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.
On this day, you will be picked up from the Hotel Boulevard at approximately 7:00am 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.
For the next 5 days we have the opportunity to make a difference and experience life in the outskirts of Nairobi, where lives have been dramatically impacted by poverty, unemployment and HIV/AIDS. Volunteers get involved various community projects namely Limuru children centre, mukeu special unit school and In his image baby rescue centre. As the volunteers time is relatively short we initially place them in one focal project to ensure as much continuity and consistency as is possible and then have optional projects for day 6 and 7. There are over a million orphans in Kenya mainly due to AIDS, from which only 5% get any kind of support. There is a huge need for assistance in orphanages and children's homes. We will visit an orphanage in Limuru, home to children that come from different backgrounds and that have been affected by disability, abuse, poverty or illness. These children are in desperate need of love and attention. Many of them are developmentally delayed and need extra attention in order to promote their development. The orphanage offers opportunities for us to become involved in daily activities including helping with teaching and organizing activities to promote the well being of the children. Another important role for volunteers is to assist the caregivers in their daily task of maintaining the home and cooking food while the children are at school. We may also be needed to do practical work, such as painting or building, in order to improve the orphanage and making it a better home for the children. No experience necessary.
On Sunday morning you have an opportunity to help out at HALF WAY HOME which is a baby rescue centre which is particularly understaffed on a Sunday. And with between 14 – 18 babies the caregiver are desperate for an extra pair of hands. Head back to Nairobi and explore the city while you wait to meet up with your safari group. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening. Upon arrival look for information from your tour leader on the hotel bulletin board regarding the meeting time.
This morning we depart Nairobi and drive north through the farmlands of the Kikuyu people, passing Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain (5199m), on our way to the Samburu Game Reserve. Samburu is a wildlife haven to many species rarely found elsewhere. We enjoy an afternoon game drive in search of the northern species of game that are not seen south of the equator, such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich. On day 3, we Page 3 spend a full day game viewing in search of the "Big 5" - elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and buffalo - in addition to another creature of the area - the long-necked gerenuk (meaning giraffe neck), a graceful antelope that stands upright on its hind legs to feed on tall bushes.
Descend into the Great Rift Valley enjoying stunning views of the escarpment on the way. Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake, renowned for its huge concentration of flamingos and over 460 species of birds. On day 5, embark on a safari within Lake Nakuru National Park, in search of the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard.
After breakfast, we depart 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 permenant 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 7 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.
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.