Wildlife volunteer Naboisho Conservancy, In Kenya.

Leopard at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Photo by Karoline Hood.

Leopard at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Photo by Karoline Hood.

 

I love going to Naboisho Conservancy  and seeing the abundance of wildlife. Its like my second home I go as a volunteer as its a lot cheaper and you get to give back. I have seen some of the best wildlife viewings here, there is always something new to see. I have returned to the project five times, people always say you should always try something new, I have done other projects, and this is the best.
 

With some of the other volunteers. you make lots of new friends with people from all over the world. First time at the project.

With some of the other volunteers. you make lots of new friends with people from all over the world. First time at the project.

At one of the local schools. Some of these kids have to walk kilometres to get to and from school.

At one of the local schools. Some of these kids have to walk kilometres to get to and from school.

I asked to stay in a tent, mainly because I love hearing the lions and hyenas calling at night. I could also hear an elephant eating feet from my tent. another time I could see the shadow of a hippo walking past my tent at night. There are also rooms with electricity that volunteers can stay in. 

You will drive places tourists rarely go searching for animals such as the ever-elusive leopard. You never know what you're going to encounter, even though I have been to the project five times I still have lots of new exciting experiences a couple of examples are the time Francis our guide noticed in the distance three vehicles chasing around an angry bull elephant.  When we arrived on the scene, the elephant had been darted, and the Vets from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust were just finishing up tending to a spear wound which happened outside Naboisho Conservancy. We were within feet of the majestic elephant, the vet Dr Limo took time to talk to us about what had happened and the work he does helping wildlife.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife rescuing an elephant. Photo by Karoline Hood

The David Sheldrick Wildlife rescuing an elephant. Photo by Karoline Hood

 On another occasinon Francis spotted a giraffe in the process of giving birth, something only a trained eye could spot. We hung out with her for about an hour watching her give birth and seeing the newborn struggled to stand.
 

Photo by Karoline Hood

Photo by Karoline Hood

As part of our volunteer placement, We visited Naboisho primary school. The children sang for us, and they were friendly, curious and excited by our presence. One of my highlights was playing football with the children. We also helped prepare and taught a class.

Visiting school helps the children connect with people outside their community and  gives you an insight to Maasai life it is something you won't experience as a tourist.

The principal told us if the children encounter a dangerous animal on the way to school, such as an elephant not to come to school.  Wish I could use that excuse to get out of work.
 

School children.  photos by Karoline Hood.

School children. photos by Karoline Hood.

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We were invited to a Maasai Wedding; Caroline our project manager was gracious enough to dress us in traditional clothing to wear to the ceremony,  it was a once in a lifetime experience.
 

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Maasai wedding. Photos by Karoline Hood.

Maasai wedding. Photos by Karoline Hood.

As a volunteer, you are well treated. You get three delicious meals a day by Ben who cooks with passion and will show off his dance moves. As well as three meals Ben sometimes made treats for us such as banana bread which was the best banana bread I have had.

The community area is where the volunteers eat, socialise and play games you also have the option of having a fire outside which is a great way of ending an evening.

Sewela makes your bed and cleans your room/tent daily and does your laundry.

Weekends are free and you can take a trip to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. On my visit, we saw coalitions of five cheetahs hunting and making a kill. 
 

coalition of five male cheetahs in Masai Mara National Reserve Photo by Karoline Hood

coalition of five male cheetahs in Masai Mara National Reserve Photo by Karoline Hood