The Kenyan Explorer
This fantastic volunteer program is like no other. Volunteers will play an important role in helping on essential programs, while also exploring the sights of wonderful Kenya. The program schedule;
Week 1: City - Stay in Nairobi for a week and conduct outreach programs in Kibera, with street kids and at a HIV program. Volunteers stay at the volunteer house and explore the city. At the weekend, they will be taken on the Nairobi Animal City excursion.
Week 2: Beach - Participants will be lucky enough to live at a beach house in stunning Watamu! Every day, until lunchtime, they will volunteer at a local children's center, clinic or school. Once the work day is over, they will have time to relax at the beach and even go snorkelling! They will also get to visit the wonderful city of Mombasa!
Week 3: Countryside - One of the main projects in Kenya is within the Internally Displaced People (refugee) camp in Mai Mahiu. Volunteers will stay with a host family and take on one of the many important tasks at the IDP. At the weekend volunteers will visit Hell’s Gate National Park and Lake Naivasha National Park.
Week 4: Massai Mara - The hardest but most rewarding week of the program. Volunteers will stay at a mud hut in the middle of the Massai Mara while building a school for local children. To top it all off they will finish the experience with a three day safari in the Massai Mara.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide volunteer support at a range of essential social programs
- Improve the future prospects of the vulnerable people of Kenya
- Teach volunteers about the huge needs of Kenya while also showing them the amazing country it is
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike.
NOTE: Volunteers on this program are welcome to extend their stay in Nairobi following completion of the Explorer Program by simply joining any of our other wonderful projects! (additional weekly fees apply)
How You Can Help
Volunteers play an essential role in helping out on a range of important projects on this program. They will gain a well-rounded insight into the significant needs of Kenya while also experiencing the best of the countries tourism hot spots. In Nairobi volunteers will be working with street kids and helping on a HIV program. In Watamu volunteers will help out in an children's center, clinic or school – helping an impoverished community in need. In Mia Mahiu volunteers will help these internally displaced people by working on projects including construction, teaching and engaging with the local school children. Volunteers will get first hand insight into life in a small Kenyan community. In the Massai Mara volunteers will get to see a part of the Massai culture that most tourists never get to experience, and will have to learn how to live as humbly as they do, all while helping to build a school.
Volunteers will contribute in a number of ways on this program and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Help to care for children
- Work with street kids and help them achieve a better life
- Support people with HIV/AIDS
- Help to build a school or teach children
- Support refugees
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to help create a brighter future for people living in marginalized communities of Kenya. This project is best suited to those volunteers who simply wish to be involved in a more ‘varied’ project as they will not only get to experience the wonderful sights and sounds of this fascinating country, but will also have the opportunity to assist the local people and communities along the way. The project is also open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
Situated on the Nairobi River, the city of Nairobi is not only the largest and fastest growing city in Kenya, but with a population of three million plus, it is also one of the largest in Africa. Nairobi is known as the ‘city in the sun’, but its more enthusiastic fans proudly call it the ‘green city in the sun’. Amongst the cities in Africa, Nairobi has carved a niche in terms of cultural diversity and heritage so even if you are on a short stay, there will be something for you to do here!
The Nairobi city centre is relatively small at just 1 kilometre square, making it easy to get around on foot. Be sure to visit the National museum which is right in the city, and get a glimpse of Kenya’s cultural and prehistoric wealth. While there, consider visiting the Snake Park, which is within the same grounds. For souvenirs, stop and shop at the City Market and the famous Maasai Markets.
The city is filled with many things to do during the day and the night. Visitors can have their pick from numerous safaris (wildlife, cultural, sport, adventure, scenic and specialist), ecotourism tours, restaurants, culture, shopping and entertainment. Volunteers can simply talk to the local project team about weekend Safaris and trips to Hells Gate (see ‘Additional Info’ section!).
Nairobi National Park, just outside Nairobi, is home to large herds of Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Giraffe, Lion, Cheetah, Hippo, Rhino and even bird-life (over 400 species). Also in the park is the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. Nairobi is a fantastic place to visit and an even better place to volunteer!
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and begins on the first Sunday of every month. This is a set 4-week program. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team for those volunteers who wish to stay on and join a second project, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Nairobi volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to the volunteer house accommodation where they will join a full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in Kenya. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya (CODE: NBO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this program are accommodated within a large and spacious volunteer house, located in a safe and convenient suburb of Kikuyu within a short commute to all the main attractions of this fascinating city. Volunteers are provided with a comfortable shared bedroom and shared bathroom, separated by gender, and thanks to the variety and popularity of this program location, they will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded people from around the world. Wifi is available onsite, though service may not be as reliable as most are accustomed to at home. As with most parts of Africa, laundry facilities are basic and most volunteers simply use the services of a local laundromat.
While the accommodation is basic, this is part of the challenge and experience of volunteering in a developing country. With a little patience, and a flexible attitude, you will quickly get used to your new surroundings. The volunteer house is well managed by the local team and there is an onsite ‘house mama’ to look after volunteers. A perfect home away from home and a wonderful base for your stay in Nairobi!
Volunteers are provided 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner) at the volunteer house during the working week and 3 meals are provided if you are at your accommodation during weekends. Lunch is not included during the working week but is often be taken at small cafes or restaurants where you can try cheap and tasty local food. You are also free to buy bread and other snacks. The meals provided are mostly vegetarian, local cuisine. Conveniently, there is also a fridge and basic cooking facilities if volunteers would occasionally like to prepare their own meals. Easy!
For those who prefer, in some cases we can arrange accommodation with a host family who are experienced in hosting international volunteers. The host family accommodations will involve shared bedrooms and bathrooms. Please keep in mind that in some of the more rural areas bathrooms will consist of squat toilets and bucket showers. Although most families have running water, hot water is still uncommon among local families in Kenya.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Safaris and Excursions for Volunteers
During your time in Kenya, why not use the opportunity to explore the country! If you're looking for an authentic adventure that takes you ‘off-the-beaten-track’, you can take an excursion directly with our local partner organization. As a Love Volunteer, not only will you get an excellent price, but every time you take a trip with them, a portion of the fee is donated to one of our development projects!
Here is some of the options available to volunteers:
Maasai Mara Safari: The ultimate safari experience with the chance to see the Big 5 - lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant, leopard - you can be assured of three days of fun that you will never forget!
Mt Long’onot: If you’re up for a challenge and love to hike, Mt Long’onot is the adventure for you - make it to the top and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Great Rift Valley and Hell’s Gate.
Hell’s Gate National Park: Fancy cycling through the land that inspired The Lion King? From cycling to hiking, swimming to sailing, the Hell’s Gate tour promises action-packed day for the adventure seekers.
Animal City Tour: Animal lovers rejoice - this is the perfect wildlife experience just for you. Visiting four different animal parks in just one day, you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and giraffes!
Watamu Coast Tour (1-week): Escape from the city with a week of relaxation, sun and fun on Kenya’s beautiful coast. You’ll have the opportunity to take a snorkelling trip and get inches away from beautiful wild dolphins. On your final day, a trip to Mombasa is on the cards before returning to Nairobi, chilled and fulfilled.
Kilimanjaro (1-week): Taking the top spot on almost every thrill seeker’s bucket list, Kilimanjaro is for the brave and mighty. On this eight-day trip, you will depart from Nairobi ready to conquer the mountain - and you will return a champion.
There’s also plenty to do in the city in your down time - from taking in the stunning views of Nairobi at the top of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre to stocking up on souvenirs at the Maasai market. We can guarantee you won’t be bored on your days off!
*Special rates available to Love Volunteers alumni only. Bookings are made directly with the local team after a place on the program has been confirmed. Spaces subject to availability.