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Volunteer with Monkeys in Kenya

Assist with the conservation of Kenya

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

Location

Africa - Kenya - Shimoni

Program Focus

Wildlife Conservation

2 weeks from

$1,641.00

Code: KESH0178P
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Program Information

Discover Kenya's remote and beautiful Shimoni Archipelago on the Indian Ocean and contribute to the conservation of one of Kenya's most critical populations of Angolan black and white colobus monkeys from your base within a traditional Swahili village.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

This volunteer project will bring you to the remote and beautiful Shimoni peninsula on the Indian Ocean, home to globally important coastal forests and incredible wildlife.

You will assist us with our work on one of Kenya’s most critical populations of Angolan black and white colobus monkeys and help conduct biodiversity surveys in the forest on the rare Zanj elephant shrew, birds and butterflies.

You will live within a traditional Swahili village directly supporting community-based conservation initiatives and economic development through sustainable resource use. You will also learn diverse survey techniques and contribute to vital research that will be used to increase environmental awareness and provide conservation management.

Testimonials

"Waking up and having your breakfast whilst watching Sykes monkeys in the trees or fish eagles gliding overhead, then clambering up and down over logs and bushes of this lush-green forest, hopefully finding Colobus monkeys, yellow baboons, or more Sykes monkeys was all amazing. Doing butterfly sweep nets catching, identifying and holding a butterfly in your hands was unbelievable. Inputting the data from the day and having the afternoon/night to do anything you want was great. Most nights I chose just to sit and watch the unbelievable stars! Then going to bed knowing you get to do all that again tomorrow was just fantastic!"

- Sean Smith, (United Kingdom)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI Shimoni

#tbt Painting Mkwiro Primary! New whitewash coats and fresh blackboards =D http://t.co/naouRFQ0gG
August 28, 2014

GVI Shimoni

My week on twitter: 3 New Followers, 1 Replies, 2 Retweets, 38 Retweet Reach. via http://t.co/1lYoIrpZwb
August 26, 2014

Shimoni Video

GVI Blogs

1 WEEK AGO
Shimoni  By gvi_admin

Students

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Parents

 

Why Study Abroad

 

GVI Difference

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Life

Days will be spent in the forest and may start before sunrise with dawn bird surveys where you may see trumpeter hornbills, the endangered spotted ground thrush or even fish eagles. During the day you will carry out a variety of other research work on butterflies, elephant shrews and of course primates. You may also conduct forest night walks where you might see bushbabies, suni antelopes and other nocturnal species.

You will be staying in shared dormitories in a local style house in Shimoni Village and sharing domestic duties. Shimoni is the gateway to Kenya’s finest coral reefs and most important dolphin populations and the stunning white beaches of Diani are nearby so you have plenty to explore in your free time.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Course Details

GVI is supporting a community led conservation program and conducting the following research:

  • Dawn bird surveys
  • Primate transect surveys (Angolan Black and White Colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys)
  • Colobus monkey behavior research
  • Butterfly trapping and sweep-netting
  • Habitat surveys (surveying fruiting and flowering plants to assess food availability)
  • Small mammal surveys

Collecting data on biodiversity and species populations is the first essential step in raising awareness and providing local communities and other stakeholders with the information they need to manage conservation and human resource needs responsibly.

How this project makes a difference:

The East African coastal forest eco-region, home to the Shimoni Colobus monkey, spotted ground thrush, Zanj elephant shrew and other vulnerable species, is facing high rates of extinction due to habitat loss. For local communities the forest is a vital natural resource and has huge cultural significance, but it lacks any form of protection. Supporting community initiatives offers the best hope of realising conservation goals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Life on the Internship

Days will be spent in the forest and may start before sunrise with dawn bird surveys where you may see trumpeter hornbills, the endangered spotted ground thrush or even fish eagles. During the day you will carry out a variety of other research work on butterflies, elephant shrews and of course primates. You may also conduct forest night walks where you might see bushbabies, suni antelopes and other nocturnal species.

You will be staying in shared dormitories in a local style house in Shimoni Village and sharing domestic duties. Shimoni is the gateway to Kenya’s finest coral reefs and most important dolphin populations and the stunning white beaches of Diani are nearby so you have plenty to explore in your free time.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Program Details

GVI is supporting a community led conservation program and conducting the following research:

  • Dawn bird surveys
  • Primate transect surveys (Angolan Black and White Colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys)
  • Colobus monkey behavior research
  • Butterfly trapping and sweep-netting
  • Habitat surveys (surveying fruiting and flowering plants to assess food availability)
  • Small mammal surveys

Collecting data on biodiversity and species populations is the first essential step in raising awareness and providing local communities and other stakeholders with the information they need to manage conservation and human resource needs responsibly.

How this project makes a difference:

The East African coastal forest eco-region, home to the Shimoni Colobus monkey, spotted ground thrush, Zanj elephant shrew and other vulnerable species, is facing high rates of extinction due to habitat loss. For local communities the forest is a vital natural resource and has huge cultural significance, but it lacks any form of protection. Supporting community initiatives offers the best hope of realising conservation goals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Life

Days will be spent in the forest and may start before sunrise with dawn bird surveys where you may see trumpeter hornbills, the endangered spotted ground thrush or even fish eagles. During the day you will carry out a variety of other research work on butterflies, elephant shrews and of course primates. You may also conduct forest night walks where you might see bushbabies, suni antelopes and other nocturnal species.

You will be staying in shared dormitories in a local style house in Shimoni Village and sharing domestic duties. Shimoni is the gateway to Kenya’s finest coral reefs and most important dolphin populations and the stunning white beaches of Diani are nearby so you have plenty to explore in your free time.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Project Details

GVI is supporting a community led conservation program and conducting the following research:

  • Dawn bird surveys
  • Primate transect surveys (Angolan Black and White Colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys)
  • Colobus monkey behavior research
  • Butterfly trapping and sweep-netting
  • Habitat surveys (surveying fruiting and flowering plants to assess food availability)
  • Small mammal surveys

Collecting data on biodiversity and species populations is the first essential step in raising awareness and providing local communities and other stakeholders with the information they need to manage conservation and human resource needs responsibly.

How this project makes a difference:

The East African coastal forest eco-region, home to the Shimoni Colobus monkey, spotted ground thrush, Zanj elephant shrew and other vulnerable species, is facing high rates of extinction due to habitat loss. For local communities the forest is a vital natural resource and has huge cultural significance, but it lacks any form of protection. Supporting community initiatives offers the best hope of realising conservation goals.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Shimoni field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Kenya!

Included Side Trips

During project you will embark on the fascinating community-based eco-tourism Slave Cave Tour in Shimoni village, exploring the natural caves that are currently home to bat colonies but over the years have served as a refuge for local people during tribal clashes, a slave holding pen on the way to markets in Zanzibar and more recently a kaya shrine.

Optional Side Trips

Please note these additional side trips are not included in the program but can be easily organised on the ground after arrival.

Closer to base, you can support various eco-tourism initiatives in the surrounding communities, such as traditional fishing trips with the Mkwiro fishermen in their dug-out canoes, Swahili cooking classes or trips through large underground limestone caves at Tswaka.

An amazing day trip is to Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, a community reserve in the hills near Shimba where game drives will bring you close to herds of protected African elephants. You can also see how the community turn elephant dung into recycled paper products for sale to tourists as an income generating scheme.

For something longer than a day, you should consider an overnight trip to Shimba Hills National Reserve, home to African elephants, buffalo, giraffe, warthog and Kenya’s only breeding population of sable antelope. The south coast of Kenya is dotted with several stunning white sand beaches where some of the more popular beach towns offer ocean sports such as kite-surfing, kayaking and diving. Tiwi Beach offers a more relaxed experience with very few tourists present.

Mombasa can also be visited over a weekend, a city that combines the historic old town and traditional Swahili culture with modern city life, restaurants, bars and clubs. As well as its beautiful beaches, the nearby Haller Park is an ecological restoration project that offers opportunities to get close to giraffe, hippopotamus, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile and the giant Aldabra tortoise.

Further Travel Opportunities

Kenya is a large and extremely diverse country in terms of both culture and nature. Over three to four days you can undertake a safari that takes in the vast Tsavo East and West National Parks, or the famous Amboseli or Maasai Mara National Parks, all home to incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. You can journey further up Kenya’s coastline to visit Watamu and Malindi home to the Gedi Ruins and Arabuko Sokoke Forest National Park. Or for something less active, try Lamu Island, a tranquil getaway, steeped in Swahili history, tradition and culture.

Even further afield in Kenya including Lakes Naivasha and Victoria and national parks such as Nakuru, Hell’s Gate and Samburu. Our operations lie close to the Tanzanian border and onward travel here offers some of Africa’s most famous names; the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Zanzibar Islands.

 

The Team

Kayleigh Ford
Country Expert

Meet Kayleigh, who was actually nearly named ‘Kellogs’. Yes, like the breakfast cereal. Can you imagine hearing “Hi, I’m Kellogs, your GVI Country Expert” Ha! She initially joined us as a volunteer both in India and in Kenya and later went back as field staff in Kenya before joining us here at HQ.

Kayleigh’s one travel must-have? “A guide book, or at least access to some kind of information on the countries you’re traveling to, and a pot of marmite.” That’s two, Kayleigh. “You never know when all you are going to have to eat is plain toast or a cheese sandwich and you need to make it more interesting!”

Kellogs’ favorite aspect of being based at HQ? “Getting to spend my work days discussing volunteer trips to two of my favorite countries- India and Kenya! How many other people get to talk about things they love all day long and get paid for doing it?!”

Lucy Grehan
Terrestrial Science Officer

Meet Lucy, our Terrestrial Science Officer in Shimoni. As wildlife conservation student, she initially joined GVI as a wildlife conservation intern to gain practical experience before staying on as a part of the team.

What does Lucy think volunteers bring to the projects? ” Without a doubt, the program would not be able to run without the volunteers. The sheer amount of data volunteers help us to collect is immense, and so vitally important.”

Lucy’s highlights since working for GVI? “Setting up a new partner project in Kenya’s Western province, where I worked with a grassroots community group in Kenya’s last rainforest was amazing. Also, seeing the new health and construction programs growing, and the huge benefits the community are experiencing from that.”

Sergi Pérez Jorge
Marine Research Supervisor

Meet Sergi, our Marine Research Supervisor in Shimoni. Sergi’s been involved in the project since 2008 and has seen it progress to being a very valuable project scientifically. “GVI Kenya have contributed one of the largest marine mammal databases in East Africa.”

A former marine mammal researcher in southern Spain who conducted his Master’s thesis on a bottlenose dolphins, Sergi really appreciates the input of the volunteers on Shimoni’s research projects. “This project wouldn’t be feasible without volunteers. There aren’t many marine mammal projects around the world that can collect data for so many years so consistently.”

Sergi’s highlights since working for GVI? “One of my favorite experiences is seeing the volunteers enjoying the marine surveys and their excitement when they learn about marine biodiversity. A huge highlight though, was seeing one of the local National Scholarship Program participants becoming the Program Manager.

Zeno Wijtten
Country Director

Meet Zeno, our Country Director in Kenya. He used to work on Crocodile Morphology and Ecology and has even trekked the Sierra Madre mountain range in the North of the Philippines in search of one of the last members of a critically endangered freshwater crocodile population.

His most memorable moments since he started working with GVI? Was discovering a population of ‘hidden’ African Skimmer Birds at Lake Turkana, which turned to represent almost 40 percent of the world population. “That, and when my cat left a snake at my bed as a ‘present’, which turned out to be a new species for Kenya!”

His favorite aspect of his job? ”Seeing people being in awe of everything new around them, realising and completely accepting how different their world of experiences suddenly has become.”

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GVI Biological Survey Techniques - Kenya Shimoni

(GBP250/USD425/EUR300/AUD425) (8 week minimum duration) GVI biological survey techniques course provides training and experience needed to start planning and running your own surveys in the field; and can be applied to any environment around the world.
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What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Swahili lessons
  • Forest training with time in the field to practice skills
  • Tour of Shimoni

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Personal kit
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes

Our Impact

Location

Shimoni

Shimoni is a peninsula located next to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Protected Area, which lies at the tip of the Pemba Channel, 76km south of Mombasa, as part of a large bay area which makes up the Shimoni Archipelago. With stretches of white sand beaches, fringing coral reefs and scattered with islands, Shimoni is a tropical haven and divers’ paradise. The expedition’s main base is located on Wasini Island, situated alongside the famous Kisite National Marine Park.

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