Family Safari, Community Service and Conservation Adventure, Laikipia, Kenya
10 days

See Africa from a different perspective on a fun and interactive community safari in Kenya's beautiful Laikipia region. See the varied wildlife, learn about conservation and mingle with local communities, absorbing the culture away from the constraints of normal tourist routes and safari vehicles, go rock climbing, abseiling, rafting and mountain biking and relax in the evenings in comfortable tented camps and lodges. Meanwhile you will be helping to develop infrastructure within the local schools and provide income for the communities through camping fees, activities and community lodge and cultural centre visits. The trip is led by professional and local guides who have an intimate knowledge of the people, wildlife and everything African. The ethos is adventure by day and luxury by night with a varied programme which makes for a unique family adventure in stunning wilderness areas, rich in wildlife and culture.

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Below you will find a sample itinerary and information about the community projects and experiences you may be involved in.

Day 1: Arrive Kenya

On arrival in Nairoib you will be met and transferred to Wilson Domestic Airport for your flight to Nanyuki in the Laikipia region. On arrival you will be met and transferred by road to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and to Ol Pejeta Wildlife Camp. Enjoy an afternoon of relaxation.

Day 2: Acclimatisation Ride, Safari

Breakfast at your discretion and a quick survival Swahili language session. Bike check, bike sizing, riding brief and cycle out of Ol Pejeta into the rural community land on the Rongai River with plenty of time to acclimatise to the 2000m altitude. Mt. Kenya shines to the East and to the North and West Laikipia peels out through classic African landscape. Visit the surrounding community, see how a local shamba (Swahili word for small farm) protects crops from wildlife and get a feel for Kenya life. Mid-afternoon, depart for a game drive in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the ‘Big 5’ and other amazing wildlife.

Day 3-5: Irura School and surrounds Community Project

Over the next three days engage with the local community and Irura Primary School assisting on projects that may include:
• Micro enterprise water project (water tank and guttering installation)
• Combustable briquette plant installation and briquette making using recyclable materials
• Coach the local school students in a variety of sports culminating in a Sports Day where we invite the parents from the village
• IT development
• Infrastructure development (e.g. constructing a library)
• Agriculture development

*Please see notes on projects below*.

Day 6: Canyon in Ngare Ndare Forest & Flower Farm Visit

It’s a winning combination: beautiful spring water-fed rock pools surrounding by towering trees and cliffs, and waterfalls up to 30 metres set in a pristine forest setting. This is one of our best activities and takes place in one of Laikipia’s most private and beautiful forests, Ngare Ndare. Here we do a series of water jumps into the turquoise water, followed by abseiling through a waterfall. A brilliant day out with levels of challenge for everyone. On the way back from canyoning we will visit Lobelia farm, a 20 hectare intensive flower farm, exporting to Europe. Gain an insight to the local economy where farms of this size employ over 500 people, where each employee has an average of 10 dependant’s surviving on a single salary.

Day 7-8: Ol Pejeta Conservation Project

We will work on a variety of projects within Ol Pejeta Conservancy, possible projects can include:
• Chimpanzee sanctuary
• Rhino enclosure
• Patrol with conservancy rangers
• Ecological monitoring

Day 9: Game Drive, Visit Irura School

An early morning game drive on Ol Pejeta followed by a bush breakfast on a grassy savannah overlooking Mt. Kenya and back in time for a late lunch. The afternoon is spent visiting Irura School and saying goodbye to your new friends.

Day 10: Depart

The time to depart back home is upon us and our vehicles transfer you back to Nairobi and your flight home.

*Community Projects

We are not especially interested in supporting a “stand-alone” community service activity, such as painting classrooms. While such an enterprise may have some value to the participants’ community, by itself it rarely meets our expectations for our clients. And, it must be noted, that for a relatively small amount of money, it is possible to pay people in Kenya to paint schools. However, there are some projects that would not be accomplished without the manual labour, expertise or funding of the visiting group. However, it is important to note that we only undertake these projects if several key conditions are met:

1. The project accomplishes a goal that comes from the local community.
2. The project adds to the quality of life for a broad spectrum of the local residents.
3. The project has some sustainable, long term impact.
4. It is very likely that the project would never likely be accomplished without the assistance of the visiting participants.
5. The participants have a clear understanding of the nature of the project and agree, in so far as possible, to work to complete it while in the country.

*Learning Experiences

Wildlife – Human Conflicts
The issue of conservation is complex with many different viewpoints. For example, while most of us would agree that the preservation of wildlife is, in and of itself, a good and even a noble cause, the reality is that in much of rural Africa this view is not widely supported. While for the tourist it is a real joy and a rare privilege to see the herds of animals roaming the savannah, one could say these opportunities come at some cost. While wildlife tourism brings to Kenya considerable foreign exchange, for rural inhabitants the price can be high. These protected areas are vast and the land is unavailable for use by the local inhabitants. Many of these local inhabitants are nomadic pastoralist whose movement is dictated by water and grazing land for the large herds of cattle and goats, on which their livelihoods depend. Indeed, from early colonial times, there have been conflicts between wildlife and man and finding that balance is not as easy as one would hope. You will speak to conservationists and wildlife experts who have spent their professional careers in Kenya to learn what they see to be the big challenges facing wildlife conservation. And you will meet with families who live the reality.

Many would say that education is at the heart of Africa’s future success. You can visit a number of schools, both “public” and private, and meet with teachers and administrators, as well as students, to gain an understanding of how the education system is structured, how it works, and what the challenges are. You will watch classes, speak to teachers about curriculum, and see how education is valued by the students and their families. Despite few resources and frequently large classes, most schools in Kenya do a remarkable job at providing a basic education.

This is a tailor-made adventure based on a minimum of 4 people. From £1,211 per person on a full-board basis including all meals, activities and all internal flights and transport (Nairobi-Nairobi) as specified, and park fees.

For further information please contact us

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