Primate Rescue in a Tropical Beach Paradise
Are you interested in joining an animal rescue and conservation organisation focusing on the colobus monkeys and address the threats to their survival? The centre works in partnership with local communities to promote the conservation of the colobus and other endemic primate species, and the unique coastal forest habitat on which they depend.
Today the centre programmes focus on habitat conservation and community links as well as human/primate conflict management, welfare, education and research. These form the basis of the work a volunteer will be involved in during their stay. The project is recognised by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and internationally by AZA Colobus Species Survival Plan (SSP), Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).
All the monkeys that live on site in both the short and long term rehabilitation enclosures need to be cared for daily. In teams of two or three people, daily animal care duties begin with cleaning all the enclosures, feeding and ensuring the days enrichment for the animals has been installed in the enclosures. The remainder of the day is spent providing further food bowls for the animals, collecting wild leaves and preparing enrichment.
Simple ‘noose’ snares are frequently set in the forest and bush areas around Diani with the aim of capturing Suni (a small antelope). Due to the terrestrial nature of many of Diani’s primates, these animals are also often caught. Our field operation team regularly de-snare patches of the forest and extra eyes are always needed.
The home ranges of Diani’s primates have been bisected by a major road, and they are subsequently very prone to road injuries. The centre is reducing this problem through the construction of canopy bridges known locally as ‘colobridges’, which span the road from tree canopies on either side. Volunteers may be required to assist with the practical construction of bridges at ground level and data collection to assess their level of use.
Much of the forest within Diani has already been lost to development and the remaining forest is fragmented and isolated. The centre is working to encourage hotel owners and local residents to replenish the natural environment. We also actively encourage, assist and monitor local land owners planting indigenous trees.
Research projects currently being carried out at the centre include primate feeding ecology, behavioural and phenology monitoring, primate census, forest surveys, rehabilitation and release processes and hotel pest assessments, community surveys. Eco-volunteers may gain experience in conducting field research whilst working alongside a staff member or one of our researchers.
The centre is a ‘not for profit organisation’ meaning that fundraising is a very important part of our work. Each year we organise several fundraising events and write proposals for grants – volunteers are required to help in both aspects.
Every week the centre publishes a colobus blog. Volunteers are requested to help in producing this by editing, taking photographs and contributing articles. Other work includes: assisting with education displays, distributing publicity locally around Diani, attending local events, translations, and nature trail development.
Volunteers may also be required to assist in general aspects of the running of the centre including some office duties, painting and general maintenance of enclosures, data input, shopping, deliveries plus researching & writing to potential donors for equipment.
The centre responds to calls to rescue injured monkeys. Our staff members deal with the actual animal rescue as this work can be dangerous and requires specific training and experience. However, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to observe rescues, assist in the measuring of animals, observing the vet work and monitoring the animal post-treatment and post release.
We have a small veterinarian clinic on site and all procedures are over seen by our licensed Kenyan vet. However, volunteers are welcome to observe, take post op observations and keep records.
The centre regularly receive animals that have been orphaned and require hand-rearing in order to survive. While this is rewarding work, an exceptionally high level of commitment and patience is required. Orphans may arrive at any time of the year, but we have a pronounced orphan season between November and February.
The centre holds weekly education workshops for local school children. Volunteers can assist the colobus team by helping organise the workbooks, preparing snacks for breaks and engaging with the children throughout the day.
You will have 1-2 days off per week which is variable according to volunteer numbers and animal and orphan care workloads. This time can be used to visit local attractions, go on safari, relax on the beach, by the pool or at the local spa.
Volunteers are also encouraged to take short breaks to go on a three or four day safari. Volunteers often travel with new friends met at The centre. We can book tours for you through a local, qualified and eco-friendly tour company who will collect you directly from the centre and give our volunteers a 10-35% dis-count. Please discuss these options with the Conservation Manager
Popular tours include
- Snorkeling or diving at Wasini Island
- Mombasa City day tour and Haller Park
- Shimba Hills
- Tsavo East and West for 2, 3 or 4 nights
- Amboseli National Park
- Ngomongo Village and Handicraft market
- And the world famous Masai Mara
- Tandem skydives
Languages: English, Kiswahili
The volunteer house, office and rehabilitation centre is located in a 4 acre plot in a residential area. Due to its coastal location Diani is hot and humid most of the year. There are two distinct rainy seasons, the long rains in April and May and the short rains in November. Temperature ranges from 26-32°C and humidity is generally around 80%.
You can volunteer all year round.
|Eco-volunteer||$ 375 per week for a minimum commitment of 2 weeks, up to 12 weeks with a reducible figure of $300 per week thereafter to a maximum period of 24 weeks, and a flat rate figure of $300 per week for volunteers who wish to stay for 24 weeks.|
|Research Intern||KES 11,000/ $110 per week for 12 weeks minimum stay, below 12 weeks you pay normal volunteer rate.|
A taxi will be organised to collect you from the airport.
What difference does this project make?
The centre operates a 24hr hotline and responds to welfare cases for all Diani primate species. On average the centre attends over 150 welfare cases annually. Furthermore, the centre has installed primate canopy bridges along the main Diani road, reducing the number of primates killed due to road traffic accidents. The centre opens its doors to nearly 1,000 school children annually, where they get to learn about local wildlife and the importance of the forest.
Over 80% of the Diani’s forest has already been lost to developments during the last 25 years and the remaining forest patches are fragmented and isolated. The centre has several projects to encourage local residents to replenish the natural environment with indigenous trees as well as organising several tree planting days throughout the year.