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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

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best Volunteer Experience Ever

I came to African Impact not knowing what to expect, but am leaving with some of the best memories I have ever experienced in my life. The people here (both staff and volunteer) have become my family and Kenya became my home away from home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A month in the Mara

The time I had in the Mara was the most uplifting and life changing experience I ever had. Coming to Africa and getting to see such an amazing concentration of wildlife from up close was something I was dreaming about as a child. Now that it is fulfilled, I already want to come back... Many thanks to Caroline, Francis, Ben and Joseph for all those beautiful moments shared together. I am going back home a different person.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Fantastic experience and a lovely stay!

I couldn't imagine when i booked my voluntary work, that i liked it so much!
Far away from my management work and luxury house in Delft and back to basics. And that made me feel very satisfied.
i felt happy from the first second i arrived.
I felt in love with the crew of African impact in Nabosho Conservancy:
Doing their jobs very well; all professionals, very kind and interested in all the volunteers.
Caroline, a real manager and stays always calm, helps you with all kind of requests and does her job with lots off attention to her crew and her volunteers.
Francis our guide is just the best i have ever have met: only 25 with and very professional; great knowledge of nature, animal species (big and small), plants etc. But what i liked best is his calmness and way of thinking. He show himself as a leader and took all responsibility. Last but not least he is a very good driver!

Ben our cook: he got the most credits from all of us (of course, it's all about food :-). Not only the best cook you can wish, but his social involvement to his colleagues and voluteersgroup was great! He's well educated and got lots of humour.
Soila our manager in housework, we will be lost without her! A lovely person singing and laughing. Every day she cleaned up our rooms, doing our wash with great care and make sure that we stay in a proper space!

Thank you so much Caroline, Francis, Ben and Soile, you are a dream team for me for ever! Thank you so much giving me such a beautiful time at Abosho. I love you all! Keep on doing the good work.
All the best for you. With love, Carine (stay from 14 august - 11 september 2017)

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I just can't wait to be back

Hardly anything could have been better here. Brought few expectations and was stroke in amazement every single day of my stay: this is a relentlessly surprising spot to experience Africa, its people and wildlife, at the same time you make from every bit of your effort a significantly positive impact to the locals' well-being and hence the environment's, vice versa. The camp just needs a spare telescope to look at the stunning night sky. Love, comfort, ammenities and facilities were all provided and shared with some of the most incredible people I have ever met. Sounds great on paper, though it was actually even better.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Volunteering at Naboisho conservancy

I really enjoyed my two weeks at Masai Mara wildlife conservation project. The project is located in the middle of Naboisho Conservancy. The landscape is beautiful and there are a lot of animals. If you are lucky you can even see the big five. In the morning you will do some activities (game counting, grass monitoring, conservation work) and in the afternoon you'll have some free time. You will learn a lot of the animals in this area and about the Masaai culture. It's a great combination of doing something good to the nature and seeing/learning about animals. You can see animals from nearby and there are not a lot of cars. The staff and food are great. We had some problems with the cars, but we asked the staff to fix it and they did. I would recommend this project.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Great experience but as tourist

The volunteering experience here was essential to understand the importance of greater participation and collaboration for the maintenance of the environment, but I think that volunteers should be exploited more even to support the local communities.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big cat monitoring

The staff at the camp were exceptional. Our group had 16 people, and because the schools were closed, it was too many for everyone to participate fully. Regardless, it was a great experience, especially if you have never been to Kenya before.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Big cat and wildlife research, Mara

Overall a good experience. Staff were excellent and reasonably flexible. Tented accommodation was very good and the housekeeping staff were excellent as well. Food was very good with chef willing to experiment with unfamiliar food. Unfortunately the Guide School and Primary School were not open which would have enhanced the experience. This needs to be made clearer before booking. More explanation of the goals and benefits of the project would be helpful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    5

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Big cat monitoring

Overall the program was excellent. I felt there was too much down time every afternoon and would have appreciated short programs or learning / visiting opportunities. Those that were at the site - Did a wonderful job of taking care of our needs.

  • African Impact responded to this review August 04, 2017 at 8:05 AM

    Hi Judy

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I understand your comment regarding the excessive downtime in the afternoons in-between game drives. Please be confident that we have raised this issue with our new project coordinator and are taking steps to ensure that there are sufficient activities to do during the heat of the day when game drives are not possible. We are taking steps to introduce more guided walks, as well as more group discussions about the wider conservation issues being faced throughout the region and across Afirca.

    We aim to educate all of our volunteers about the nature of our conservation efforts, why we do what we do and the positive impact that we are having in the conservancy. We are making efforts in being more forthcoming with this objective.

    It is unfortunate that exams were ongoing during your stay with us and we were unable to spend as much time as usual with Maasai students in the local school.

    We are thrilled that you had an excellent two weeks overall with us and hope to welcome you back to our Mara project sometime in the near future.

    Thanks Judy,

    The Mara Team.

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 month in Naboisho

My month in Naboisho has been absolutely amazing! I have enjoyed every minute of it. The staff - Caroline, Francis, Lenny, Soila, Ben & Reuban have made it a truly memorable experience - not to mention the wildlife!

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 stay at Naboisho conservancy

Hi all i would like to take this opportunity to thank and let you all know that my stay at the Big Cat monitoring naboisho Conservancy was absolutely brilliant. I managed to see the BIG FIVE within 7 days of my arrival thanks to Francis and Lenny who were my guides for the time i spent there and they tried their hardest to get us as close as possible for us to get the best possible pictures which we did. i see many Lions and their cubs along with a leopard and her cub. i also see lots of elephants who were taking a mud bath. i also see lots of Hippo's,Crocodiles and many different kinds of antelope. I would like to say a big thank you to Caroline,Francis,Lenny,Ben,and Soyla who made my stay as comfortable as possible ensuring i had the time of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Big cat monitoring

This program is a great opportunity and it is great because you get to work with the community to help preserve the Maasai Mara. Plus you also get to study the wildlife. I would highly recommend this project to anyone.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Review

Great program, loved it. Especially all the staff here, they are awesome! However there seems to be too many volunteers maybe? Housing was a bit tight. Volunteer has very limited impact on the project.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Maasai Mara is the place to go!

African Impact is amazing at organising interesting and educational projects for you to work on. The food throughout my stay was delicious and the accommodation was brilliant. Meeting the locals and the guides from the school gave us constant insight into the Maasai culture and helped us understand the conservancy life better. All the staff were super friendly and helpful and I'm super happy this was my first trip to Africa as I will definitely be Returning! I hope to do another African Impact project soon!

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 monitor - Shashi Kapur

A two weeks that I will never forget. Having always wanted to go on safari, I have managed to do just that and so much more for a fraction of the price. Seeing such a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat is something that money can't buy and it was amazing to get so close. My unexpected highlight was teaching the children of nkoilale school, an experience I found very humbling. Despite the language barrier I definitely feel that they taught me much more than I taught them. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone as it really does open your eyes!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Big cat monitor

In the two weeks period, we did two animal counts in woodland and plain every week. It is a lot of work but I get a sense of what animal conservationists are doing. We also went to the school and interact with the locals. We go to big cat monitor and find lions, cheetahs, and Leopards. We take photos of them and try to identify who they are when we are back. We also do conservation work twice a week, which gives me a sense of what the local environment is like.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Unique bush experience

I had such an incredible time at the Big Cat project. The staff and other volunteers were knowledgeable, friendly, and endlessly patient with my questions about wildlife and conservation. This experience was a unique way to explore the Mara while contributing to amazing conservation projects.

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.

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation