Big Cat & Elephant Research & Conservation

Maasai Mara, Kenya. The ‘true’ home of Africa wildlife.

Prices start from US $3,725 for 2 weeks

Wildlife Conservation Volunteering

Welcome to the region, recognised as the ‘true’ home of African wildlife. We are at the forefront of ensuring that Africa’s precious wildlife will always have a place on our planet, conducting vital research & lending an important hand in the important physical conservation work. 

To make it even better, you will be based in the world-famous Maasai Mara, home to some of Africa’s most iconic big 5 species. 

Overview

This is a rare opportunity to join our team based in the Pardamat Conservation Area, a newly established dual-use conservation area and a key wildlife dispersal area and corridor in the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem.

As a volunteer on this project, you will conduct applied wildlife fieldwork (monitoring and data collection) on Africa’s most iconic wildlife in Pardamat Conservation Area and the neighboring Naboisho Conservancy including the largest living land animal – the majestic elephant.

This program gives you a unique opportunity to work in two diverse and equally important conservation areas in this vast biodiversity ecosystem in Kenya. The two conservation areas are in different stages of their development and are based on two different conservation models. Naboisho Conservancy is a fully established community conservation area set aside and managed for wildlife conservation while Pardamat Conservation Area is a dynamic vast conservation area adopting the dual-use model of conservation where wildlife and livestock co-exist. This means the type of work differs in each location based on the differing models and their differing needs.

You will witness spectacular displays of wildlife in their natural environment while at the same time conducting important research that contributes both to long-term conservation and ongoing conservation management plans of these key areas

Program Highlights

  • Helping with monitoring and IDing big cats and elephants both in Naboisho Conservancy and Pardamat Conservation Area (PCA).  Because PCA is relatively new and due to the fact that it is a dual-use area, many of the animals in the area are very shy. As such a large part of our work in PCA involves trying to locate and habituate big cats and elephants.  Big cats and elephants are much easier to find, monitor and ID in Naboisho Conservancy which is very well established. 
  • Using field-based monitoring and data collection techniques
  • Setting up of camera traps in key locations within PCA to gain a greater understanding of species in the area and their movements
  • Regular night drives in PCA to locate and monitor nocturnal species in the area
  • Living in Pardamat Conservation Area which is part of the greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem
  • Meet and engage with Maasai students at the Wildlife Tourism College, listening to their life stories while also learning about the Maasai Culture and sharing yours (Note that this will only happen when the college is in session)
  • Volunteer alongside like-minded individuals from different parts of the world
  • Get your hands dirty and partake in hands-on conservation activities such as alien species removal, soil erosion control, de-fencing and opening up of new game driving tracks as you work to develop and establish Pardamat Conservation Area premier game viewing area
  • Witness the iconic East Africa landscapes while out on wildlife monitoring drives through the Pardamat Conservation Area and Naboisho Conservancy
  • Learn and develop first hand knowledge of different wildlife conservation models in the Mara ecosystem and importance of wildlife conservancies for both wildlife and livestock and local communities at large
  • Work alongside Pardamat Conservation Area rangers and staff as they go about their processes of managing the conservation area
  • During school term times, visit a local primary school and get involved with local Wildlife/Environmental Club, with the intention to inspire future generations to respect and look after their natural environment
  • Bonfire nights once or twice a week weather permitting. 

Location

The Maasai Mara (part of the expansive Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem) has 15 conservancies that provide connected wildlife habitats and secure migratory corridors. The conservancies cover over 300,000 acres and were established to conserve the environment and its wildlife and to protect and improve the livelihoods of the local Maasai communities. Participants will be based at the Wildlife Tourism College in the Pardamat Conservation Area. This is where most of the volunteer work and research will take place. The area is a dynamic dual-use conservation area. Maasai landowners registered their 26,000 acres as a wildlife conservation area as they continue to live and care for their livestock in certain conservancy zones. Occasionally, visits to neighboring conservancies and the Maasai Mara National Reserve will also occur.

Where Will You Be Staying?

The Wildlife Tourism College is an educational facility situated in the heart of the Pardamat Conservation Area in the greater Maasai Mara ecosystem. The college brings together existing learning centers to provide critical skills and training and meet the increasing demand of the wildlife tourism industry in Kenya. This first-of-its-kind initiative is designed to be a catalyst for the development of a centralized tourism, vocational education, research, and community capacity-building hub within the region. The college will have a total capacity of 40 beds in flexible rooming arrangements of between 2 and 8 students sharing, and state-of-the-art facilities that include learning spaces, an atrium, a library, and a viewing deck. The college serves as an EDU Africa learning center for international faculty and students.

 

And There’s More

  • Witness the annual great wildebeest migration – the most spectacular wildlife display on earth!
  • Immerse yourself in Maasai culture as you make friends with the members of the tribe.
  • Indulge in a luxury weekend at our neighboring eco-safari lodge. 
  • Adventure in the Maasai Mara on the weekends.  
  • Make friends for life with the other international participants.
  • Your weekends are free for relaxing and exploring. Why not head out to one of the best safaris in Africa to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
  • Or how about a guided walk, a hot-air balloon safari, or a luxurious weekend enjoying the spectacular views at our neighboring safari camp? Volunteer discounts are available. 

 

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Prices & Duration

 
DurationCost USD
2 Weeks$3,725
3 Weeks$4,275
4 Weeks$4,825
5 Weeks$5,375
6 Weeks$5,925
7 Weeks$5,925
8 Weeks$7,025
9 Weeks$7,575
10 Weeks$8,125
11 Weeks$8,675
12 Weeks$9,225

Start Dates

January 6th & 20th 

February 3rd & 17th 

March 3rd, 17th & 31st 

April 14th & 28th 

May 12th & 26th 

June 9th & 23rd 

July 7th & 21st 

August 4th & 18th 

September 1st, 15th & 29th 

October 13th & 27th 

November 10th & 24th 

December 8th