Kenya2

accommodation photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B7SgKrmiC0owXzNHbHNqYVB6eVE

scenic photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B7SgKrmiC0owX3pOdm9EVXJrb2s

 

Quick Facts

Name:Republic of Kenya

Population:45 million

Capital:Nairobi

Language:English, Swahili

Currency:Kenyan Shilling (KES)

Time zone:UTC +3

Country Information

The first thing that might pop to mind when thinking of Kenya are lions, zebras and leopards. However, this vast country has much more to offer. With 40 national parks and reserves scattered around the country, Kenya features almost every landscape and activity that you can imagine and it will suit any type of traveller’s palette.

Undeniably, safaris are the core of tourism in Kenya, but you might also venture in deeper and discover the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe known for its color-filled adornments. Nairobi is another destination to explore, with its bustling nightlife and unique vibes. For those who love nature, a visit to the Great Rift Valley is a must. And for those who enjoy chilling at the beach, Kenya’s coastal area covers almost 80,000 square kilometers and remains sun-filled during most of the year!

Climate

Kenya is a big country and its climate varies from tropical along its coast to arid in the north and quite temperate inland. Kenya receives a large amount of sunshine year-round but generally, the hottest period is considered take place in February and March while the coldest one between July and mid August. The “long rains” season happens between March and June, while the “short rain” season is between October and December.

Culture

Over the course of history, Kenya has been the hub of migration and henceforth, the country has become one of the most diverse culture and language-wise.

The country has over forty different ethnic groups, including Luo, Kamba, Maasai and more. Each speaks a variety of mother tongues, although Swahili remains the most widely spoken language. Moreover, European, Arab, Indian and Pakistani groups who came to the country in the 19th century can be added to the mix of diversity.

Even though religions such as Christianity and Islam are widely spread, many still believe in the ancestor world, where the dead have an impact on the lives of the living.

Today, Kenya’s culture, including forms of dress, music and food sees its strong influences from other parts of Africa, India, Europe and the United States. However, in certain parts of the country, many communities retain their traditional lifestyle and culture and people still wear clothes, skins, jewelry as they did centuries ago. Many remote tribes remain absolutely isolated and indigenous as

Gastronomy

Traditional Kenyan food are known for consisting corn, potatoes and beans. A staple dish is Ugali, a porridge made out of maize. Another typical delicacy is irio, a blend of corn, beans, potatoes and beans dipped into meat or vegetable stews.

Transportation

Plane

Kenya Airways offers daily flights between Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Kisumu and Nairobi. Likewise, another popular choice is Air Kenya, which flies regularly between Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Meru, Nanyuki and Samburu.

Bus

Kenya has a large bus network between many destinations, but be advised that roads are bumpy. For safety reasons, we highly advise to use long distance buses only during daytime.

Minivan

Minivans, known as “matatus” in Kenya are another way to get around for short and medium distance travels. Taking a matatu is a must to experience the real Kenya as they are often decorated in colorful and fascinating colours. You can hail a matatu on the side of the road and in this day and age, the network is easier to figure out than ever as routes and schedules are provided on Google Maps.

Train

The train in Kenya is often dubbed the “Lunatic Express”. It travels between Nairobi and Mombasa three times a week. It is undeniably a great experience to travel by train but if time is an issue, we advise you to go for another method of transportation as the train has a bad reputation for being extremely slow and often delayed.

 

Location

Gatanga Village will be your new home and will give you the chance to see authentic rural Kenya. Close by is Thika, an industrial town where you will be able to find anything you need. Nairobi is not too far either, and you can head there during the weekend for nights out or sightseeing. Likewise, there are many natural areas in close proximity to Gatanga, a simple example are Fourteen Falls, a set of waterfalls that will leave you awestruck.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You will be accommodated in our center. All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Sometimes there are power and water cuts during the day, but do not panic. This is life in the village. This is a very simple local accommodation, but you will have all of the necessities while here. You will have meals provided and rooms cleaned on the weekends, but you will also be expected to clean up after yourself and play your part in keeping the accommodation neat and organized. The location is not far from  the Police station and a short walk to local market and shops. When interacting with the local community it is important to note that smoking is not accepted in public areas or even within the sight line of children or local officials. Style of dress in the community is fairly conservative. Short shorts, mini skirts and sleeveless tops are not considered appropriate for the culture of the village.

Please be advised that in the event of an excess number of participants, we may use other local accommodation in the area that meets a similar standard as described herein.

Available Room Types

Standard Room

All meals included

Yes *

Free beverages

Yes **

Persons per room

2-4

Wifi in public areas

Yes

Laundry facilities

Yes ***

Safety box

No

Lockable rooms

Yes

Hot shower

Yes

Private bathroom

No

Bed linen

Yes

Towels

No

*   3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
**  Drinking Water is provided
*** Limited – expect to hand wash or pay for launder services

Food Arrangements

Food served will mainly be Kenyan food, which consists of vegetables, potatoes, eggs, bread, pancakes (commonly known as “chapati”) and fruits such as oranges, bananas and avocados.

Facilities

Thika town is located a thirty minute drive away from our center and is filled with supermarkets, shops, ATMs, local markets and good restaurants. There is local transport available in Thika such as bicycle and motorbike taxis, van taxis and buses. Vehicles called “matatus” very tightly packed minivans can be found near the local market throughout the day which can drop you off in Thika town. Moreover, the bus “station” (central location for minivans and buses) in Thika is your launching spot for trips  into other parts of Kenya.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Kenyan Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Swahili Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Tour to Coffee Factory
  • Hike to local Waterfall

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

There are many places for you to visit during your free time. For example, you can visit the Fourteen Falls in Thika, go hiking in Kenya Mountain, visit Mombasa and enjoy the beach or head for a weekend of sightseeing in Nakuru or Nairobi, which are filled with national parks. Nairobi is also the nightlife hub of Kenya.

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