Ol Pejeta

is a 90,000 acre (364 km2) conservancy and the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is also home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino. It is the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, in a Sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market. It has some of the highest predator densities in Kenya, and still manages a very successful livestock programme. Ol Pejeta also seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensure wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians.

Ol Pejeta Ranching Ltd. is 100% owned by Ol Pejeta Conservancy Ltd, which in turn is a 'Not-for-profit' as enshrined in its memorandum and articles of association. The company is governed by a voluntary board who draw no remuneration. 100% of funds generated must be used for Ol Pejeta conservation and community development - there is no other person or institution that benefits from any surpluses made. The ownership of the land is also safeguarded within this.

What to Expect

Conservation is about much more than simply saving the animals. It needs a variety of professions and people working together in order to be successful, this includes anti-poaching rangers and their operations.

The idea behind the developement of this program was to give volunteers an insight into conservation and the anti-poaching side of conservation, how that fits into the bigger picture and to create a way to share our knowledge with each other during your stay. The program is one where people from all walks of life can apply and share the skills and mindsets they have learned with the rangers and other people you meet while volunteering. Ol Pejeta is not for profit and the money for the program is distributed to each department depending on need at the time to continue the conservation effort. 

When you arrive you'll drop your bags at the Stables where you'll be living for the next two weeks. The Stables provide comfortable rooms and communal living areas where you can get to know one another during your stay as you help out, explore and learn what it takes to protect our wildlife. The food is prepared by the in house chef and you'll enjoy a mix of local and more classic dishes which you'll need to keep your energy levels up for the coming days ahead. You'll get a chance to ask any questions you may have during the orientation that haven't been covered or as you enjoy a sundowner and go for your first game drive!

Most mornings you'll have the option to participate in some type of physical training. Being at a reasonable level of fitness is essential for this experience. A massive part of living in or visiting Africa is safety and how to be safe in the bush among the Big 5, what signs to look for and what to do if the worst is to happen. You'll cover this in a safety talk and lesson on animal behaviours to ensure you are ready to get up close with these magnificent creatures. An anti-poaching rangers job is never easy, particularly when you have to find poachers only by the tracks they have left behind so you'll cover the basics of tracking also.

Continue your tracking lessons and sharpen your skills before visiting the dogs and heading out with the K-9 unit into the communities laying trails and continuing the dogs constant training. Be prepared to walk on foot in the African wild and see it from a perspective few get to see while training the dogs and going on de-snaring patrols to ensure the animals are safe. Learn how Ol Pejeta assists in the community including their work with the local schools and health centres. You'll also learn about their livestock program when you spend the night with the cattle herders and see how they live. 

You'll particape in patrols to ensure the protection of the last northern white rhinos in the world. The survival of these animals is vital to the survival of their species as scientists try alternative ways to increase the numbers of the rhino including IVF. You'll get some time to rest during the program as it is demanding and to enjoy the superb location you'll be in situated within driving distance to Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa. See the program for a full list of activities 

Click on the image to see the full program.

How You'll be Helping

Here are just some of the ways you'll be making a difference

  • Work with the K-9 unit helping the handlers train their dogs - ensuring the rangers and their dogs are in peak condition is vital to the successful protection of the wildlife on the reserve and integral to tracking and combating any possible incursions.

  • Go on de-snaring patrols - walking through the African bush is an experience like no other and you'll be ensuring the safety of the animals on the reserve by removing any snares left by poachers as you do it.

  • Tracking/rhino monitoring - the reserve has wildlife corridors allowing animals to roam freely in and out of the park. Monitoring wildlife numbers in the park is key to making sure they are safe from threats such as poachers and injury or illness.

  • Assist the herders - the reserves cattle program means they are able to support the local area with meat and employment for the locals as well as it complementing their agriculture program.

  • Patrols with the rangers - the rangers job is one of, if not the most important role on the reserve. Add an extra pair of eyes and ears to their patrols and assist them with the security of the conservancy.

  • Visit the chimpanzees - learn about our closest relatives and help their handlers with their day to day activities.

  • First aid training - Learn and share your knowledge with the rangers and other volunteers.

Other activities

  • Visit the Mt Kenya animal orphanage on the slopes of Mt Kenya and spend time learning about the work done there (www.animalorphanagekenya.org).

  • On the last day you'll have the opportunity to test yourself against the rangers and other volunteers in a cross fit competition.

  • Game drives and photo opportunities are a must when travelling so ensure you bring your camera to capture the spectacular wildlife of this conservancy.

  • Learn about wildlife and cattle integration as well as the de-balling of cows where you'll get the opportunity to try BBQ'd balls.

  • Learn how to track like a ranger which will be a vital skill on your patrols and snare sweeps.

  • Go out into the community and visit/ learn about one of the outreach programs which include education and agriculture.

REVIEWS

Alan Jeffrey 

Ol Pejeta Conservancy — 5 stars

 

"There is not enough space to tell you completely why Ol Pejeta is probably the BEST conservancy in "AFRICA", but..............

The high quality & standards set by the conservancy are second to none, as are it's rangers, a special mention for Solomon. The infrastructure is maintained to very high standards and the excellent livestock/wildlife programme is an example to all.

One of the few places to see Jackson's Hartebeeste, Grevy Zebra & even wild dogs. The great work being done with the last 3 Northern white Rhino's is amazing, I could go on but......

I suppose the best way to sum up my love of Ol Pejeta is; the last night of my recent visit was my 150 night on Ol Pejeta. Says it all really." 

Chloe Grieve

Ol Pejeta Conservancy — 5 stars

"Absolutely amazing! I had the opportunity to volunteer here for one week and had the best time of my life. Planning on coming back in October! Everyone was so friendly and helpful and the bond and love between the Rangers and animals is astonishing! The work that is put into this conservation site and the dedication from the Rangers and their staff is beautiful! Can't wait to come and volunteer again!"

 

Click here to enquire or make a booking

 

 

 

 

 

About the Reserve

Ol Pejeta is the only wildlife conservancy in Kenya that is able to cover its operating costs from livestock, agriculture and tourism revenue. But their businesses don’t cover the cost of vital community outreach work, and wildlife security operations. It costs them around US$10,000 per year to keep one rhino safe – and they have over 120 rhinos. In 2016, with the help of supporters and partners, they were able to invest US$650,000 in community projects such as education, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture. Not only is this improving the lives of people in poverty, but in doing so it increases local support for conservation work. Your volunteer fees mean that they are able to give you the best, most unforgettable experience we can, without having to economise.

The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established with an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute. Over the last decade, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary has been compelled to keep accepting chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations. Many are confiscated from cramped and unnatural living conditions, and many arrive with horrific injuries sustained from abuse at the hands of humans. Here at Sweetwaters, they get a chance to start over. With 24-hour veterinary support and a stimulating quarantine enclosure, chimpanzees arriving at the Sanctuary are carefully nursed back to health. When they are ready, they are introduced into one of the two large groups at the Sanctuary, who live in vast natural enclosures separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River. The chimpanzees have set feeding times, and return to their indoor enclosures at night – but other than that they spend their days exploring, climbing, socialising, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again.

True to its origins as a working cattle ranch, Ol Pejeta still maintains a herd of 6,000 beef cattle. Over the last 10 years, Ol Pejeta has proven that wildlife/livestock integration can not only work, but actually be beneficial to the grasslands. Bunched grazing of cattle breaks up the hard pan soil in times of drought, and fertilizes the ground. This allows a rejuvenation of grass in these areas, which attracts herbivores from all over the Conservancy. Ol Pejeta’s Ecological Monitoring Unit have set camera traps up in livestock-grazed areas,and recorded significantly more herbivores in these areas than others. What’s more, income from our beef business goes towards running our community and conservation projects, supplementing tourism income.

General Information

Join the anti-poaching team at Ol Pejeta and experience a real conservation effort. 

COST

$2500 AUD

DURATION

2 Weeks

DATES

14th March-28th March

24th June-18th July

1st-15th October

17th-31st December

What To Do Next

Enquire with Global Guardians Volunteering as to availability and your eligibility for the program and for us to answer any questions you may have. If eligible we will then send you the required paperwork to complete and secure your position on the program. From there we are here to help you each step of the way so you get the most out of your volunteering experience.

Click here to enquire or make a booking

Inclusions

All transport around the reserve for the duration of your stay.

Food and accommodation (cold drinks can be bought also)

All activities within the scope of the program

Internet access

Global Guardians Volunteering Services Package 

GGV T-shirt

Exclusions

Transport from Nairobi (a taxi can be organised or a hire).

Flights. This is a land only package but flights can be purchased through an agent and we can give you advice in this area.

Advice 

You can apply for a visa on entry to Kenya and pay in US dollars or the equivalent in Kenyan Shillings but always check the latest updates before your departure at https://kenya.asn.au/ or you can apply online before you go as the process of obtaining visas upon arrival is being phased out. Visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html 

Summer is December through March and winter June through September so pack accordingly as winter can get quite cold particularly in the highlands near mount Kenya which gets snow on its peak! 

Services

Included in this program are the services of Global Guardians Volunteering in order to ensure all your questions are answered and the process is as easy as possible.

 

 

 

Ongoing Support

We're here to help you each step of the way  

 

 Travel And Volunteering Advice

We are here to answer your questions and make the process as easy as possible

 

 Refund Guarantee

Get a refund if your project cancels your trip

 

 


 

 

Fundraising Assistance

Raise money to buy essential items for you and those in need while volunteering