About The Colobus Conservation


Colobus Conservation Limited is a conservation organization designed to promote the conservation, preservation, and protection of primates like the nationally threatened Angolan colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southeastern Kenya. The organization was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of colobus monkeys on the Diani Beach road.Now, many years later, Colobus Conservation has numerous projects concentrating on research and solutions for human/primate conflicts including animal welfare, biological/ecological research, community development and education, forest protection and enrichment and eco-tourism awareness program.

  Our Mission Statement is:

To promote, in close co-operation with other organisations and local communities, the conservation, preservation and protection of primates, in particular the Angolan colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its associated coastal forest habitat in Kenya.

  The Conservation's Goals are to:
  1. Conserve and protect the Angolan colobus and its habitat in Kenya;
  1. Inspire interest and participation in primate and environmental conservation;
  1. Promote the welfare of primates and to reduce the impact of human development on the environment in Diani and south eastern Kenya;
  1. Further understand the Diani primate species and their conservation;
  1. Respond and deliver a high quality primate rescue and rehabilitation service;
  1. Be a considerate employer through training and fair wage structure, to be self-funding, producing high

quality valuable work and to be transparent.

  1. Colobus Conservation

Limited is a Kenyan registered, not for profit company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital

  What we do

Research Research projects that have been carried out at the Trust include studies on colobus feeding ecology, primate censuses, feeding & behavioural monitoring, forest disturbance surveys and hotel pest assessments. Please be clear however that we are not a research training institute. We will not ask you to conduct a scientific research project unless you have the training and skills to be able to do this. This is why we ask you to complete an application form and send us your CV. Obviously you will learn a lot and have lots of new experiences while you are here, but we do not have the skills in-house to train you in scientific methodology. If you want to conduct research while you are here, and have the skills necessary to do this, then please inform us of this before your arrival, so that we can discuss your ideas and equipment / computer software requirements with you (e.g. GPS, GIS, statistics packages, etc).

Habitat Loss Forest Conservation Working to secure Diani's last patch of primary forest, the Trust is trying to develop the Diani Forest Conservation Area. The Trust also works regularly with local community groups to protect and restore areas of sacred 'kaya' forests. Volunteer projects include forest surveys, reforestation projects and developing sustainable forest use ides (e.g. bee keeping).

Wood carvings The Trust has been working on issues surrounding the destruction of the forest. Specifically we are working with people in the wood carving industry to reduce dependence on indigenous forest tree species and increase the use of sustainable exotic species including neem, mango and coconut. Volunteers have been working with community groups on these issues and doing surveys of the current trends of wood carving sales.

Human - Wildlife Conflict / Pest Management Since the Trust began its work with the colobus, it has become increasingly aware of more general human-primate conflicts in the area. In the past 20 years, deforestation in Diani has been rapid, and some primates have adapted to their new environment by stealing food from tourists, hotel kitchens, and waste sites. The baboons in Diani reproduce almost three times faster than the same species in nearby Shimba Hills as a direct result of this easier access to food. This combined with increasing forest loss has caused the animal density to exceed the capacity of the natural habitat, which in turn has made them dependent on these supplemental food sources.

The Trust believes that co-existence between local residents, hoteliers, tourists and the environment is possible and is developing acceptable alternatives to the current methods used to deter primates. Volunteers can take part in active management in the area to ensure that Diani remains both a major tourist attraction and an area of rich biodiversity.

Pest Control Methods Vervets, sykes and baboons may sometimes become a nuisance to local residents and hoteliers, as they steal food from kitchens, restaurants and crop fields. In the pat people have resorted to control measures that have proven both ineffective and inhumane. These include painting monkeys with glossy paint, tying bells around their necks and stomachs, poisoning, trapping, clubbing and shooting them. These deterrent methods are ineffective, cruel and unacceptable. Tactics such as taste aversion and negative stimuli have, to date, proven unsuccessful in deterring monkeys, and translocation programs only result in transferring the problem elsewhere. Humane in-situ solutions must be found. The Trust aims to assess each problem site with regards to their monkey pest problem, offering practical advice and assistance in deterring monkeys from their properties (mainly during 'human' feeding times).

Forest Protection Over 75% of Diani's forests have already been lost to development during the last 25 years. The remaining forests are fragmented and isolated. The Trust has a small seedling nursery, and we would like to expand this aspect of the Trust by encouraging hotel owners and local residents to replenish the natural environment.

Primate Rescue The Trust responds to calls to rescue distressed monkeys (of all species). Frequently, these are due to road injuries, electrocution, snares and animal cruelty. In general, we do not handle monkeys unless it is unavoidable. The permanent staff at the Trust deal with animal welfare as this work requires specific training and experience, however, there are plenty of opportunities to take part, for example, in the measuring of animals, assisting with vet work, and releasing.

Emergency Veterinarian Care We have a veterinary clinic on site at the Trust. Primate rehabilitation is done under the supervision of the local vet, howevr volunteers can assist where possible. This is a great opportunity to try your hand at wildlife rescue!

Long-term Injury Care & Rehabilitation Vervet monkeys are commonly (but illegally) kept as pets in Kenya. Once confiscated by the Kenya Wildlife Service, they come to the Trust for rehabilitation. At the Trust they are encouraged to develop skills to allow them to survive in the wild, including developing normal social behaviour with other monkeys, eating wild foods, and developing a healthy fear of humans. These monkeys are eventually released back to the wild. Volunteers take care of these monkeys by feeding them, cleaning their cages, and cage enrichment tasks. During a previous release, volunteers have involved in the monitoring of the vervets in nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve using radio tracking equipment.

Bridge Building When the Trust was founded, one of the main threats to Diani's colobus monkeys was death caused by motor accidents. The home ranges of these arboreal primates have been bisected by a major road, and they are subsequently very prone to road injuries whilst crossing through their ranges. The Trust has aimed to reduce this problem through the construction of 'colobridges', which span the road from tree canopies on either side. In total we have constructed 28 colobridges in the most dangerous spots along the road. Consequently, the number of road kills have been reduced dramatically. Volunteers may be required to assist with the practical construction, erection and maintenance of bridges.

Electrocution Hotspot Monitoring After the success of the colobridge campaign, the main cause of death and injury for the colobus is electrocution on the un-insulated power lines in the Diani area. The Trust has succeeded in getting the Kenyan Power and Lighting Company to assist in regularly cutting back the trees beside the power lines with our field staff. Our goal is eventually to have all the pre-existing lines insulated and to have any new lines insulated. Insulating is an expensive process, however, and volunteers may be asked to assist in identification of hotspot areas and help with tree cutting.

Education Workshops The Trust runs workshops for primary and secondary school children in order to educate them on environmental and primates topics and to give them a fun-filled morning or afternoon of activity. Every year more than 1000 school children attend our workshops. Volunteers often help Trust staff run the workshops and love the chance to interact with the kids.

Environmental Workshops Meetings have been held by the Trust bringing together hoteliers, residents and Trust workers to discuss long-term waste management options in Diani. Lack of effective and environmentally responsible waste disposal mechanisms encourages the animals to become dependent upon humans, and so attempts to clean up the dumps in Diani may alleviate the animal's dependency on hotel grounds. Garbage dump surveys, mapping, hotel garbage assessment, and research into efficient garbage management options available in Kenya are just some of the duties you could become involved with as a volunteer.

Eco-Tourism The Colobus Cottage boasts an information and education centre, which is also open to the public for specific hours each week. We have full-time staff members, trained as tour-guides, who give educational talks about the Trust and the colobus, as well as a tour of our Nature Trails. Training is given, and volunteers can assist with tours. Tours are predominantly given in English, French and German. Bilingual and multilingual volunteers are especially welcome!

Colobus Publicity & Marketing Every six months the Trust produces a Colobus Update - an informative newsletter aimed at the local public. Volunteers may be asked to help in producing the newsletter by editing, taking photographs, contributing articles or generally helping in its design and production on computer. Other work includes: assisting with education displays, Diani publicity distribution, attending local events, translations, school party activities, and nature trail development at the Colobus Cottage.

Volunteer in the beach resort town of Diani, on the south coast of Kenya Edit

Want to do your part to help the Angolan Colobus monkey fight extinction?

Become a Volunteer at Colobus Conservation !Edit

Carry out wildlife and forest conservation overlooking the beautiful white sand beaches and clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Enjoy warm evenings socialising and dancing by moonlight at the local hotels and restaurants.  On days off, enjoy the opportunities for scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, skim and boogie boarding or exploring Shimba Hills National Reserve. All with the security of good quality hospitals, pharmacies, shops, post-offices and banks near-by!

We accept volunteers from a diverse variety of backgrounds with a range of skills including: teaching, photography, GIS, botany, editing/writing, artistic ability, sales/marketing ability and carpentry/building as well as veterinarians, primatologists and animal rehabilitators.

There are six primate species with 1,400 monkeys living within the suburban town. Diani is interspersed with remnant forest patches and scattered trees from the original forest type that is considered part of a Global Biodiversity Hotspot.

There are a variety of projects underway at Colobus Conservation at any one time.  

Activities you may be involved in include:

  • Feeding primates awaiting


  • Cleaning cages;
  • Primate orphan care;
  • Community education programmes;
  • Community outreach;
  • Primate release monitoring;
  • Primate behavior data


  • Human-primate conflict


  • Primate census;
  • Tree growth surveys;
  • Cage

enrichment design/provision. If you don't see what you are looking for on the list, please write to us and enquire at:

For more information click below:

Volunteers will be accommodated at the Colobus Cottage in Diani Beach, Kenya and will be involved in primate and forest conservation activities, especially related to colobus monkeys.

Costs include airport transfers, accommodation in a single sex, four bed dormitory, cleaning, laundry, drinking water, security. As well, the costs include a chef who prepares lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Breakfast and Sunday meals are provided by Colobus Conservation but prepared by the volunteer.

The volunteer payment contributes directly to the running costs of the organization. Volunteers will be expected to pay a non-refundable one month fee prior to arrival to confirm their placement. Upon arrival, the remainder of the fees will be required. As Colobus Conservation is reliant on these fees, we regret that these fees are non-refundable, and non-negotiable.

Colobologist (typically around 3 months):If you would like to get a deeper understanding of environmental concerns and actions in a developing world context, come and join us. We need skills ranging from primatologists to graphic designers to carpenters!

Eco-volunteer (typically around 3-4 weeks): If you have only a short time for a volunteering holiday, join the Conservation for as long as you can! There are no other specific requirements apart from the energy and the will to participate in the Conservation activities!








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You must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer with us.If you are interested contact the Colobus Conservation directly at Send us an application form (below on this page) CV or resume.

You can download the volunteer application form here: [1]Edit


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