Return to Kenya
Earthwatch has decided to resume its research operations in Kenya. Having closely monitored the region since the disputed December election, Earthwatch has carefully deliberated this decision to resume research activities and invite volunteers to return.
For 26 years, Earthwatch has been operating scientific field research projects in the Tsavo, Watamu, Nanyuki, the Kwali district and the Samburu-Laikipia region. Each project provides local communities with critical environmental knowledge to help them tackle the negative impacts of climate change and implement workable conservation plans.
Earthwatch expeditions rely on the support and financial contribution of international volunteers who give their time to assist scientists in the field. This ‘citizen science’ model helps to create strong and lasting cross-cultural relationships while also feeding the local economy and providing employment opportunities for Kenyan research and support staff.
Saving Sweetwater’s Rhinos
Help bring black rhinos back from the brink of extinction. In the past 30 years, poaching has reduced Kenya's black rhinoceros population from 20,000 to a mere 400. Working in a classic African savannah landscape, your activities will focus on gathering data on the distribution of rhinos and other large herbivores. After hot days in the field, you will return to the comfortable Sweetwaters Research Center, with an open veranda and a campfire for evening chats.
Elephants of Tsavo
Monitor the behaviour and range of elephants in the breathtaking Kenyan savannah. The Tsavo ecosystem harbors Kenya's largest and most important single population of elephants, numbering 10,000. You can help scientists continue a 15-year study of seasonal elephant distribution, ranging patterns, resource use and behaviour where the data will help managers and landowners make wise decisions on wildlife corridors, fencing and water development.
Kenya’s Forest Monkeys
Track Sykes monkeys in Kenya's coastal forests to see how the stress of human encroachment affects them. Monkeys are smart and opportunistic and will raid gardens and garbage piles for food. As they find reliable food sources, they can become more aggressive in defending "their" food. This can lead to elevated stress levels that are detrimental to their long-term health. You will follow monkeys and carefully record their activities to help researchers gather data on the causes and consequences of stress.
Lions of Tsavo
In the dry woodlands outside Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, lions kill hundreds of livestock every year, driving ranchers to kill lions or convert their land to cropland or charcoal production. If Kenya is to maintain safe havens for its legendary wildlife diversity, we must find ways for lions and humans to coexist. Teams stay in a rustic tented camp in the heart of this wilderness. At night you’ll hear the sounds of Africa take over – the hoots of eagle owls, the rumbling and trumpeting of elephants and the thundering roar of a lion on patrol.
Tidal Forests of Kenya
Help restore important mangrove ecosystems. You will live and work with local villagers to help conduct pioneering plantation experiments to rehabilitate degraded mangroves in Gazi Bay. You will also help monitor the effects of these plantations on rates of beach erosion and on the animals, particularly crabs and fish, dependent on them. The results will benefit the local fishing community, which relies on mangrove forests for wood products and fish habitat.