Big Cat & Elephant Research

Kenya

2 - 12 weeks

3,045 - 7,545 Euro

At this exciting project, you will be actively involved in wildlife research by assisting wildlife researchers and scientists in the Mara Naboisha Conservancy, which borders the Masai Mara National Reserve.

WELCOME TO BIG CAT & ELEPHANT RESEARCH

Journey into the heart of Kenya's Masai Mara, immersing yourself in a world where majestic big cats roam and elephants grace the horizon under the vast African skies. Dive deep into an ecosystem pulsating with life, where every day offers a dance of nature's wonders, and where your efforts play a crucial role in safeguarding Africa's wildlife and ecosystem.

Why choose the Big Cat & Elephant Research Adventure?

  • Hands-On Wildlife Conservation:
    In the Pardamat Conservation Area, study majestic lions, elusive cheetahs, wild dogs, and towering elephants. Contribute to vital data that shapes conservation strategies.
  • Dive into the Masai Mara Ecosystem:
    Based in the celebrated Masai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, immerse yourself in diverse wildlife habitats that play host to the Great Migration and countless wildlife tales.
  • Engage with the Maasai Culture:
    A cultural odyssey awaits. Engage with the Maasai community, understanding their heritage and the balance between rural life and wildlife coexistence.
  • Stay at the Wildlife Tourism College:
    Nestled in the Pardamat Conservation Area, it's a hub for research and learning. Experience Maasai lands where wildlife conservation harmonizes with local lifestyles.
  • Contribute to an Iconic Ecosystem:
    Your efforts fortify the preservation of the Masai Mara's ecosystem. Be a part of safeguarding an environment celebrated in countless wildlife documentaries and photographs.

Join Us in Kenya

For wildlife enthusiasts and those keen on making a tangible difference, this is your African call. Dive into a journey that's more thanjust sightseeing - it's impactful contribution to the iconic Masai Mara wilderness.

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QUICK FACTS

GENERAL
  • Up to 14 volunteers for 2-12 weeks, 2 to 3 start dates per month (Mondays)
  • Minimum age: 18
TRAVEL AND TRANSFERS
  • Arrive at Nairobi Airport (NBO) Sunday, 06:00-22:00. Depart Monday after 21:30.
  • Stay first night in Nairobi (included); 6-hour transfer to Masai Mara Monday morning.
MEALS & MORE
  • Full-board meals, drinking water, coffee, tea are included.
  • Free Wi-Fi available daytime; local SIM/data purchasable in Nairobi.
ADDITIONAL ADVENTURES
  • Weekends free for exploring: Masai Mara safaris, hot air balloon rides, and walking safaris.
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Your Activities

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By gathering and providing data as a volunteer, you will contribute to the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, a flagship initiative coordinated by Kenya Wildlife Trust. This program brings together communities, conservancy rangers, and tourism partners across the Greater Mara’s conservancies in an effort to help secure the future of lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs in these areas through tracking, monitoring, and understanding their behavior. Your daily game drives in Pardamat and surrounding conservancies will focus on tracking, identifying, monitoring, and recording big cats and wild dogs, providing valuable data to the program.

Big Cat & Wild Dog Monitoring

Assist the Mara Predator Conservation Programme by gathering and providing data for the protection of lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs in the Greater Mara conservancies.

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As a volunteer, you will conduct regular game counts along transects or within sample areas, with a focus on monitoring the distribution of wildlife across the Pardamat Conservation Area, including their movement patterns and trends over time. This critical monitoring helps conservation efforts by measuring improvements in wildlife density and movement in the conservancy. Part of your monitoring efforts will be dedicated to collecting valuable data on elephant sightings, including the location, size, and composition of elephant groups. This data is particularly important as elephants require large dispersal areas and move between the Maasai Mara National Reserve, neighboring conservancies, and community land as part of their migration route. The data you collect is reviewed regularly by the conservation area’s management team, and is also shared with researchers to ensure coordinated ecological monitoring efforts across the Greater Mara landscape. By contributing to this effort, you will help to ensure the preservation of elephant populations and other important wildlife species in the region.

Game Counts

You will play a crucial role in monitoring the distribution and movement patterns of wildlife in the Pardamat Conservation Area, with a particular focus on elephants.

Read more

Cross (Close)

After your conservation experience in the Masai Mara, why not extend your stay in Kenya and explore the country's stunning coastal destinations? Kenya boasts some of the most breathtaking and exotic beaches on the continent, including Mombasa Beach, Watamu Beach, and Diani Beach. At Mombasa Beach, you can swim in the crystal-clear waters and indulge in fresh seafood from the beach shacks. Meanwhile, Watamu Beach offers incredible snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions, allowing you to explore the colorful underwater world.

Additional Activities

Visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi or extend your stay and enjoy the stunning beaches in Kenya.

Read more

Cross (Close)

After your conservation experience in the Masai Mara, why not extend your stay in Kenya and explore the country's stunning coastal destinations? Kenya boasts some of the most breathtaking and exotic beaches on the continent, including Mombasa Beach, Watamu Beach, and Diani Beach. At Mombasa Beach, you can swim in the crystal-clear waters and indulge in fresh seafood from the beach shacks. Meanwhile, Watamu Beach offers incredible snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions, allowing you to explore the colorful underwater world.

Additional Activities

Visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi or extend your stay and enjoy the stunning beaches in Kenya.

Read more

Cross (Close)

At Pardamat Conservation Area, environmental challenges such as soil erosion and invasive species pose significant threats to the ecosystem. As a volunteer, you'll play an active role in conserving the area by participating in physical initiatives that aim to maintain a healthy environment for the wildlife to thrive in. These conservation efforts are carried out in collaboration with the management team of the conservation area and may include tasks such as removing invasive plant species, monitoring soil erosion, conducting grass checks, identifying game drive routes, repairing roads, collecting litter, and assisting with the construction of predator-proof bomas to keep livestock safe at night.

Conservancy work & restoration

As a volunteer, you'll help conserve the Pardamat Conservation Area by removing invasive plants, monitoring soil erosion, repairing roads, and more.

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Activity Overview

Lion cub and lion mother at Masai Mara in Kenya.
Big Cat & Wild Dog Monitoring

By gathering and providing data as a volunteer, you will contribute to the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, a flagship initiative coordinated by Kenya Wildlife Trust. This program brings together communities, conservancy rangers, and tourism partners across the Greater Mara’s conservancies in an effort to help secure the future of lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs in these areas through tracking, monitoring, and understanding their behavior. Your daily game drives in Pardamat and surrounding conservancies will focus on tracking, identifying, monitoring, and recording big cats and wild dogs, providing valuable data to the program.

Game Counts

As a volunteer, you will conduct regular game counts along transects or within sample areas, with a focus on monitoring the distribution of wildlife across the Pardamat Conservation Area, including their movement patterns and trends over time. This critical monitoring helps conservation efforts by measuring improvements in wildlife density and movement in the conservancy. Part of your monitoring efforts will be dedicated to collecting valuable data on elephant sightings, including the location, size, and composition of elephant groups. This data is particularly important as elephants require large dispersal areas and move between the Maasai Mara National Reserve, neighboring conservancies, and community land as part of their migration route. The data you collect is reviewed regularly by the conservation area’s management team, and is also shared with researchers to ensure coordinated ecological monitoring efforts across the Greater Mara landscape. By contributing to this effort, you will help to ensure the preservation of elephant populations and other important wildlife species in the region.

Conservancy work & restoration

At Pardamat Conservation Area, environmental challenges such as soil erosion and invasive species pose significant threats to the ecosystem. As a volunteer, you'll play an active role in conserving the area by participating in physical initiatives that aim to maintain a healthy environment for the wildlife to thrive in. These conservation efforts are carried out in collaboration with the management team of the conservation area and may include tasks such as removing invasive plant species, monitoring soil erosion, conducting grass checks, identifying game drive routes, repairing roads, collecting litter, and assisting with the construction of predator-proof bomas to keep livestock safe at night.

Additional Activities

After your conservation experience in the Masai Mara, why not extend your stay in Kenya and explore the country's stunning coastal destinations? Kenya boasts some of the most breathtaking and exotic beaches on the continent, including Mombasa Beach, Watamu Beach, and Diani Beach. At Mombasa Beach, you can swim in the crystal-clear waters and indulge in fresh seafood from the beach shacks. Meanwhile, Watamu Beach offers incredible snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions, allowing you to explore the colorful underwater world.

Days-Off Activities

Experience the African wilderness like never before by going on a safari in the Masai Mara. Your stay in the middle of the East African conservancy offers endless opportunities to explore and marvel at the wonders of nature. Enjoy movie nights under the stars, campfire nights, and bush dinners during your stay. For a touch of luxury, visit the nearby Eagle View luxury safari camp for a drink, dinner, or even an overnight stay. You can sit back and watch the resident wildlife visit the watering hole from the terrace. The world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve is also within reach, and you could spend your free time going on safari through its wild landscapes in search of elephants, lions, rhinos, and other iconic African wildlife. You could also opt for a hot air balloon safari to witness the Mara from the sky, an unforgettable experience! Please note that these activities are optional and not included in the programme fee.

Volunteers on a game drive at Shamwari Conservation Experience in Port Elizabeth.
Volunteers doing plant research at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.
Wildlife volunteers doing telemetry search in South Africa.
Lion roaring at Born Free Foundation in South Africa.
Wildlife volunteers at the vet clinic at Shamwari Conservation Experience in South Africa.


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WHY we love it

Travel to the world-famous Greater Masai Mara Ecosystem and participate in the Big Cat & Elephant Research program. As a volunteer, you'll have the opportunity to conduct essential research on some of Africa's most iconic wildlife.

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Join like-minded volunteers from around the world in one of the most beautiful places on earth - the Masai Mara. Participate in physical conservation activities such as alien species removal and erosion control.

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Experience the breathtaking beauty of East African landscapes and spectacular displays of wildlife in their natural habitat on daily safari game drives through the Pardamat Conservation Area.

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Meet trainee Maasai guides at the Wildlife Tourism College, listen to their life stories and help themgain employment in the tourism industry through training and engagement.

MAKE AN ENQUIRY FOR

Big Cat & Elephant Research

Once we receive your enquiry, we will swiftly check for availability and aim to get back to you within 2 business days. Please note that sending this enquiry does not create any obligations for you.

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