Our Medical Camp in Kenya is an overland adventure to the stunning rural setting of Nyanza Province in Western Kenya where we will run a free Medical Camp in one of the poorest populated regions of East Africa. The trip is in association with the Moving Mountains Trust who have been developing many sustainable projects in this beautiful part of the world well away from the traditional tourist trail.
The trip finishes by experiencing some more of Kenya's diverse culture and wildlife on safari at Kakamega National Park and the shores of Lake Naivasha where there are opportunities for cycling safari's in Hell's Gate National Park and a climb on the stunning Mount Longonot. There are plenty of opportunities to extend your time after the trip and continue exploring the National Parks and Game Reserves of Kenya, late August is a very good time to witness the Great Migration in Masai Mara.
Travelling to Western Kenya takes you out of the busy capital of Nairobi and along part of the Great Rift Valley before heading west through the tea plantations of Kericho, along the shores of Lake Victoria and finally the traditional rural homes of Western Kenya and across the Equator to reach our 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village' where we'll set up camp and settle in to the new surroundings.
The medical camp will run over 10 days and there will be other opportunities to gain experience in a local clinic developed with the support of the Moving Mountains and at the over-worked and under-funded Siaya District Hospital. There is also plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the Children's Home and experience sustainable development at our other charitable projects in the area. There are more photo's and further information about the Kenya Medical Camp available on the dedicated website for students from Bristol University (you don't have to be a Bristol University student to access this website).
This video describes a bit about the relationship between Adventure Alternative and the charity Moving Mountains from the founder Gavin Bate.
Experience needed for our Medical Camps
For this trip you don't need to be a fully qualified physician although we usually encourage groups to be mainly made up of 3rd year students, however we're also happy to provide limited spaces to 1st and 2nd year students. The programme is designed so that you are giving a valuable service but also gaining fantastic experience with the support of local Doctors and Dentists. 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 can be 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.
Medical Camp in Kenya itinerary
The core dates cover a 19 day period, which starts with your arrival in Nairobi. The second day is a travel day to Western Kenya before spending a total of 12 nights based at Ulamba Children's Home on the Medical Camp.
On day 14 we transfer to the stunning Kakamega National Park to start our overland safari, we'll overnight here and then head back down along the Great Rift Valley to set up camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha for three more nights, where you can enjoy a number of optional extra's, including boat trips on Lake Naivasha, a visit to Elsamere, a cycling safari through Hells Gate National Park, a day climb on the impressive Mount Longonot or just some R&R on the shores of Lake Naivasha. We'll head back to Nairobi on the late afternoon of day 18 for the final night of the itinerary.
|1||Arrive in Nairobi and transfer to a secure camp on the outskirts of Nairobi (Wildebeest Eco-Camp - near Nairobi National Park) for introductions, trip briefing and some R&R (accommodation and food in Nairobi not included, you can book directly with Wildebeest Eco-Camp in dorms, garden tents with shared bathrooms or luxury ensuite garden tents, or alternatively you can camp in tents provided by us and pay on arrival.|
|2||Early morning start in private vehicles to reach Ulamba Children's Home in Western Kenya where we'll set up camp in the early evening. It is a long but enjoyable drive along part of the Great Rift Valley, past the tea plantations of Kericho, Lake Victoria and the traditional homes and small farms of rural Western Kenya. Meet the Ulamba kids and the Children's Home staff in the evening and watch the sun set over Western Kenya.|
|3||Day to visit some of the Moving Mountains projects in the area, as well as visiting some rural homes of Moving Mountains beneficiaries to give yourself a good insight in to life in Western Kenya and introduce you to some of the difficulties faced by the local community. Meet local Doctors, Dentists and Medical Staff who will be working with you on the Medical Camp and final preparations for the camp starting on the following day.|
|4-13||10 day Medical Clinic which will be largely based at Ulamba, however there will also be opportunities to get experience in local clinics and hospitals. The clinic will start on day 4 and finish on day 13 with an evening celebration with all the staff, kids and volunteers at Ulamba. The Ulamba children tend to be off school throughout August so it's a great time to be around Ulamba.|
|14||Pack up camp at Ulamba and transfer to Kakamega National Park for an overnight camping adventure in this stunning rainforest which is the perfect location for bird watching and forest treks and despite the dense forest you can still catch a glimpse of a bush pig, giant forest hedgehog and colobus or debrazzar monkey.|
|15||One of the highlights at Kakamega National Park is an early morning trek to a highpoint within the Park to watch the sun and mist rise over the forest canopy below, after which we'll make breakfast and break camp to continue our journey back towards Lake Naivasha where we'll set up camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha for the next 3 nights.|
|16 - 18||3 days for R&R and safari activities at Lake Naivasha - Our staff can help arrange a number of optional extra activities in the area, including cycling safari's through Hell's Gate National Park, day climbs to the summit of Mount Longonot (2776m), boat trips out on to the lake to see the swooping Fish Eagle and wallowing Hippo, visits to Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamson and swimming at the camp. On the late afternoon of day 18 we return to Nairobi for our final night (accommodation and food in Nairobi not included, you can book directly with Wildebeest Eco-Camp in dorms, garden tents with shared bathrooms or luxury ensuite garden tents, or alternatively you can camp in tents provided by us and pay in Kenya.|
|19||An afternoon or evening departure will give you the chance to visit the likes of David Sheldricks Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Centre and / or a visit to a medical clinic developed by Moving Mountains in Kibera, sub-Saharan Africa's largest slum but you are free to depart at any time on this date. We can also help you with any optional add-ons at this stage, such as climbs on Mt Kenya or to the 'Roof of Africa' on Kilimanjaro, advice on beach travel, extended safari's to the likes of the Masai Mara or volunteering on other Moving Mountains projects around Kenya.|
Accommodation throughout will be provided in comfortable and spacious safari tents.
Food will be plentiful and of a high standard, provided by our Adventure Alternative Kenya staff (meals in Nairobi are not included). On travel days it tends to be lighter pic-nic lunches but dinners will be cooked, and a mix of both local dishes and western dishes. Expect to try the stable diet of ugali with vegetable stews, lots of potatoes, rice and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Bottled water will also be provided throughout the trip, as well as tea, coffee, juice, etc.
There will be electricity in most locations, and we'll have generators for back up but be aware that we will not be able to provide for lots of people with different gadgets, phones, ipads, etc. In Western Kenya they experience frequent power cuts and the generators cannot charge at the same speed as normal sockets.
Medical Camp in Kenya cost £1395.00
The minimum fundraising target for Moving Mountains is £1,395.00
Our Medical Camps in Kenya are Moving Mountains trips, the total cost for the trip is paid by fundraising through the likes of BT MyDonate so when you are booking please DO NOT make a deposit payment at the checkout, select either bank transfer or cheque for your 'Payment Method' before clicking the 'Make Payment' button, that will allow you to complete the booking process without making any payment.
Participants can make use of fundraising sites like BT MyDonate which automatically add gift aid to donations from UK tax payers, any gift aid raised through BT MyDonate can be put towards your fundraising target. So for example, if you raised £1,000 and it was all donated through BT MyDonate by UK tax payers then a further £250 is added automatically, helping you reach your target. All funds will go towards the following;
- All the medication / medical equipment required for the camp and it's transportation to the location of the Medical Camp
- Qualified local doctors, dentists, pharmacists and medical staff salaries and their food, accommodation and any travel required
- Medical Camp logistics, planning, local promotion and staffing
- Moving Mountains long term health and international development projects in Kenya
- Participants accommodation provided in safari tents on the grounds of our Ulamba Children's Home, in Kakamega National Park and at Lake Naivasha
- Participants transport provided in private safari vehicles or converted overland trucks
- Participants meals throughout the advertised itinerary (excluding time in Nairobi) and bottled water
- Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains staff who remain with you throughout itinerary and all their costs
- Camping fees at Ulamba Children's Home and Kakamega National Park in Western Kenya and at the camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha
- National Park fees at Kakamega National Park
- International flight
- Visa, vaccinations / personal medication required and personal travel insurance
- Accommodation at Wildebeest Eco-Camp in Nairobi on the 1st night and 18th night of the itinerary
- Airport transfers and meals in Nairobi (we can help provide these and you can pay directly in Kenya)
- Any tourist / safari activities in Lake Naivasha and Nairobi
- Personal expenses such as extra snacks, drinks, souvenirs, etc
When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details, however please DO NOT make any payments through your account, this is a Moving Mountains trip and as such all funds need to go to the charity, not Adventure Alternative.
One of the easier ways to raise the funds is by setting up a Justgiving fundraising page and linking it to our Medical Camps events page. Full details of how to do this can be found at 'Support Moving Mountains', gift aid collected through your Justgiving page from UK tax payers can go towards your fundraising target, so for example, if you receive donations of £1,000 on Justgiving from UK tax payers that automatically adds an extra £250 to your fundraising total.
All of our International Development Projects have been identified, researched, assessed, priced and approved by our charity Moving Mountains. All people going on this trip receive a clear breakdown of the projected outcomes and expenditure of the money which has been raised. Some of it is spent on the camp itself - medical supplies, Kenyan medical staff, etc - and some of it goes on the long term sustainable projects that Moving Mountains Kenya are involved with. Another part of the cost goes towards your personal trip costs on the ground in Kenya.
Our local provider is Adventure Alternative Kenya. Adventure Alternative Kenya complies with UK tourism standards and will make all the necessary arrangements in advance to advertise the Medical Camp. They will also work with Moving Mountains Kenya with regards organisation of group stays, medical supplies and local Doctors and Dentists, meetings with local committees, communications between the UK office and Kenya, etc
Medical Camp in Kenya - History
Although this is our first Medical Camp in Kenya we have a long history of running successful Medical Camps in Nepal, and we have been providing very popular placements for Medical Elective students across Kenya for over a decade. This part of Western Kenya has also had dozens of teams visit the area to take part in 'Developmental Aid' projects at Primary and Secondary Schools, Medical clinics and hospitals, water projects and the development of our very own 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village.
Our regeneration projects in Western Kenya is the implementation of a long-term development plan focused around the rural communities of the Siaya Dstrict. Overall enhancement of quality of life and sustainability of the community has so far been achieved via investment in infrastructure, education and healthcare as well as training and reliable employment.
Aside from the more obvious physical and material elements, one of the main achievements has been the rejuvenation of a community far from the traditional tourist trail which saw little benefit from the tens of thousands of people that arrive in Kenya every year. Through improvements in sanitation, schooling, employment and future prospects the communities have started to see the benefits from the years of investment.
The sustained close links of Adventure Alternative to the area has provided locals with a reliable and ethical source of employment and training. Throughout the course of many years, Adventure Alternative has been running school and university trips, volunteer and gap year placements, medical electives and unique safari's. These have brought in charitable donations and also a reliable revenue stream.
So far the physical achievements in Western Kenya include:
- Construction and management of our Ulamba Children's Home
- Installing and maintaining numerous bore-holes in a variety of community-access locations in the Siaya District
- The development and management of the Early Child Development Centre (or Nursery!) on the site of Ulamba
- The construction of guest rooms and a guest house at Ulamba, as well as starting a small farm and renovating the community centre which all help to bring a regular income to the Children's Home
- Complete re-development of numerous schools in the area, including Wagwer Primary, Wagwer Secondary, Kumuok Primary, Wagai Primary, Nyasidhi Primary, Barkatado Primary, Barkawandu Primary, Malunga Primary and Kayieye Primary.
- Support and development of Dophil Community Clinic and support given to Siaya District Hospital
Other initiatives include
- Continual care of dozens of children who come through Ulamba Children's Home
- Funding provided for extra teachers in the schools we develop, at least until a point when the Government puts more investment in (this tends to happen shortly after the re-development of schools)
- Individual sponsorship and support given to dozens of school children in the region
- Our 'Black Cats' sports club has now started in Western Kenya after the success of the Embu teams
- Supporting community cooperative programmes for wealth generation
Visit the Moving Mountains website for more information on our work in Kenya and beyond.
Medical Camp in Kenya - principles
Inclusive and relevant
Our medical camps are open to anybody, and there is a clear understanding that any community event like this can only exist if there is a need that is identified by the local communities.
We have an equal opportunities policy and strict policies regarding child protection, and we are founding members of Fair Trade Volunteering movement.
We ensure that the emphasis on personal development and international development is balanced, and that this medical camp is always part of a long term aim which has been properly evidenced.
Training and preparation
Our support includes preparation from dedicated staff in the UK, which ensures that your time with us is productive and enjoyable and effective. Our staff in both the UK and Kenya are experienced in managing volunteer expectations, and have a background in sustainable development.
Every camp aims to achieve some kind of development impact which has been built up in partnership with a credible partner, in our case Moving Mountains which has decades of experience in social welfare, education and health in developing countries.
We analyse the processes of change that occurs so that there is clear evidence for the need of events like this, and we use impact assessment ‘maps’ to try and define the developmental process.
We communicate with all relevant stakeholders and ensure that the placements are collectively agreed, for example with regional administrations and local Chief's and committees in the Siaya District of Western Kenya.
Integrating with the community
The living arrangements for the camp ensures that volunteers develop a real insight into the lives of the community, which includes visiting homes, shopping locally, cooking local recipes, travelling on local transport and using community facilities like the early child development centres and attending community events.
Long term commitment
During the trip there is always opportunity to meet and share your experience with staff who can help with evaluations and reflection, helping to build on the skills and knowledge and experience being gained. One of the biggest aims of the programme is to encourage people to engage in society on their return and take part in many incentives to promote global healthcare solutions.
We run our trips in East Africa from permanently staffed offices in both Nairobi and Moshi (Tanzania) and our dedicated team provide an excellent service. Many of the staff are former street children and beneficiaries who were supported throughout their childhood by our charity Moving Mountains. Most have been have been involved with both Adventure Alternative and Moving Mountains for well over a decade, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and mountaineer Gavin Bate.
They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak very good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs.
Role model at the Medical Camp in Kenya
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 will not be expected to be a visiting Doctor who sees patients although sometimes of course misunderstanding occurs, we recommend you discuss clearly with the supervisor what you can and can't do, and also make it clear to patients that they are being seen by a student and not a qualified Doctor.
Read our paper on Ethics of a Medical Elective to see more. This takes communication and an ethical attitude from us to make sure your time in-country is not misused.
The promise to Moving Mountains
Adventure Alternative works with the Moving Mountains Trust which operates NGOs in Kenya and Nepal and carries out many long term projects and programmes. Moving Mountains was started by Gavin Bate after many years working with aid organisations and in development, and Adventure Alternative is the company that provides revenue and investment for our local companies to become financially self-sufficient.
This relationship between company and charity began in 1991 and our medical programme has sprung from the relationships we have with the medical authorities and the communities which you will visit. We run long term ongoing medical programmes with Moving Mountains, and also at the request of local communities and hospitals. We have worked with medical authorities in many locations to ensure ongoing continuity as well as medical co-operation with other aspects of our work, for example the children’s homes we build and run, and the satellite private clinics which serve smaller remote communities and take some of the burden off under-funded Government hospitals.
This particular trip has been entirely thought out with the needs of the local people in mind and the impact upon them, and the benefit they can gain from having visitors like you. Its not just a tourist trail, it really is an unusual adventure which is part of a wider ongoing initiative to improve the quality of life of people in this rural part of Western Kenya.
In that respect the trip falls within all the categories of the FairTrade Volunteering trademark, the visit is about making a positive impact on the people who live there. A similar medical programme has been running in the lower Solu-Khumbu region in the mountains of Nepal for several years now and is well established in the community, and we have annual progress reports which prove that event is having a positive impact on healthcare in the region, especially alongside our other aims to provide clean water, a permanent health post and primary healthcare education in the schools. The camps in Kenya will hopefully grow to have the same sort of impact.
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.