Volunteering in Kenya
Volunteer towards community empowerment and wildlife conservation
Why Volunteer in Kenya
Located on the coast of East Africa, Kenya embodies the fantasy of Africa in its most idealistic form. Its extraordinary diverse landscapes, the savannah grasslands and the abundance of wildlife. Kenya is a unique and stunning destination.
Where else can you experience snow-capped mountain backdrops almost on the equator whilst overlooking the hot, dry desert? Kenya goes further. Venture out to the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean, with its own little paradise, Diani beach – voted Africa’s best beach; surrounded by dense forest.
Apart from the incredible and diverse landscapes, it is the traditional people and ancient culture that gives Kenya its an amazing charm.
Kenya is home to some of Africa’s most famous and remarkable tribes, including the Maasai, the Swahili and the Samburu, who hold some powerful tales and in-depth stories of the country and the wider continent. You can learn about the historic and daily struggles in one of the harshest environments on Earth and uncover the ancient tensions between farmers and roamer that still exists today. This is a culture with an extreme, vast and rich history.
This is without a doubt one of Africa ́s greatest wildlife-spotting destinations, home to the iconic Big 5 and a huge amount of big cats roaming the iconic plains.
Kenya’s extraordinary geography offers the perfect mix of world-class national parks, with an eyewatering amount of game roaming the African plains, while in reaching distance of white sand and crystal sea Indian Ocean beaches.
With flamboyant crowds of pink flamingos, creating an epic photographic opportunity at Lake Nakuru; dramatic landscapes that inspired Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ at the Great Rift Valley and the almighty Mount Kilimanjaro dominating the Kenyan horizon, Kenya will amaze you beyond your wildest expectations.
The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth
Overwhelming, and quite simply one of the most extraordinary works of nature. The dramatic landscapes of the Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti form the ‘only in Africa’ backdrop for the annual Great Migration, where over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra embark on a remarkable journey, charging in their enormous herds towards better grazing lands.
Witness with your own eyes this astonishing cycle of life that no wildlife event can rival. Dubbed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, this humbling event will provide you with unforgettable memories and a unique insight into what is possible in Africa.
Due to the rains and grazing conditions, the Great Migration generally falls between mid-July to early October.
Kenya Volunteer Destinations
With an abundance of wildlife and Kenya’s commitment to conservation, there is no better place to make a difference, not only to wildlife but also the surrounding communities.
Kenya is a country rich with exquisite wildlife, history and diversity. Located in East Africa, Kenya is only slightly smaller than the state of Texas and the 49th largest country in the world. Situated on the equator, Kenya is bordered by five countries: Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania, with the country connecting to the Indian Ocean.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain is located on the border of Kenya and Tanzania and keep in mind that the annual Great migration also passes through both countries, between the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti.
Once a British colony, who gained its independence in 1963, Kenya thrives from booming tourism and their coffee industry.
Fun Facts about Kenya
- Kenya is home to the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve
- Kenya is located in East Africa
- Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city
- The two official languages in Kenya are English and Swahili
- Kenya gained its independence from the British in 1963- before this Kenya was a British colony.
- Kenya has 536 kilometres of coastline
- The iconic ‘Big 5’ can be found in Kenya – the elephant, the lion, the leopard, the rhino and the buffalo
- Tourism and coffee are Kenya’s biggest industries
Kenya Volunteer Projects
Big Cats Research & Conservation
Play a massive part in the research of the big cats in the Maasai Mara. Help find a solution to ensure their place on this planet.
Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya
Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks
Hospital & Medical Support Project
A hands-on medical project where you will be supporting the rural communities in Kenya by working in hospitals & clinics.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks
Highlights & Excursions
The opportunities Kenya presents are staggering and promise to provide an experience of a lifetime. From unique wildlife encounters and historic sites to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; isn’t it time you experience the hype for yourself?
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
Great Rift Valley
Kicheche Laikipia Camp
Nairobi National Park
Samburu National Reserve
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Nairobi City Markets
The Giraffe Centre, Nairobi
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Kenya safe?
Kenya is a tourist hotspot and for an international tourist or as part of an organized trip, is a safe country. But you need to take precautions in order to stay safe. While it is advised not to travel within 60kms of the Kenyan-Somalia boarder, areas such as Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Mombasa, large national parks and tourist destinations remain very safe to enjoy.
You will have the most incredible time in one of the most incredible parts of the world. As with any area of the world, we advise you to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings, such as avoiding walking alone at night, petty theft, leave your valuables in a safe place – the usual.
Check out our tips on staying safe in Kenya, so you can enjoy your stay without a worry.
What is the weather/ climate in Kenya?
Kenya is situated on the equator and has a tropical and very pleasant climate, which varies significantly depending on your location and altitude.
While most of Kenya’s climate change depending on the season, the coast remains hot and humid all year round. In general, the dry season is between June- October and the rainy season between November to May.
The Low Season falls between March to May. This is the peak of the rainy season therefore much quieter. However, due to the thicker vegetation and more rainfall, it is harder to spot the wildlife as the game is more spread out, as water is not in short supply during this time of year. Nevertheless, there are fewer vehicles around for those seeking a less crowded wildlife experience.
The Shoulder Season falls between November to December. You can expect much lesser rainfall during this time and still lower number of tourists, compared to the high season.
The High Season falls between June to October and again in January and February. This is the driest time of the year; therefore, wildlife spotting is at its prime. The vegetation is much thinner, therefore spotting wildlife in the bush is easier and sightings of the game come regularly. With less water available, animals will congregate around the watering holes, allowing for incredible sightings. This time of the year also offers hot and dry weather, perfect for those seeking an escape from the European and North American fall/winter.
The annual Great Migration takes place between mid-July to October. Dubbed as the ‘Greatest Wildlife Show on the Planet,’ this is the ultimate time to see one of nature’s most specular events. However, be prepared for lots of tourists, gathering around to witness this unique event.
How do I get to Kenya?
Nairobi airport is one of Africa’s biggest transport hubs, with lots of international direct flights. The main airport is Jomo Kenyatta International (NBO.)
There are many airlines that offer direct flights to Nairobi, including:
- Kenya Airways: London- Nairobi
- British Airways: London- Nairobi
- South African Airways: Johannesburg – Nairobi
- Qatar Airways: Doha – Nairobi
- Emirates: Dubai – Nairobi
- Air France: Paris – Nairobi
- KLM: Amsterdam to Nairobi
What is the currency in Kenya?
The official currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (KSh.) You can use most major credit cards in many of the resorts, lodges, bars and restaurants, such as MasterCard or Visa. You will be able to withdraw cash at local ATM’s.
Which electrical plugs are used in Kenya?
The majority of pocket sockets found in Maasai Mara and Kenya are Type G, as found in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
What languages are spoken in Kenya?
The two official languages spoken in Kenya are English and Swahili. The other two widely spoken regional languages in Kenya are Kikuyu and Luhya.
What is Kenya famous for?
Kenya is famous for representing ‘idyllic Africa’ and of course, it’s extraordinary wildlife. Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ was based off the incredible landscapes of Kenya. Home to the Big 5 and the annual wildebeest migration, Kenya offers the best wildlife experience on the planet. They say you have not experienced the real Africa, until you have experienced Kenya- and they are absolutely right!
From mountains to beaches, savannah grasslands to vibrant cities- Kenya promises an unforgettable and diverse experience. Here are just a few opportunities on offer:
- The Maasai Mara
- Nairobi National Park
- Diani Beach
- Mount Kenya
- Samburu National Reserve
- Great Rift Valley
- Lake Nakuru
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
- Nairobi City Markets
- The Giraffe Centre, Nairobi
Is there malaria in Kenya?
There is a high risk of malaria throughout the year in Kenya, but this risk is lower in Nairobi.
But, don’t let this stop you from visiting! Malaria is very preventable and not all mosquitos carry the illness.
If you take the medication and follow some suggestions on how to avoid being bitten whilst in Kenya; you will be able to enjoy your trip without the worry of malaria.
Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
We advise you to ask your doctor for advice on malaria medication.
Know Before You Go
Code of Conduct
Volunteering Safety Tips
- Avoid travelling alone, especially at night.
- Don’t walk around the campgrounds at night.
- When travelling, keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place like a hidden pocket or money belt.
- Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you. Only bring what you need for the day.
- Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
- Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
- Keep your camera out of sight and always keep bags and purses in your sight. Do not leave unattended.
- Don’t get too close to wildlife and don’t feed them. Remember, you will be living around the wild game.
- Be aware of your surroundings and that the animals you will be researching are wild. Remain calm at all times and listen to our highly experienced guides.
- Use the safe spaces provided for you and don’t leave valuables lying around the lodge, your room or in an open space.
- You will be working outdoors, in a new and different community and environment. Ensure you listen to project staff and respect the local rules and customs at all times.
- We recommend you do not share your contact details with anyone.
- Save the emergency numbers of the Project Team in your phone.
- Provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home
Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.
Yellow Fever: A Yellow fever vaccination and the Certificate are compulsory for Kenya. You WILL NOT be allowed to enter the country without it.
We ask you to consult your doctor with regards to other vaccinations. Below are details of what is likely to be recommended.
Tetanus: A recent tetanus injection is highly recommended
Hepatitis A&B: Recommended
Please travel with copies of your vaccination certificates!
Malaria: We advise you to bring ample supply of anti-malarial tablets for your entire time in Kenya. Ask your doctor to prescribe the ones most suitable for you.
NB: we do not recommend Larium (sometimes known to cause hallucinations) or Doxycycline (many people have had bad reactions to the sun when they use this prophylactic).
A simple First Aid Kit will be available on-site, but we recommend you pack your own kit too. There are doctors located within an hour’s drive at large safari camps and for serious medical issues, you will need to evacuate to Nairobi.
We strongly recommend you bring a supply of sunscreen cream for the hot African sun – SPF 30 and above. We also suggest you bring a hat and a water bottle with you, as you will be in the sun for a good portion of the day. Even if the sky is overcast, the sun is strong enough to cause burning.
It is very possible to get dehydrated during your time with us due to the strong sun. Don’t let that be you – please, please, drink lots of water!