. 

Electricity: there is some access to charging facilities – charging of personal items, such as phone and cameras, is available at the local school in exchange for a small contribution. There is limited Internet access however volunteers can buy a personal USB modem.

Laundry: hand washing can be done on base.

 

Travel Highlights

Project debrief is at 6:30 pm after which volunteers have free time. At the Shimoni Village there is a small bar that opens for volunteers, please note that due to the Muslim community, drinks may be limited. Usually at night there are organized activities and games, with the lack of electricity volunteers should always carry a torch with them. Staff will be able to assist any volunteers wanting to leave the island for the weekend. Volunteers may also explore the vibrant Shimoni; where there is a selection of bars, local shops, and cafes. Volunteers normally take day or weekend trips on free weekends, usually visiting the popular beach resort Diani, where volunteers can also book tours and safaris. Staff are always on hand to assist any travel needs or requests. 

 

Minimum Requirements

  • Min age 18
  • High level of physical fitness
  • Work well in a team
  • Interest in research and community development
  • Respectful of religious expectations of the community
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Immunizations (consult your medical practitioner)

 

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