Kenya Community & Marine Conservation
– Duration: 1 month –
Experience the magic of rural Kenya on this rewarding 4-week programme based in the charming coastal village of Muhaka.
Working hand in hand with local women and families, you will become immersed in the local culture, learning traditional skills and making a measurable impact through community development initiatives.
You’ll also get stuck into our immersive Marine Conservation Project on the stunning Diani beach, working alongside marine biologists to protect marine wildlife and habitats whilst learning about the key issues facing our oceans today.
This programme is designed to impact the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:
The impact that you'll make
School Improvement & Traditional House Building (Muhaka)
Muhaka village remains one of the poorest communities in the area and many of its residents cannot afford to repair or rebuild their houses, which have deteriorated over time. The school is also in a constant state of disrepair. You will help by building traditional housing for people and supporting the ongoing renovation of the school.
Marine Conservation (Camp Ocean)
Increasing pollution and plastic waste on the Kenyan coastline is causing a major threat to important marine habitats and wildlife. You’ll help to protect the local coastline through beach clean-ups and work on a marketing campaign to educate people on waste management, sustainability and the ways we can to reduce negative impacts on marine environments.
Camp Muhaka will quickly become your home away from home. With stylish traditional buildings and a great social scene, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Being in the heart of the village also has its perks; all your project sites are only a short walk away and you can walk with the children to and from school so you’ll be a local in no time!
Location: 1.5-2 hours drive from Mombasa Airport
Accommodation style: Traditional bandas and tents with comfy mattresses and bedding. Modern toilets, showers and sinks
Power: Mains electricity backed up by generator (between 18:00 – 22:00). British 3 pin power sockets
Social area: Based right in the heart of the community, in walking distance to project sites and a short drive to the beach. Chill out zone with camp fire and pool table
Signature dish: Ugali
Camp Ocean boasts one of the most spectacular camp locations, just a 2 minute walk from the award-winning Diani beach. Enjoy waking up to the sounds and sights of the sea and relaxing in the comfy social area after a day of activities.
Location: 3-4 hours drive from Mombasa Airport
Accommodation style: Traditional bandas, bunk beds with comfy mattresses and bedding. Modern showers and sinks
Power: Mains electricity backed up by generator (between 18:30 – 22:00). British 3 pin power sockets
Social area: Large social and mess area with cushions to chill out on and a small shop
Day to Day
Welcome to Kenya
Arrive into Moi airport where you’ll be met by a member of our Camps crew before taking the 2-3 hour journey to your first camp, Camp Muhaka. Situated in the heart of a rural village, we have been working with this community for over 7 years so you will be welcomed warmly by the people who will be your family during your stay.
Village & community orientation
We’ll take a walk in the village to get to know the local families before having a full briefing on what your work here will involve. During the briefing, you will learn more about the current situation and challenges faced by the community.
Community project work
In the Muhaka region, there are many vulnerable families and elders whose homes have fallen into disrepair. You will spend the next few days working alongside our locally employed craftsmen, helping to renovate or build a new house for a member of the community.
Let’s hit the beach
Take the short 30 minute journey down to the spectacular Diani Beach (voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world) where you can chill out on the beach, have lunch, swim and get some souvenir shopping done.
Chill out day
Enjoy a relaxed day at camp where you can take time to chill out, update your travel journal, get some laundry done and just relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Back to community projects
Spend the rest of the week continuing your work on the house-building project.
Head to the coast for another day enjoying Diani Beach.
Chill out day
Enjoy a well-earned chill out day before the busy week ahead.
Cultural exchange with local families
Spend the next couple of days gaining a deeper insight into rural village life. Work alongside local families on their farms by cultivating and harvesting crops (season permitting) which is their main source of income. The women will also teach you to cook local delicacies and make Makuti (palm leaf weaving), another income generating activity.
Complete the community project
These next two days will be spent finishing up the project work and handing over the home to a very appreciative community member.
Wildlife spotting at Shimba Hills reserve
The Shimba Hills National Reserve is an area of lush coastal rainforest, woodland and grassland. It is home to a large population of African elephant as well as other species such as sable antelope, elephant shrew, bushy tailed mongoose and other small mammals like fruit bats. We will take you on a guided drive through the reserve where you can take in the beautiful scenery, learn about the biodiversity in the area and – if you’re lucky – spot some of the resident elephants. After a picnic lunch we will take you on a guided hike to a beautiful waterfall situated in the reserve.
Take an optional trip down to Diani beach to relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand.
Chill out day
Spend the day relaxing at camp.
Environmental conservation at Kaya forest
Let’s go green and address environmental conservation at the sacred Kaya forest. We will be clearing a buffer zone for indigenous tree planting and building a sheltered tree nursery. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy a guided walk in the sacred forest with the Kaya elders learning its interesting historical background, uses of its indigenous plants and fascinating cultural practices.
From the forests to the mangroves – over the next few days you’ll work on an ongoing conservation projects in the mangroves near Muhaka. Work here includes planting hundreds of mangrove seedlings, constructing an education centre for marine conservation and refurbishing fishponds and extending the boardwalk for Baraka Women’s Group.
Marine conservation project commences
Say your farewells to Camp Muhaka as your transfer down to Camp Ocean where you will begin your Marine Conservation Project programme (MCP). This amazing 3-day programme will expose you to marine wildlife, habitats and conservation as you learn about the key issues facing our oceans today. You’ll gain practical experience collecting data and learning about various research projects and methods – highly valuable if you’re considering a career in the marine sector and an incredible insight for anyone passionate about environmental issues.
After lunch you will be taken to the marine centre where you will be given an introduction to the programme and a tour of the facility before returning to Camp Ocean for dinner.
If luck is on our side, be prepared to drop everything and rush to experience the amazing sight of baby turtles hatching. We will make sure we have transport ready for you. Turtle hatchlings usually happen between 6pm to midnight as they hatch according to the moon.
Snorkelling trip to discover marine life
Today is a full day of MCP where, depending on the tides, you will join the marine biologist on a snorkelling trip to a nearby amazing sandbank where you can learn more about the marine life and the coral reefs. You will have some time to relax on the sandbank and swim in the crystal blue waters. Once back at the centre, you will use photos to identify fish species. You will also learn about other research around the world and its implications. During your free time in Diani you will be able to go explore the nearby bars, shops and restaurants.
Coastal conservation and farewell beach BBQ
For your final day you will take part in a beach clean-up in the morning, learning about best practises and segregating waste for recycling, followed by a workshop on sustainability. You will wrap up the MCP program with a review of the activities. Lunch will be had at the lovely Nomads Restaurant which is situated on one of the best parts of Diani Beach, after which you will be free for the rest of the day to hang out on the beach, swim and maybe experience some of the local nightlife.
Kwaheri from Kenya
We’ll say our final farewells (or Kwaheri in Swahili) before transferring you back to the airport in time for your outbound flight.
Top up your trip
If you’d like to add in some extra adventure, we offer the opportunity to book some exciting add-ons which can be included within your trip duration or added on to the start or end of your journey. Speak to our team to find out more about how to add these awesome adventures to your programme.
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Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.
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