Kaya Volunteer Programs in Kenya

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On the east coast of Africa, Kenya is a remarkable country with a vast diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and cultures. With Kaya Responsible Travel you can experience volunteering and living in one of Africa's greatest wildlife reserves - Maasai Mara Nature Reserve. Volunteer on the Wildlife Research & Conservation project and work with a team of researchers who are working to create a more harmonious relationship between the Masai tribes and the local wildlife. You will monitor the movements of big cat populations, including lions, leopards and cheetah, and assist with research into elephant populations. You will also be involved in Community Outreach Projects including running an environmental club at a school.

If you are a medical professional, Kaya also offer a Healthcare, Community & Hospital Volunteering project where you can make a real difference to those affected by struggles of water-borne and mosquito-carried illnesses, HIV/AIDs, poverty, and unemployment.

  • As a healthcare volunteer, work on healthcare projects in the mornings and community outreach projects in the afternoon
  • Healthcare placement is located in Limuru, in the Kenyan highlands, the area is covered with stunning tea plantations - and just 30 km north of Nairobi
  • Wildlife placement is located in Maasai Mara National Reserve, and is one of Africa’s finest safari destinations where you will see Kenya's famous wildlife such as elephants and big cats
  • Help to reduce conflict between the Maasai Mara people living on the land and the wildlife in the area
  • Have the trip of a lifetime and live and work in the bush, surrounded by incredible views and wildlife

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Yes, I recommend this program

The best time in my life.....Masai Mara...Wildlife research programm

October 2010, and one of my biggest dream came into truth. I flow from Switzerland to Nairobi. I was really excited, it was my first big trip to a other continent, and as well my first time alone. When I arrived in Nairobi, I just hoped, that the guy who met me there, was really there. And I found him in the first 2min. Everything was great organized. We drove out of Nairobi to my first stop in a house, which was 1h from Nairobi away. The next day we drove to Brackenhost, where one of the main office of African Impact was. I met my two other volunteers there, Mike, from Canada, and Max, from Norway. 2 great guys. We drove from there 5h to the Massai Mara, in our camp, which was place in middle of nothing. The drive was really long, and the streets, or better in the massai mara, there are no real streets, so we were like mixed, but we were all so excited and it was so interesting to see this beautiful land. So we arrived 5h later in our camp. Cath, our project manager, welcomed all of us with a big smile. She showed us our new home. We lived there more outside then inside. Our bedroom was basic but nice. We had a bedroom for the guys, and one for the ladys. A really comfortable bed with a mosquito net, which is absolutely important for there! We had 2 toilets, one “pissoir”, and two showers. Everything was clean and tidy. Our most important "room" was our dining-area. It was outside, but with a roof. The kitchen was small but had everything that we needed. We met at the same day Samson, Dickson and Danson. Our 3 coordinators. All 3 massais. All of the 3 were great people, really intelligent; you could ask everything about the nature, the culture, about everything! Samson was/is a great chef, we ate like kings. It was fantastic. We met as well Rochelle, she is from South Korea, and she started as volunteer there in summer for 1 month, and at the end, she was working there. Helping organizing and staff like that. A great person too, and all the time a smile on here sweet face.
In the evening we sat down together, ate something, and Cath told us a few stories about our conservancy. We were heared the roaring of the lions. I was sitting there and enjoyed that fantastic moment. I was just happy to be there.

After a few hours sleep our first day at the project started. We met the students from the Koyaki Guiding School. We worked really close with them together. They lived with us in a camp. The students were just great. In my first time of my live I said hi to real Massai in the tradional massai clothes. All of the students were massai, which was so interesting. The students are all in the age of 18 to 25, so in my age. They were interested in my culture and I was in there culture. One work of our project was the students. We had with them every morning from 8 to 9 or 10 am a lesson. We teached them some cool staff. Or more we did cool staff with them. We wrote a CV, we did a lot of role plays, which the can use later for there job, we did discussions, and a lot more. I loved these lessons so much. It was just great!
After the work with the students we went out every Tuesday to count the animals at a special part of our conservancy. It was crazy sometime, how many animals you can see at one time….but still one of the biggest adventure was every Tuesday and Thursday evening. We went out for big cat monitoring. You go on special places in the conservancy, where you could expect lions, leopards or cheetah. But you where never sure, if you find some big cats, but it was like searching a treasure. You saw a lot of other interesting animals, big and small one’s. Some elephants, giraffes, over a lot of different antelopes to monkeys and beautiful birds. And when you where lucky you found big cats. Your exercise was to count the lions, if the are females, males, young or old. You took a lot of photos to analysis the different big cats, which you did a specific profile back home from each big cat. But it was sometimes hard, to take great photos, because the light was getting worse and worse. But still you can do some beautiful shots, which you can take home and show all your family and friends. And you can be sure, when you are at home, and you are looking at your photos, you can’t belief, that you took these photos. But you have such special moments in our conservatory, that you can’t belief that every time. We did as well some big cat monitoring in the early morning that was one of the best thing for me. The mornings in Kenya are so special and beautiful.

Once in a week, on Friday, we went to the primary school Olesere. We teached 60 massai-kids some stuff about wildlife, did games with them and we did quiz, and they just love that. The biggest thing to see all this kids smiling and laughing. But as well it is hard to see how “poor” they are. They are happy with the things the have, but when you have the possibility to take some pencil, games, sheets, notebook, books, teddy’s and clothes with you, the will be so faithful and happy about this gifts. For us it is “nothing”, but for the it is like 3 Christmas and birthday together. The really appreciate that!

So I had my best 5 week’s at the project with Kaya. We were like a big family there and I was so sad, when I had to go. I was really silent when I drove away, which I’m normally not, but this nature, culture, project with the whole team, the students, everything was beautiful and I just can’t wait to go back to this conservancy. It is a really special project, which I can really recommend.


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