Friends of MM trip to Kenya - Kenya
Find out what your children enjoyed so much on their Africamp and join Adventure Alternative and the Moving Mountains Trust for a two week trip of a lifetime across Kenya; working on relevant, meaningful and hands-on projects developed by our charity in Kenya, Moving Mountains. Aside from the project you will be volunteering your time with children who benefit directly from our work in Kenya. After the camp we finish the trip with an overland safari to experience some of Kenya’s diverse culture and abundant wildlife.
We believe that this hugely successful adult version of our Africamp will provide you with a real awareness and appreciation for life outside your normal environment; you will see and experience life in both inner city and rural Kenya and return home with a great insight into how we believe developmental aid should work in developing countries.
The Adult Africamp is a charity holiday aimed at individuals, parents and small groups of people who want to interact with local communities in Kenya through the concept of a camp shared between the visiting group and children in Kenya who are supported in some way by Moving Mountains.
There are two costs involved; a) your own land based trip costs and b) the specific project costs that the team will need to raise for the project to be practically viable.
Africamp for young people has been running for over 20 years now but our first Adult Africamp ran in April 2012 to very high acclaim. As a result we have made it a regular occasion which we hope will encourage people to take a chance and challenge themselves to an experience which is out of most peoples comfort zone.
The trip gives you the chance to experience African food, the African way of life and also to experience what it means to provide aid in Africa. Moving Mountains is the charity that was set up by Adventure Alternative Director Gavin Bate after years working in the slums and ghettos of Nairobi to help and support street and orphaned kids.
Africamp is the foundation from which a lot of this charity work began, and from which all the people who are now earning a living from the company first became involved. It has a long and strong history and now you can become part of it by joining us on the Adult Africamp! So don’t forget that although this is two weeks away for you, and it may well change your life, for the Kenyans you meet it is much more than that; it has become a way of life and it changed their lives so dramatically that you won’t fully understand it until you have been there and met them. That is one of the reasons it is such an emotional experience, because this is not about theories on African aid or seeing it on the TV, it will be about real people.
At Adventure Alternative we want you to see how charities are run which look after street kids in Kenya, and we want you to help run the NGO we have in Kenya. We also want you to get your hands dirty and build something which is useful and not just a token. All our projects come from years and years of working in Kenya. We also want you to challenge yourself and have an experience which we believe will be one of your best, and will leave you with memories that you will cherish.
In the same way that Adventure Alternative is the Kenyan subsidiary of Adventure Alternative UK, Moving Mountains also has a Kenyan wing to it, which is called Moving Mountains Kenya and it is an international NGO which is run by former street children who started their lives going on the very first Africamps back in the early nineties.
All our Africamp trips are the foundation for the future of many young Kenyans. Adventure Alternative Kenya, and most of the staff who work for it, are also former street children. They all went on Africamp as children, and now they are running their own Africamps which are offering hope and a future for hundreds of other children.
Hi Andy :)
Just wanted to drop you a quick email to say wat a fantastic time we all had when we were away. The two Eva's were fantastic and all the guys were brilliant. Couldn't of asked for a better trip.
We were hoping to head out again next year but I don't think we r able to wait that long an were hoping that we mite b able to go out in july if at all possible for 2 weeks?? There would b 4 of us.
Thanks again andy for a brilliant trip. Can't put in words how brilliant it was an soo glad we had the two girls they were just brilliant.
I was hoping for and expecting an experience that would sit with me for a long while and was not let down, awesome does not do it justice . The trip, from the decision to run an adult Africamp to returning home, was well organised, informative, fun and something I hope to repeat in the future. The trip was made enjoyable and rewarding by the positive attitude and support of all the staff (AA and local community staff) who ensured that we had an experience to remember. I have learned a lot about Kenyan life and culture and also a few things about myself. I feel as if for a time I made a little bit of difference to the life of some Kenyan children and adults. Thank you.
The best travel experience i have ever been on and i have travelled extensively throughout many 3rd world countries, feeling safe and secure during the whole trip with indiginous people around which makes the trip as a whole an extremely worthwhile experience
Parks and Animals
With groups we generally like to use Naivasha and Nakuru as there are plenty of opportunities for other activities and with Nakuru being such a compact Park it allows you to see an abundance of wildlife over a shorter time frame but ultimately the location of the safari depends on the location of the Africamp project, below are the current possibilities;
Lake Nakuru/Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate give you the opportunity to experience more than one National Park with a combination of activities and it is close to Nairobi so we can get two nights camping on the shores of Lake Naivasha and a night at Nakuru National Park. We’ll also be able to take boats out on to Lake Naivasha to see the wallowing Hippo and, if you are interested, a visit to Elsamere, the former home of the late Joy Adamson who, together with her husband George, became world famous for their pioneering conservation work and relationship with the lioness Elsa (Born Free). There are also some great walks around the lake, we can arrange for some games and swimming at the campsite and there are options to cycle through Hells Gate.
Samburu Game Reserve would give us two nights camping inside the Reserve and a further third night back in Naro Moru before returning to Nairobi. Samburu Reserve is an arid, hilly region with riverine forests, acacia woodland and scrubland, offering a dramatic and rugged landscape in a rather remote location of Kenya - which is precisely the attraction of this reserve - fewer tourists in a wildlife rich, desert like setting. We’ll also be able to visit and learn about the local Samburu people and their way of life.
Meru National Park would again give us two nights camping inside the National Park and a further third night back in Naro Moru before returning to Nairobi. Meru is even less frequented than Samburu and although it has a higher scenic value to Samburu the bush landscape makes spotting wildlife a little more difficult. However, with seven rivers flowing through the Park there will always be an abundance of watering holes where you will see plenty of wildlife, including the black rhino, crocodile and plenty of elephant.
Masai Mara would more than likely involve a night on the shores of Lake Naivasha where we can do the boat trip out on to the lake before getting to the Mara for two nights camping, returning to Nairobi in the morning of day 13. Masai Mara needs no introduction and although will be by far the busiest with tourists flocking to the region all year round, it is also the park which gives the best chance of seeing the widest variety of wildlife.
Activities and Highlights
Activities during the camps will include camping, cooking, organising games, camp fires in the evening, day visits to local tourist attractions, visits to the other schools and projects supported by Moving Mountains in the area, home visits to experience the daily lives of the children you are camping with and educational/health classes with the kids. There will also be competitions and we’ll try to involve all the kids at the school as much as possible.
Aside from the camp there will be the renovation/building project which will depend on the particular area you are in and will involve working alongside our Moving Mountains Community Action Team (a group of former street children who are now fully trained in a range of skills and employed by Moving Mountains to work and develop all our projects in Kenya) in a real hands-on and hard work experience. The project could anything from building schools in Solio or Nairobi to renovating the Rescue Centre in Embu or agricultural development in Western Kenya
Our hope is that the trip will show you a new world and give you the chance to make a real difference by working with children from some of the harshest and poorest backgrounds. Perhaps for the first time, you will come face to face with poverty and witness first hand how hard people work just to get by but you will also see how people are so happy and friendly - it's a humbling and wonderful experience to help run a camp and work on a Moving Mountains project in a part of Kenya that truly needs the support and of course to see first hand what it means to really tackle aid in Africa.
All our projects in Kenya are part of a long-term sustained programme by our charity Moving Mountains. Over the years we have built numerous classrooms, laboratories, computer rooms, libraries, kitchens, water bore holes/pumps, special needs facilities and we have provided children with text books, reading books, stationery, school uniforms, laboratory equipment and have also sponsored students through their education.
All of our International Development Projects have been identified, researched, assessed, priced and approved by our charity Moving Mountains.
The following are the current area's where we are re-building and developing schools, it is likely that the location of the camp and project will be in one of the following locations;
TIGITHI - NARO MORU
Tigithi was a rural Primary School located near Naro Moru on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, surrounded by forest and small subsistence farms the area has faced increasing economic problems with a prolonged drought devastating the crops. Moving Mountains started the renovation work at Tigithi in the summer of 2008 and have since renovated all the classes for the Primary School, leaving just the Early Child Development Centre to be re-built and the administration block. Tigithi Primary has already moved up the performance league tables and is now one of the top performing public schools in the District.
As a result of this, Moving Mountains has agreed with the local committee and the Ministry for Education in Kenya to help build a Secondary School on the grounds of Tigithi Primary (the Primary School has already signed over the land to the Secondary School) which will provide quality, affordable Secondary education for all the children in the area, something which is currently lacking. A Secondary School in Kenya requires a minimum of 4 classrooms (Forms 1 - 4), a laboratory, male and female toilets, an administration block and possibly on-site accommodation for teachers to allow the school to be fully operational and to receive financial support from the Government.
Ulamba is our orphanage located in rural Western Kenya and for any school building project in this area Ulamba will be your base and home. Ulamba is one part of a wider plan to bring education and support to an entire community, which includes 8 different schools in the District, Siaya District Hospital and Dophil Clinic and on the grounds of Ulamba, an Early Child Development Centre, Health Clinic, Community Centre, Volunteer Guest Houses and small farm.
The 8 schools in the area are all at varying levels of completion, some will just need a final classroom, kitchen, library, etc built and others are in the early stages of development. The schools include Wagwer Primary and Secondary School, Wagai Primary, Barkawadhu Primary, Kayieye Primary, Komouk Primary, Nyasidhi Primary and Barkatado Primary. Western Kenya is very rural and like Tigithi the majority of the area is made up of small subsistence farms which have struggled to produce good crops due to the prolonged droughts in East Africa.
Solio is an area in central Kenya, close to Mount Kenya, and is currently home to an estimated 10,000 internally displaced families (who were evicted from the slopes of Mt Kenya and the Aberdares as part of a Government environmental project) spread out over seven separate villages. By the end of 2008, 4 acre plots had been allocated to every family and new communities were becoming established. However, lack of funding, irrigation and adverse weather conditions made subsistence farming very difficult.
Moving Mountains is working on a number of long term projects in the Solio villages, including building homes, health facilities and the provision of clean and accessible water for everyone. We’ve also started to support a few individual children and families who are in urgent need of support and are developing our Black Cats Sports. Each village has a Primary School which needs classrooms and facilities and in the future we plan to work with the Government to provide quality, affordable Secondary education for all the children of Solio.
In Embu our main priority is the high number of street children in the area and we have a Rescue Centre which provides meals on a daily basis for all the kids as well as providing free education classes, toilets and washing facilities and maybe most importantly of all, a safe and welcoming environment where the kids can receive advice, encouragement, support and medical help. We have a number of real success stories among these boys and girls with a large number getting back in to the education process, returning to their families, setting up successful businesses, moving in to homes and joining our ‘Black Cats’ Football Club where they realise their value to society and are given the spring board to get away from the dangerous life on the streets.
We also support and are in the process of developing two Primary schools called Urban and Embu County (both of which are made up of kids from the main slums which surround the schools), a school for children with special needs and outside the town, a small rural Primary school called Gatwe Primary.
Nairobi is where Moving Mountains started with their support of Muthurwa Primary School in the Industrial Slums and the children who were living on the streets in this area. Things have developed since then and we run our flag-ship ‘Black Cats’ Football Club with girls and boys, junior and senior teams competing in a variety of cups and competitions across Kenya.
We also work in Africa’s second largest slum Kibera, where we have developed and support Ushirika Community Clinic. Ushirika is also the base for our HIV/Aids Community Outreach program with a team of health workers and volunteers working daily in the slum to provide medical and nutritional assistance and counselling to families and individuals affected with HIV/Aids, the schools we work with in Nairobi vary from large Government Primary schools to small slum Primary schools in Kibera.
Value of Your Visit
Moving Mountains main support comes from the clientele of Adventure Alternative, and these school building trips are very much part of the policy of the company to raise funds for Moving Mountains projects and provide revenue and support for our programmes. The money that comes from the trip costs provides an external cash injection into a small community, which could be everything from the local Mama's selling hand-made artwork and jewellery to the guy by the roadside selling fresh fruit and vegetables from his farm.
We don't allow your visit to prevent local people from gaining employment, in fact it will achieve the opposite. The whole company is set up to provide training and development and careers for local people, and your visit enables AA and MM to maintain a high level of investment into capacity building and providing full time employment.
Type of People
The trip is orientated towards the achievement of a specific International Development project in Kenya. It therefore seeks to recruit motivated people who, along with the other participants, will carry out fundraising up to the project capital cost. There are no specific skills required to get involved in our renovation and construction projects, everything can be taught on the ground by the Moving Mountains Community Action Team and we use a number of innovative building styles across the country to helps us keep project costs to a minimum. However, it will be hard work and long hours, building a school in Kenya will have you lifting, carrying, painting, plastering and of course building!
Team work plays a big part of the trip, and you should be aware that most of the locations have facilities fitting to an African setting. Accommodation throughout could be in either local hotels or walk-in safari tents and we could be using shower tents and ‘long drop’ toilets for the majority of our time in Kenya.
Dates and Itinerary
Our International Development trips have advertised dates for individuals to sign up, if you represent a group who would prefer to be a private team then please look at the private group options below.
Our International Development Projects are trips which look for committed and enthusiastic people who want to go on an adventure but undertake a worthy project whilst there, so you leave the country better than when you arrived.
It is possible to extend trips by one week, two weeks or even longer. Generally the community action team need about 3 or 4 weeks to complete the work depending on the building technique used so if you have more time available please do let us know. All trips aim to complete a project so this means that the work will commence before the start date of the trip, it is during this time that you will be able to extend your time building at the schools/projects.
There is also plenty of opportunities to stay on for longer in Kenya and extend your time either by climbing Mt Kenya, or Kilimanjaro in neighbouring Tanzania, or you could go on a safari or visit some of the other Moving Mountains projects and get involved volunteering at our orphanage in Western Kenya, the Rescue Centre for Street Children in Embu or with our Black Cats Sports Programmes across Kenya.
The core dates cover a two week period, which starts with your arrival in Nairobi and a rest, briefing and sightseeing day. We then travel by road to the project site where we set up camp. The next week is spent implementing the project and camping with the kids whose lives are directly affected by the project that you will be working on with them. After a closing ceremony we'll head off on overland safari before returning to Nairobi at the end of the two weeks for an evening meal celebration.
Time in Country
All of our International Development Projects have been identified, researched, assessed, priced and approved by our charity Moving Mountains. The next stage of the process is project implementation and for this we need people to help us firstly raise the funds to cover the costs of project development and then assist with implementation on the ground, which is what all our International Development trips aim to achieve.
|1||Arrive in Nairobi, where you will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative Kenya and Moving Mountains Kenya who will remain with you throughout the entire trip. Overnight and meeting the staff, briefing, trip preparation and visits to Nairobi projects/tourist attractions.|
|2||Morning drive in one of Adventure Alternative’s converted overland trucks (which will also remain with the team for the duration of the trip) to your project where we will set up camp on location, meet all staff and children at the school as well as the relevant committee members and of course the kids who will be joining you for the camp.|
|3-8||Africamp & renovation project|
|9||Closing ceremony at project site and farewells to the kids who will return home.|
|10-13||Early start on day 10 to reach National Park/Game Reserves in good time, there are a couple of options for the safari and all are great areas to visit for very different reasons. With groups we generally like to use Naivasha and Nakuru as there are plenty of opportunities for other activities and with Nakuru being such a compact Park it allows you to see an abundance of wildlife over a shorter time frame but the project location could cause variations in safari location/itinerary.|
|14||We’ll be back in Nairobi early evening on day 13 for a celebration/farewell meal/party before departing Kenya on day 14. An evening departure will allow us the full day to visit any projects and tourist attractions that we may not have had a chance to visit on day 1.|
Each day will give you the opportunity to get involved with different aspects of building. You could find yourself making the actual bricks that will be used in the construction, laying the foundations of the classroom, building the walls, putting on the roof, and putting in windows, plastering, painting and generally finishing the job by helping to organise for chairs, tables, cupboards, etc to be made locally and delivered to the site.
It will be an early start every day and generally you will work as long as there is light available but the Community Action Team are with you every step of the way and we will arrange for Adventure Alternative staff to be on hand to provide meals, although you are welcome and encouraged to get involved with this too.
You should expect basic facilities, toilets are likely to be of the 'long drop' variety, washing could be with a bucket in a shower tent and electricity may only be provided by generator. This is certainly not a holiday but an opportunity to get involved in a project which is of long term benefit to a whole community well away from any sort of tourist trail in this beautiful country.
At the end of your trip with us you have the opportunity to stay in Kenya and get involved with other volunteering options or climbs and safaris but if you prefer there is also plenty of opportunities for some independent travel. We can still help you with this and ensure that where you are going and where you stay will be safe. We can provide a friendly face in most towns in the country, and our company in Kenya can act as a back-up for emergencies and leaving gear. However you will be responsible for yourself if on independent travel, and it is important to understand that although we take a moral responsibility, we can't be on hand every day. You should see this as an additional service of safety and advice if you choose to travel a bit by yourself or with some friends after your trip with us.
Private Group Option
If you represent a larger group (usually 10 or more people) then we can work with your dates so that the trip can be undertaken at a time that suits you. We can run the Adult Africamp trip all year round though there is more chance of rain in April/May and November.
Friends of MM trip to Kenya cost: £795.00
- Adventure Alternative UK organisation of your trip
- Adventure Alternative Kenya staffing and ground logistics
- Medical back-up from Interhealth
- All internal transport to and from project, on safari and airport transfers
- Accommodation, either in AA guest houses or walk-in safari tents
- All meals and bottled water in-country
- All National Park fees and permits.
- All activities in the itinerary
- All payments and donations made to host communities and individuals from the trip fee
- Moving Mountains fundraising target; minimum of £500 per person. This is paid directly to our charity so you can set up online fundraising pages and claim gift aid.
- International air-fare
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Vaccinations & anti-malaria tablets
- Tourist Visa
- Personal costs (email, phone laundry, souvenirs, tips etc)
Cost of Add-Ons and Some Optional Extras
Mount Kenya: £895.00
5 day trek to the summit of Point Lenana, Mount Kenya's highest trekking peak
Extend your trip and volunteer on any of our projects across Kenya for £150 per week. This money goes to the programmes and to the Kenya operation.
Mount Kilimanjaro: £1,195.00
7 day trek to the 'Roof of Africa'
We advise you to take out your insurance as soon as possible to cover potential events that might cause you to cancel your trip.
Your trip fee is calculated to benefit as many local individuals and organisations as possible. Adventure Alternative Kenya manages your trip and the revenue we give them from this trip and others allows them to employ 26 people in the office. Additionally we use small local operations and businesses for services and accommodation, which feeds money into local economies and communities. This is a big part of our commitment to the principles of Fair Trade Volunteering, which tries to ensure that companies follow a moral responsibility to make sure that the host community gets some of the money from tourism, and it doesn't end up costing them to look after you.
Adventure Alternative Kenya is a company which was set up by Gavin Bate, and it employs a lot of people. Since we work with AA Kenya to ensure a wage level which is well above the average in Kenya, this means that visitors like you are contributing to establishing a proper employment policy which actually lets people plan their futures, and put their children into school.
The trip fee also helps to pay for a multitude of profit share programmes in-country, and all of them benefit the community and the beneficiaries. For example, sleeping at Ulamba in Western Kenya involves a payment from Adventure Alternative which goes to the charity and enables it to look after the 40+ children and the 6 staff there.
The school building programmes at Tigithi, Western Kenya, Solio, Embu and Nairobi will all benefit from your presence, but also from the external cash that we bring into the area courtesy of your visit. We employ many local people and nobody is left out. A school will benefit from having a new structure, courtesy of your visit, and that school will be part of a long term action plan that we have with the Board but you'll also find that many other people in the local community benefit, everyone from the ladies washing clothes to the family selling fruit from their farm. During your trip you will be able to talk to the Kenyan staff and be a part of this process so it is completely open.
Some people think that building something is not really beneficial to a community, and we agree with that, but only if there is no long term plan. If your presence helping our Community Action Team to renovate a classroom is part of our long term plan to refurbish an entire school and work with the education authorities to improve academic performance by 25% and intake by 30%, then for sure your visit is creating a lot of local benefit! This is what we do, and have been doing for many years. It's the link between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains that allows commerce to support charity; charity provides capital investment and company promotes revenue. Read more on the Responsible Tourism pages and the More Info section for a detailed discussion of this and much more.
Adventure Alternative Kenya is the main local provider; it has all the staff, the vehicles, the tents/camping equipment and guesthouses to manage your stay and also all our school trips, safaris and expeditions. We have spent many years providing the investment and training to get AA Kenya to the point it is at now, and we are very proud of it! We don't outsource and we keep an eye on all the agreements and contracts to make sure that nobody is exploited or taken advantage of.
Adventure Alternative has an enviable amount of resources, including our own transport, guesthouses and a huge network of support across the country, from teachers to Doctors to tribal chiefs and authorities. We do not outsource our responsibities so you can be sure of the safety and integrity of what we offer and do.
Prior to your trip and when you return you have full back-up and support from the UK office with Chris Little and Andy MacDonald, who have both been organising and leading our Kenya trips for over ten years. Both will know all the projects and area's that you could be working at and will be able to provide you with a genuine insight in to life in the area's you will be visiting.
We also work with Interhealth, which provides a complete medical service for overseas travellers including medical back-up during your trip on an emergency line which is 24/7. Plus we are part of the Know Before You Go Campaign and recommend you register with the Locate programme run by the Foreign Office.
Discounts may be available for add-on treks & climbs depending on numbers and whether your trek is joining up with an advertised trek on our website
You do not need to be super-fit for this charity holiday as it is focussed more on social interaction and team work than physical exertion. Having said that, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape having exercised regularly and eaten nutritiously over at least the 6 months leading up to the trip.
You do need to be in good health. Any pre-existing medical or dental conditions should be fully appraised by a doctor and their nature fully disclosed to your insurer and to ourselves.
For this trip you don't need to be experienced in foreign travel or experienced in building techniques or working with children or in schools. The programme is designed so that you are the one getting the experience, while at the same time allowing you to interact with our professional staff who can show you their job. We are not expecting you to be experts in any specific or even related fields, but we will expect you to come back with a great deal of knowledge at the end of it.
The most important characteristics you need are openness, willingness to learn and take part, enthusiasm, initiative and a sense of curiosity. Your experience simply as a person from another culture will give you an enormous amount to share with local people who perhaps have less opportunities than you. The trip is very emotional, and you will meet people whose lives seem almost impossible to live, but your interaction with them will help in ways you can't measure.
If you do have specific skills which could be useful please do inform us, you may find that we can build a specific role for you within the trip that will enhance your time in Kenya and prove beneficial to the charity and the children that you are working with. For example, health workers would be able to set up health awareness talks with all the kids during the camp or an electrician may be able to pass on his skills and tricks of the trade to our Moving Mountains Community Action Team.
Adventure Alternative Support
We provide a complete raft of support for you and the team. It's quite hard to put into words just how big our network is in Kenya. We have many staff and many people who all work indirectly for the charity, from schools and authorities to committees and business people. We provide all the transport, staff, all the equipment and all the necessary support systems for you, such as membership of Flying Doctors, links with the hospitals and membership of the Kenyan Association of Tour Operators.
Meanwhile in the UK we have a full office of staff planning your trip, monitoring your time in Kenya, chatting daily with the staff and on hand at any time for advice or emergencies. All of us have been working in Kenya for many years and our links with the likes of the Foreign Office, the British Embassy, the local police and authorities are all good and strong.
Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the communities that you are placed in. As such, you will be an ambassador for both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many young people looking up to you as a role model. You need to appreciate what responsibility you are taking on in this respect and to conduct yourself in an appropriate way. Don't be afraid of this, it's simply something to be aware of. Most cultures in developing countries are naturally conservative and traditional, but they are also fun-loving and naturally demonstrative and curious, so you might be surprised by just how much they fit in with our culture.
Also, don't forget that they will be a role model to you, this is not a one way process where you get to do all the giving! Actually, you may be surprised to find that the person benefitting the most is you. The staff who work for MM and AA are all inspirational and motivated people, highly educated and passionate, and many of them came from very difficult backgrounds. Their life story will amaze you, and their natural positive attitude to life will mean that they will almost certainly become a role model to you as well.
The Promise to Moving Mountains
Moving Mountains started as a small charity in 1991 when Gavin Bate was teaching in the slums of Kenya. Some of the children he taught are now adults and working for the charity and the company. Along the way Gavin has put into action a set of beliefs in how a charity should best be run. This is nothing to do with helping a single poverty stricken child, but a way of running a community which can break free of poverty and not become reliant on others for handouts. It defines the way money is spent, how it is distributed, and how it fits in with the wider needs. It doesn’t focus on the child, but on how the child is brought up in the family and the community. It’s taken nearly twenty years of experience to get to the point where Moving Mountains is now a big charity which has such a successful ‘business model’ that the communities themselves love.
We want you to be a part of it, but we ask that you respect our system. We have rules, which include not giving ‘things’ to children and not making private arrangements for personal sponsorships or gifts or money. We have seen this happen before, and it has never worked. The local communities respect a system that doesn’t just hand it out, but gives them a chance to become owners of something successful and long-term, like any self-respecting person. It’s easy to fall into the trap of responding to an emotional response and just handing over money, but that isn’t aid and it doesn’t actually help. What helps is clever expenditure of money, a strategy to spend it properly, and the realisation that money is hard to come by in any society.
Your trip is enough to make a difference. It’s part of something successful and inspiring, and it’s part of a vision that somebody had a long time ago. Your promise to us is to let that vision continue.
We love feedback, but don't wait until you come home or wait until you can write to the Director of the company with which you booked. If you have comments then bring them up with the staff, tell them how good they are or how something upset you. There's nothing we can do in retrospect except apologise for something not being right, but if you bring it up then we can improve and change. Don't at all feel embarrassed or bad about this, the fact that our staff are Kenyan or British or Nepalese makes no difference to us, we are all the same people working for the same company! Some things you will find shocking - a typical example is how corporal punishment is still used in Kenya, which can be hard to watch - but don't keep your thoughts hidden.
- Rucksack or duffle, 65-90 litres (check airline for weight allowance)
- Small day pack, approx 20-25 litres (hand luggage for flight)
- Sleeping Bag (2 season is ideal)
- Sleeping Mat/Therm-A-Rest
- Clothing should be conservative and comfortable
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Warm fleece
- Good walking boots (for project work) & trainers
- Flip flops/sandals
- Wide brim sunhat
- Sun glasses with good UV protection
- Sun cream - with a high UVA protection
- Wash kit and travel towel
- Camera - plus charger unit
- Mobile phone - an old model which is unlocked
- Head torch - LED are best
- Money belt - to conceal cash, passports, etc
- Personal first aid kit
- 1 litre aluminium water bottle (helps to keep water cool)
- Insect repellent
- Small padlocks with security code
- Country guide book
- Local language phrasebook
- Notebook, stationery, pens
Additional Kit Info
Mosquito nets are built in to the doors of our walk-in safari tents however you may wish the added protection that a mosquito net can provide (nets can be purchased in Kenya).
For sleeping you will need a bag and a mat, and do take along a liner made out of cotton to keep the bag clean and to sleep in if it gets too hot.
Don't take your most expensive stuff and leave expensive watches and things at home if you can. Take an old mobile phone for example and be careful with expensive things like ipods and cameras. Keep your money somewhere safe in a moneybelt. Do not bring large wads of notes with you, if you take sterling cash then make sure they are Bank of England notes, not regional notes eg Northern Irish or Scottish notes.
No need to bring cutlery etc, we have all that for you in Nairobi.
Also don't forget:
Your passport - valid for at least six months beyond the return date.
Insurance - comprehensive travel and medical insurance cover.
Immunisation booklet - with details of all the jabs you've had.
Photocopy of your passport (kept seperately from your passport).
List of emergency telephone numbers - to cancel/call insurers, credit/debit cards.
Tickets and itinerary - remember to leave copies of these with friends or family.
Money - a mixture of some cash and credit/debit card.
List of useful contact numbers - such as British Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.
Clothing is very much a personal preference though we would advise lightweight and loose fitting, synthetic or a poly/cotton mix tend to be a little more comfortable and quicker drying.
Take a selection of normal and old clothes, and remember you can wash everything while in Kenya, and you can buy pretty much anything you need in the markets and shops. In fact most of the clothing which we throw away here ends up in the street markets in Nairobi, so you can go there and buy them all back again! Take a jacket or fleece for cooler evenings, and remember to take a selection of short and long sleeved items, so you've got cover from the sun and protection from biting insects in the evening.
Old clothes will be used for the everyday project; they will get dirty, covered in paint, etc. You need travel clothes which are clean for the travelling home bit, and for Nairobi, but in the schools and during the projects you can just wear the old clothes.
Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and the childrens homes. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn, shoulders should remain covered and legs covered to the knee at least, particularly outside Nairobi.
- We are driven by good intentions and not just good practise; our trips work with professional bodies that work full time in the field of international development.
- We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits.
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company has promoted sustainable development since 1995, and it is still growing!
- We work with Moving Mountains which is tightly linked with the company, and provides relevant long term programmes and projects that benefit the host communities.
- Financial security guaranteed as Adventure Alternative is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) and has secured financial bonding with AmTrust Europe and complies with all the legal requirements for a tour company.
- We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
- Our staff only work for Adventure Alternative.
- We use low cost sustainable technologies and a business model which incentivises a local NGO.
- We have independent research to evaluate and assess the projects we run.
- We have credibility because our projects are not all self-regulated, but assessed in a collaborative process that involves many stakeholders such as the community leaders, the NGO staff and the regulatory bodies in-country.
- We have progressive ideas about the structural determinants of poverty and the implementation of 'clever aid' to create sustainable benefits.
- We don't take people's jobs, we use these trips to invest in people.
- We fulfil the criteria of Fair Trade Volunteering.
- Our projects and programmes determine the trip, not the other way around.
- We believe in what we do, and we have the experience to carry it out.