Agriculture is the main economic backbone of Kenya, as well as the primary source of income for basic households in many parts of the country. As many areas throughout the country are struggling with issues of food security, this is a great opportunity to try new and tried and true methods of farming to tackle these issues. When you join this program you will assist local farmers who are not only trying to feed their own families and make a living, but those who are trying to share the knowledge they have attained to keep the farming culture alive and thriving.
Gatanga is one of those places, and local villagers spend their lives harvesting fruits, vegetables and coffee, as well as taking care of their livestock.
In this program, you’ll get the chance to experience the authentic countryside of Kenya by living amongst locals and helping out the villagers on their farms.
Your tasks may include:
- Cutting and cleaning up the grass areas around the farm
- Planting, weeding, watering, picking fruits
- Helping take care of the livestock
- Addressing various community needs
- Learning about the use of nutrient rich water for soil-less farming (hydroponic farming)
Working up close with local farmers will not only teach you new skills, but will also allow you to get authentically immersed in a new culture and lifestyle.
Program Duration & Availability
Min duration (weeks):1
Aims & Objectives
- Experience local Kenyan agricultural practices
- Assist the local farming community by providing extra hands and effort
- Cultural immersion and engagement with the local community
Monday to Friday
You can expect to spend four to five to six hours per day on the farm, with a lunch break in between these hours. The tasks you will engage in depend largely upon the season and the priority needs at that time. Tasks will vary based upon your own knowledge, skill and ability to carry out tasks independently. The day could look like:
- Helping on the farm/plantation
- Helping on the farm/plantation
- Modest clothing (long sleeves and long pants offer the best protection when working outdoors, at the minimum- clothing should cover knees and shoulders)
- Please bring work gloves, work shoes or boots, water bottle, hat and sun protection.
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
All meals included
Persons per room
Wifi in public areas
* 3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
** Drinking Water is provided
*** Limited – expect to hand wash or pay for launder services
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.