Request Proposal

Maasai Mara Conservation Project

Service LearningService Learning | Conservation Kenya


Take part in applied wildlife research in the Pardamat Conservation Area, a newly established conservancy that is a key part of the Greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem. Conduct research on Africa’s top predators, including the lion, cheetah, and wild dog, as well as the largest land animal, the majestic elephant. Get the chance to witness incredible wildlife displays in their natural environment while contributing to long-term conservation and ongoing conservancy management plans. You’ll live in comfortable, permanent safari-style tents at the Wildlife Tourism College of the Maasai Mara, which offers a truly authentic and unique experience. Meals are provided, and dietary requirements can be accommodated if notified before arrival. You’ll have access to WiFi in common areas and will be escorted by security guards to ensure your safety while enjoying the unfenced wilderness. Service Learning work includes big cat and wild dog monitoring, game counts, and conservation initiatives like invasive species removal and soil erosion control.

Project highlights include:

● Helping research big cats, elephants, and wild dogs
● Using field-based monitoring and evaluation techniques
● Living in the greater Maasai Mara Ecosystem
● Engaging with and learning about the Maasai Culture


The Maasai Mara, part of the expansive Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, has 15 conservancies covering over 300,000 acres that provide connected wildlife habitats and secure migratory corridors. The conservancies are established to conserve the environment and its wildlife, as well as protect and improve the livelihoods of the local Maasai communities. You’ll be based at the Wildlife Tourism College in Pardamat Conservation Area, where most of the volunteer work and research will take place. The area is a dynamic dual-use conservation area where Maasai landowners have registered their 26,000 acres as a wildlife conservation area while continuing to live and care for their livestock in certain zones of the conservancy. There will also be occasional visits to neighboring conservancies and the Maasai Mara National Reserve.


A background in environmental science, conservation biology, agroecology, horticulture, development studies, wildlife studies, or related subjects is ideal (entering level 200 and above). Participants need to be culturally aware and open-minded to thrive in this program. All lectures and tutorials are conducted in English; hence a good command of the English language is essential.

Project Work

Big cat and wild dog monitoring

As a volunteer, the data you gather will contribute to the Mara Predator Conservation Programme, a flagship initiative coordinated by Kenya Wildlife Trust. This program brings together communities, conservancy rangers, and tourism partners across the Greater Mara’s conservancies in an effort to help secure the future of lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs in these areas through tracking, monitoring, and understanding their behavior. You will go on daily game drives in Pardamat and some of the surrounding conservancies to track, identify, monitor and record big cats and wild dog.

Game counts 

You will conduct regular game counts along transects or within sample areas, in particular, the wildlife corridors within Pardamat Conservation Area to monitor the distribution of wildlife across the conservancy, their movement, and trends over time. This empowers conservation efforts by measuring the improvements in wildlife density and movement patterns in the conservancy. In particular, project participants collect data on elephant sightings, including the location, size, and composition of elephant groups. Elephants require large dispersal areas and move between Maasai Mara National Reserve, neighboring conservancies, and community land as part of their migration route. This data is reviewed regularly by the conservation area’s management team and is also shared with researchers to ensure coordinated ecological monitoring efforts spread across the Greater Mara landscape.

Conservancy work

Pardamat Conservation Area is not immune to environmental problems. Soil erosion and invasive species can significantly impact and alter the environment in a detrimental way. Project participants partake in physical conservation initiatives to enhance the health of the ecosystem for it to successfully support its inhabitants. These initiatives are conducted in cooperation with the conservation area’s management team and include, alien plant species removal, soil erosion control, grass monitoring, game drive routing, road identification, de-fencing exercises, collection of litter, road repairs, and joining the Pardamat Conservation Area staff in putting up predator proof boma’s for Maasai Mara herders to keep their livestock safe at night.


2 weeks $3295  

3 weeks $3945

4 weeks $4395

5 weeks $4945

6 weeks $5495


Available Start Dates

15 May 2023, 29 May 2023

12 Jun 2023, 26 Jun 2023

10 Jul 2023, 24 Jul 2023

7 Aug 2023, 21 Aug 2023

4 Sep 2023, 18 Sep 2023

2 Oct 2023,16 Oct 2023, 30 Oct 2023

13 Nov 2023, 27 Nov 2023

4 Dec 2023

Project Coordinator

Naitareu Jane Soit

Naitareu holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Resource Conservation at Kenyatta   University. After her studies, she interned for the Centre for Ecosystem Resoration in Kenya at Brackenhurst Forest. Currently, Naitareu runs a service learning project at Pardamat Conservation Area. Naitareu is passionaate about conservation and sharing this passion with people from around the world. 

After her studies, she interned for the Centre for Ecosystem Resoration in Kenya at Brackenhurst Forest. Currently, Naitareu runs a service learning project at Pardamat Conservation Area. Naitareu is passionate about conservation and sharing this passion with people from around the world.  The Project Coordinator is available at all times to assist with any participant needs, thus ensuring the smooth running of the project experience. 

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Big Cat Monitoring

Incredible wildlife is one of Africa’s most appealing icons and is desperately in need of protection through conservation and educational projects. Many conservation efforts give rise to amazing service-learning programs, such as the opportunity to research and monitor big cats. Taking part in this project gives students a chance to deeply experience and engage with some of Africa’s most powerful and breathtaking wildlife.

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