Anyone visiting Western Kenya on a Medical Elective or to volunteer with the Moving Mountains Trust will spend time in our Guest House or Guest Rooms on the site of Ulamba Children's Home and Community Village, located in this rural location on the Siaya to Kisumu road. Aside from the Children's Home at Ulamba (which also has a baby unit), there is also an Early Child Development Centre (ECD or Nursery), a small farm with dairy cows, chickens and crops, a large community hall, play area and a community bore hole.
Moving Mountains has also developed, re-built and improved a number of Primary Schools across the region and built a Secondary School which is attached to one of the Primary Schools (Wagwer Primary and Secondary School). This includes re-building and improving the classrooms and learning facilities for the thousands of children who have benefitted, but we've also also built administration blocks, installed bore holes and developed eco-kitchens in a number of them.
Photo above: Ulamba kids playing games with Moving Mountains volunteers at Children's Home
The Moving Mountains Guest House is a separate house built at the opposite end of the grounds to the Children's Home and the Guest Rooms are attached to the main buildings. Both have a living and eating area, kitchens, showers and toilets and bedrooms, although there is currently only one western toilet. Most of the toilets at Ulamba are of the 'long drop' variety. There is also full time security on-site.
Ulamba Children's Home is central to all our projects in the region and most of the schools are either walking distance or a short drive away. Siaya District Hospital is located in Siaya town, which is about 30 minutes drive from Ulamba and the Dophil Community Clinic in the market town of Luanda, which was also developed by Moving Mountains and cares for the majority of medical cases with the Ulamba kids, is about 20 minutes drive from Ulamba in the opposite direction to Siaya
Photo above: Volunteers Guest House at Ulamba Children's Home
Between the guest house and the guest rooms there are a total of 6 basic but comfortable bedrooms which can each accommodate 2-3 people depending on the room. All have either large single or bunk beds with mosquito nets. Bedding is provided and all rooms now have electricity (until 2013 electricity hadn't reached this part of Kenya), although power cuts are frequent, particularly during the rainy seasons of March/April and October/December.
Photo above: One of the living areas at Ulamba
Although Western Kenya is not on Kenya's traditional tourist trail, there is still plenty to see and do, including Kakamega National Park (the only tropical rainforest in Kenya), Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake by area) where you can take boats out to search for the wallowing Hippo and a number of other small Reserves and area's of interest. Kisumu, the capital of Western Kenya, is less than a one hour drive from Ulamba and it boasts a number of excellent hotels, a thriving nightlife, museums, animal sanctuaries and traditional market stalls where you can try your hand at bartering or large supermarkets with cinemas and restaurants attached.
Barack Obama's grandfather is buried at his home close to Ulamba and our staff can help to arrange a visit where you can meet and talk with Obama's adopted grandmother who has dedicated her life to helping orphans and dis-advantaged children who live around her home, its a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours and she has lots of stories about Barack Obama to share. Across the nearby border with Uganda you also have access to gorilla treks and Kampala is about 4 hours drive from Ulamba.
Photo above: Mist rises over Kakamega National Park
Ulamba is an 8 hour drive from Nairobi, or alternatively you can take a domestic flight in to Kisumu airport, where it is less than an hours drive to Ulamba. The drive from Nairobi is an experience in itself as you drive north along the Great Rift Valley before heading west through the huge tea plantations of Kericho and past Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria to finally reach the rural traditional homes and small farms set among the rolling hills of Western Kenya.
Contact us for further information on the Ulamba Guest House and Rooms and booking accommodation (if you are booking a volunteering or elective placement in Western Kenya accommodation is already included).