At a glance
- Work alongside people your age to protect local ecosystems and endangered wildlife whilst learning from conservation experts.
- Help us protect threatened species like the Rothschild’s Giraffe, remove alien plants, build waterholes, and more.
- You’ll live at the conservancy, surrounded by the beautiful African savannah every day.
Fixed dates during school holidaysSee Dates
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
Is conservation volunteer work in Kenya for teenagers right for me?
Do you want to do more to protect the environment and endangered animals? Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Are you interested in a career in conservation someday? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this High School Special is perfect for you.
You’ll learn directly from conservation experts, and do work that has a tangible impact on local ecosystems. You don’t need any previous experience. We’ll teach you everything you need to know. Our staff are there to guide and support you, and make sure you’re safe at all times in the conservancy.
You’ll also develop personal skills, like teamwork, and demonstrate your adaptability by working abroad. This will add value to your CV, and give you interesting points to talk about in applications and interviews.
Our High School Special is specifically designed for teenagers, and we have a set itinerary in place to make the most out of your time. It runs over set dates, so you can pick the trip that fits your schedule. Throughout it all, Projects Abroad staff will be by your side.
What will I do on this wildlife conservation project?
Your work combines research with hands-on work. Here are some of the tasks you can expect to do during your placement:
- Research endangered species, such as the Rothschild giraffe
- Set up camera traps and study animal behaviour
- Participate on community outreaches
- Invasive plant species removal
- Maintain waterholes to ensure vital water access to wildlife
- Discover Kenya with volunteers your age
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Endangered species research
Our big focus in Kenya is to research the ecology of the Rothschild's giraffe. This research is shared with other reserves.
This is pioneering work that could determine the fate of this subspecies. 5% of the entire Rothschild Giraffe population can be found in Soysambu. It’s critical that we preserve an environment where this species can continue to flourish.
Set up camera traps
As animals are very active by night, camera traps help us study their natural habitats, behaviours, and movements. You’ll be involved in setting up these cameras around the reserve. This also helps us do an inventory of mammals in the conservancy. Once we have numbers, we can measure the results of our efforts, and determine a
populations’ potential growth.
In addition to working in the conservancy, you will also participate in a community outreach once a week. The outreach activities vary depending on the needs of the community at the time. They could include:
- Teaching children about the importance of protecting the environment and wild animals.
- Teaching basic English.
- Playing sports like football.
- Building a toilet or oven.
Invasive plant removal
Alien plant species are a big problem in Kenya. They destroy endemic plants that provide a habitat for the local wildlife. You’ll help remove these plants.
You’ll also help us clear and maintain trails to make sure visitors don’t wander off the dedicated paths. This helps protect indigenous plants.
Maintaining natural water holes for animals
You will help maintain water holes and boreholes. This will ensure that water is stored for the animals during the dry season, and during periods of drought.
Work with volunteers your own age
You’ll volunteer with teenagers from around the world. There will be plenty for you to learn from your new friends, like the culture in their home countries.
You won’t just work together, you’ll also socialise and travel over the weekend together. All of your activities are supervised by Projects Abroad staff.
Where in Kenya will I work?
Soysambu is in the Kenya Wildlife Service’s list of endangered ecosystems. This is why we need volunteers to support the work of local conservationists.
You will stay at the reserve in same-sex dormitories alongside other volunteers your age. There is a communal area at the front of the accommodation, with stunning views over the reserve.
What are the aims of this project?
The main aim for this project is to preserve the well-being of the area and ensure the survival of precious wildlife species.
Kenya is a safari haven and wild animals can be seen roaming from the roadsides. However, the human population continues to expand. Poaching, pollution, and damage caused by residential and commercial development are major threats. Reserves like Soysambu act as sanctuaries for wildlife and allow species to flourish.
With such a wide range of research and practical work being done at Soysambu, you will learn a new range of skills. You’ll also gain an increased awareness of this sprawling African landscape, its animals, and their ecology.
Join us as a teenage volunteer today, and become part of our long-term efforts to protect wildlife in Kenya.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Kenya
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