Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation Volunteering.

Thank you for your enquiring about volunteering at Kilombero Valley Ornithological Centre (KVOC).

 Please visit our website http://kilomberoornithology.wixsite.com/kvoc2 for more information.

Kilombero Valley Ornithological Center (KVOC), a non for profit conservation organisation focused on conservation of birds and wildlife in the Kilombero Valley of southeast Tanzania and host volunteers from many countries. As our name might suggest, most of our work is focused on birds in the region, but we actually conduct a range of surveys includes reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and carnivores. Duties are varied, and include implementing rigorous wildlife surveys. In addition to inventory and monitoring of bird populations, KVOC also monitors important wildlife corridors for mammal movements between the Udzungwa mountains National Park and Selous Game Reserve and ILUMA Wildlife Management Area bordered to Selous Game Reserve. One of the reasons that there is such a high level of wildlife in the region is the proximity of the Kilombero Valley to the Selous Game Reserve and Udzungwas Mountains National Park. Forest in this region used to provide an important habitat for the Ruipa Wildlife Corridor.

We work closely with the local communities and schools in the area, including the Ulanga District Council. We also conduct socioeconomic surveys to try and understand better the impact that agriculture and farming in the region is having on the wildlife, and vice versa. We are a non-profit organisation and volunteer contributions are a key source of funding for the work that we do.

Presently, our costs for volunteers are US$700 per month.  

The costs quoted above include pickup from Julius Nyere International airport in Dar Es Salaam and transport to the project site, as well as full board and lodging (shared accommodation or single person tent) once at the KVOC camp. All other costs need to be covered by the volunteer.

During the project at the center, volunteers will be working in the field (camping) three days, then two days of visiting local schools to teach English Lesson and conservation education increasing conservation awareness and engage local communities in discussions regarding the protection of wildlife of the area, one day of socio economic survey that will help to understand better the impact that agriculture and farming in the region is having on the wildlife and vice versa and one day off. This is a simple timetable for six working days in every week.

 During in the field, duties of volunteers will be to assist the research officer with:-  

  1. A general map of area that will include roads, general habitat types (forest, rivers, floodplain/grasslands, and swamps/ponds), preferred campsites, and Wildlife Management Area (WMA) boundaries.
  2. A species biodiversity inventory for birds, reptiles, amphibians, large mammals, and carnivores in the WMA and ‘hotspots’ where these wildlife species may occur throughout the year.
  3. Systematic population surveys for large mammals and carnivores, to help attain a relative abundance index of wildlife on the WMA. These studies will use repeatable methodologies to allow for detection of wildlife population changes over time, which will be important in assessing the impacts of local or tourist hunting, ecotourism activities such as camping and safari tours, or human pressures on the edges of the Wildllife Management Area.
  4. Train local game scouts, project managers and local conservationists on methodologies used for wildlife inventories and surveys.
  5. Community surveys with local villagers surrounding the WMA, to help understand potential conflict, concerns, and attitudes towards the RMZP.

      6. Monitor human use inside the protected zone of the ILUMA WMA, such as human inhabitance,       poaching of animals, charcoal, trees, fish, or illegal grazing of livestock.

 Once at the main project site again, we provide shared accommodation or single person tent, depending number of volunteers.

 About healthy, you should consult your personal doctor/physician for further information about this, although presently there are no urgent vaccination/health warnings for the region. Again, consult your physician as several anti malarial medications can be prescribed. The most common ones in the region are Doxycycline, Mefloquine and Malarone. You should take out comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of your trip. There is a small health clinic in Kichangani, and a fairly large hospital in Ifakara,.

Clothes, pack lightweight, washable clothes with a sweater for early morning, as well as sun hat, sunglasses, Long sleeves and trouser in light-colored fabrics help to discourage insect bites. Also take enough sun cream and mosquito repellents.

Photographic, bring enough batteries for your camera, protect your camera from dust and ask for permission before photographing local people. The area is generally safe.

Bring head torch or headlamp, walking boot, sleeping bag. We have a cooker at camp but if you want to cook on your own, welcome.

Finally there is internet access at the project site so you will be able to complete all your tasks on time.

NOTE: This opportunity suitable for someone who tend to volunteer starting September 15th 2017.