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Kenya Lion Protection Project
The International Volunteer Travel Kenya wildlife volunteer, internship and study abroad program offers you a unique opportunity to work with lions in Kenya, Africa. Lions previously roamed the continents of Africa, Europe, South Asia and the Americas. Today, South Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa are the only places where the lion is to be found.
Free ranging lion population estimates in Africa have declined from up to 100,000 in 1996 to about 23,000 by 2004 due mainly to being killed by humans, or being out competed by other carnivorous species. In Kenya and Tanzania only about 300 lions are remaining mainly in the protected areas. Outside these protected areas, the lion is becoming extremely rare underscoring the significance of protecting this important species.
Lion Project Overview
This project is located at Olowaru village in the buffer region of Tsavo West national park. International volunteers, interns and wildlife study abroad students under this project will work hand-in-hand with zoologists, wildlife researchers and camp to support conservation of lion in Kenya. Participants will carry out on-truck surveys five days a week to document the status of the lion including numbers, dietary habits, competition and human-animal conflict.
The lion is an important species as a top predator, affecting both the numbers of its prey and other carnivorous species that make up its competition. In Kenya, Rombo area remains one of the few habitats where this wild animal lives in relative harmony with the community.
Compiling data and documentation on the status of the lion in Rombo will provide a basis for strategizing the protection of this important wildlife species. International volunteers, interns and study abroad students attached to this wildlife project in Kenya will conduct on-the-truck lion surveys and compile information on wildlife datasheets.
The objectives of the Lion Conservation Project are:
- Lion Numbers: Determine the number of lions in the area through direct or indirect lion data collection.
- Lion Diet: Determine the typical diet of a lion. This will be done by observation of skills and examination of the scats colleted and augmented by counting the wild herbivores in the core area of the lion range.
- Conflicts and Attitudes: The perception of community towards the lion by following up and recording reports of lion attacks and comparing that to the reports made to Kenya Wildlife Services. A questionnaire will also be administered on the people?s perception of the large carnivores including the lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas.
- Competition with Other Carnivores: Numbers of other predators that compete with the lion for the same prey including, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas will be recorded.
International volunteers, interns and study abroad students attached to this wildlife project in Kenya will work hand-in-hand with zoologists, wildlife researchers and managers to support he conservation of lion in Rombo, Kenya. You will conduct on-the-truck lion surveys and compile information on wildlife datasheets including:
- Count of lions in the wilderness and take pictures of the animals where possible.
- Count of competitor carnivores including leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, and wild dog, etc.
- Observe and examine lion dung and the wild herbivores in the core area of the animal range to determine type of prey such as impala, gazelle, hartebeest, dik-dik, waterbuck, bushbuck, zebra, kudu, buffalo, etc.
- Recording reports of lion attacks on humans by talking to local people and comparing what they say to reports made to the Kenya Wildlife Services.
A vehicle survey will be conducted daily from 7 am to 1:30 pm
7 am to 11 am in Rombo; and again between 4 pm and 6 30 pm, four to five days a week. The interns, volunteers and wildlife students abroad will fill the lion study identification sheets, which will later be used for analysis.
On completion of the research, it is anticipated that the data will be extensively used in aiding with the conservation efforts for lions. It is also hoped that the study will help identify the causes and trends of human-animal conflict in the area, and come up with suggestions on how the conflict can be managed. Participation in this project will enhance your research and social work skills as well as provide you with excellent international exposure.
For logistical information about the Kenya Wildlife Project including the highlights, accommodation, meals, what you need to carry, what is provided, etc, please click here.
Combination of Programs
Our wildlife project opportunities are offered independently and in combination. You can choose to do the lion or elephant project; participate in both animal projects or even combine the Kenya wildlife projects with other programs including other volunteer projects, other internships, the language and cultural experience, or the Kenya adventure programs. When taken in combination with non-wildlife programs, placement begins with the non-wildlife programs and scheduled arrival is on the 1st or 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Submit an Application
Questions and Other InformationFor logistical information about the Kenya Wildlife Study Program including the highlights, and questions, etc please click here. For answers to general questions on the Kenya volunteer abroad projects, please go to the page on Frequently Asked Questions.
Kenya Program Highlights
Length of Program:
1 to 24 weeks.
1st and 3rd Thursday of every Month; Plan to arrive the day before.
Airport Arrival Time:
Day prior to starting preferably by 3:00 PM
Accommodation & Meals:
Carefully selected Kenyan households provide accommodation and 3 Kenyan meals per day.
Transport to Project:
projects within walking distance, else bus fare will not exceed USD 1.30 per day.
Mondays to Fridays. 3 to 6 hours daily.
Kenya program fees available here.
Basic Swahili encouraged but not required; working knowledge of English required.