I'm Going to Kenya on a Volunteer Trip to Help Animals! - Justin Plus Lauren Skip to Content

I’m Going to Kenya on a Volunteer Trip to Help Animals!

Kenya Expedition

Photo Credit: Animal Experience International

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I have a big announcement to make.

I’m traveling to Kenya!

Woohoo! It is a dream of mine to combine my love for travel with my love for helping animals. And I’m finally doing it. I’m going to Kenya on a volunteer trip to help animals.

I’m going to be volunteering at a wildlife conservancy in the Great Rift Valley helping animals, the people living there, and the natural environment. Specifically, I’ll be living in Kenya at the Soysambu Wildlife Conservancy for 10 days in March 2016. I’ll be traveling with Animal Experience International, a B corporation on a mission to help animals around the globe, uniting volunteers with animal sanctuaries and projects.

Kenya Wildlife Conservancy

Photo Credit: Animal Experience International

What Will I Be Doing in Africa?

I am so excited to help make a difference in a hands-on, meaningful way. A small team (including me!) will travel to Kenya in order to volunteer at the wildlife conservancy. Here is a little background information:
 
  • The wildlife of Africa is under immense pressure from habitat destruction and over-harvesting by poachers
  • Animals such as the elephant, lions, eland, impala, gerenuk, hyena, jackal, warthog, and giraffe are in desperate need of protection
  • Soysambu Wildlife Conservancy works in the field to monitor wildlife populations and poaching activity, dismantles snares and traps, and makes regular improvements to the land itself

 

What will I be doing on my volunteer trip? Here are a few projects that I’ll be assisting with:

  • Monitoring giraffes, birds and other wildlife on the conservancy lands
  • Removing invasive plant species, including Prickly Pear
  • Helping to clear the wire fencing originally used for pastoral lands that can be used by poachers to build snares
  • Maintaining watering holes and the conservancy’s vegetable garden
  • Visiting local schools to teach children about the value of wildlife preservation

AEI

What is Animal Experience International?

Animal Experience International is an organization on a mission to help the plight of animals around the world by connecting volunteers with placements at animal sanctuaries, wildlife hospitals, programs and projects. All of AEI’s partners are community-based organizations that are committed to achieving long-term sustainability goals. Some volunteer tourism projects can do more harm than good; AEI guarantees that volunteers will have a positive and valuable impact on animal organizations around the globe.

My Personal Experience So Far

I first learned about Animal Experience International at Go Global Expo in Toronto last year. The idea remained in the back of my mind for quite a while until I started to seriously think about taking a volunteer trip. I emailed Nora, one of the founders and owners of AEI about the possibility of traveling to help animals. She mentioned the upcoming group expedition to Kenya. I thought, “Would I like to go to Kenya and help animals?”. This actually required very little thought. Of course, I would love to go. Before totally committing, I wanted to meet Nora and find out some more details about the group expedition.

AEI requires a volunteer interview before signing up for a placement so they can make sure you are a good fit for the program. I’m really happy that this organization has such an excellent screening process. Nora and I met at a Toronto coffee shop and hit it off instantly. She is so passionate about travel, helping animals, and she’s vegan, too! We have a lot in common (including our love for coffee and soy lattes).

Nora spent a good amount of time at this particular wildlife conservancy to make sure it would be a suitable volunteer project for clients. After chatting for a couple of hours, I was confident that I had to be involved with this expedition. I am thrilled at the chance of lending a hand to make a difference in the lives of the people and the animals in the Great Rift Valley.

How You Can Help (and Some Incentives)

Traveling to Kenya isn’t cheap by any means. I have to pay for my flights and the volunteer trip itself, which is quite expensive. The cost of enrolling in the program includes accommodation at the wildlife conservancy, meals (all vegan meals for this gal!), a donation to the conservancy, airport transfers, training on-site, travel insurance, and carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. I also have to pay for immunizations and medicine, entry visa costs, and supplies.

I have started a fundraising page where you can donate to help me volunteer in Kenya.

Any amount, no matter how big or small, is appreciated! I am so grateful for anyone who supports and believes in me.

I have decided to offer some incentives to those who donate! They are some small gifts to say thank you. You can donate at my volunteer page here.

  • $20 Donation – I will mail you a postcard from Kenya
  • $50 Donation – I will mail you a postcard and bring you a small gift from a local market
  • $100 Donation – The above incentives, plus I will bake you cookies
  • $200+ Donation – The above incentives, plus I will knit you a hat

For those who are living in various places around the world and not in the Toronto area, I don’t think I can mail you cookies…so I’ll mail you a surprise gift instead!

Donations can be made from my fundraising page, which are made using Paypal. If you’re not able to use Paypal but would like to donate using another payment method, please send me an email.

My big announcement - I'm volunteering in Kenya to help animals! Learn more about my trip and how you can help!

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Thank you so much for your support! Have you ever taken a volunteer trip in the past? Have you been to Kenya? I want to hear all about it! Please write about it in the comments section below.

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Volunteer Abroad

Saturday 22nd of April 2017

Very inspiring volunteer trip. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

Sophia

Monday 9th of November 2015

This is exactly what I want to do when I get old enough. Help protect and conserve wildlife. This blog is always so inspirational to read and I can always relate or am inspired by so much of the articles you guys post. I hope to be as active in my lifetime.

www.creaturesoftweed.blogspot.ca

Bryna | Bryna's Window

Tuesday 15th of September 2015

Wow! Sounds like it's going to be an amazing experience. Getting to volunteer and travel to a new place sounds perfect!

Dan

Monday 14th of September 2015

Good on ya Lauren, this is a fantastic opportunity and a way for you to truly give back to some incredible creatures!

Angie Rose

Sunday 13th of September 2015

Wow, that is absolutely wonderful! I have always had a dream to travel to Kenya and help animals. I think what you are doing is amazing and can't wait to follow along here :) You have such a kind heart to be helping out animals, and of course I love your sense of adventure! Truly inspiring. Wishing you a wonderful journey.

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