+255 623 735 252 info@amkaafrika.com
+255 623 735 252 info@amkaafrika.com

Law and Human Rights Volunteering Projects Overseas, Gap Years and Internships

You can take part in a Conservation & Environment project in the Rift Valley in Kenya. This is a unique chance to live and work in the heart of a 3500 acre reserve surrounded by the wild animals that Kenya is renowned for.
Kigio Wildlife Reserve is situated just two hours north of Nairobi between the towns of Naivasha and Nakuru.

Formerly a cattle ranch this reserve is now a haven and breeding ground for an incredibly diverse range of wild animals with particular emphasis and importance placed on the protection of the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. In addition this beautiful reserve boasts a wide range of habitats, from riverside woodlands to open grasslands, shrub and acacia trees stretching as far as the eye can see.

This is truly the chance of a life time to live in close proximity to nature in its simplest and truest form.
Volunteers will be involved in numerous projects in the reserve but our overall aim is to contribute to the conservation and preservation of Kenya’s biodiversity through scientific research. This research is shared with other conservation authorities with similar aims to ensure the survival of Africa’s wildlife for future generations. All research takes place on Kigio Reserve under the skilled and experienced supervision of our local staff.

This project is perfect for anyone with a passion for nature and the great outdoors; it offers you the chance to get up close to some of the most fascinating animals found in Africa. You do not need previous experience to take part in this project. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or just for an opportunity to experience a very different way of life!
Here you will find answers to the following questions:

What is my role on this Conservation & Environment project?

Volunteers on this project can take part in a wide variety of activities, such as:

  • Mammal inventories
  • Endangered species research
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Fence removal
  • Construction of water holes
  • Observation hide construction
  • Road maintenance
  • Soil erosion control
  • Animal tracking
  • Anti-poaching patrols
  • Vegetation mapping
  • Bird census
  • Building and maintaining tree nurseries
  • Habitat restoration
Work consists of a combination of observational research tasks and practical hands on work. Volunteers usually work five days a week. A typical working day will run from 8am until 12pm and again from 2pm until 5pm. However, depending on the activities volunteers may be required to start earlier or finish later or even work over the weekend.
The work is divided up amongst all of our volunteers using a weekly timetable. Trained local staffs are on hand to supervise activities and provide support. You will also be able to take part in workshops designed to teach you about different aspects of the project and the environment you will come to call home.

What are the aims of this Conservation & Environment project?

The primary focus of this project is to aid in the conservation of Kenya’s native biodiversity. With Kigio being home to 35 Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), Projects Abroad has decided to make this project a priority as there are only 670 individuals of this sub species left in the wild. This unique project gives volunteers the opportunity to work with a sub species more endangered than the rhino.
To contribute to our overall aim, work is also focused on the reserve’s other wildlife such as cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), plains zebra (Equus quagga), impala (Aepyceros melampus), hyena (Crocuta crocta), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) and leopard (Panthera pardus) to name a few. These magnificent mammals along with 200 species of bird and 100 species of indigenous plants keep our staff and volunteers very busy in achieving our aims.

The reserve’s rich bio-diversity has been recognised internationally by Tusk Trust, Born Free Trust and Lewa Wildlife conservancy. Although it is Projects Abroad who actively work on the ground in conserving this beautiful area.

The Giraffe Research and Conservation Trust and Projects Abroad have become partners in our Rothschild’s giraffe programme to maximise our conservation efforts.

Kenya is renowned for being the ultimate safari destination and animals can be seen roaming wild along the roadsides. However, as the human population multiplies there is the continuous and increasing threat of poaching, pollution and damage caused through residential and commercial developments. It is through reserves such as Kigio that havens are created for wildlife and the wilderness areas are allowed to flourish.

With such a wide range of research and practical projects at Kigio, volunteers will learn a new range of skills. These skills will include an increased awareness of the African bush, its animals and their ecology.

As with all Projects Abroad projects we strive to involve the local communities in our programmes. At Kigio we work side by side with local communities in our tree nurseries and awareness programmes. In 2013 our conservation work in Kenya will also involve raising awareness of conservation issues in local schools through various educational programmes and workshops.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our

Where will I live on this project?

All volunteers live together at our base camp. There is one large communal building with two separate single-sex dormitories. There is an outside porch overlooking the reserve where volunteers can relax whilst admiring the spectacular views and listen to the nocturnal bush noises. The house has basic kitchen facilities and communal bathrooms.

In your spare time at the base camp you can play football, play cards, or relax under the shade of the nearby trees with a good book. Some volunteers simply like to watch the magnificent African sunset, or find a quiet spot overlooking the nearby watering hole.
Due to the wild nature of this reserve, volunteers are never to leave camp without a qualified member of staff. The group makes weekly trips to town so you get a chance to call home, help re-stock the fridge

and get hold of anything you need.
This project is available for two weeks if you don’t have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work within the local area please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.
All volunteers taking part on any other project in Kenya now have the opportunity to add a 7-Day Conservation Project to the end of their main placement.

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