Gap year volunteering in Kenya

“Make a real difference with your gap year on this eight-week visit to a remote area in Kenya. A mix of conservation education and volunteering designed to immerse you in the local community.”


Permaculture farming lessons | Teaching in a local school | Free time in Nanyuki Town | Maasai field guide and bush experience | Young Conservationist internship | Hike Mt. Kenya | Borana | Il Ngwesi | Lewa Conservancy | Big Five |

Description of Gap year volunteering in Kenya

There are many ingredients to a successful and fulfilling gap year project, but perhaps the most important is having the confidence that you are making a real, positive difference to the place and the people you are visiting.

This is a fantastic eight-week itinerary that takes you to remote communities in Kenya far from the beaten tourist trail. You’ll stay on conservancies inhabited by the Big 5: Lions, rhinos, buffalos, leopards and elephants, learning conservation techniques based around the principles of permaculture, and assisting with ongoing projects in the local Maasai communities.

In Borana, a renowned rhino sanctuary, you’ll practise sustainable farming techniques, working in the fields side-by-side with local people and fly-camping in a tranquil, riverside location. In Il Ngwesi you’ll be shown vital data collection processes during bush walks led by Maasai people on an introductory field guide course, relaxing by the pool in the heat of the afternoon and sharing stories over sundowners around the campfire by night. In the prestigious Lewa conservancy you’ll join a Young Conservationists internship, immersed in the challenges of protecting the environment and wildlife. Journals track your progress as you receive a behind-the-scenes education in anti-poaching, micro-lending and mobile medic programs.

You will also spend 10 days assisting with teaching in a local school, on subjects such as English and IT, with extra-curricular projects including CV writing and sports.

Naturally, your Kenya gap year also offers plenty of time away from the fields and classroom. Several days are set aside for exploring Nanyuki Town, as you prepare for a hike part of the way up Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak after Kilimanjaro. Sleep beneath African skies and enjoy stunning views over Kenya, before saying farewell to your hosts.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The landscape we are based on contains a number of endangered species such as Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy Zebra, Lion and Rhino. These are all amazing animals and we are committed to educating our participants on how to look after them in the most sustainable and effective way. Among other locations, participants spend two weeks on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy learning about the various conservation programs in place to help protect and preserve these species. Participants also spend one week on Il Ngwesi where they will collect data every morning. This information is vital to the successful development of the conservancy and its neighbours.
Through this overall engagement and education we aim to generate future conservation ambassadors, helping to protect wildlife, communitites and environments.

We also have a strong conscience with regards to waste. We run a strict no 'single use plastics' policy and greatly encourage recycling both front and back of house in all locations. Participants and management are encouraged to pick up any litter or rubbish they may comes across in the bush. Not only does this help with general pollution but it also helps protect wildlife.

Participants are given water bottles on arrival for them to keep and re-use throughout the program and also to take home with them. Food is sourced as locally as possible keeping our carbon footprint low and nutrient content high!

The Impacts of this Trip

We are committed to helping our friends and neighbours as much as possible. Not only do they desperately need the support, but they also offer the most authentic experience and have the most local knowledge by far! Our suppliers are therefore all sourced as locally as possible and preferable from within the local Il Ngwesi community. Throughout the course we use local leaders to help teach and host participants while also encouraging community based trainees to join in on the education. The knowledge our participants learn on the Kebati Regenerative Farm is later taught back to the local communities helping them create their own sustainable future. We also use local drivers to transport our participants around.

Participants volunteer and learn on the same community that we run a scholarship fund for. This fund raises money through participants fees automatically, enabling one local child to be funded through university for every 10 participants. This helps to create a positive developing future for the community.

We also support local women through their beadwork in the form of a hand-crafted bracelet. One bracelet is given out to each participant as a welcome gift and is a reminder for them of the local culture while also generating local commerce.

Lastly, we are very fortunate to have a strong trusted relationship with Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge which is run and managed by the Maasai community. Participants stay here for one week. The lodge is a fantastic conservation success story offering a real shoulder-to-shoulder experience with the local Maasai people, their culture and the environment.


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