Big Mammal Wildlife Conservation Project
This Wildlife and conservation programs allow volunteers to engage in projects which are set to conserve wildlife and benefit local communities through community based conservation. These project are community driven that motivates locals to live harmoniously with wildlife hence decreases human wildlife conflicts, in the long run communities benefit from economic empowerment through economic projects such as tourism businesses. These self-help groups can earn direct returns from accommodating wildlife and natural. wildlife conservation volunteers are expected to support the conservation of natural resources either directly or indirectly by giving their time and identifying new effective ways to create alternative dimensions of promoting sustainable development through wildlife conservation.
Big Game Wildlife Conservation - Volunteer Activities
The Olowuaru research camp ( "olowuaru" means "lion" in Maa, the traditional Maasai language ) is located in the heart of the bush, on the fringe of the nature reserve. The volunteers go on location with the project supervisor and a Maasai guide, either by foot or in a motorised vehicle. These outings’ purpose is to gather data from the different zones of the nature reserve. This data can be of various kinds:
- Directes sighting by Volunters: we note the name of the species, number of individuals, the location, etc. It is usually herbivores: giraffes, zebras, gazelles, but also monkeys, hyraxes, etc. Direct observation of elephants can follow a specific protocol wherever possible to identify each individual (description fenders, ears, etc.). The observation of big cats is still rare, but the relative tranquility they now enjoy in the conservation area allows to note a return of these species.
- Evidence of wildlife presence as noted by volunters: this comprises every piece of evidence that can attest to wildlife presence: tracks, excrement, meal evidence, etc.This data is important for the monitoring of predator activity ( lions, cheetahs, leopards ), as well as for monitoring elephants as it can help determine their migration routes. Other data will be identified based on the needs and opportunities: Reading GPS topographical data or anthropogenic (rivers, roads, schools, water points, etc.), information about a Man / Wildlife Conflict (type conflict, place, date, etc.) The entirety of this data is compiled, checked and transcribed once to twice a week on observation sheets. These sheets are then collected to be saved on a computer for analysis. Work schedule permitting, volunteers may take the opportunity during their stay to visit the area, discover the Maasai culture and experience the community’s daily life. Several activities can be organized:
Cultural Activities underten by wildlife conservation volunteers
- · Primary school(s) visits, meeting pupils and teachers.
- · Meeting with a Maasai women group, discover of a "boma" (traditional village )
and an opportunity to discuss about their traditions and daily lives.
- · Local market in Loitokitok or Rombo.
- · Night in a "cultural boma" created and run by a women’s association and an
initiation to their way of life (additional fee).
- · Amboseli National Park visit (additional fee).
Typical Day is a Big Game Conservation Project
- Wake-up around 6:00 am for breakfast around 6.30 am
- Departure for the bush on foot or by 4x4 around 7am for a working session. Back around 12.30
- Lunch around 1pm and free time to read, rest or discussion with the camp team.
- Departure for the bush on foot or by 4x4 by 4.30pm for a working session. Back around 6:15 pm
- Shower heated over a wood fire around 6.30pm and free time.
- Dinner around 7.30pm then free time or discussion with the camp team.
- This "frame" can vary according to the work program, climate, or other reasons, but rather provides a fair overview of the progress of days Olowuaru Camp!
Life in the Big Wildlife Volunteers Camp
- Olowuaru Camp is a real bush camp several miles from the main road. Comfort is basic but we are hoping that you will soon feel right at home there!
- You will be staying in large tents furnished with either one single or two single beds, complete with mattress and a pillow. Linens are included.
- The main tent is where everything happens: meals, laid back evenings, work meetings, etc. It is a place to socialize with other volunteers and share experiences
- It also houses a library with books about local fauna and flora and the Maasai culture, but also novels and even board games to occupy your free time.
- Meals are prepared by our chefs. Much attention is paid to the preparation of meals for the volunteers stay happens in the best conditions. Meals are made from fresh local produce. Our chefs are eager to share traditional recipes of the country, but the kitchen is open to volunteers willing to share their own recipes or learn those of our cooks!
- The camp has two sanitary blocks equipped with dry toilets and shower stalls.
Camp security is provided by the staff, especially at night in case of intrusion of… wild animals! The region does not suffer from insecurity linked to the presence of Western people (terrorism, etc.).