Big Life Foundation

WHO WE ARE: Big Life Foundation was founded by photographer Nick Brandt & conservationist Richard Bonham in September 2010. With Richard Bonham as Director of Operations for Big Life in Africa, and Project Manager Damian Bell in Tanzania, Big Life has now expanded to employ hundreds of rangers, with 31 outposts and 15 vehicles protecting 2 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa. As the first organization in East Africa with coordinated cross-border anti-poaching operations, Big Life’s rangers have made more than 1,800 arrests and confiscated over 3,000 weapons/poaching tools since November 2010.

Recognizing that sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a community-based collaborative approach, Big Life uses innovative conservation strategies to address the greatest threats, reduce the loss of wildlife to poaching, defeat the ivory trade, mitigate human-wildlife conflict, protect the great predators, and manage scarce and fragile natural resources.

Big Life’s hope is to take the successful holistic conservation model in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem and replicate it across the African continent.

WHY WE NEED YOU: We depend on the generosity of donors and our partners from around the world to keep our current operations running smoothly, and we are working to increase our support in order to expand our programs and build on the success we’ve accomplished thus far. We have registered charity status in the United States, Canada and the UK. Please consider making a gift to support our operations.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR OUR CHARITY: Big Life is now one of the largest employers in the Amboseli ecosystem area and employs hundreds of local Maasai as wildlife security rangers and support staff. We also have two staff in the US for fundraising and administrative support.

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES: Below are some examples of how your support will help:

  • $10 / £6 covers one ranger’s salary and rations for a day.
  • $50 / £33 covers about one month’s supply of food rations for one ranger.
  • $100 / £66 helps cover the education costs for one student for about one month
  • $250 / £166 buys a camera trap for monitoring of rhinos and surveillance of poachers in the rhino habitat area.
  • $300 / £200 keeps the Super Cub airplane in Kenya in the air for one hour to monitor wildlife and look for poaching activity.
  • $350 / £233 equips a ranger for one year (e.g., rucksack, sleeping bag, GPS, uniforms, etc.).
  • $650 / £433 covers three smart phones with specialized data-collection software for timely reporting of information collected in the field.
  • $1,000 / £666 buys a hand-held radio for rangers to communicate while on patrol.
  • $2,000 / £1,333 funds the construction of an additional water point for wildlife.
  • $3,000 / £2,000 covers the costs of maintaining an informer network for one month in both countries.
  • $4,000 / £2,666 buys a set of thermal imaging night vision surveillance equipment.
  • $6,000 / £4,000 pays for the annual salary for a full-time Prosecutions Adviser to follow up on all the cases that go to trial; a critically important job to maximize the chances of the poachers being convicted and receiving the strongest possible sentences.


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Big Life Foundation is a charity organization operating in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem in East Africa. As the first organization to conduct cross-border operations between Kenya and Tanzania to enforce conservation laws, Big Life partners with local communities to protect wildlife and wild lands for the benefit of all. As we envision a world where people support conservation, and conservation supports the people, we have expanded our programs to employ hundreds of local Maasai and focus on wildlife security and anti-poaching, mitigating human-wildlife conflict, and increasing education efforts around conservation issues. To date, we have arrested over 1,800 poachers, confiscated over 3,000 tools and weapons, and patrolled more than 1.5 million kilometres. We employ teachers and provide scholarships to local students. We’re also the only NGO to partner with the Kenya Wildlife Service inside of the Chyulu Hills National Park to protect the 8 known eastern black rhinos in the area.

donate to wildlife conservation