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Big Cat & Wildlife Research in Kenya's Maasai Mara Reserve
Volunteers and local kids playing Volunteers and local kids playing

Big Cat & Wildlife Research in Kenya's Maasai Mara Reserve

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

4 weeks in Naboisho

My 4 weeks on the Masai Mara Big Cat Monitoring Project has been awesome! I really liked staying at Koiyaki guiding school out in the bush, it was so peaceful and quiet. The food was super! I also liked that the camp was so basic, it made me feel closer to nature. The best part was of course the Big Cat Monitoring. I was a bit disappointed that we lost so many hours of Cat Monitoring because of the Game Counts. I understand that Game Counts needs to be done, but I feel that it could have been done a bit more efficient. Also the name of the project is Big Cat monitoring, so I expected to use more time doing exactly that. I really enjoyed the physical conservancy work we did, and wished we could have done more of it every week. The staff on the project were great, and all in all I really enjoyed my stay.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

My experience in Naboisho

Overall I think the experience was really interesting. I hope that the work that's going on here in the volunteer program really makes a difference to the conservation. I really enjoyed being apart of the work experience and contributing.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

African Impact Mara Big Cat project

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on this project. I was lucky enough to see all the big cats, as well as all sorts of other wildlife. The staff are great, as is the food, and the accommodation although basic, is kept very clean. It was also great to spend time at the local school and with the guiding students. it no feels like my second home!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Adventurous, useful and relaxing breakaway

This was an unforgettable experience. Living here for two weeks and interacting with a new culture definitely gives you a different outlook on life. You are taken away from your mobile phone and from the internet and driven closer to nature. I have learnt to somewhat overcome my fear of bugs, to take interest in birds and trees and to appreciate silence. The landscape is incredible, the food is delicious and the people are so welcoming. I would definitely consider coming back and would recommend this project to anyone who wants to enjoy African wildlife at its best.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Reborn! In the cradle of mankind

I was told 'You'll never know until you go' and so ...I went!

I consider myself immensely fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer at The Mara, monitoring the big cats and the resident wildlife at Naboisho Conservancy. African Impact is doing a commendable job in conserving the local wildlife ethic alongside helping the Maasai community stay deeply entrenched in their much celebrated culture and beliefs.

In the spirit of encouraging many more of us to come forth and contribute our time and energy to this beautiful oasis of wildlife, I'm opening my heart to you all via the review, reciprocating the same spirit the Mara and the Maasai embraced me with. Never a dull moment in the life of a volunteer at this project, the activities are very well thought through and put together in an easy to follow routine cum timetable.

All I can tell is that I've seen the light by being in the epicenter of the 'Circle of Life' and my advice to anyone considering this research volunteer opportunity is to 'GO FOR IT'!!

The highly committed and knowledgeable African Impact project camp staff is sincerely dedicated to the project and go beyond the ordinary to instill the same energy and urgency to conserve, in the volunteers.

A big shout out to Francis Saruni, a man of his word and my wonderful Maasai guide and of course Caroline the project manager! They are a dream team ...I was thoroughly looked after and allowed the opportunity to contribute at every step. Rather, we all had equal and fair share of responsibilities through the day.

Another big thank you to the super talented resident chefs Emmanuel and Rubin. They cooked a storm for every meal and I so enjoyed cooking with them over the weekends. Also dearest Soila the magic making housekeeper! She is such a trooper and always on top of her work.

Each of them, always smiling and spirited, doing much more than what was expected of them. Thank you so much !

Last but not the least ...My love for the Wild has surely intensified and there is no way I'm putting my experience and memories in the closet or until my next volunteer opportunity. I'm so looking forward to telling my very own African Impact Maasai Mara story to one and all and spreading the love I got from this very sacred place, I so feel belonged to!

Asante Sana Sana The Mara, Maasai's and African Impact!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Naibosho conservancy

This was one of the best things I've done in Africa. Been here 3 times before but this beats it all! You will learn so much about animals, the maasais, how to deal with different problems. It's a lot of fun and you will not regret it. The staff is amazing and if they don't know the answer to your questions immediately they will try to find it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Naboisho conservancy

Had a great experience here with lots of fun work with animals and lively people working here! I will definitely come back again and can't wait to do so! It has been the best two weeks and I would recommend others coming here not only for the experience but for the good that they do here.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Masai Mara project

Fantastic experience, it has been great taking part in the masai Mara project! We had the opportunity to help preserve and impact the culture, nature and wildlife I the conservancy. All staff and persons working with the project has been most helpful and competent.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone

Such a fantastic two weeks, I was just sad it wasn't longer. We went out on game drives each day to monitor the wildcats, elephants and raptors and every two days some other work to benefit the conservancy such as grass monitoring, road repairs or fence building. We also interacted with the student guides which I was really happy about, they're all incredibly impressive and the amount of information they are able to store is mental! The accommodation was good, basic but certainly no complaints. The food was excellent (Emmanuel is amazing) and I learnt so much. I would seriously recommend this project to anyone. It's a great way to not only learn about the fantastic wildlife and local community but also contribute to it and experience it up close in a way that's really rare.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My African Impact experience

I really enjoyed every moment of my stay, and got to meet some really friendly people, including not only other volunteers, but also all the staff and the students at the guiding school. We also got to see some amazing wildlife, and were always told very interesting information about all the animals we saw. The food was always excellent. The other activities, such as road repairing, really brought us volunteers together as a community.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Amazing experience. Always again!

I had a wonderful time at the Masai Mara Camp. I have been to South Africa before, but I have never seen as much wildlife as I have on the game drives with our wonderful guides Francis, Joseph and David. We interacted with the Koyaki Guiding School students and Caroline explained to us what we have to do game counts, build fences, do road work and monitor the grass for, so I am going home with the feeling that we did make a little difference - to the Community Life and the Maasai Mara Conservancy. On top of all this the food chef Emannuel prepared was delicious. It is a hard place to leave!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The first volunteer experience in life

This is my first time in a volunteer project, and i don't regret choose this project as my first one. I learn a lot during this two weeks, and I really appreciate it. I think I will come back to africa one day, sooner or later.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Meaningful and comfortable experience

It's my first time in Africa and franking speaking, I was kind of concerned about the safety and healthy issues here, but along the way from the initial communication with the colleagues and officers to the following days staying here, I feel the whole adventure is comfortable and meaningful. The staffs here are friendly and the hardwares are good, not to mention the volunteer arrangement. Strongly recommended if you are into the wild.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

More than expected

Of course I had big expectations about this project, and worries too!!, but I can say that everything I saw and did was much more than I expected, so I can only say thank you all in Naboisho! I would surely recommend it!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    9

One new experience in traveler life

It is a new kind of experience for traveling, it's something that we learn from local people who really want to preserve their homeland.
wild animal is sth that i was astonished, the landscape of Kenya is AMAZING.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big cat

I had a really incredible experience on safari. Staff was amazing. Unfortunately my mother was sick back home so I had to cut my trip a week short. Hopefully I can reuse that week at a later time.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big 5 African Impact

We have had a fantastic experience over the last week.
Facilities were comfortable, Emanuel the Chef has been preparing delicious food, the programme designed is perfect to get exposed to wildlife and nature. Our guide Saruni was extremely knowledgeable and thought us a great deal about the environment and the conservancy.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big 5 volunteering

Visited the Africa impact volunteering program in Kenya. It was an incredible experience. The people involved are at the highest level of professionalism. The work has great impact on the conservancy and as a bonus I saw all the animals I could have wished for.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

African Impact's impact

I had a great time at the African Impact project with Caroline, Francis and the rest of the team. I was made to feel very welcome at the camp. I spent 4 weeks with them. The wildlife was amazing. The people were incredible. A very rewarding experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Third time in Naboisho

The first two times I volunteered here were wonderful.This third time I stayed an extra week and it was absolutely fantastic!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

This project ROCKS!!

I strongly recommend African Impact's Big Cat Research Project in Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The staff at the project are outstanding, especially Caroline, the manager; Soila, the housekeeper; Emmanuel, the chef; and Francis, the guide. They are all incredibly professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and (perhaps most importantly) patient and understanding. The animals in the Conservancy were also extremely cooperative: the lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, hippos, etc. all enabled us to collect tremendous data and get outstanding photos!! :)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Wonderful

Amazing experience related to all projects like cheetahs, lions, elephants and others. Going to the primary school in Ole Sere sharing our knowledge and experiences with the children. Doing the conservancy works and data collecting. Monitoring the animals and game counting, all things that I never did before in my life but I met like something really special and very helpful for the improvement of the Conservancy

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Staff Superlative. Naboisho Superlative. Need legitimate sense of our impact

The staff was superlative: Knowledgeable, caring, informative, and professional. And fun! The only 2 issues I had were that the feeling possibly our data was not being used and so it lent a sense of making motions instead of taking action. We should be made to feel --if possible -- that the data is being significantly assessed since our group was very driven to identify and input data.If there was some support -- from either a weekly visit of a Professional -- or from posters and updated material, we could be sure the data is being counted. For example, Neils Mogensen of Mara Lion Project came by and made us aware that we mattered and told us what was happening with the local lion prides. ON the flip side, the Identity cards in the camp were 3 years old so How accurate could we be when looking at elephants or cats that had photos taken years ago? Many had new scars and many may even be dead. I suggested an app that could take a photo and input a waypoint on the GPS and then let the pros tell us who the animal is. (Talk to mapbox or Google. They are happy to help!) I wonder how accurate a bunch of amateurs can be anyways and what it might do to data if they input a lion being in one place but in fact he is off hundreds of miles away killing cattle! Another idea would be to help school kids clean up villages of debris. It would be educational on many levels. If possible the plastic & bottle clean up might accrue to the schools income. But I am just riffing. Anyways, it is an amazing experience and I hope we helped. I am also happy to post info about the program in my High school (St Paul's) and college (University of Pennsylvania and Wharton Business school) Alumni Magazines -- which I have already started. Since my college was Ivy league and the high school quite prestigious, I hope you will get some business. Maybe those "groups" would be good to target market. More people need to learn more about Kenya's Conservancy and community based conservation. It should be replicated in America's West!

Finally, I cannot recommend more highly all the staff. While I shout-out our guides Joseph and Francis, and our leader Caroline, I think all of them were just amazing and could rank above most staffs at any Ritz Hotel. All the more so since the program is in a place with no wifi and pit toilets. They should be recommended. I will be back... and I am happy to market it as best I can in New York City.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Already planning my return trip!

This project was unforgettable. You will not want to leave - 2 weeks was certainly too short and I will be booking my placement again as soon as I can! In short, this project will set your spirit alive, every day as exciting as the last, every challenge met with a great attitude and a smile. You will make new friends and new magical memories. Naboisho Conservancy is breath-taking, between the animals, the scenery, the incredible, clear sky and the people you meet. Take photographs with your eyes more than anything because what you will experience here you will not experience anywhere else in the world!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A real African experience in more than one way

When joining this project, you will experience the real Africa both when it comes to nature and the fantastic wildlife that this conservancy has to offer, but you will also learn about cultures that might be very different than your own. The staff here is fantastic and will really make you feel welcomed and comfortable. I can list cow-blood drinking Masai farmers, tribes and Kenyan politics as well as lions, cheetahs, buffalos etc. as new things I learned in the passed week.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation