MASAI MARA BIG CAT RESEARCH, KENYA
Wildlife research in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy

For more information and bookings click here*

You will be stationed in the wild Kenyan Mara Naboisho Consevancy, which borders the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. The Mara has an abundance of wildlife all year round and is renowned for its annual Great Migration. You will be spoilt by the variety of wildlife and vast Masai Mara plains. The Mara is home to 'The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth' in the form of the Great Migration that takes place every year. The migration includes over one million animals and the sheer magnificence of the display makes it one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Both qualified and non-qualified volunteers can join this project. Your qualification will determine your level and area of involvement at the different placements.  Volunteer Involvement is in the following areas: 

Big Cat Monitoring Projects

Volunteers will be involved in tracking and photographing lions on early morning and evening game drives, using photographs to identify individual lions. Through regular observations, volunteers will help to compile lion profiles, plot the movements of cats on monthly lion maps, and take notes on the size and structure of prides. This is an exciting way to contribute to research conducted on one of the most important lion populations in Africa. African Impact project co-ordinators will help volunteers to use our GPS loggers, camera and computer. However, if you are a keen photographer and have a camera of your own, we strongly encourage you to bring it with you to take full advantage of the wildlife viewing opportunities you will encounter.

Elephant Research with Elephant Partners

This project is run in partnership with ElephantVoices.  The project aims to build a community of people sharing their knowledge about the elephants of the Masai Mara ecosystem and working together to monitor and protect them. The Conservancy is one of the most important refuges for the Mara elephants. You will be responsible for taking ID photos of elephants, getting to know them individually, and collecting observations on the location, size and composition of elephant groups on Naboisho and surrounding areas. Through your work you will help to build up knowledge of the Mara elephants and contribute to their conservation: http://facebook.com/elephantpartners

Other Conservation Efforts

There is also a great need for the consistent and accurate collection of data on the Conservancy, including regular censuses of the wild animal population in the area. Under the guidance of the experienced conservancy team, you will assist in the regular collection of this data in order to empower the conservation efforts further and measure the progress of the conservancy. Conservation projects will also include game drive routing, road identification and crossing marking, alien plant species control, species recording and wildlife monitoring, depending on the needs of the conservancy.

Koiyaki Guiding School

85% of the tourism guides in the Masai Mara are not from the area, with only a handful of the local people benefiting from the tourism business due to a lack of the required skills.  The Koiyaki project is an initiative to place guiding in the Mara in the hands of the local people – after all, it is their own ‘back yard.’ The school and Eagles View Camp is owned by the Koiyaki community and is now under the guidance of the Basecamp Foundation.

Volunteers are privileged to have interactive sessions with the students of Koiyaki Guiding School, where a transfer of skills and knowledge occurs. Volunteers present topics ranging from customer service, guiding principles, communication skills or any particular areas of interest/expertise which may be beneficial to the students.  Debates also occur encouraging confidence in presentation and communication and these are always a fun way to discuss the more topical issues of conservation in the Mara and the way of life of the Masai.

Olesere Primary School

Olesere Primary School is located on the outside of the conservancy in one of the neighbouring villages, Olesere Village, and has approximately 400 students enrolled, ranging from pre-school to grade 7.  The school itself is very basic and there is much potential to develop the facilities further. Thanks to the Headmaster, there is noticeable pride in the school by both the community and the children. The school now has five classrooms and a pre-school unit.

Volunteers will be involved in running an environmental club once a week with select students at the school and focusing on developing English skills through interactive methods while encouraging a passion for wildlife, the environment and conservation. These students will then be responsible for transferring their learning and skills to other students at the school through workshops and presentations.

For more information and bookings click here*

* links to our partner's web site

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