After a rocky few years, Kenya is back in fashion and welcoming travellers with open arms…
Kenya is Africa’s original safari destination and has been attracting adventurers for centuries. The landscape ranges from the shores of the Indian Ocean, with its white sandy beaches and coral reefs, to the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Kenya and the wild and vast deserts of the north. National Parks are scattered across the country, each with their own unique eco-system and home to incredible wildlife struggling to evade the poacher's eye.
Our conservation project is in Nakuru, in the great Rift Valley, 3 hours north of Nairobi, close to flamingo filled Lake Elmenteita.
One thing is for sure, Kenya offers travellers a beauty and freedom which is hard to resist, and once bitten, you will be sure to return.
Here you will live and work at the 48,000 acre Soysambu Conservancy, located in the heart of the Great Rift Valley in the Elmenteita Basin, in Nakuru County about 120km northwest of Nairobi.
The conservancy is home to more than 450 bird species and over 50 species of mammal, including buffalo, lions, zebra, waterbuck, impala, Thomson’s gazelle, eland, hyenas, leopards, hippos and more than 100 critically endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe (10% of the world’s wild population).
Here you’ll contribute to their overall conservation efforts but you’ll primarily focus on the research and protection of their resident Rothschild Giraffes. This is the reserve's main priority as there are only 670 individuals of this sub species left in the wild – sadly more endangered than the rhino.
Work will be a combination of observational research and hands on work - five days a week, from 8am to noon and again from 2pm until 5pm, but please remain flexible.
The work is divided up among all of the volunteers using a weekly schedule. Trained local staff are on hand to supervise and support. You will also be able to take part in workshops designed to teach you about different aspects of the project and the environment.
Minimum number of weeks is 2. This project is suitable for anyone with a passion for nature, wildlife, and the great outdoors. You don’t need any previous experience to participate.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
All our staff are trained in-country to follow best practice procedures, including monitoring, security, and emergency procedures. They are responsible for organizing the projects and accommodation to ensure everything runs smoothly.
They are there to assist with any concerns, problems, advice, and general administration that may arise during your time away - available during the day at the office and directly contactable 24 hours a day by phone.
On arrival you will be appointed with a project supervisor who will go through your ‘induction’, work schedule and will be your first point of contact.
Your induction will include:
Project Details: One month before you go you will be allocated your project details. These include addresses and phone numbers of accommodation, project and supervisor.
We will help organise your flights to Kenya.
You will need to fly into Nairobi International airport where you will be met by a member of staff who will accompany you to your internship.
If your flight gets in late then you will be taken to a guest house for the night before continuing on your journey the next day.
You will be taken by taxi to the shuttle van station to catch one of the 11 seater minivans called Matatu (restricted to 11 passengers so no over crowding) - we can purchase additional seats if you have lots of luggage - to Nakuru.
You will be accompanied by a member of staff the whole way and they will take you to the local town en-route to get your local mobile sim card.
Nakuru takes about 3 hours and is a stunning journey along the Rift Valley.
All volunteers live together in Congreve House, in the conservancy, which has dormitory-style accommodation.
Dorms are separated according to gender and the house has an outside area for activities and a spacious living area for hanging out.
The ranch chef will prepare a mixture of Kenyan and western cuisine - three meals a day and you’ll learn to love the chapattis! Meals are either inside or outside - relaxing after a long day’s work while admiring the spectacular views.
Due to the wild nature of this reserve, you are not allowed to wander around the reserve without a qualified member of staff. The group makes weekly trips to town so you get a chance to call home, help re-stock on supplies, and get a hold of anything else you need.
Electricity is available in the evenings when the solar power is used.
Phone reception is available in the conservancy and at the house. You can access the internet via smartphones but you will need to buy data bundles or go to a cybercafé for Wi-Fi in the local towns at the weekends.
Special diets can be accommodated – just let us know.
The local currency in Kenya is the Kenya Shilling. US$1 is about 104 KS. £1 – 130kS
A realistic amount for exploring at the weekends (budget accommodation & public transport) and occasionally eating/drinking out during the week = about ₤60 per week, but please budget separately for safaris which are expensive and start from about £100 per day.
Travelling and exploring around Kenya is a must as the landscape changes dramatically from one place to the next. So much to see and do, but our highlights would include:
Giraffe Manor and Nairobi National Park in Nairobi.
A safari in the Maasai Mara, Samburu or Laikipia National Parks.
Indian Ocean coast – head to Mombasa and head north or south to any of the beaches. Expect to see glorious white sand, crystal clear warm sea, coral reefs and a laid back culture… heaven.
Nakuru, in the Rift Valley, has one of the best climates all year round where you can expect sunny days and cooler nights.
The warmest months are December through to March, cooler months are July and August.
Head off to Kenya to help with hands on conservation.
We have flexible departures (every Monday) for a flexible duration (min 2 weeks) making it easy for you to include an experience such as this in your gap year plans.
Whilst you will be busy during the week you will have plenty of time to explore this amazing country at the weekends
When you arrive you will hook up with other volunteers so your social life is taken care of.
Just get in touch if you have any questions.
Over the last 12 years we've taken thousands of young people overseas to experience the trip of a lifetime.
That success has drawn industry-wide recognition. We're an accredited member of both the Year Out Group, an association designed to promote the benefits of well-structured gap year programs, and The American Gap Association.
We're big on safety too; everywhere we work is carefully researched, audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Industry Standards for organising and managing adventurous activities outside the UK.