Kenya – Maasai Mara Lion and Wildlife Conservation

Immerse yourself in the Maasai culture as you volunteer with members of the tribe, helping in conservation efforts and wildlife protection. Witness the annual great wildebeest migration—the most spectacular wildlife display on Earth!

 

Program Highlights:

  • Volunteer in the best place in the world to see wild cats
  • Help to preserve the Masai Mara ecosystem, the home to the greatest number of wildlife on earth
  • Research and monitor lions, leopards and cheetahs in their natural environment
  • Live right in the African bush
  • Learn new skills from experienced Maasai guides as you collect crucial wildlife data numbers in the field

 

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your accommodation for the night in Limuru.

Day 1, Monday: Early morning transfer to the volunteer camp in the Pardamat Conservation Area, then get settled into your new home.

Days 2-5, Tuesday-Friday: You will be involved in three major tasks during your time in the Maasai Mara: big cat monitoring (collect data that will support conservancy management), wildlife counts (go on game counts and measure the number of species in the area) and other conservation and community work.

Days 6-7, Saturday-Sunday: Your weekends are free and an opportunity for you to make the most of your African experience. Take a safari to enjoy the annual wildebeest migration (mostly July-September), or fly in a hot-air balloon to enjoy the Maasai Mara Reserve from the top.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow a similar schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having Saturday-Sunday free. Treat yourself to a luxury weekend at a neighbouring safari camp, or even take a trip to nearby Tanzania. Departures are on a Monday.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Pardamat Conservation Area, part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem

Project length Project length: Min 2 weeks – Max 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Lion monitoring, conservation efforts, teaching environmentalism

Age Age:  18 – 80

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 16 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note: Volunteers that join in 2022 will stay in the volunteer camp in the Naboisho Conservancy, in the heart of the Maasai Mara.

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in tents (beds included inside the tent)

Food Food: Three meals daily

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport transfers are included on both arrival and departure days

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, entry visa (approximately $50 USD), travel health insurance, personal expenses, airtime for cell phone or internet

The Maasai 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 on the equator on the eastern coast of Africa, boasting a range of ethnicities and cultural vibrancy.

The volunteer program is in Pardamat Conservation Area. It is roughly 250km from Nairobi and the drive will take approximately 6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. Pardamat Conservation Area is part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem. Surrounded by bushland and located 30-minutes’ drive from the nearest village and 2-hours from the nearest town, you will stay in a remote yet spectacular part of Kenya.

 

You will be involved in three primary 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.

 

Some of your tasks may include:

  • Lion research and data collection
  • Elephant monitoring and research
  • 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 and developing English skills at a local primary school
  • Help at a tour guiding school for residents to become more involved in the tourism process surrounding
  • Maasai Mara. This may include teaching English, cultural lessons, building/repairing facilities, etc.
  • During 2021, the guiding / primary school volunteer activities may be limited and volunteer work will focus on wildlife monitoring and research.

Internet icon Internet: There is no Internet available at the camp or project, but there is a tourist resort within walking distance where Wi-Fi is available with the purchase of a drink. Cell phone reception is sometimes patchy, volunteers will need to purchase airtime. A SIM Card will be provided upon arrival.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: The volunteer camp is simple, yet comfortable with all necessities available. You will experience life in the wilderness in an authentic bush camp in shared semi- permanent tents. There is a common living and dining area for you to relax, unwind and share stories of your sightings with fellow volunteers. There is a fire pit and barbeque for evenings out under the stars. Bathrooms are shared, with wood fuelled hot water showers available in the afternoons and there is 24hr electricity. You will live in the middle of the African bush with zebras, wildebeest, giraffe, and gazelles, often coming very close by to graze. You are likely to hear a symphony of sounds during the night and don’t worry about setting an alarm for the morning. The animals will do that for you!

Food icon Food: You will be provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is served after the early morning drive or activity. Lunch and dinner are full meals and will be prepared for you. Packed lunches are provided when out for the day.

 

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Height of at least 1.55 meters tall (5 feet 1 inch)
  • Police clearance
  • Volunteers MUST travel with proof of a Yellow Fever Vaccination
  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to learn about conservation
  • Motivation to work with children and/or adults
  • High level of independence and flexibility
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)

There is a good deal of optional travel and excursion options volunteers will arrange once on site for an additional fee.

These include:

  • Walking safaris
  • Night out in the bush
  • Excursion to Maasai Mara Game Reserve
  • Balloon safaris
  • Dorobo Bush Camp overnight, including guided walk
  • Lamu getaway
  • 2 night stay at Basecamp Maasai Mara overnight, including game drives in the National Reserve
  • Overnight stay at Basecamp Wilderness
  • Please note: these excursions may change according to availability and that entry into the park is not included in the project cost.

Volunteer Experiences

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