Kenya school expedition
Have you ever wondered how useful a school expedition is for the young people going and also the community receiving them? As a student, parent or teacher, are you or your son, daughter or students keen to go on a trip that genuinely teaches self-reliance, promotes global citizenship and also encourages personal development whilst expanding their appreciation of geography, history, anthropology, politics and culture, but at the same time also actually benefits another community?
If so, you've come to the right place!
We agree and it's one of the reasons that our Kenya school adventure trip has changed little since it first started in 1991; we continually see young people coming out who want to have a great time, see Africa, her people and help. The by-product is that they see their morals and values challenged and return home seeing themselves and the world around them differently and importantly, knowing that they have 'made a difference'.
This video taken by one of our 'Africampers' in Tanzania tells the story well.
Now in our third decade running school trips to Kenya we have ample evidence and examples that the service element has changed lives and communities in Kenya too. Most of our Kenyan staff were former beneficiaries of Moving Mountains and attended the jamborees we ran in the 1990s when they were young people, they are now grown up, middle class with children of their own. We are founders of the Fair Trade Volunteering movement, and our projects and programmes are determined by the board of not just MM UK but also our board of local experts who run MM Kenya. It's really a case of personal development and international development given equal status, which is how we believe it should be. We don't entertain 'token' projects. Everything that you or your students or children undertake whilst on a trip to Kenya is bona fide and very much part of how MM tackles problems with solutions over a long term period. This trip has deep impacts and benefits for all involved from differing continents and cultures.
This video shows some of the reactions of students from Canada and Kenya during one of the Kenya school adventures:
Private School Trips or Open Group options
The groups generally number 20 - 25 and will be either a private school group or an open group.
We work with many schools and tailor make private trips that specifically target or tackle challenges or issues that the school would like to achieve. These could be from a personal, emotional, physical or academic remit but always the itinerary is combined with the needs of our long term charitable projects and programs on the ground. If you would like to discover more about what we could do for your students please do get in touch as we certainly know what benefit they can gain personally and what difference they can make on the ground for the people in Kenya.
The open groups are for students from any country, background or school and the itinerary is based on an experience that fits in perfectly with challenging young people to open their eyes and minds to the realities of life and not just in Africa, but also at home. The open groups itinerary is based on decades of experience and allows the students to really get the most and best out of their time with us. The open groups attract students from all over the world though usually 80% will be from the UK or Ireland. The open groups are the scheduled dates and itineraries on our website.
Kenya school adventure - personal development and international development
The Kenya school adventure, or 'Africamp' as people like to call it, gives young people a chance to see the flipside of life in Africa and challenge themselves in many ways, both physically and mentally. It's not just about the building project and the kids camp, but also working with a charity in different areas of development and interacting with people from a different culture and gaining key life skills. Of course it provides a boost to the CV for job or academic applications, but we believe it also is part of maturing and making decisions about what to do in life.
Sometimes people think that these benefits are for the visitors only, but this is not so. The Kenyan children who took part in Sisi Kwa Sisi (early 1990's) and more recently our Africamp school programs have given us many stories of positive growth and great achievement. Because of the opportunity they had to simply interact and camp and talk and share with people from other countries, they went on to work hard and become something in life. They went to school and college and into employment, they became parents and their children never suffered the same privation they did, and they look at Moving Mountains as a surrogate family which has given them long term support all the way through.
Do look through our projects, our history, our successes and our videos; there are so many heart-warming stories and so many lives changed for the better both at home and overseas. There already is a legacy of which young people continue to create every year as they venture out with us to Kenya, which is something that we are inordinately proud of.
Here's some visiting students from Canada giving their thoughts on how much this trip changed their lives, recorded just the night before going for the summit of Mount Kenya:
Kenya school expedition itinerary
The itinerary is designed to give participants a great all round experience which mixes genuine charitable projects and a camp for local Kenyan children who benefit directly from Moving Mountains, with an exciting overland adventure to explore some of the many National Parks and wilderness areas where they'll face personal challenges and experience the diversity, culture and hospitality that Kenya is famous for.
The first half of the trip is spent with our charity projects, following a tried and tested itinerary of organising and running a children's camp while at the same time building and working on a 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, a Rescue Centre for Street Children in Embu and our 'Ulamba' Children's Home and Community Village in Western Kenya.
Here's a video from one of our Canadian groups filmed by our good friend and film maker Elia Saikaly showing a little of what they did during their Kenya school adventure:
Kenya School Expedition camp and project section
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:
Trek, Challenge, Safari and Exploration Section
The camp and project is followed by an exciting and diverse overland safari which combines adventure, trekking with the Masai and climbs of both Mount Longonot and Mount Suswa, game drives, safari walks, cycling through National Parks with some rest, relaxation and reflection at the very end of the itinerary when we go swimming, go on boat trips and visit a number of tourist attractions, National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation areas. There is also a strong element of team work required in this section plus of course personal challenge and achievement.
Kenya School Expedition Itinerary
The whole charity expedition amounts to a total of 22 days in Kenya and the standard itinerary is below for our advertised dates. If you are interested in planning a trip for your school, youth groups or university we can tailor this itinerary to fit with your specific preferences.
|Day 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).|
|Days 2||Either transfer from Nairobi or continue from Lake Naivasha or Lake Nakuru to set up camp at the project location.|
|Days 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 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.|
|Day 11||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.|
|Day 12||Transfer to Lake Naivasha where we'll set up camp on the shores of this vast freshwater lake.|
|Day 13||R&R day with swimming, boat trip on to Lake Naivasha to search for the wallowing Hippo and swooping Fish Eagles before visiting Elsamere Conservation Centre.|
|Day 14||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.|
|Day 15||Full days climb on Mount Longonot (2,780m - the name comes from the Masai word oloonong'ot, meaning "mountains of many spurs" or "steep ridges"), a breathtaking, dormant volcano which is home to a wide variety of wildlife on its slopes and in its crater floor.|
|Day 16||Transfer to Duka Moja market village and trek through the Suswa Conservancy with our Masai Guides for three nights of wild camping in this rarely visited and stunningly beautiful area of the Great Rift Valley - live like a Masai and track wild dogs, hyena, etc in the early evening.|
|Day 17||Early morning summit on Mt Suswa (1 hour to sunrise viewpoint/3 hours to Suswa summit of Ol Doinyo Nyokie or the Red Mountain - 2,356m) and back to camp for breakfast before visiting Masai villages, schools and experiencing Masai culture before continuing trek to what is considered the world's most complex braided system of lava tubes where you'll also see the 'baboon parliament' where baboon troops take refuge from predators in the evening and the sleeping bat colonies hang from the roofs of the caves during the day.|
|Day 18||Another early start to see the hot springs beneath Suswa force up steam jets at dawn and start our trek to the lost island in the Suswa crater which is about 8 hours trek around the inner crater, dipping in to the forest and open grazing land for the local Masai along the way. Throughout your time in the Mount Suswa Conservancy expect to see giraffe, zebra, klipspringer and Thompson's gazelle, a variety of birdlife and at night genet cats and hyena.|
|Days 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.|
|Day 22||Depart Kenya (late afternoon/evening departures allow for visits to the Giraffe Centre and Sheldricks Wildlife Trust in the morning).|
Every day is really quite different, and you will soon learn to operate to the different rhythm of Africa. There are long days and very active ones, either managing the camps or the projects, climbing a mountain or travelling through national parks to see animals. It is important to rest properly and stay hydrated! Meals are prepared every day, but everyone helps out, and there is always shopping to do, and always lots of time spent with the locals. The children especially are very keen and eager, they have been waiting for their summer camp all year! There will be visits to all sorts of places, activities to organise and so much to do that sometimes the days don't seem long enough.
School Expedition to Kenya cost £1,495.00
+ Moving Mountains fundraising of £500
Moving Mountains is not a tour operator so the charity outsources the management and logistics of the groups to the tour company Adventure Alternative. We do this as they are experts in their field and unlike MM, they are an officially recognised, licenced & bonded tour operator. They have all the proper insurances, policies, assessments, bonding, qualifications, experience, equipment, vehicles and staff to ensure a smooth and safe transition throughout the journey be that at our projects, or whilst involved with the personal challenge section of the itinerary. Originally MM was born out of Adventure Alternative and many of their staff are former beneficiaries of the charity. They are the perfect partners and guides to illustrate the realities of life in Kenya and with their intimate knowledge they're the perfect custodians for our visiting groups.
Who am I booking with and who do I pay?
There are two elements to the financial side of our School Expeditions to Kenya; the first being the organisational, operational and implementation of the expedition and all the itinerary elements and activities, which is managed by Adventure Alternative and secondly the Moving Mountains side of the itinerary and the aim to raise funds for Moving Mountains and our projects.
Since Adventure Alternative actually runs the trip and is responsible for you, the itinerary, the in-country travel, accommodation, meals, activities etc. you therefore book and pay them for the land elements of your trip. To do this you simply click the booking widget on our trip page and it will take you through the Booking Process with Adventure Alternative. The booking process is straightforward and you will need to pay a deposit of £250pp to secure your place.
The second payment is to Moving Mountains and this is for a number of things and represents a donation to the charity. It is not an optional payment but one that is essential to the operation of your trip as this money is used to run the MM projects and programs that you are involved with during your trip. Some of this money also goes towards MM's other projects and programs and allows us to continue the good work that we do on the ground all year round.
- 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 throughout the expedition (mostly safari tents)
- Guides on mountains and in parks
- All National Park fees and permits for all parks / reserves listed on the itinerary
- All activities as per the itinerary
- Medical back-up from Interhealth
- Amref 'Flying Doctor' support
- Moving Mountains fundraising - minimum of £500
- Return flight to Nairobi
- Travel Insurance
- Kenya Visa
- Travel vaccinations, anti-malaria tablets, medical costs
- Personal spending for souvenirs, snacks, etc
Here 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 the charity section allows you to use sites like My Donate 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. 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 who employs many former beneficiaries of MM, there are many more local providers who have benefitted from our model of responsible tourism, and they are small family run businesses like the local market sellers, the food producers, the cooks, building suppliers, brick makers, or local accommodations providers like the Blue Line Hotel, our base for all our climbs, which continues to develop and expand as a direct result of the business that is provided through you coming on a trip with us.
Kenya school expedition - fitness and terrain
You do not need to be super-fit for this trip, however the personal challenge element is moderately demanding with a couple of long days of sustained walking with a backpack. The effects of heat can also further tax your body. But it's great fun doing it as a team and enjoying the amazing feeling of standing on top of Mount Longonot and looking over the Great Rift Valley, or the stunning backdrops as you walk through the Suswa Conservancy with the Masai.
On the project phase you will not be moving very far from the camp which will be immediately adjacent to the project. This is normally in the grounds of a school or the Ulamba Childrens Home. There are really no issues here at all, just keeping clean and hydrated and well rested since it's often very tiring looking after a kids camp all day! If you are also undertaking a building project then this can be hard work, especially under an African sun and we promise you that it leads to a good nights sleep. We do go on day visits and we have staff with you all the time but again they wouldn't be tough going, the opposite in fact!
During the safari bit of your adventure, you will be entering reserves/parks usually consisting of dirt roads and sand tracks and not tarmac. If conditions are wet this can lead to adventurous driving but be assured that our drivers are well versed in safe and professional driving skills. If the weather is very dry then the terrain can be dusty so it's worth bringing a shawl or light scarf to cover your mouth and nose. The vehicles are well maintained and professional safari vehicles.
Kenya school expedition kit list
- 65-85Litre Rucksack or a duffle / holdall bag
- 30 - 45Ltr Day Pack
- Waterproof shell jacket and trousers
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece tops or jumpers
- Trekking trousers, shorts
- Sun glasses
- Socks, thin ones, trekking ones and thick ones
- Wakiing Boots, or walking trainers, sandals
- Working clothes for project and camp - general selection jeans, tops etc
- 2 or 3 season sleeping bag and a compression sack to keep it in
- Sleeping mat
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Camera, memory card & batteries, phone, mp3 player etc, plus chargers (normal three pin plug is fine)
- Water bottle
- 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 school expedition
- Make sure hiking boots (fabric boots should have a waterproof lining) broken in.
- Clothing for the trekking 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.
- Your sleeping bag should be at least two or three season and you also need a sleeping mat for insulation.
- 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.
- 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 towns and in public. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn.
- 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 trekking, work on a layering system which gives you versatility - T-shirt, shirt or warm top, fleece, waterproofs. Sunglasses and sun cream are vital
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.
Kenya school expedition - why us?
This trip, now in its 3rd decade, has successfully delivered a great and influential experience to thousands of young people, both in terms of visitors and residents in East Africa. Its 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 the whole experience of travelling to a new country and culture is as exciting now as it was back in the early 1990's.
The safety aspect is unrivalled and we outsource the management and logistics of our groups to the tour company Adventure Alternative and do this as they are experts in their field and unlike MM, they are an officially recognised, licenced & bonded tour operator. They have all the proper insurances, policies, assessments, bonding, qualifications, experience, equipment, vehicles and staff to ensure a smooth and safe transition from arrival in Kenya, throughout the journey at our projects or whilst being involved with the personal challenge elements of the itinerary and back to the airport again.
Adventure Alternative have passed the British Standard 8848 audit for overseas youth expeditions, and their staff have been running this trip for many years. The Kenyan staff are brilliant at their job, and in many cases attended the original trips as children themselves back in the 1990s.
MM was originally born out of Adventure Alternative (AA) and many of their staff are former beneficiaries of the charity. They are the perfect guides to illustrate the realities of life in Kenya and with their intimate knowledge, alongside our western staff, they're the perfect custodians for our visiting groups.
Moving Mountains ensures that the trips are 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 videos 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. The video shows the progression of the project they took part in, and how their trip contributed to our long term vision.
The benefits of a personal development school 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
Groups on a Kenya school adventure
We really like to establish long term relationships with schools that come out to Kenya and support us because a lot of the Kenya school trip happens at home, with training events and lots of preparation. Clearly there is fundraising to be done, but just as importantly we provide a long lead-in time for the students and teachers and parents so that we can cover pre trip training and ensure that everyone has prepared properly and most importantly whilst enjoying the experience.
We have been working with various schools from all over the world for many years and we also have teachers and youth workers on our staff team who constantly help us deliver what we feel is the most productive experience possible for the students that travel with us.
Importantly we're there for teachers and parents and always available to help. We've been organising educational and personal development school trips to East Africa since the early 1990's. We specialise in providing safe, exciting and worthy experiences for all involved and that includes the schools, teachers and parents at home! We are there to help you from the very first initial enquiry, through the build up, training & trip preparation and throughout their time in Kenya. We will help make this possible and support you so that it's also fun and enjoyable for you too!
Young people tend to apply early to get a place and for many of them the experience of planning, training, fundraising and of course the trip itself forms the basis for their personal portfolio. Some of them go on to do internships with us, and even work for the charity.
Here's some reflections of some Canadian students arriving in Kenya and meeting their fellow Kenyan student peers & camp buddies:
The level of preparation that we provide is unusual in our experience. We teach a wide range of personal development skills prior to the trip, which has great relevance to modern society and our place in it. Those involved sign up and the day that they do their journey starts, really the finale is stepping on the plane to reach Africa. Global citizenship and social responsibility are promoted, as is personal self esteem and in particular stereotyped attitudes to aid, race and development.
Safety on the Kenya school expedition
Our Kenya school trips are very well organised and well staffed and very safe; our track record speaks for itself. We have such a deep and comprehensive understanding of the country and now, well into our third decade working there, we have a long and successful legacy and a remarkable network of support, which is a very protective and reassuring element of our operations in Kenya.
Perhaps most importantly our programme and itineraries are in beautiful, peaceful, rural regions; our groups never see nor hear anything which might be construed as dangerous. Schools and children's homes in remote western Kenya, small communities and villages, the glorious uplands of Mount Kenya or a National Park are all amazing and safe places to visit and explore. We have our own bases at all these locations where we are well known and respected and just by being with Moving Mountains the local people have such high appreciation of our work that they treat you as one of their own. Of course with every group we have our own qualified and experienced staff from both Kenya and the UK / Ireland too. Plus we also welcome teaching staff from the schools and parents too join us and can easily organise a taster trip so that you can come and see exactly what we do, meet our team and see where and how we run our trips, so that when you come out with your students that you feel relaxed and happy.
The vehicles and staff are either our own or those of our partner organisation Adventure Alternative and every trip attracts a large following of supporters and stakeholders. Local villagers, teachers, Doctors, government authorities, local police, tribal elders, village committees, social workers and many children all take part in these trips, and in all our years of running this trip we have simply never experienced any sort of security issue or problem. We always stick to the places we know so well and where we are so welcome.
We outsource the management and logistics of our groups to the tour company Adventure Alternative and do this as they are experts in their field and unlike MM, they are an officially recognised, licenced & bonded tour operator. They have all the proper insurances, policies, assessments, bonding, qualifications, experience, equipment, vehicles and staff to ensure a smooth and safe transition from arrival in Kenya, throughout the journey at our projects or whilst being involved with the personal challenge elements of the itinerary and back to the airport again. MM was originally born out of Adventure Alternative (AA) and many of their staff are former beneficiaries of the charity. They are the perfect guides to illustrate the realities of life in Kenya and with their intimate knowledge, alongside our western staff, they're the perfect custodians for our visiting groups.
We have never had to cancel a trip, and we have very close links with the Kenya Tourist Board, the Foreign Office and many other charities and tour operators who all share knowledge and experience.
Here's Dr. Norm O'Reilly telling us about his experiences and those of his students with us on a Youth expedition in Kenya.
Is there a role for a teacher or parent?
We are happy to work as closely or remotely as required. Some schools jump in with both feet and offer the opportunity to an entire year group and create a private school team; then depending on the numbers we offer a free place to at least one teacher or parent - possibly more, if they're keen to come along.
Other schools offer the opportunity to their students and they sign up and join one of our Open Groups as individuals. This means that a student will travel with a team made up of others from different areas / schools. In this case we do a lot of online training over Skype and by emailing resources and chatting to the students on a one to one basis. If there is a collection of students in a more localised area then we can also put them in contact pre-trip and if possible for some training. In this example we tend not to work specifically with a school but we can do so if requested and we always welcome teachers or parents involvement.
There is of course also a support role in the build up to travelling to Kenya be that helping organise fundraising, buying / borrowing kit, organising flights, insurance, visas etc. all of which we hands on assist with. Despite clear advice and instructions these tasks, being an important part of the process, can at times become the concerns and stresses of parents! We're here to help you too and we fully appreciate that you also go on a parental journey, which is more emotional and less exciting than your children's actual journey! It's a coming of age, a maturing that we watch and nurture and support - and we know that's not easy! So do please lift the phone and give us a call, or if possible let's meet up and have a chat.
Gavin chat's about what our Kenya School Trips, known as 'Africamps', are all about:
Join us by choosing a date below!
You will be redirected to our travel provider Adventure Alternative which manages all of our trips.
A £250 deposit on the AA secure booking system will secure your place.
- Duration 4 weeks
- Numbers 25
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping