How long was your stay?
How did you travel?
Tell us why you traveled to this destination.
I traveled to Kenya on a volunteer experience for 2 weeks and worked at an orphanage, but while I was there I was able to travel and experience so much of the culture. 4 of the days were spent doing traveling and experiencing Kenya
Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.
Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi, I stayed with a host family, which if you are going with a program, is the best option to get you culturally integrated. ON the first day, we went into the city center to the traditional Kenyan market. My host sister was able to help us barter in Swahili, but everyone speaks English mostly as well. We shopped traditional Kenyan clothing, jewelry, art, and more. After this, we went to walk around the Kibera slums (the poorest slum in Nairobi) and talked to the local people. There are additional artisanal markets that the locals stand up to sell homemade shoes, clothing, jewelry, food, etc. While there, we really wanted to help out the local businesses and people, so we spent a lot of time talking to and supporting the very small businesses that they had. We had gone to a nearby mall, which was very westernized and only accessible to “rich” people, and purchased essentials that some people who lived in the slums might need. Due to the fact that it is so insanely cheap in Kenya, it was fulfilling to be able to give these people so many things that they had never had before.
For dinner, we went to a local Kenyan restaurant and had Ugali – a traditional Kenyan dish that’s eaten with your hands. Its delicious and simple! After dinner, we went to a local hookah bar, and out to a couple clubs after that. I would ONLY go out at night if you are with a local group that knows the cities and language, as it can be dangerous to do so by yourself. The clubs are extremely fun and a little wild, so if you are going out, make sure you are extremely safe.
Day 2: We left Nairobi for a weekend safari, but on the way we were able to stop for an experience at a Masai village, where the Masai tribe still lives and carries on their traditional way of life. To do this, you will likely need to go with a safari tour. There are a ton of companies in Nairobi that you can purchase tours from or you can check online.
They gave us a tour of their village, performed a traditional Masai dance and song, and allowed us to purchase some of the art they make in the village. We got to meet some of the children and hear about many of the traditions of the Masai people. Its an extremely small village and very isolated from westernized civilization. The chief was extremely kind to let us come and visit his village. It was really amazing to see. After the village, we arrived at our safari camp. It has bungalow tents for guests to stay in right out in the serengetti. They had an open air common room for breakfast and dinners with games and lounging and a beautiful fire place. The bungalow were extremely fun to stay in, as it felt like you were really staying out in the wilderness!
Day 3-5: We were on a three day Safari with most food provided and a tour guide. We did sunset safaris where we got to see animals like lions and cheetash hunting and feeding early in the morning and the sunrise over the serengeti. We did some sunset safaris as well, as dusk and dawn are when the animals are most active. Every night, we would travel back to camp and eat dinner and sleep there. It was outside of the game reserve and thus, very safe. Some of the animals we were able to see were the big 5 (buffalo, lion, hippos, rhinos, elephant), giraffes, wildabeast, cheetahs, and more. It was one of the most phenomenal experiences of my life. I highly recommend taking a Safari with a tour company.
Day 6: On the drive back to Nairobi, we stopped at the vista point overlooking the Great Rift Valley, make popular in the Lion King! It was an amazing view overlooking the entire valley. There is a restaurant right on the vista point and a little shop / market. Its a few hour drive from the serengetti to Nairobi, so we had left pretty early to get back to the day. When we got home, in the afternoon, we visited an orphanage to be able to hang out with the kids there. We learned about their schooling, what their day to day lives looked like, and their favorite things to do. We played soccer with them outside and sang their favorite music with them. It was a really fun experience to be able to interact with the kids there, who of course have so little but are ecstatically happy.
We went to a place for dinner that served Kenyan goat – a very common dish in Kenya. To us westerners, it seemed little sketchy, but it actually ended up being SO delicious.
Day 7: There is another local tour in Nairobi that you can take to the Elephant orphanage (which is exactly what it sounds like) and the Giraffe center. They also take you to a park where monkeys roam around free. The tour takes about half a day, from 8am to about 2pm or so. First, we went to the Giraffe Center, where you get to feed the giraffes, pet them, and be super up close up. If you wanted, you could even put the vegetables in your mouth and the giraffe would take it right from you! After the giraffes, we headed to the elephant orphanage where we got to meet all the baby elephants who for whatever reason lost their moms. They did a little educational show, let you meet the elephants, and talked about the foundation. We go to watch them play and have so much fun. Then, we headed to the park where the monkeys hang out. They are super playful and will pickpocket you if youre not careful, so make sure your things are put away. But, they will also climb on top of you, pull at your clothes, and say hi!
This is such a great and affordable tour if a full on Safari is a little out of budget, or you dont have much time.
Would you recommend this trip to a friend?
What was the highlight of your trip?
Elephant orphanage / giraffe center
Interacting with the local children
If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?
In kenya, if you are fair skinned, you will be a massive minority and people will think you are rich. Be careful with your phones and money, dont walk down the street with them out. But, generally, people are extremely nice
DO NOT drink any tap water unless BOILED. only buy bottled beverages
Make sure you have mosquito spray and netting and the proper vacciations before going.
I would book most things with guides or tours, as Africa can be a huge culture shock and the poorer parts of the city can be really dangerous. The local guides will know all of the best spots! I never felt unsafe during my travels.
Engage in the local culture and fare! Its very different, and very simple, but its amazing.
Kenya does have public transport called tuk tuks and matutus, basically little vans that people spill out of that take you places like buses. If you go with a local, its really fun! and cheap.
@abbskeens – (insta)
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