Elephant Community Conservation Assistant

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Tracy
Coordinator | Tracy


Experience living with a Kenyan family
Learn about the challenges faced by families living so close to wild elephants
See a part of the world that is not experienced by many outsiders
Trip is fully customised and chaperoned to experienced the best of this area
Enjoy the good humour of the Kenyan people
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is a conservation area for elephants. It was introduced to create a wildlife corridor for the movement of elephants. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

The Sanctuary

Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is a conservation area for elephants. It was introduced to create a wildlife corridor for the movement of elephants between Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the north and Shimba Hills National Reserve to the south. Measuring 60,000 acres, elephants use this migratory passageway to access important foliage areas within their natural domain at different times of the year.

The Sanctuary was created to reduce human-elephant conflict arising from the large population of both humans and elephants in the area and to generate benefits for community members through wildlife and habitat conservation. The Sanctuary is home to around 200 elephants. There is a watering hole with a viewing platform where you can see them come to drink and bath.

The Sanctuary’s objectives are

  • To reduce human-elephant conflict within the area.
  • To conserve and protect wildlife.
  • To ensure that communities and individuals who owned land within the Mwaluganje-Shimba Hills National Reserve corridor could benefit from wildlife conservation and Eco-Tourism development.

Volunteers are picked at Nairobi Airport and spend 2 days touring various NGOs around the city including an orphanage, KSPCA, Kibera slum and The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan's project where you see the baby elephant's morning feed and mud/dust bath.  O2E recommends volunteers go online at https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/ and adopt an elephant and prebook an evening visit so you can return that evening for the orphan's bedtime where you can chat with the keepers and get to know your adopted elephant. Volunteers embark on a 2 night safari to either the Massai Mara National Reserve in a tented camp or the Tsavo National Park in a lodge (additional fee for Tsavo). Included is 2 game drives each day to get up close to some of Africa's most stunning wildlife.

For more information on Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, visit the MES website www.elesanctuary.org


The Location

The area of Mwaluganje is important at an international, national and local level. It supports threatened lowland coastal forest which contains a rich diversity of flora and fauna including several rare and endemic species. It serves as one of only 3 coastal refuges for elephants in Kenya and is an important water catchment area for wildlife and the local communities. 

Our Volunteers

Your contribution will depend on the activities you undertake. Some projects will be research and data collection based and will not affect the community of Mwaluganje, however, some projects will be embedded into the heart and soul of the community and will be of considerable benefit. 

You receive an orientation upon arrival in Kenya and then at the Sanctuary covering all you need to know about how the Sanctuary operates and the challenges faced by this wildlife community. You can discuss in detail with management staff how you can achieve your project objectives during your placement. Throughout your stay in the Mwaluganje community, you will have the support and guidance of the O2E in-country coordinator and the local elephant community sanctuary managers and staff. O2E support staff is only a phone call or email away for any query you might have.

Conditions Onsite

The biggest challenges for animal lovers visiting this region is the indifferent or negative treatment of animals, especially stray dog and cat population. With such a huge stray population and so little food to spare, many Kenyan families have enough trouble taking care of themselves without worrying about animals, and cats and dogs can become a nuisance when looking for food. Most of the animals are underfed and many have birth defects due to inbreeding which can be distressing.

Please Note

The second instalment of your project fees is due within 1 week after you paid the deposit on Volunteer World. This is a total of $495 AUD and comes off your balance. The balance is due 90 days prior to travel. For all further information about the fees, please scroll down to the section "Program Fees“.

Typical day

The program is made up of two parts. The first is visiting some places of interest, heading out on a safari and travelling between Nairobi and Mombasa.

At the sanctuary, daily activities will be dependent on what is available and can include a variety of experiences. For students, O2E can assist in structuring a program that best suits your area of interest or area of study. 

Free-time activities

There is an endless and diverse list of what a visitor can do in this region. Speak to O2E about adding some more activities to your itinerary.

In Nairobi, the O2E Co-founder has selected a variety of activities that encompass the best of Western Kenya. The program can incorporate a visit to KSPCA, Kibera Slum, the markets, an orphanage and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to see the orphaned elephants.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 360 km² not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya's Laikipia County. Situated on the equator west of Nanyuki, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. 

The Equator passes about 4 miles south of the town Nanyuki in Laikipia County, Kenya. An equator is an imaginary line around the middle earth.

When in Mombasa, Mombasa Marine National Park is a marine park located in Mombasa town along the Kenyan coast. The park comprises of the sea waters, mangroves, seagrasses, and seaweeds. The park is home to a variety of marine life including crabs, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, starfish and jellyfish. Other spectacular attractions include the sand beach and coral gardens which makes the park a popular snorkelling and diving location. 

Visit the soft, white sandy beach of Diani. The clear waters, colourful reef and vibrant aquatic life make Diani Beach a must for all divers. Take an eco-bike ride through villages and the revered Kaya Kinondo Forest, one of the oldest forests on the South Coast with 187 plant species, 48 species of birds and 45 species of butterfly. It is here you can see the rare Zanj Elephants Shrew and threatened Colobus Monkey.

The Gede Ruins lie 90kms North East of Mombasa which are the remains of a Swahili town, typical of most towns along the East African Coast. It traces its origin in the twelfth century when the town became wealthy, reaching its peak in the fifteenth century. This enormous wealth is evidenced by the presence of numerous ruins, comprising of a conglomeration of mosques, a magnificent palace and houses all nestled in 45 acres of primeval forest.

Haller Park is a nature park in Bamburi, Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast. It is the transformation of a quarry wasteland into an ecological area. Haller Park holds a variety of plant and animal species which serve as a recreation spot for tourists and locals.

Fort Jesus is a fort located on Mombasa Island. Designed by Italian Giovanni Battista Cairati, it was built between 1593 and 1596, by order of King Philip I of Portugal, to guard the Old Port of Mombasa.

Visit the Colombus Monkey Sanctuary to see the rescued monkeys. 

Mwalujange community activities can include making dung paper, checking fences, visiting families and helping with any other activities. 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Required Documents
Proof of travel Insurance docs and Proof of vaccinations
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
There are no special skills required.
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

What's Included

Services by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

What's included in this project?

  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Airport transfers from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International and returning to Mombasa airport
  • All transfers - trip is chaperoned
  • 2 nights Nairobi hotel Day tour around Nairobi including 2 visits to the David Sheldrick Trust for the morning bottle feed and to visit your orphan at bedtime
  • 2 night Massai Mara or Tsavo National Park safari (additional fee for Tsavo)
  • Accompanied train travel from Nairobi to Mombasa
  • 1 night Mombasa with day tour around Mombasa
  • Accompanied bus travel from Mombasa to Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary
  • Arrival Orientation
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Full support and assistance from the O2E In-country coordinator throughout your placement
  • All work related transport
  • O2E T-Shirt (if travelling from Australia)
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
What's not included in this project?

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending
  • Visas and entry permits
Airport Pickup at Moi International Airport

Accommodation is provided in a family who are also members of the project, in order to feel integrated and also enjoy more cultural aspects. Volunteers always have a private bedroom and all meals are provided within the family that is to say breakfast, lunch and dinner. Volunteers are allowed to introduce their food from their own culture.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

3 meals a day provided by the guest family.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Moi International Airport (MBA) in Mombasa. We assist you to find cheap flights to Kenya.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Kenya provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Kenya you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Kenya.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

This project accepts volunteers all year. 

To get there, fly to Nairobi, Kenya. From Nairobi, you will take a train to Mombasa, a ferry and a matatu (bus) to the project. 

For volunteers arriving straight into Mombasa, the program changes considerably as it will not feature the activities in Nairobi. From Mombasa, you take a ferry and a matatu (bus) to the project. O2E organise your transfers from the airport or train station.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 2,248
3 weeks
$ 3,093
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 10,392
Average fees
$ 1,557 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or cash at arrival at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers.

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Elephant Community Conservation Assistant

Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is a conservation area for elephants. It was introduced to create a wildlife corridor for the movement of elephants.


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