Kenya Charity Challenge
Our Kenya charity challenge expedition for schools, universities and youth groups to Kenya take you well off the beaten track to experience and get involved with long term sustainable development projects through a hands-on children's camp and charitable development project that is identified, supported, built and maintained by local communities and Moving Mountains in Kenya, thanks largely to your support.
After the camp and project we embark on a challenging 5 day/4 night climb to the summit of Mount Kenya (Point Lenana - 4985m) before finishing the expedition off with an overland safari to experience a bit more of the diverse culture and wildlife that Kenya is famous for as we travel to the world renowned Lake Naivasha, Hell's Gate National Park, and the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
The following video is from a similar expedition in the neighbouring Tanzania and was filmed. edited and produced by a former participant on that particular trip
We have over two decades of evidence that our Kenya charity expeditions have changed lives and communities in Kenya for the better. Most of our Kenyan staff are former street children or beneficiaries of Moving Mountains who attended the camps we ran in the 1990s, they are now young adults who want to give back what they received and continue to forge strong links in slum and rural area's of Kenya which benefit from our involvement, camps and sustainable development projects.
We are founders of the Fair Trade Volunteering movement, and our projects and programmes are determined by the charity Moving Mountains Trust. It's really a case of personal development and international development given equal status, which is how we believe it should be.
This video shows some of the reactions of students from Canada and Kenya during one of the Kenya school adventures:
Kenya charity challenge expedition itinerary
The itinerary is designed to give participants of the Kenya charity challenge expedition a great all round experience which mixes genuine charitable projects and a camp for kids who benefit directly from them with a climb to Point Lenana (4985m) on Mount Kenya before finishing the expedition with an overland safari adventure to explore some of the many National Parks and Game Reserves located across Kenya.
The first half of the trip is spent with our charity Moving Mountains, following a tried and tested plan of organising and running a children's camp while at the same time building and working on the Moving Mountains project, which is decided upon consultation with the local communities and committees that we work with. Over the years we have re-built or established a number of schools across Kenya, the Rescue Centre for Street Children in Embu and our 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village in Western Kenya.
Kenya charity challenge expedition camp and project
The camp program is specifically designed to take in to account the skills and interests of the participants, and as such you will have a lot of input into how it will play out before you arrive in Kenya. For example, you might have a football coach/players in your group, in which case we'll incorporate some training sessions and arrange some friendly matches with local teams and the kids on the camp, or you might have some musicians in the team who could organise a talent contest in one of the evenings, for us it is about making maximum use of the participants skills and interests and providing the local kids and beneficiaries with an experience that they will cherish and remember throughout their lives.
It also gives you the chance to make friends with people from a different culture and to learn some new skills in a safe environment... And have a lot of fun too! We cannot even begin to describe the benefit that this part of the trip has, not just for the local kids but for everyone involved. It is a humbling experience to see children with so little in material terms be able to offer so much and our camps are a great way to encourage and reward children who excel in difficult circumstances.
We use a lot of sport and games to help kids, but we also have the technology to reach out to young people at home too. The following video shows how a Canadian/Kenya football game became a phenomenon that was shared with thousands of school kids over the net:
The camp and project is followed by a challenging 5 day/4 night climb to the trekking summit of Mount Kenya (Point Lenana) and the trip finishes with an exciting and diverse overland safari which combines adventure, game drives, safari walks and cycling through National Parks with some R&R, swimming, boat trips and tourist attractions as we visit a number of National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation areas.
The climb of Mount Kenya is a lot of fun but a big challenge too, have a look at the following video to see and hear the reactions of participants and Kenyans who were climbing it for the first time:
The whole charity challenge expedition amounts to a total of 22 days in Kenya and the standard itinerary is below, however some of the youth groups, schools and universities that we work with prefer to adjust this itinerary to fit with their specific preferences which we can of course accommodate.
Kenya charity challenge expedition - Basic itinerary
|1||Arrive in Kenya and either spend one night at a secure camp outside Nairobi (near Nairobi National Park) or transfer to Lake Naivasha or Lake Nakuru (the location of our first night in Kenya is dependent on the location of the camp and Moving Mountains project).|
|2||Either transfer from Nairobi or continue from Lake Naivasha or Lake Nakuru to set up camp at the project location.|
|3-10||8 full days on our Africamp with children who are benefitting directly from the Moving Mountains project that you working on. Aside from the Moving Mountains building/renovation project expect the camp to include lots of other activities, including visits to the homes of some of the kids that are camping with us, organising games and sports days, arts and craft, teaching and health/educational talks with the kids, visits to local tourist attractions and other Moving Mountains projects in the area, buying and preparing food and camp fires in the evenings.
Our hope is that the trip will show you a new world and give you the chance to live and work with children from some of the harshest and poorest backgrounds. Perhaps for the first time, many of the team will come face to face with poverty and witness first hand how hard people work just to get by. They will also see how people are so happy and friendly - it's a humbling and wonderful experience to help run a camp, work on a sustainable development project in an area of Kenya that truly needs the support and to see first hand what it means to really tackle aid in Africa.
On the afternoon of day 10 we’ll have a closing ceremony with the local community in the morning before the kids return home in the afternoon. We'll have a bit of a farewell/celebration meal in the evening and the final prep for the next leg of our journey across Kenya.
|11||Transfer to the Blueline Hotel on the lower western slopes of Mount Kenya where we’ll meet our guides, porters, check weather, kit and put in the final preparation for the 5 day/4 night climb the following day. The Blueline is a local hotel run by a lady called Nyokabi, who against all the odds has developed a successful business which promotes and supports local women’s groups and is run with a similar ethos to Adventure Alternative, where she invests in and provides employment for people who would otherwise not be given the chance.|
Mt. Kenya is an ancient volcano, much older than Mount Kilimanjaro and the plug which remains has been eroded into the complex jagged outline of central peaks which is visible today. From a distance it dominates the surrounding slopes and valleys. Elephant, buffalo, colobus monkey, and many species of antelope and giant forest hog can be seen in the foothills of the 228 sq. mile National Park.
We start the trek to the summit on day 12 using the Sirimon route, just after the 50km drive around to the Sirimon gate where we will have a picnic lunch to allow the staff to register everyone into the National Park. Today’s trek is just over 4 hours along a path through the forest to reach our first camp at the Old Moses Hut (3300m). A clear evening will reveal the tips of the peaks.
Day 13 is a reasonably early start to make the most of clearer morning conditions as we cross the alpine heath and moorland and traverse around and over a couple of streams and ridges before dropping into the MacKinder Valley. We’ll have lunch en-route before continuing up Mackinder valley towards the main peaks and Shipton's Camp (4230m - 8 hours).
Day 14 is an acclimatisation day and summit preparation day before an early start on the morning of day 15 to reach Point Lenana (4985m) for sunrise, a clear day offers views of Kilimanjaro in the distance and after the successful summit we drop all the way back down to Old Moses Camp, stopping off at Shiptons for breakfast.
Day 16 is a couple of hours back to the Sirimon gate where the overland safari truck will be waiting to transfer us back to the Blueline for welcome hot showers and some R&R and farewells to the porters and guides. We’ll also have a chance to visit Tigithi Primary and Secondary Schools which are a short walk from where we stay; past rural farms and over the Tigithi River to find the school grounds which have been renovated and developed by Moving Mountains and on a clear day there is great views of the Mt Kenya summit.
|17||Transfer to Lake Naivasha where we'll set up camp on the shores of this vast freshwater lake and enjoy some R&R and swimming before taking a boat trip on to Lake Naivasha to search for the wallowing Hippo and swooping Fish Eagles. This is also a day for reflection and to discuss the previous project, camp and children that the team have met and of course summiting Africa’s second highest trekking peak; running an Africamp is an emotional experience and participants get very attached to the kids so our staff will be on hand for support and advice. It helps that many of our Kenyan staff are former beneficiaries or street children who were once the same kids on our camps, and as such can relate to the feelings of the team.|
|18||Day in Hell's Gate National Park where we can cycle alongside giraffe, zebra, warthog, gazelle, buffalo and much more before exploring Hell's Gate gorge with its steaming waterfalls and hot streams.|
|19-21||Three day/two night safari to Kenya's premier Game Reserve, the Masai Mara, which is one of the few places in the whole of Africa where you have a good chance of seeing the 'Big 5' in one day. We'll return to Nairobi on the afternoon of day 21, arriving in the early evening for our final night in Kenya.|
|22||Depart Kenya (late afternoon/evening departures allow for visits to the Giraffe Centre and Sheldricks Wildlife Trust in the morning).|
Kenya charity challenge expedition cost £1,695.00
The above cost is for the advertised itinerary, amendments for private teams may alter this cost depending on the changes made.
- Adventure Alternative UK expedition organisation
- Adventure Alternative Kenya staffing and ground logistics
- All internal transport, airport transfers and travel
- All meals and bottled water
- Accommodation provided in safari tents (mountain tents on Mount Kenya)
- Guide and Porter support on Mount Kenya
- All National Park fees and permits in National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation area's
- All tourist activities in the itinerary
- Medical back-up from Interhealth
- Amref 'Flying Doctor' support
- Moving Mountains fundraising - minimum of £500 per person
- Return flight to Nairobi
- Travel Insurance
- Kenya Visa
- Travel vaccinations and anti-malaria tablets
- Personal spending for souvenirs, snacks, etc
A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. 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 and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
Kenya charity challenge expedition fundraising aim
Aside from the expedition cost paid to Adventure Alternative all participants are required to raise a minimum of £500 for the Moving Mountains Trust. This amount funds the costs of the kids camp, Moving Mountains Kenya staff, the developmental project which you will be involved with and all our other projects across Kenya.
The following is a video which shows you the sorts of projects that the money supports and where some of the Kenya school expedition teams visit. You will see there is a lot of history behind some of the social problems, and our vision is always long term:
Fundraising for charity allows you to use sites like MyDonate and Justgiving where you can set up a personal fundraising page to take advantage of the Gift Aid scheme. Gift Aid adds 25p to every £1 donation from a UK tax payer.
NB: The expedition fee, which is payable to Adventure Alternative cannot be paid using MyDonate or Justgiving.
Travel Insurance - you will need travel insurance for this trip, and normal holiday travel insurance is adequate as long as it covers trekking to 5000m. We advise you to get this insurance early on, so that if you have to make a late cancellation for some reason then you will get all your money back.
Aside from the investment in Adventure Alternative Kenya, there are many more local providers who have benefited from our model of responsible tourism, including small family run businesses like all the market stalls we buy food from or the Blue Line Hotel, our base for all our climbs and expeditions on the Mt Kenya, which continues to develop and expand as a direct result of the business that is provided through Adventure Alternative. Many individuals benefit too, including the kids who join the camp, the guides and porters that accompany us on Mt Kenya or the man that rents bicycles at Hells Gate National Park.
Kenya charity challenge expedition kit list
- 65-75Litre Rucksack (put in duffel on plane) and cover
- 80-120L duffel
- Day Pack (used as hand luggage on flight)
- Stuff sacks, waterproof, various sizes
- Waterproof shell jacket and trousers plus gaiters
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece tops or jumpers
- Trekking trousers, shorts
- Trekking shirts
- Thermals or base layers, tops and bottoms
- Warm hat, neck buff, sunhat
- Sun glasses
- Socks, thin ones, trekking ones and thick ones
- Wakiing Boots, trainers, sandals
- Walking Poles, useful for coming down on the mountain
- Working clothes for project and camp - general selection jeans, tops etc
- 3-4 season sleeping bag (comfort temperature approx -5 deg C) and a compression sack to keep it in
- Sleeping bag liner, made out of cotton, useful to keep bag dry and clean
- Sleeping mat
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Camera, memory card & batteries, phone, mp3 player etc, plus chargers (normal three pin plug is fine)
- 2 x one litre water bottles
- Wet wipes, toothbrush and paste, washkit, hand gel
- Personal Medical Kit - Paracetamol, hand gel, antiseptic wipes, plasters, blister plasters, zinc tape, insect repellant, lip salve, throat lozenges, rehydration sachets (Dioralyte), sunblock cream, water purification tablets, personal medication like inhalers,
- Anti-Malarial tablets as prescribed
- Student Card
- Insurance policy Number & emergency telephone number
- Plane Ticket confirmation & numbers
- Books, cards, games, diary
- Photos of family, house, home area etc to show to your new friends in Kenya, they love to see where you come from!
Note: you must check with your GP for your personal suitability to all medicines and their possible side effects and interactions. Please inform us of the details of all regular medication that you intend to use though the course of your trip and any relevant allergies and medical history related to them.
You also need to check the requirements and regulations of the airline and all countries visited in relation to medications. For example; laws governing transport of some pain control medication and the need keep insulin at a suitable temperature, i.e not in the cargo hold.
Clothing tips for Kenya charity challenge expedition
- Make sure hiking boots are leather (fabric boots should have a waterproof lining) and broken in.
- Clothing for the mountain needs to be quick drying in case it gets wet. Make sure that you have two changes of trekking trousers and a base-layer top and a fleece top as well as a warm coat. It can be well below freezing at night on Mt Kenya and on the first half of summit day.
- Your sleeping bag should be at least three season and you also need a good sleeping mat for insulation. You can take a sleeping bag liner made out of cotton which adds warmth and also keeps your sleeping bag clean. You can make this out of any bedsheet sewn up the side to make a bag.
- You will be able to wash clothes - handwash in washing powder, that is. The problem is trying to dry things so you may only have the opportunity to wash smalls. On the mountain there is no opportunity to wash clothes at all.
- Take old clothes to wear for the project and camp, they will get dirty, and covered in paint quite possibly. You need travel clothes which are clean for the travelling home bit, and for safari, but on the camp and project it will be pretty dirty. A lot of people just leave stuff behind because it’s not worth taking home! Similarly with shoes, bring a pair of comfortable old shoes for the camp, and some heavier boots for any work on the project
- If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops- it can get dusty.
- Mosquito nets are optional. The tents have inbuilt nets and people in the past have generally not had a big problem with insects.
- Do not bring porcelain plates - bring plastic and a few spare spoons - they always go missing. Make sure that plates and bowls are of a generous size so that you can fit the food in; you will be hungry!
- Girls will have to dress conservatively in shanty towns and in public. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn. If you do not bring appropriate clothing you will either have to buy more when you arrive or risk not being able to take part in many activities.
- Keep your money somewhere safe 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.
- For the mountain, work on a layering system which gives you versatility - Tshirt or thermals, shirt or warm top, fleece, waterproofs. Gloves and hats are vital, as are sunglasses and suncream.
- Your rucksack will need to carry everything on the mountain including food and stoves and tent. But during the camp a rucksack can be annoying to keep on emptying out to find stuff so you might want to bring a duffle bag as well.
It is likely that a large number of you will be buying similar (if not identical) items. If so, get together and visit a shop together, speak to the manager and say that you have a potentially big order and negotiate a discount. Tell them about the trip and that you will be doing charity volunteer work. Most companies are fairly flexible in this regard. Also, no need for all of you to bring a seperate roll of toothpaste, there's lots you can share and save weight on!
Kenya charity challenge expedition - why us?
This trip has been running since 1991 and has successfully delivered a great and influential experience to thousands of young people, both in the UK and in East Africa. It's essential make-up is the same, and it's still just as popular with students now as it was in the days before mobile phones and facebook. We have not diluted the adventurous nature of it, and we haven't pandered to dumbing down the whole experience of travelling to a new country and culture.
The safety aspect is unrivalled. We have passed the British Standard 8848 audit for overseas youth expeditions, and our staff have been running this trip for (in some cases) well over a decade. The Kenyan staff are brilliant at their job, and in many cases attended the original trips as children back in the 1990s.
We have our own company in Kenya, our own vehicles, equipment, office and full time staff who are well looked after. Nothing is outsourced, everything is checked.
The company works alongside the charity Moving Mountains to make sure that this is not over commercialized, or marketing on young people's desire to help others. We have serious developmental aims, well evidenced and documented over many years now, and we run this programme with an emphasis on the long term benefits.
Our partnerships with schools, communities, villages and the authorities span decades now; we are absolutely confident that this trip does not fall into the traps of short termism, or perpetuating damaging stereotypes of aid. Our experience is that this trip has only ever given all the young people involved a great adventure, lots of self esteem and lots of motivation to make something of themselves.
Have a look at this video made by our Canadian friend Elia Saikaly who brought a Canadian team of young people on a Kenya school expedition to work on one of our projects called Solio, a community of 17,000 internally displaced people living near Mount Kenya. These two videos show the progression of the project they took part in, and how their trip contributed to our long term vision.
We are fully registered, insured, financially protected and established both in the UK and in east Africa. We are well known to the education authorities, the family courts, the social welfare offices, the village committees and many stakeholders who all advise and guide us properly so that we never fall foul of exploitative tourism.
We have strict policies on selection, training and preparation for all our trips, especially where they involve children. We have no truck with orphanage tourism, slum tourism, poverty tourism or indeed financial exploitation of local people. These Kenya school expeditions have provided a benefit to so many schools, children and communities that we believe we speak with great authority on this subject. Please take a look at the Moving Mountains website to see just how our vision has come to fruition.
The benefits of a personal development trip are not just for the visitor, but we'll start there!
'Personal Development through International Development' is how we like to summarise the benefits for a young person on one of our trips. The experience, although managed with great care and with wonderful staff also allows the visitor to expand on skills they have and explore, use and develop new ones. Below are some areas which this trip gives a greater understanding or experience of to the visitor;
- Global citizenship
- Cultural Awareness and interaction
- Understanding & experiencing (charity) development at a grass roots level
- Learning and using teaching, building and sports skills
- Language skills
- Time management
- Financial planning, awareness and management
- Fundraising initiatives, planning and management
- Self belief and confidence
- Drive, ambition and maturity
- Fitness & physical challenge
- Personal challenge Team work
- Catering and nutrition
- Practical skills
- Camping & trekking skills
- Wildlife knowledge and experience
- Problem solving
- Health and hygiene
- Safety and how to look after yourself whilst travelling
- Responsible Travel
Teachers / Support staff
Whether you're physically with the group in East Africa, or have been the support behind them for fundraising at home, then there's also benefits to you:
- All of the above benefits that you get to give to the students!
- Your own personal challenge Increased recognition in your school
- Professional development portfolio advancement
- Achievement of seeing the group reach & realise their goals
- Watching and helping the young people develop personally and socially
- Raise your school profile in terms of local media and within your education board
Despite being naturally concerned that your children will be away from home you can be assured that they are in good hands with a team of staff who will look after them really well. We often get calls from parents after the trip to tell us how their children have had such a positive experience. Below are a few of the remarks which are often made:
- Eyes opened to the real world
- Focused and more motivated at school
- Greater drive and aspirations for the future
- A desire to teach / work in the charity sector / help people
- Gained such good travel experience for when they travel again
- More confident
- Listens better
- Is nicer to their siblings & parents!
The Host Community
The communities with which MM works benefits greatly and often in ways that we don't always appreciate. For example Mt. Maurice Odindo, head teacher at Wagwer Primary School thanked a group from the UK for the water pump that they'd paid for and installed with MM in his school. When he thanked them he explained that this water pump not only gave them water to drink but it also saved lives and allowed them to grow and study better as this water pump:
- Gave water to the students to drink
- Gave water to the school kitchen to prepare food
- Gave water to the plants that they grew around the school which fed them
- Gave water to the plants that when in excess could be sold which gives the school money to buy books
- Gave water to the students that needed it to feed the animals that the school raised (cow, pig and chicken projects) to create revenue streams that allowed better equipment or more teachers
- It meant that, unlike the previous year, 2 students won't die as a result of having to cross a busy road to fetch water from another source
- It meant that the girls when on their periods had access to water and didn't need to miss vital lessons staying at home
Further more a project that we run, be it a classroom development, building a clinic or repair works also has knock on affects in the community beyond the actual physical building or the long term development of a facility or community project:
- We buy & source food locally from local traders directly investing in local people and families
- We buy and source our building supplies and employ builders locally
- We take the groups to local places of interest and again invest directly in the community
- We bring local children to the camps which is based on their school performance encouraging their development
- We work closely with local officials, schools, community leaders to ensure we develop and improve the areas where we work
You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details.
- Duration 22 days
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping