Accommodation: simple hotel Arrive in Nairobi any time and make your way to the joining point hotel. Upon arrival look for information on your trip on the hotel bulletin board regarding the meeting time and briefing to be held on day two. Take today to wander the streets of central Nairobi, taking in old colonial architecture and the brightly coloured crowds to get a feel for Africa. The city’s best attraction is the National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the Leakey family in East Africa, from Ethiopia to the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It also has sections on wildlife, art, geology, local history and a snake park.
You will be picked up from the Hotel Boulevard at approximately 9:00am where you will be taken to Limuru. You will have your orientation of the projects over a cup of tea or coffee with your coordinators and have the opportunity to chat through the projects and confirm your timetable for the rest of the week. You will then spend the day at one of the projects helping out with current tasks. In the meantime your luggage will be safely handled and taken to our guest house where you will be settled into for the rest of the week. As a teaching volunteer you will spend 4 of the five week days at one of our 7 schools. Every Wednesday morning you will either assist at the local Limuru feeding program which happens bi-weekly or you will use the morning for preparation and research. Afterwards, enjoy a lunch at the volunteer cottage and continue on to volunteer at a school on the outskirts of the rift valley where you will get involved in some practical development of the schools which boards children with varying levels of functional impairments. During your four days at the school you will generally divide your day into teaching in the morning and school-based community development initiatives in the afternoon.
Enjoy an optional city tour. This evening you will be joined by other travellers to continue on for the safari portion of your tour.
Accommodation: simple bandas/huts Driving distance: 95km Journey to Lake Naivasha, one of the great rift valley fresh water lakes. Drive through the town of Naivasha before continuing along the lake shore passing the greenhouses that grow roses for the lucrative export market. After setting up camp and an early lunch, we take a short boat trip to Crescent Island, a private game sanctuary, with zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, vervet monkeys, hares, genet cats, waterbuck and giraffe. Crescent Island is one of the few places in Africa where people can wander on foot among herds of grazing mammals since there are no predators on the island. During the afternoon free time, wander around or just relax by the lake, spotting resident bird populations including Ibis, Lovebirds, Fish Eagle and Hoopoe, as well as the Black and White Colobus monkey.
Accommodation: Simple hotel in Nakuru town Driving distance: 70km After breakfast, depart Naivasha for Nakuru, arriving before midday. In the afternoon we take a game drive following the lake shore in our search of leopard, black and white rhino, lion, buffalo, impala, Thompson gazelle and warthog, before returning to our hotel.
Accommodation: simple bandas (forest huts) Driving distance: 150kms After an early breakfast, board your safari vans and head towards the western part of the country, through the high-altitude town of Eldoret, stopping for a picnic lunch en route. Arrive to the Kakamega forest late afternoon to early evening. The Kakamega National Reserve, situated in Kenya’s Western Province, at the northern end of the Kakamega Forest, covers an area of 36 sq km. At an elevation of between 1500 m and 1600 m, this reserve sits along the northeastern edge of the Lake Victoria basin, and from its eastern edge rises the partially forested Nandi Escarpment which runs along the western edge of the Rift Valley. In the late afternoon (time permitting), go for a guided walk with one of the resident guides, learning about the ecology and importance of this rare and fantastic forest.
Accommodation: simple bandas (forest huts) Enjoy a morning walk in the rainforest accompanied by the local ranger/guide, returning to camp late morning. Spend the afternoon at your leisure; take some time to yourself while listening to the sounds of the forest (and maybe the rain-fall!), or go for another walk in the rainforest, or learn about the K.E.E.P,(Kakamega Environmental Education Project), which has a tree nursery program and a butterfly garden among its many initiatives.
Accommodation: simple hotel Driving distance: 50km Take another early morning optional walk in the forest with the ranger/guide before departing this magical place. You will arrive in the lively city of Kisumu midday, where you can explore the town, visit Kisumu's vibrant and bustling market, squeeze in a visit to the local museum, visit the impala sanctuary, or take a boat trip on Lake Victoria, to try your luck at hippo spotting and bird watching.
Accommodation: homestay with a local family (simple mud-brick homes) Driving distance: 200km Depart Kisumu to head deep into the more traditional side of Kenya. Arrive in the town of Kendu Bay before noon. Here you will stop to have lunch, and as well will be able to help your tour leader gather some goods to take to the homestays. Kendu Bay itself is a small, rural town located on the shores of Lake Victoria, where fishing is the main economic activity. Continue up the rough roads above Kendu Bay to the village that you will call home for the next 2 nights. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the local potter, and learn about the traditional way of life. On Day 14 go on a guided walk through the village to visit the local school to see more of the community. Try to strike up a conversation with the locals and enjoy their hospitality. Enjoy the home-made meals and see first hand how the Luo tribesmen live. Note: Electricity lines and plumbing have yet to reach Kendu Bay.
Accommodation: simple hotel Approaching Kericho, you will experience breathtaking views of the vast rolling hills covered by the tea plantations that are the economic backbone of the local economy. Scattered among the tea plantations are neatly arranged housing complexes for the tea "pluckers” who roughly every 17 days picked the tea leaves on a rotational basis. Good pickers can collect up to 100kg of leaves a day!
Accommodation: simple tented camp We depart early today for the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. With its vast open plains and distinctive flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here! In the afternoon we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our permanent tented camp, our base for our time here. Then we make our way into the reserve for an afternoon game viewing drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Day 17 starts with an early morning game drive, since the best time to spot wildlife is in the early hours of the morning. The day continues with more game viewing as you criss-cross the rolling hills of the African savannah. You will also have a chance to try the optional balloon safari, in addition to stopping at a Masai village to learn about, and interact with, the local Masai people.
Accommodation: simple hotel Driving distance: 285km This morning we make our last game drive in the Masai Mara before heading back to Nairobi. In Nairobi you have an opportunity to buy some lovely local handicrafts, or exchange some photographs with your group in the late afternoon, before enjoying your last safari evening together.
You are free to depart any time this day.