Participants of this course must be at least 18 years old and have a good knowledge of English to understand the learning material as well as all instructions given by your course supervisor. Specialist knowledge is not required. It's far more important for you to be interested in nature, enthusiastic about wildlife and willing to gain new knowledge. You should be fit enough to be able to walk in high temperatures. That’s why you need to hand in a document concerning your state of health as well as a vaccination certificate. Before departing to Kenya you need to make sure to get travel insurance. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with the team at NATUCATE anytime.
One day before the course starts you will arrive in Nairobi. You will spend the first night in a hostel in the city. The following day you will be picked up from the hostel and taken to the camp, where you will get to know the other course members. You will be brought back to Nairobi at the end of the course. After that, you are free to continue travels or return home.
Naturally, the focus of the Kenya EcoQuest course is on practical matters, but theoretical aspects are not neglected. Long-term experienced instructors will teach you about ecology, birding, plant identification as well as astronomy and share their expert knowledge about animal behavior, their tracks and tracking skills. Life in the Mara is another important aspect covered in the course: the students learn about the fascinating cohabitation of wildlife with communities, their cattle and crops, but also deal with the human-wildlife-conflict between pastoralists and the wildlife competing for space and food. How to plan a safari is an integral part of the course. Moreover, different conservation models involving cattle in wildlife areas are addressed. You and your team also visit community schools and sports amidst the Mara conservancies to get in touch with the local Maasai. The combination between theoretical learning units and excursions in the African bush, such as the Rhino Sanctuary, enables you to experience a unique educational trip and to witness East Africa’s unique beauty at close quarters.
At the end of the course all students receive a certificate of participation.
Facts about nature:
Life in the Mara: explore and learn about
We realise that some of the people on our projects in Southern Africa want to see as many animals as possible in their natural environment. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. Please note that NATUCATE makes no guarantee that you will see a variety of animals, in particular the big five, as nature doesn’t always give us what we want. To make such a guarantee would be unprofessional and against our corporate philosophy.
Together with other students of the course you will live in a Kenyan training centre, located in the midst of Masai Mara. Close-by you can find small Maasai villages as well as exclusive wildlife spots. The training centre is a very comfortable accommodation overlooking the Mara River. Three twin bandas and three bunk bed bandas offer room for 18 people. Each banda has its own shared bathroom. You will be provided with a light breakfast in the early morning, a hearty brunch after your first excursion of the day, some tea plus a snack in the afternoon and a warm balanced dinner to end the day. A vegetarian diet is possible. The camp’s tap water is also fit for drinking. Moreover, students receive a selection of drinks at the lounge area. Power is provided by solar installations; there are plugs in the room as well. At the camp there is also mobile reception, but no wifi.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
After you got back to the training centre and had dinner together with your team, the night is your own: You can sit around the camp fire and reflect on the day together with the other participants or you can simply enjoy your accommodation, sleep and relax – and sure enough your instructor will arrange sometimes star evenings.