Join our team on the edge of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya for a rare chance to research 3 of Africa’s most iconic big cats – lions, leopards, and cheetahs. This program gives you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the wild hinterlands of East Africa and witness spectacular displays of wildlife while conducting important wildlife research that contributes to long-term wildlife conservation and reserve management plans.
This volunteer program is ideal for big cat lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and aspiring conservationists or zoologists
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Monitor and collect data in a reserve that is famous for its unrivaled big cat and wildlife encounters
- Witness the legendary beauty of Africa on daily safari game drives through Naboisho Conservancy
- Get your hands dirty by doing physical conservation work such as removing invasive species
- Contribute to community development by teaching young Maasai locals at Koiyaki Guiding School English and other skills that will help them become safari guides
- Get involved with education workshops that help locals understand the importance of wildlife conservation
- Spend time with Maasai warriors, learning about their unique culture and hearing tales about their lives and life in Kenya
- Live in the middle of the untamed African bush and experience some of the most authentic wildlife experiences the continent has to offer
Work & Impacts
Teaching & Education
Koiyaki Guiding School is a facility that provides education to local Maasai youth who want to get involved in the tourism industry by becoming safari guides. Through the school, locals can obtain Bronze and Silver level membership with the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association.
Through teaching, you will help open up employment opportunities for community members, promote and encourage conservation of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, and meet and talk to locals who will offer intimate insight into their community, culture, and country.
Fun & Travel
Unique Bush Experiences
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is your playground during your time in Kenya.
Spend your free time going on safari through its wild landscapes in search of elephants, lions, rhinos, and other iconic African wildlife. Or witness Mara from the sky on a hot air balloon safari for an experience you will never forget!
Stay at one of the luxury safari camps for a truly unique safari camping experience.
Exotic East African Beaches
Kenya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa.
Over weekends you can head to the coast and enjoy the sun kissed sand and warm waters of the Indian Ocean at Mombasa Beach, Watamu Beach, and Diani Beach.
Mombasa Beach is excellent for swimming and feasting on fresh seafood at the seafood beach shacks, while Watamu Beach offers incredible snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions.
Sheldrick Elephant & Rhino Orphanage
Catch a 50-minute flight to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, and visit Sheldrick Elephant & Rhino Orphanage, a rescue and rehab center for orphaned elephants and rhinos.
The orphanage is open to the public for 1 hour every day, during which time you can watch the orphans getting bottle fed and taking a mud bath. You will also learn about the threats facing elephants in Kenya and the work Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is doing to protect them.
About the Destination
Your home during your stay in Kenya is a unique location in the middle of the African bush. You will live at our volunteer base in Mara Naboisho Conservancy, which borders the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. It is a wild and untouched open space, and at night you will hear roars from lions, hyenas laughing, and thousands of wildebeest and antelope roaming the great plains from the safety of camp.
Your accommodation is a truly authentic and comfortable rustic safari camp with a choice of dormitories or large tents or private 1-person safari tents. We have an excellent chef that cooks three delicious meals for you every day, you can enjoy eating and socializing with other volunteers and staff in our outdoor area listening to the sounds of the bush. Mosquito nets and towels are provided.
With Mara right on the doorstep of the volunteer house, you will have plenty of opportunities to go on safari and watch the resident wildlife in their natural habitats. Mara, as it is known, has one of the highest densities of lions in the country and is home to the “Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth” – the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti to the Mara in search of water and grazing grounds.
Dates & Rates
Our project fee includes:
- Accommodation throughout your stay
- 3 meals a day cooked by a local chef (weekdays only)
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Transport to and from project
- 24/7 support from experienced international and local staff
- Full orientation to ensure you contribute responsibly
- Project equipment and resources
Our project fee excludes:
- Flights (we can assist you with this)
- Medical or travel insurance (we can assist you with this)
- Visa-related costs
- Weekend trips or tours not on the itinerary
- Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs
“Two weeks that I will never forget. Having always wanted to go on safari, I have managed to do just that and so much more for a fraction of the price, whilst contributing to wildlife research. Seeing such a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat is something that money can’t buy and it was amazing to get so close.”
Shashi Kapur, UK
“I had such an amazing experience on this project. Of course, the wildlife was incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed the monitoring and game drives. What made the biggest impression on me, though, are the incredible people I met while there—both on staff and in the community.”
Melissa Hanlan, USA