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Big Cat & Wildlife Research in Kenya - Maasai Mara Reserve
Volunteers group photo Volunteers group photo

Big Cat & Wildlife Research in Kenya - 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

Overwhelming experience

It's so hard to know where to start, the whole experience from beginning to end has been absolutely amazing. It has totally exceeded all my expectations. It's so hard to pinpoint what the best aspects of the 2 weeks were, because every part from grass monitoring to big cat monitoring was just spectacular. The staff here are phenomenal, always available and only too happy to assist us with whatever we need, and always ready to answer any questions or queries that arose. The service here, from Francis our guide, Ben our cook, Caroline the manager to Soila our housekeeper, were 10/10, if I could give them a higher rating I would! It's an experience I know I will never forget, and I absolutely plan on returning here in the future.

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 Best Two Weeks of My Life

This has been my first time traveling alone, my first time volunteering abroad, and my first time in Africa, and I firmly believe I couldn't have chosen a better experience. The program has been very well administered, from the time I first reached out to African Impact through my departure, and the project has felt like home while I've been here (which says a lot coming from a girl who gets homesick very easily). The food has been delicious and plentiful, and the company has been warm and welcoming; I've felt that I've been among friends during my time here. I've experienced Africa in a way I couldn't have if I'd come as a tourist, having had the privilege of intimate cultural experiences and very skilled guides on several game drives per day, while also contributing to the conservation of an ecosystem plentiful in African wildlife. The rooms have also been very nice, with our beds made up every day and laundry done regularly. I can't say enough good things about this program or the people who run it. I would come back and relive this experience in a heartbeat.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

Great experience

We had a great time and really enjoyed being on this project. The staff on the project site is just welcoming and very friendly. The accomodation was basic but always clean and food was delicious. The work was most of the time easy but it's still important that you are in a good shape. The whole monitoring drives of course were our highlights of the days!

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    5

Wild life inspiration

If I look back to the last two weeks I feel really happy in my hard. I could help in a really hopefully project and they gave me a lot of nature and wild life inspiration of a beautiful country Kenia.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

African Impact review

My review of the African Impact project was amazing. I met some incredible people, as well as Maasai. The nature was far beyond any expectation I had. I saw so many different animals every single day. The staff was absolutely incredible and could not have asked for better. Would love to come back soon!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    10

An excellent project in an amazing part of the world - I'd definitely recommend it!

This was our third time on the Maasai Mara project and I loved it as much as the first time. The opportunity to live and work in the bush, close to nature and with the local community is very special.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Wildlife conservation project

14 years coming to the Mara and the third time on this project should give you an idea of how highly I rate it. Where else can you have such an amazing wildlife experience while making such a great contribution to the conservation efforts to preserve that experience for future generations. A well organised and important project. Money very well spent.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I don't want to leave here at all...

Every day is like a safari and you never know what you will see on that day! If we're lucky enough, we may find lions, leopards or cheetahs during the big cat monitoring. If not, we still enjoy those beautiful Giraffes, Topis, Waterbucks... and beautiful sunset! I'm so blessed to have the chance to watching those precious predators while helping collect data to help the conservancy to monitor the wildlife. Another best part of this project is the people here. Other volunteers, staff and people in the community are all so nice and heartwarming. I've made some good friends here and our friendship is definitely the most precious treasure I can bring with me when leaving Masai Mara.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Yuki

It's perfect I will come back for sure. Life here is hard but we still cherish each other and learn things here as well. We can clearly see the transformations and hope these characters will help me my future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Tales of Kenya

It was a magical experience. I had been waiting to come here for a long time and photograph. I feel one with African Impact and I will do my best to work here and do amazing photos in the future too. I believe that my passion to be a part of this organisation so whole-heartedly will take me far.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

My two weeks in Mara

What a wonderful time I've had in Naboisho conservancy, its amazing to be so immersed in the wildlife. I have been so lucky to see a leopard, a cheetah hunt and kill and everything else! I also really like that I am able to have the safari experience in a more sustainable way. Everyone has been so lovely and I've enjoyed the relaxed pace of life.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Best volunteer experience so far

The local people are very nice-especially the students at the guiding school and the kids and the people who work here are excellent. It's the most wild animals I've seen during a volunteer trip. Also love the actual volunteer work that we do.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I had clear expectations for the outcome of this adventure, my reality far exceeded my expectations.

This has been the most memorable experience of my life. The Mara is beautiful, viewing the animals is an amazing experience and the camp is more than adequate. It was satisfying helping the community.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Day to Day Life

    8

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

My experience

this adventure in African impact project was very unique for me and different from what i experience so far, kind people, good environment and carrying staff. i learned alot about nature and so some views i never seen before.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    9

My first time in Africa

It was my first time in Africa and I was really impressed by the wildlife from the beginning on. I spent three weeks here in Naboisho Conservancy. Because it was my first time to Africa I did not really had specific expectations, but for sure I did not expect to interact so close with the wildlife and the community. Getting so close to the animals enables me to take hundreds of amazing photos and interacting with the local community, especially our personal guide and driver Francis, I learned a lot about the wildlife here in Kenya. I collected plenty of different new experiences every week, which I will never forget. The staff here at the project which includes the local manager, driver, cook and the cleaning lady is simply amazing. I highly recommend this project to anyone who would like to help help saving Africa`s wildlife while interacting with it and its local community.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    5

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Another day in paradise

Coming here to Naboisho Conservancy in Maasai Mara exceeded all my expectations! Entering the Conservancy on my first day, I saw five new antelope species in as many minutes and was awed at the beauty of this place. As a professional Safari Guide, I have been to many game reserves and national parks in Africa before, but this is what it must have looked liked hundreds of years ago. A green garden of Eden with wildlife in abundance and the Maasai community who have mastered the combination of their traditional way of lives, tourism and conservation.
However - where there is a paradise there must be a hell as well, I guess. We found our little hell within Dawn - a volunteer from Australia - who abused not only the staff and the other volunteers but also the locals, did not participate in any of the activities and managed to disrupt our peaceful group on many occasions.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

African Impact Naboisho

I signed up to take part in African Impact's Masai Mara Big Cat Monitoring program as a part of my gap year before heading off to university. I can honestly say that I have never experienced anything like what I experienced while here. I loved my time here, both my interactions with the staff and the other volunteers and helping out with the projects. I only wish that I could stay for longer.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Amazing!!

I full enjoyed for two week in Naboisho. We saw so many animal, including cubs.it was wonderful time.Staying space is clean so I spend comfortable. I visited in Kenya first time but I become loving Kenya! Because there are the great nature, a lot of wildlife and kindness people. I want to come back to Naboisho!! Thank you so much!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    8

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    7

My experience in the Naboisho conservancy

My time is the Masai Mara project was great!!! I have learned so many things about wildlife, environment, Kenyan culture...I will never regret my time spent there!!!! The staff is really kind, good interaction with guiding school students. It is amazing to be in this country, so many animals, we have to protect it!!! One of the best days of my life when we saw a cheetah with her 4 cubs!!!! thank you very much!!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Iva's adventures

Let me try to summarize it in one sentence: I have never been so happy!
Coming here in Kenya, in Mara was my dream since early age! I have always been passionate about animals, wildlife and especially the African flora and fauna. I have read a lot of books about the savanah.These stories were stuck in my head and had accompanied my sleep a numerous times!
Staying here in Naboisho for 6 weeks was an indescribable and amazing lifetime experience!
The wildlife noises you hear next to your tent during every single night are amazing and unspeakable! Make you really forget who you are, to feel insignificant; to fully honor and admire the Savannah; Africa and mother Nature.
I am taking all these moments with me back home and will memorize them forever!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    7

Review

Really enjoyed my time on the Big Cat Monitoring Project. The most enjoyable part of the project was being able to go on big cat drives every week day evening - this provided a really unique experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    N/A

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My experience in Mara

My time here has come to an end and I’m hoping with all my heart is not a forever goodbye, and how could it be, you guys have changed my life indeed forever, so how can that be a forever farewell? I mean, we will never be apart. I know certainly that we will always stay close, our hearts and souls will do so, because I’m sure you will stay in my memory and heart forever.

As my journey begun, and as the way I most live my life, I never build expectations about anything, I’m might sometimes sound a bit boring about this issue, but the truth behind my words is that since I live just the minute I’m living in, is not hard for me to forget about the future and so create expectations about what is going to happen or how is it going to be like. So, when things got started in Limuru I kind got the feeling that a whole new experience was about to come, meeting gorgeous and good-hearted people from the beginning, with sweets smiles and good intentions made me feel incredible secure and ready to star living all the Kenyan flavor I was surrounded by.

If I have had known what November 6th and the following days had prepared for me, I’m still sure any expectation I would have built, would have been turned over by the beauty of all I have lived. I’m in love, yes, I’m in love with all of you guys, all of you, every single soul and heart that came across these days, have totally changed me, you have totally moved my soul and the energy that enhances my body, and helps me smile and live fully.

When the group arrived in Olesere town and met Saruni (Francis), I still remember his first words. He pointed out that we were most welcome and that he was the person who was going to drive us around, how humble of him to say so, because he was not just a driver, not at all. I mean driving was the best and safest way to do what he was supposed to do, but his duty actually was not driving, he took us for a whole guiding experience, where he not only guided us daily about the wildlife in the amazing Naboisho, but he also guided us in a cultural way, and taught us what was to be a Maasai and how his beautiful and amazing culture has cocoon and sprayed its colors around the savannah’s heart. Getting to know the insights of the Maasai culture was my most pleasure and I feel so privileged and blessed, and now that I have to think about all this, about all that I have experienced, turns me blue, deep blue-hearted. How to find the words? How to find the right words to let everyone know how is it like to be here? I know I have the answer and there are none, none words, maybe I can say, it’s magical, but if you don’t believe in magic, maybe I might not touch your heart, yet.

What is African impact to me, has nothing to do with the company itself, actually now, I believe that what African Impact does, has nothing to do with the organization, but the people that makes this experience the most welcoming and heart filling I have ever experienced.

As soon as I arrived in the camp, a bunch of gorgeous smiles came across to welcome the group, and then I was sure, so sure… love came immediately.
Carol, Ben, Zoila, Michael and all the others that joined the organization during my volunteering were just so perfect, so beyond words. Their dedication and the love they input in whatever they are meant to do makes me feel like a little ant inside an anthill facing the world from down there, more so, makes me feel humble and really appreciate what life is all about, love and more love. Because they are not just filling the gap of what you are supposed to do when working, they put so much love in order to make you feel home and happy all the time, they truly give every single second, the best of them, really the best… and I have had never seen in humans such best. I admire every single one of you and I have learnt so much, I cherish these days like nothing else, THANKY YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL, for giving me so much, so much that anyone could deserve, you all deserve the best out of best.

Days here were like weeks to me, and definitely two weeks is not enough, not enough for someone who really appreciates and wants to experience fully this amazing inspiring land.
How much I’m going to miss every single drive Francis took me, living the moment and enjoying what nature brought to my heart, enjoying the wind, the dust, the birds, the sound of the wildlife, the sound of my heart pumping and being filled with the most recharging energy. Learning every second I was living in, admiring how much Francis knows about wildlife and how much passion his puts in. Always open to hear and answer every question, not judging anything or anyone, giving his best all the time. I’m missing already the sunsets, the laughs, the wildlife surrounding me, empowering me and filling my soul. I admire you so much, surely you are one of a kind, the most good-hearted man that I have ever met, most passionate about life, thanks for sharing all that knowledge, for understanding me, for caring about me and who I am, for listening to all my stories and not ever judge me about my culture or the way I am, our cultures are deeply different and still you always were so interested about learning more and more of the world and the differences that helped us to learn about each other. I’m most sure that whatever adventure you decide to go through you will succeed and be blessed, because you truly deserve the best anyone can have.

Working with the community, helping to create and do something about this place makes me feel blessed and again privileged to have spent my time here. Maasai people are the nicest community worldwide I have experienced. Very welcoming, very interested in knowing who you are, passionate about god and their beliefs, colorful, and wherever they found me, they were always coming by to put hands together and making things happen.

Can’t ever forget either coming back home (camp), tasting all the love that Ben and Michael put in all the nice and delicious food they prepare for everyone, and I consider myself very annoying when is about food: I’m vegetarian, I don’t eat gluten, I barely eat lactose, neither I like to eat fat or oily food, and carbs are not really for me, so what could they have done for someone with such exigencies??... There wasn’t a day I didn’t feel like in a 5 starts hotel, and I ensure you, not even in a 10th stars one things are done with such love and dedication.
I feel whatever I do it can’t really describe or be enough to thank you guys for what you have given me, it’s really the most precious thing someone can do for someone else, it has infinite value and can’t really be explained.

The moments we spent at the camp with Carol and the team, laughing, learning from each other and connecting, I won’t ever forget them.
Thanks Carol for being so amazing and delightful, you are the soul of this place, the sun rises and hides in your eyes and your smile. Thanks for making everything possible, thanks for sharing your life with me, thanks for giving me your heart, your comprehension, thanks for tolerate my messiness, thanks for understanding me, for accepting who I am, thanks for loving me back… There are so many thanks I should give you, so thanks for everything, thanks for all of it. I won’t never ever forget the beautiful soul you hide behind those smiley eyes, the amazing woman you are, the mum of everyone here and as well the best boss someone can deal with, so professional, so passionate, I truly admire you.

I will take you everywhere I go from now and on, wherever I go in my life all of you will walk next to me, because like I said in the beginning we will always stay close to each other, for what we have lived and shared, it’s so magical.

I wish I could have done more for all of you, I shouldn’t even say “more”, because I feel like I did nothing compared to what you all have done for me, that is why I feel that I should have stayed here more, to be able to leave in peace knowing I gave you all enough to thank you for.

I hope my energy, my strong and loud laughs, who I am, my heart, our conversations about my beliefs and way I try to live my life stay forever in your heart and soul as well, I hope you never forget about me, I hope as well wherever you go, you take me with you, and most important I hope we all cross each other’s path once again, to live and love this hard, once more.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Roscoe's review

My time here was a wonderful experience. From first getting in contact with Danny to book until Caroline handed me this laptop to write my review, I have had an incredible time. Everyone has been so caring and kind. Any request I made was listened to and a solution was found almost immediately. Being on a diet of Dairy and Nut-free food because on an allergy was my only worry about coming out here and that was put to rest very quickly with the Ben the Chef making sure anything he cooked was to my liking. I have had an amazing time and it will not be long until I'm back. See you soon!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    5

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    6

  • Day to Day Life

    7

The two weeks that I stay here where great

The two weeks that I stay here where great. It's was amazing to see lions for the first time and see a cheetah kill from so close. Food is ok, but the basic facilities are not that good if you stay here for long. I think an important thing is to improve the beds in the dorms. Staff is very friendly and helpful

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Big cat & wildlife research, Masai Mara, Kenya

I loved being part of the project!! The location is amazing and the landscape is unbelievable! It's great to see the effort of the people that is working in different projects among the conservancy, protecting the wildlife of Kenya and achieving an equilibrium between the local communities and the animals. The project is well organized and the African impact staff is amazing!!

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation