Kenya Sabbatical - Kenya
We offer sabbaticals for skilled people to broaden their working experience with Moving Mountains and help people who can benefit from the transferral of skills and experience. The exact nature of the position and the period over which you work is tailored to your personal skills and to the needs of Moving Mountains. We organise all the logistics, accommodation and support that you need through our established network of contacts throughout the country. Your time can also be split between locations and supplemented by periods of travel and exploration.
Every sabbatical is different, but there are some general areas in which we work that will help guide you: teaching, counselling, administration, accountancy, mechanics, building, carpentry, electrician, early child development, community health, sex education, management and football coaching. We will place you with one of the programmes run by Moving Mountains, for a minimum period of 3 months and up to a year. This requires selection and preparation, and we will need to conduct quite a comprehensive interview procedure and checking of your credentials.
We have many staff in Kenya who work for Moving Mountains, and many people who are supported by the charity or who supply indirect support. You will be part of a diverse and varied team, or working in a disciplined environment such as a school. In all cases we provide a strong network of support and resources for your safety and enjoyment. You will have access to our offices and guesthouses, and over time become a respected member of the community. You will not be taking any jobs away from anyone.
Dates and Itinerary
Time in Country
The basic Sabbatical will last for at least 3 months. We have found that this is the minimum ammount of time needed to allow you to settle in, get used to the work and then make progress and fully contribute to furthering the initiative you are involved in. Ideally we would like the placements to last longer that this and it is likely that a stay of 6 months or more will really see you integrate with the community and organisation and really get the most out of your trip. Shorter trips can easily be over before you are really into the swing of things and the lasting benefits for you and for the community are far deminished.
At the end of your sabbatical you will of course have the opportunity to stay in and do some independent travel. We can 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 can act as a back-up for emergencies and for storing belongings and equipment.
Alternatively we can provide bolt-on itineraries ourselves. We have a range of treks, safaris and mountain climbs and can coordinate your sabbatical to tie in with our other group trips. Please feel free to talk to us about this on application.
Kenya Sabbatical cost: £1,250.00
- Airport transfers
- Transport between placement locations (accompanied by Adventure Alternative staff)
- Accommodation and costs (electricity, gas, etc) in Adventure Alternative Guest Houses
- Weekly allowance for food and local transport
- The cost of your placement at the host organisation and any required supervision
- UK administration and organisation
- Kenyan staff and administration costs
- International airfare to Nairobi
- Kenyan Visa - can be purchased on arrival ($50/£30)
- Vaccinations/malarial tablets
- Travel Insurance
- Personal expenses for weekend visits, independent travel, souvenirs, etc
Cost of Add-Ons and Some Optional Extras
Additional Weeks: £150.00
Additional time beyond the minimum 3 month period is charged at the stated rate per week
We can organise bespoke Safari itineraries from around £450. The actual price will depend on the duration of the safari and the locations visited. See our safari pages for ideas and inspiration.
Mount Kenya: £695.00
The beautiful, snow capped peak of Mount Kenya is the second highest point in Africa at 5199m. It is a challenging and popular destination for trekkers and climbers. The main summit is called Batian and the second summit Nelion (5188m), both of which are technical climbs; but a third peak, Lenana, at 4985m is more accessible and a very feasible goal for fit people. Adventure Alternative runs treks and climbs of Mt Kenya all year round and our success rate is 95% for summitting. We run our own company in the country called Adventure Alternative Kenya and we never outsource our clients. Our dedicated team provide an excellent service and we pay our porters and guides the highest wages of all operators on the mountain. Whether your interest is in climbing the technical peaks or trekking to Point Lenana Mt Kenya represents a great challenge for the adventure traveller and aspirant mountaineer. It is a perennial favourite, not to be underestimated, but entirely feasible for the hillwalker looking to combine a high mountain adventure with going to Africa. Our UK trained and proven team, itinerary and experience will ensure you have a wonderful time on this fantastic mountain. This is a discounted rate from the standard climb fee.
Mount Kilimanjaro: £1,045.00
Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, both iconic and instantly recognisable, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. At 5895 metres, to climb Kilimanjaro is a great challenge, not to be underestimated, but entirely feasible for the hill walker looking to combine a high mountain adventure with going to Africa. Adventure Alternative has been running treks on Kilimanjaro since 1996, and with our own company in Moshi we have a reputation for integrity and safe successful trips. We run trips every month and our summit success rate is 95%. We offer four different routes to the top of Kilimanjaro but the most common is the Machame Route; whatever route you take, the itinerary is never less than 7 days, which gives you the chance to acclimatise properly to changing conditions. This is a discounted rate from the standard climb fee.
Nairobi City Tour: £0.00
We can arrange and organise your city tour in Nairobi. We have overland trucks for large groups and safari minivans for individuals or small groups. Price dependent on attractions visited.
You must have a personal insurance policy which covers your Elective and any other activities which you plan to be do while in Kenya.
Your time in Kenya allows us to properly support a number of businesses and charitable projects through investment in staff, upkeep, development, training or simply hiring or utilising existing skills or supplies. By coming out with Adventure Alternative we also make a charitable donation to every institution where you work. Adventure Alternative also uses profits to run the charity Moving Mountains so that it does not have administrative overheads.
The local benefits felt due to you spending time with us in Kenya are huge. Starting at the grassroots level you will directly help all of the patients that you work with. Wider than this then you impact upon the family and friends of your patients, of whom there are many; families in Kenya can be very big! Then there are the doctors and nurses whose work load is lightened by you being there. As the net broadens you also benefit the community by spending your allowance in the local shops, on entertainment, weekend visits or day trips. You also allow us to employ many great people, many of whom where once sponsored by our charity but now employed by the company. Then if you stand back and look at the big picture, one which is and has been a long term plan of Moving Mountains - the continual development of the charity and the locations where the charity works. Your role continues this work and the time you spend there forms part of this ongoing process and all along this journey you are not only giving to the local community but also developing yourself.
Adventure Alternative runs its own company in Kenya called Adventure Alternative Kenya. This company is a registered tour operator and headed up by Kelly Kioko (see our staff page). The company looks after all of your daily needs and manages you whilst in Kenya. The company has a large set up in Nairobi and bases all over the country. It has qualified and experienced staff, vehicles and a large store of equipment and the expertise to ensure your trip runs smoothly, professionally and safely. All the staff have been with us for over a decade and have been trained to a very high standard. They are well used to working with Westerners and will enjoy showing you their country and making sure you have a great time.
No specific training is required before a Sabbatical however we would highly recommend that you read up on Kenya before you travel, in particular the areas that you are planning to travel to. Prior knowledge on the history, cultures, tribes and local customs will only enhance your trip.
You should also read up on how your given trade or profession is practised and administered in Kenya as opposed to your home nation. There may be significant procedural and legal differences that you need to be aware of. Obviously this will vary greatly according to your given profession. We can provide contacts in Kenya to allow you to discuss any implications of issues such as these.
The majority of Kenyans speak very good English and you will have very little trouble communicating but you may find it useful learning a few key Swahili words and phrases. Kenyans will love that you have made an effort to learn their language.
Without doubt you will witness the strong links between Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and the clinics and hospitals that you are placed in. As such you will be an ambassador to both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains and there will be many people looking to you as a role model.
Moving Mountains, with the help and support of Adventure Alternative, has successfully assisted many people and projects around the world. To be able to do this in countries where corruption is a common human trait is no easy task. It takes careful assessment, implementation and management over many years. It also takes years to understand the principles of aid and charity within such communities. Any charitable donations should be made through the appropriate channels and advice should always be sought from our staff.
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 an African 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 Kenyans themselves love it.
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 Kenyans 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.
An average of 40% of your trip fee is spent in-country on your expenses, and a minimum of 10% is given as a direct donation to the institution and 10% is given as a profit share to Adventure Alternative Kenya.
The donations are first of all passed through Moving Mountains and given to each institution quarterly as part of a structured programme of investment which is monitored by our Trustees in Kenya. We don’t just hand over cash, we expect proper plans and projections and we use our own experience with developmental aid to enable hospitals and clinics to properly budget for the future. In addition £10 of your trip fee goes towards our Rainforest Project in Borneo which is planting 40,000 trees every year in Sarawak. This is like a carbon offset programme which costs £10,000 per year.
In addition, a proportion of the gross profit of Adventure Alternative is used to underwrite all the administrative costs of running Moving Mountains, so that we can genuinely say that 98% of every £1 that is donated goes to the beneficiaries. This has been a major part of the ethos of the company and is part of our commitment to commerce supporting charity.
Your time in Kenya allows us to properly support a number of businesses and charitable projects through investing in staff and their upkeep, development, training or simply hiring or utilising existing skills or supplies. We strongly believe that our in-country staff are just the same as our UK staff and deserve all the benefits of full-time employment.
- Mobile phone - an old model which is unlocked
- Sun glasses - not the most expensive model you can find, but a reasonable pair which has good UV protection
- Sleeping liner - keeps your bag clean and you can sleep in it if the night is too warm. Make one out of an old bedsheet!
- Sleeping bag - a synthetic 3 season bag is fine
- Water proof jacket, but also take an umbrella for showers
- Rucksack or duffle about 65-90 litres will be fine
- Wash kit and Travel towel
- Mosquito net, or buy one in Nairobi
- Good shoes and flip flops, you could also take walking boots
- Camera - plus charger unit. A digital camera is fine, but throwaway cameras are great for the kids
- Any contact lens solutions
- Head torch - LED are best
- Money belt - to conceal your money with crocodile type clip to secure it.
- Medical pack / first aid kit
- Sun cream - with a high UVA protection.
- Malaria tablets
- Water bottle - perhaps with a built-in filter
- Water purification tablets
- Insect repellent
- Small padlocks with security code
- A good guide book
- A swahili phrasebook
- Notebook, stationery, pens (you can get these in kenyan supermarkets too)
- Any equipment specific to your profession or trade
Additional Kit Info
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.
Keep your money somewhere safe like in a bumbag. Do not bring large wads of notes with you. If you take sterling cash with you make sure they are Bank of England notes, not regional notes eg Northern Irish notes or Scottish notes.
Do not pack too much and make sure you know where everything is! Remember that Nairobi is a very cosmopolitan city and you can absolutely anything in the stores and supermarkets! Don't bother carrying huge weights of soaps and shampoos with you, you can literally get anything you want on arrival. You can also buy great clothes in the markets, so no need to pack for ten weeks. Most people take about 15 kgs and then buy T-shirts there, and for a fraction the price of home!
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.
Passport photos - take about six of these to be used as identification
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, travellers' cheques and credit cards.
List of useful contact numbers - such as British Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.
- 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 we are AITO bonded.
- 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 are registered with KATO and use the AMREF tourist evacuation scheme with the Kenya Flying Doctors.
- 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 deliver value and an informed choice to our clients, through a highly comprehensive communications network that you can access, and we can provide that evidence to stand behind everything we say.
- 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 Kenya.
- 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.