Wildlife conservation is as important in the oceans as it is on the mainland. Ocean research gives us better information about what lives in the depths of our seas, so we can endeavour to keep them safe for future generations to enjoy.
When you think Africa, you may not immediately think of its coastline and the animals that live there, but in fact, the African coast shelters many creatures, some in danger from human-made pollution and hunting. If you are looking for a career in conservation and love the ocean, spending time volunteering for projects in Africa is a perfect choice for your gap year. Kenya, for example, has several conservation projects in various locations, giving opportunities for volunteers to spend time in the wild with the animals. Here is a brief guide to becoming a volunteer in wildlife conservation in Africa.
Research the oceans
Researching the oceans can be a very exciting and exciting project for those who volunteer in Africa, because you will be combining your academic knowledge with the love of the ocean. You will be spending a lot of time in the research and collecting the data you will need to make a proper scientific paper; this will give you a lot of confidence as a volunteer in Africa.
You will need to be somewhat fit to spend weeks in the wilderness deep underwater, where even minute changes in water temperature can affect you greatly. You will be staying in tents during the whole time deep underwater, although the nice part is that it is usually very warm deep down.
A remote location
If you do decide to volunteer abroad in Africa, The Nairobi Marine Park will be a good choice. Located in the East Coast of Kenya, the park is not only remote, but also a protected area; this allows it to be pristine and unspoiled by humans, making it an ideal destination for wildlife conservationists.
You will be working with animals like the colorful seabirds, fish and coral reefs, which all depend on the coral reefs for their very lives. Wildlife Conservation organisations have made sure that the area is well conserved, especially in the way of marine life. The most important of all creatures living in the reefs are the coral reef sharks, as they are essential to keeping the reefs alive.
Research the reefs
You will also need to focus on the other aspect of the reefs; namely, the need to understand what impact human activity has on the coral reefs. Not only do reefs serve the purpose of dividing the surface of the water on land from deep water, they also play a significant role in the recharge of the sea. As such, you will be spending lots of time deep underwater, getting a well-rounded view of the different activities available to the creatures that call the reefs home.
Taking the lions on safari
Eco-tourism is one of the great movements in the whole of the tourism industry, and getting involved in the lion running tours in Africa will be a unique experience. You will work closely with the pride and also track them for data collection purposes. The pride usually ranges between 10 and 20 members, with a healthy mix of male and females. You will be spending the whole time with the pride, climbing in between the vegetation and rocks and also making sure that you are not disturbed by neighbouring creatures.
This is one of the most strained tasks you are likely to experience as a volunteer, and it will be well worth your time to ensure you have a really rewarding experience. Not only will you be working with animals, but also be exposed to the noises of the night, the rustle of leaves on the tree branches, and the rasp of Monarch’s chirping. Volunteer abroad in Africa for your gap year and make sure you come home with your safari memories intact.