Do you love marine animals such as Dolphins and Turtles and want to learn more about these fascinating animals as well as actively contribute your time to protect them? Then this is the project you’ve been looking for. Welcome to Diani beach, voted Africa’s best beach destination by WTA, second year in a row! Diani Beach is world-famous for its superb, snow-white beaches and pristine coral reefs, often referred to as “The Jewel of Africa” A myriad of marine animals can be found along Diani beach coastline. These include dolphins and turtles which are seen all year-round. During November and March we often see manta rays and whale sharks as well with the occasional humpback whale passing by.
Your Role as a Volunteer
The volunteer work in Diani is not only spent on the sea. Some days you will assist in marine research and activities on land and sometimes in the water, under the guidance of the project coordinator. You will assist our project-personnel with many different activities such as Photo ID of Dolphins & Turtles on a daily basis (as well as the occasional whale shark) Positive Dolphin Interaction (PDI) recording/playback sounds and study dolphin behavior Coral restoration where we plant baby corals in our Coral Garden for future transplants Patrol the beach in search of turtle nests which we trans-locate to a secure area in order to prevent the eggs to be poached (unfortunately Turtle eggs are considered a delicacy) Participate in marine conservation presentations in local schools Organize beach cleanups with local school children And of course a lot more..
The Project’s Mission
The aim of the project is to get a better understanding about Diani’s Dolphin & Turtle population as well as available Dolphin & Turtle species and their preferred habitat which will serve for future conservation by protecting these habitats. Our Coral Garden project offers new, exciting frontiers where we will be able to re-grow Corals on damaged reefs. Awareness building is one of the key factors for a successful marine conservation project and by involving local school children in our marine education program we are educating the future generation. By physically involving school children in beach cleanups they will become the future ambassador’s against littering.
Our local partner
The EAWST (East African Whale Shark Trust) is a non-profit organization which was set up in 2005 to promote marine conservation and create awareness in order to protect East Africa’s marine heritage for future generations. Volker, a Swede who has been living in Kenya for 25 years will be your supervisor.
Your Everyday Life
You will be picked up at the airport in Mombasa and driven to Diani (35km South of Mbsa) Once here you will be given a briefing about the following days work-schedule, things to do during your spare time, places to visit and other useful advises that will be valuable for you during your stay. Many hours will be spent on the sea tracking Dolphins and Turtles, for that reason we will first start to teach you snorkeling. Our in-house PADI scuba diving school also offers beginner courses (at greatly discounted prices for our volunteers) all the way up to Dive Master and several specialty courses such as UW Photographer, Deep Diver, Wreck Diver, UW Naturalist etc. Accommodation and Food >You will be living with other volunteers from all over the world on our beach property, girls and boys have separate bedrooms. Our cook, Osman is excellent and will prepare your breakfast, lunch and dinner which are included, Monday to Saturday. Among Osman’s specialties are delicious traditional Swahili dishes and fresh seafood, directly from the sea, he will be delighted to teach you some of his specialties’. Osman is also able to prepare specific food on your request, be it gluten free, vegetarian dishes etc. On Sundays you can visit one of the many Café’s, restaurants or beach bars, all within 5-15 minute walking distance. You and the other volunteers are most welcome to hang out around our swimming pool area and a popular activity is Sunday barbecue pool party!
Every Sunday is your day-off. Diani offers a huge variety of fun activities such as kite surfing, sky diving, kayaking, Jet ski, micro light flying, deep-sea fishing, golf and of course our famous beach bars, 40 Thieves and Bidi Badu. East Africa’s biggest Elephant sanctuary (+250 Elephants!) is only 30 minutes away as well as Shimba Hills National Park, the only place where you can still see the magnificent Sable antelope, not to mention Giraffes, Zebras, Buffalos and a variety of other animals.
Visit a Maasai village where you will get to experience the daily life of the village. Go on safari to Shimba Hills. The National Park is close to Diani Beach, nature is very different from the other parks. Shimba Hills is the only national park in Kenya where you can find the beautiful sable antelope. The park is beautiful with woods and beautiful views. Go to Wasini Island and Kisite Marine National Park. This marine park is the second most famous marine park in the world after the Australian Marine Park, and offers one of Kenya's best diving opportunities. If you do not dive, you're welcome to snorkel or just enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery as you sail with the typical boats called dhows. Go on a full day excursion and visit the world famous Colobus monkeys. - Colobus Trust is a conservation organization that aims to promote the conservation and protection of the rare monkeys. We offer a stunning ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro, for those who want to experience an unforgettable adventure. Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain that majestically rises straight up from the savannah in Tanzania
Kenyans are often described as”the most friendly and helpful people in the world” and everyone will greet you with a friendly “Jambo” although everyone speaks fluent English (and at least 2 other languages) Protected by a fringing coral reef (the fourth largest in the world) facing the Indian Ocean, Kenya’s marine biodiversity is truly astounding with some marine species only found here. Kenya is also considered to be the number one country in Africa for Safaris, its game parks and wildlife conservancies the best on the planet.
Being located directly on the equator, Kenya has a tropical climate with 300 days of sunshine. Throughout the year the temperature in Diani varies between 26-37C, the warmer period being between October till April, while the rain season is between May and June.
Your flight ticket is not included in the tour price and you will need to book through a travel agency of your choice. Your final destination is Mombasa, Kenya. You will need to arrive on Monday, the same day that your project date starts. Your departure will need to be booked from Mombasa following the number of weeks you decide to stay at the project.
You need a visa to enter Kenya which can be applied for at www.ecitizen.go.ke, (can take up to 7 days) cost is 50U$ and is valid for 3 month. Note: Your passport must be valid for 6 month.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your insurance covers illness, injury and theft whilst you are volunteering. Most travel agency’s sell a travel insurance that is valid for volunteer work, so be sure to enquire about it when booking your flight tickets. Volunteer Travels does however, supply liability insurance and is included in the price. Liability insurance applies to instances when compensation for damages is demanded of you, as a private person, for unintentionally hurting someone or for unintentionally damaging someone else’s property.
How do I book a trip?
You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+254) +254 726 296 404 or by booking through our website www.vumbijeepsafaris.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.
Be sure to get vaccinated before you go to this project. Check with your vaccination center what you need for traveling to Kenya. We recommend that you have adequate protection including against Hepatitis A and B, cholera (with new distribution) , polio and even malaria. Please make sure that you are careful which malaria medication you are on keeping in mind that you spend a lot of your time in the sun. Please also note that Kenya is a yellow fever vaccination zone.