Kenya Wildlife Conservation Volunteer
Life Net Nature seeks 3-5 cost-share volunteers to assist with wildlife monitoring and community-based conservation in Kenya. Our project site is on the Siria Plateau next to the famous Masai Mara Triangle Reserve, the northern extension of the Serengeti ecosystem. Volunteers assist Maasai conservationists on a unique effort to monitor wildlife, develop ecotourism, and advocate for sustaining Maasai culture through preservation of native grasslands and forests to preserve iconic African wildlife: elephant and giraffe. Dr. Dusti Becker, Co-director of Life Net Nature, and a conservation biologist with more than 25 years of experience leads the volunteer team.
Volunteers help count mammals along transects, note birds associated with various habitats, assist with field research on Masai giraffe group composition, movements, photo IDs, and mother-infant behavior, and document forest resources and corridors used by elephants and other wildlife. Volunteers also help improve guiding and camp management skills of Maasai conservationists by providing feedback on walking safari experiences and eco-campsite management at Lolkonoi Camp. Volunteers help empower local Maasai to sustain a small ecotourism enterprise and offer advice associated with their skills and interests.
Experience with birding, wildlife monitoring, environmental education, small business management, leadership training, marketing, community-based conservation, website development and stewardship, and ecotourism are all desirable, but the main criteria we look for in volunteers is enthusiasm for nature conservation, good general health and fitness, and a love and capacity for walking and enjoying wildlife while also appreciating Maasai culture in the great African outdoors.
Volunteers donate $2000 to Life Net Nature to cover their field costs during the Kenya Wildlife Conservation Expedition and to help support our partner, a local Maasai conservation organization called Maasai Morans Conservation and Walking Safaris (MMCWS). The volunteer team meets in Nairobi on the morning (8 am) of July 7, 2019, at Wildebeest Camp (a friendly and very safe tourist venue on the outskirts of Nairobi). The cost-share donation covers all meals during the project (from the time the team meets on July 7 to our return to Nairobi on the afternoon of the 20th July), drivers and transportation, camping fees, payments to guides in training, staffing by local Maasai, and two full-day safaris in the Masai Mara National Reserve. This is a "working, educational" volunteer experience that may be used for university-level credit related to conservation biology. It is a serious resume builder for people interested in theory and practice of community-based conservation, conservation biology, anthropology, developing nations, and sustainability.
Volunteers are responsible for their own travel to and from Nairobi and all lodging and meals in Nairobi before and after the expedition. The $2000 does NOT cover any expenses in Nairobi before or after the project.
The team will be led by Life Net Nature’s Director, Dr. Dusti Becker, and by officers and members of the Maasai Morans Conservation and Walking Safaris, Reuben Nagut, Mepukori Johnson, and Naikada Samwell, and many other Maasai will be assisting on the projects as guides, guides in training, cooks, watchmen, etc.
To apply to join the expedition team, email Dr. Dusti Becker (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a Life Net Nature Application Form and then return the completed form with a short cover letter explaining your interests and skills (resume is optional).
If you are invited to join the team you will make a deposit donation of $250 to secure your position and then receive the full project briefing and be officially on the team. The balance of the cost-share donation is due by June 1, 2019.
The deposit donation can be made online or mailed as a check made out to Life Net Nature and mailed to Life Net Nature, Attn: Dr. Becker, 6423 S Bascom Trail, Willcox, Arizona 85643.
The final balance donation of $1400 is due by June 1, 2019.