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Kenya

June 18 to 30, 2018

Any visitor to western Kenya is probably planning to stop by Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world and source of Africa’s mighty Nile river. From its shores, the land rises slowly and gracefully to enfold tea plantations, green valleys, and pockets of jungle. This region has been largely overlooked by tourists due to the popularity of packaged safaris offered elsewhere. As a result, you can enjoy the delightfully rich scenery and humming market towns as though you’d discovered them yourself. 

Cost — $2550 plus airfare (without safari, cost is $1100)

Included —

  • in-country group travel
  • overnight accommodations
  • most meals
  • trip organizer
  • group interpreter

Grant Opportunity — Grants of up to $150 are available to current and retired school staff and university faculty who are paying full cost out of pocket. In order to be eligible, you must complete the following requirements:

Monday, June 18 — Arrival in Nairobi

If you have chosen to take the optional safari, today you’ll fly into the Jomo Kenyatta airport (NBO) in Nairobi. You will be met by a driver who will accompany you to the team’s hotel, Sigona Golf Club. The rest of the day will allow for getting acquainted and an early bedtime if you choose.

Tuesday, June 19 —  Maasai Mara

Your day will begin with breakfast at the hotel, then you’ll travel six hours by van to Maasi Mara game reserve. You’ll enjoy viewing the beautiful Kenyan countryside along the way and arrive in time for a late lunch.

In the afternoon, you’ll want to have your camera ready to capture the scenery on your first drive to find animals. You’ll end the day at the Sarova Mara Game Camp.

Wednesday, June 20, and Thursday, June 21 — Maasai Mara

These two days will be an adventure traveler’s dream as you soak up the wildlife activity that surrounds you. Your lodgings will put you right in the middle of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras. English-speaking guides will drive you in specially-built Land Cruisers in search of the renowned “Big 5.”

Friday, June 22 — Nairobi

Your safari will draw to a close today after one final game drive in the morning. You will travel back to Nairobi to meet up with the rest of the team.

Your colleagues will arrive from the US today and tomorrow. Everyone will gather at the Sigona Golf Club for a chance to discuss the week ahead.

Saturday, June 23 — Nairobi

Today you’ll take in the sights of Nairobi. While known for being the safari gateway, Nairobi itself has much to recommend it. One of your stops will be a giraffe sanctuary, where you can feed and take selfies with these amazing creatures. Another place to explore today is the area around the Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen) farm, made famous in the movie Out of Africa.

Sunday, June 24 — Kitale

Put on your most comfortable shoes today, because you’ll be traveling and sightseeing. The team will fly out of Nairobi and land in the city of Kitale. You’ll then travel by van to your next destination, a small village with the school where you’ll be working.

Monday, June 25, through Tuesday, June 26 — near Kitale

The small village where you’ll be staying during this portion of the trip will give you a chance to immerse fully in the daily life of this part of Kenya. As befits a rural setting, your accommodations will be spartan. You’ll partner with the teachers in one local school.

Wednesday, June 27 — Asembo

Most of today will be spent traveling to your next destination, the village of Asembo. Stopping in Kisumu along the way, you’ll take in more of the scenery as you head towards Lake Victoria, one of Africa’s major tourist attractions.

Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29 — Asembo

Each of these days will begin with breakfast at the hotel, followed by visits to local schools to partner with the teachers. You’ll eat lunch with the students and have afternoon discussions about teaching strategies with the staff. During the evenings, you’ll stroll along the lake, debrief with your colleagues, and maybe take an excursion to Nakumatt, the Kenyan equivalent of Wal-Mart.

Saturday, June 30 — Departure

With Kenya now completely embedded in your heart and soul, you’ll have to say good-bye today. You’ll depart from the Kisumu airport and fly to Nairobi to catch your flight back to the US.

Our partner on this trip is the nonprofit Kar Geno, which translates as Center for Hope in the local Luo language. Serving western Kenya, Kar Geno seeks to empower women and children through self-help initiatives.

One of the schools where you’ll be working is called St Lazarus Primary School. On the outskirts of Asembo, it has approximately 850 students and 16 teachers in grades 1 through 8.