Volunteering with Rangers at Lumo Sanctuary in Kenya

Those who have a passion for wildlife can volunteer to accompany and support the staff of the Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary, in Kenya. The rangers of this sanctuary work on registering wildlife sightings, updating and maintaining the protected areas, helping treat injured animals, guiding tours, as well as harsher jobs like removing animal traps, working on reforestation of the area, and promoting environmental education in schools located around the sanctuary, as well as programs built for the locals.

The Lumo Sanctuary is a private resort that borders with the Tsavo National Park so that the wild animals may freely roam between the park and the sanctuary. Lumo is about 500 km squared, and is a Savannah landscape with a few rocky mountains. The animals populating the sanctuary include elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, and ostriches, just to name a few.

The Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary receives its financing though environmentally-friendly tourism. Whether it is day or night, there are always tours going on in the sanctuary that are guided by park rangers. Some of these safaris include game drives, and walking safaris.

Working with the Rangers

The ranger’s day begins around 8 a.m., and kicks off with driving through the reserve working on registering all wildlife sightings. These sightings are registered by marking down each animal sighted around each location marking in the sanctuary. These are important because the registries get sent to the hotels, so that tourist can plan their paths through the park and sanctuary according to the wildlife the would like to see.

Volunteers will join the rangers on their rounds getting involved with maintenance work clearing away fallen trees, filling potholes, and fixing signs and general improvements.

Unfortunately, the sanctuary has several poachers traps located throughout, and volunteers will help work with the rangers to eliminate these traps while doing on-foot patrols throughout the park. On these patrols, volunteers and rangers will also keep an eye out for injured animals in order to get them the attention of on-call veterinarians. One of the tasks also includes making sure that local cattle stay our of the protected areas.

Volunteers who work on a longer contract can also act as guides for tours once they gain a strong familiarity with the sanctuary. These tours can include walking tours, or vehicle tours accompanied by a driver. Part of the job of volunteers and rangers is also to conduct environmental education programs within a few of the villages located near the sanctuary. These programs take place in schools, and discuss the biodiversity of the area, wildlife, and even plant life.

One of the major parts of the education program the rangers and volunteers will work on with the locals is the human-wildlife conflict that exists in the area. Some animals – in-particular elephants – cause a lot of havoc for local farmers by trampling on crops, and the farmers deal with this by killing the animals. Part of the environmentally-friendly solution the sanctuary has come up with to prevent this issue is beekeeping. Bees help keep elephants away, and also allow the farmers to make income on the sale of honey.

Creating and implementing these creative conflict resolutions are part of the job of volunteers and rangers at the Luma Wildlife Sanctuary.

Lumo Sanctuary
Lumo Sanctuary
Planting trees
Volunteering with Rangers
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