Maasai Mara Wildlife Research and Conservation Project – Kenya

Big Beyond’s Maasai Mara Wildlife Research and Conservation project is based in the Naboisho conservancy which sits in the Mara eco-system. The Naboisho conservancy offers an important habitat for a great variety of wild animals while also seeking to lower human-wildlife conflict by ensuring that local Maasai benefit from eco-tourism. By conserving the habitat for wildlife, the conservancy has helped to increase bio-diversity as well as creating benefits for the communities and providing a more rewarding experience for tourist visitors.

As a volunteer you will help to collect data for wildlife researchers and scientists in conservancy development, environmental education and conservation initiatives in the conservancy. You will also be involved in assisting with cultural sharing with the students Koiyaki Guiding School (KGS) that trains local Maasai to become fully qualified tourist guides.

Our camp is located beside KGS in the middle of the wilderness of the reserve. Volunteers and staff often hear many animals at night and the project offers you a unique opportunity to see a vast array of wildlife while also contributing towards key research and conservation goals.

 

Highlights

  • Opportunities to spend time and see lion, cheetah and sometimes leopard on our big monitoring drives
  • Spending time tracking elephant family groups
  • Wild-life counts for the conservancy across different transects and landscapes in the conservancy
  • Interactive sessions with the Maasai students of KGS
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of the Mara ecosystem and conservation efforts

Quick Facts

  • Where Maasai Mara, Kenya
  • When All year
  • Price $2,142
  • Who Anyone interested in wildlife

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LOCATION

You will be based in the volunteer camp in the Naboisho Conservancy. The conservancy is a wild and open area with an abundance of wildlife. It is about a 6 hour drive from Nairobi and once you

CLIMATE

The weather in the Mara project is generally dry and warm with long rains falling in March, April and May and short rains falling in November. It is worth bringing some warm clothes as the temperature can dip during rain and at night. The sun is quite strong in the Mara and we generally suggest bringing ample sunscreen for your stay.

ACCOMMODATION

Your accommodation will be in our basic but comfortable volunteer camp where you will have all meals provided. Clean drinking water is provided on-site, there is running water for showers and there are clean long-drop toilet facilities.

 

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Big Beyond Maasai Mara Research and Conservation Projects

Big Cat Monitoring:

Mara Naboisho Big Cat Project brings together community, researchers, NGOs, and Tourism leopard

Partners in Naboisho Conservancy in an effort to help secure the future of the Big Cats in Mara ecosystem.

This project aims to monitor the big cat (lion, leopard and cheetah) populations, understand behaviour and monitor their movement’s patterns within the conservancy, as well as the interaction between lions and the local communities. Volunteers are involved in taking pictures of the big cats, identifying each individually, recording data for the researchers and entering them into the database of cats within the conservancy. This information is readily available to researchers, guides, trainee guides and conservancy management

Elephant Research:

Elephant car-The Mara Elephant Project (MEP) brings together researchers and conservationists in an effort to help secure the future of African elephants. The project’s components include tracking up elephants to better understand their movements, and engaging the community through anti-poaching education.

Volunteers help collect data of elephant sightings and help identify key individuals within herds getting to know them individually and collecting observations on the location, size and composition of elephants groups in Naibosho.

Koiyaki Guiding School:

studentsMost of the guides at the Naboisho Conservancy and Mara at large have graduated from the Koiyaki Guiding School. The school, provides local Maasai school leavers with education in guiding and conservation.

 Volunteers provide a perfect platform for foreigner-local interaction with local student guides at the school. They help in sharing specific skills appropriate to the tourism industry. Topics taught by volunteers range from customer service, guiding principles, languages and culture and many more.

Conservancy Work:

There is a great need for the consistent and accurate collection of data on the Conservancy.  This include regular conservancy workcensuses of the wild animal population. Under the guidance of the experienced team, Volunteers run a wildlife count regularly, counting all species within a specified transects and monitoring the wildlife population. This empowers the conservation efforts, measure the progress of the wild animals and movement patterns in the conservancy.

Conservation projects also include alien plant species control, soil erosion control, grass monitoring, game drive routing, road identification, litter picking and road repair.

 

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Dates:
January 2nd, 16th & 30th | February 13th & 27th | March 3rd & 27th | April 10th & 24th | May 8th & 22nd | June 5th & 19th | July 3rd, 17th & 31st | August 14th & 28th | September 11th & 25th | October 9th & 23rd | November 6th & 23rd | December 4th

Project participation fees

2 WEEKS USD 2142 GBP 1199 EUR 1557 AUD 2567
3 WEEKS USD 2718 GBP 1522 EUR 1976 AUD 3258
4 WEEKS USD 3295 GBP 1845 EUR 2395 AUD 3949
5 WEEKS USD 4168 GBP 2334 EUR 3030 AUD 4995
6 WEEKS USD 4712 GBP 2638 EUR 3425 AUD 5647

OUR PRICES INCLUDE:

  • All airport collection and returns with a Big Beyond representative
  • All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day (weekends included)
  • 24 hour support with a Big Beyond staff member living on-site at the volunteer accommodation
  • Tea, coffee and filtered water

OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:

  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Weekend trips and other non-project activities
  • Alcohol. Please note this is not allowed during day time activities
  • Laundry

HOW YOUR PROJECT FEE IS USED:

Big Beyond projects make long-term sustainable impacts within the communities they work. You’re project fee goes towards your direct expenses on project, supporting our longterm staff who ensure our projects are sustainable and towards the running of Big Beyond to ensure the organisation itself is sustainable. By volunteering with Big Beyond you not only make an impact during your time but help us ensure that everything we do make a sustainable and lasting change.

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ON YOUR DOORSTEP

There are many trips and tours to fill your weekend in the Mara. There are numerous guided walks and hikes that you can organise outside of the conservancy. If you need some time to relax in luxury you could stay at a luxury tented camp in the Naboisho conservancy. For those interested in seeing rhino – we can also help you organise a safari into the national. If you’re feeling adventurous and would like to see the reserve from the air you can also do a champagne breakfast and morning balloon ride over the Maasai Mara.

FURTHER AFIELD

If you’re looking for a change of scenery and some relaxation after the project Kenya also has an incredible amount of activities to do on the coast near Mombasa. A short plane journey from Nairobi airport the Kenyan coast offers incredible snorkelling, diving, surfing and other water sports. We generally recommend to arrange this trip at the end of your trip to give yourself time to acclimatise to the weather in Kenya.

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We encourage you to join this programme if you have an interest in wildlife and conservation. The Naboisho conservancy is a wild and wonderful place and you’ll get the opportunity to experience it while also helping our team collect research data and assist in conservancy maintenance.

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We'd love to hear from you! Leave a message, and we'll get back to you shortly to help organise your perfect tour.

info@bigbeyond.org