Explore the wonders of Kenya while helping those less fortunate than yourselves.
This two-week journey gives you a wonderful introduction to the famous safari
country whilst also providing you with the opportunity to help some of the abandoned
children of the area.
CHILDREN OF THE RISING SUN HOME
On this trip, you will spend your mornings working at the nearby Children's
Home, The Children of the Rising Sun home (CRS). CRS is a children's home located
near Malindi, Kenya, currently housing thirty-one abandoned boys and girls, ranging
from five to sixteen years old. The children live in dormitories, furnished with
small wooden beds. They have access to drop toilets, water and basic showers.
There is limited clothing, medical supplies and no school transport.
This permanent home was built in January 1997 on eleven acres of land donated
by a generous Kenyan hotelier. Two acres of the land have been used for the facilities
which include one dormitory for boys, one dormitory for girls and arts and crafts,
one kitchen/store/dining verandah, three showers and four drop toilets.
The remaining land is used as a fruit and vegetable farm. The CRS committee
needs help with their plans to add a vocational training center, including a commercial
farm and wood carving shop, for the home and local community.
When you're not helping CRS, you'll stay in a clean, but basic hotel in the
Watamu village. Your meals are of western standard; your rooms will have air conditioning
and running hot and cold water. Located directly on the Indian Ocean beach, there
is also a lovely swimming pool and friendly staff to help you to enjoy your stay.
Your afternoons are spent exploring the wonders of the Watamu area, which
has been named a United Nations biosphere. Watamu itself is a small village located
on the coast of Kenya, approximately 120 km north of Mombasa and 25 km south of
Malindi. The area has developed an international reputation for its white-sand,
reef-protected beaches, which line the Watamu National Marine Park.
Established in 1968, this Marine Park is the oldest in Kenya and has developed
into one of the best snorkeling and dive spots of the world. The Marine Park boasts
over 600 species of fish in just 10 square km, although the reserve area itself
spreads out over more than 32 square km in total. It is virtually impossible to
snorkel without seeing a least a few dozen species inside the main reef and divers
outside the fringe reef stand an excellent chance of viewing the magnificent whale
shark and Manta Rays that are seasonal visitors.
If underwater exploring is not your style, not to worry! From windsurfing
to dolphin watching boat trips, gentle walks to explore the rock pools or simply
lying on the beach getting tan, the Watamu beach offers something for everyone.
In addition to the Marine Park itself, Watamu is within 10 km of two other
special natural reserves, Mida Creek and Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, and one fascinating
site of archeological interest, Gede Ruins.
The Mida Creek reserve is formed of extensive mangrove forests, warm shallow
waters and large areas of mud flats at low tide. This area hosts not only many
local birds, such as Greater Flamingo, Yellow-billed Stork, Great White Egret
and Malachite Kingfisher, but is also the winter home of many migrants such as
the Crab Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel and Sanderling. The Osprey and African
Fish Eagle are often overhead. A bird-lovers paradise, Mida Creek is also the
spot to watch the spectacular African sunsets whilst supping an icy cold drink
at the end of an active day.
The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is the largest remaining area (420 square km.) of
indigenous coastal forest in East Africa. The forest contains six species of globally
threatened bird, including the Clarke's Weaver, which is found nowhere else in
the world. Rare mammals are also present, including the Golden Rumped Elephant
Shrew, Bushy-tailed Mongoose and Ader's Duiker. Rarely seen but also found in
the forest are elephant, buffalo, leopard and hyena. The forest is also home to
over 260 species of butterflies. With several picnic spots and shady walking paths,
which meander through the trees, the forest is a favorite spot for many.
Gede Ruins, an archeologists delight, was one of the ancient Arab towns, which
dotted the East African Coast. It dates from the late 13th or early 14th Century
and was finally abandoned in the early 17th Century. Excavated since 1927, many
areas have been revealed, including the Great Mosque, the Palace, several residential
houses and pillar tombs. Surrounded by tall shady trees, a walk through Gede is
a must for anyone interested in Kenya's history.
You'll enjoy excursions to all of these areas when not working at CRS, as well
as flying to the island of Lamu for a night on your first weekend and experiencing
a two-night safari in the famous Masai Mara on the second weekend.
Lamu is a step back in time to the old Arabic trader days. The island has no
vehicles. All your exploring is done on foot or by using the donkeys, which are
the local taxis! Explore the winding streets with the tall, narrow houses whose
carved wooden doors open into hidden courtyard gardens. Taste the locally made
halva, a traditional sweetmeat and visit the old museum. You'll stay in the delightful,
small, family run hotel of Peponi, with its superb seafood restaurant and lovely
views of the sea.
Virtually unchanged for centuries, the fishermen here still fish using wooden
dhows that sail up and down the Kenya coast with the monsoon winds. Wood craftsmen
make furniture by hand and the traditional Lamu chairs are particularly popular
The Masai Mara of course needs no introduction. This, the most famous of Kenya's
game parks, is the epitome of the classic African savanna landscape with its gently
rolling plains, flat topped acacia trees and abundant wildlife. Lion, leopard,
cheetah, buffalo, elephant, eland, wildebeest and untold other animals all populate
this rich eco-system which will be your final stop on this safari.
You'll stay in one of the classic tented safari camps, spending the nights
under canvas, with the sounds of the African bush all around. Your game drives
will be done with local, expert guides who will fill you in on the local flora
and fauna as well as the cultural traditions of the Masai tribe itself.
Heading home after thirteen nights in Kenya, you'll have gained an insight
into the culture of the local tribes, spotted wildlife, snorkeled in the Indian
Ocean and helped the children towards a better life. You'll have memories to cherish
for a lifetime!
Please note, that dependant upon the tides and the weather, the order and timing
of some excursions may change.
Day One Arrive into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi Kenya.
Met and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to Malindi. At Malindi
met and taken to the Barracuda Inn, Watamu. Overnight at Barracuda Hotel.
Day Two After breakfast, your driver and the CRS Director will take
you to the home, introduce you to the children and the staff and give you a guided
tour. The ongoing projects with which you will help, such as farming, building,
cooking, home repairs, sewing and just spending time with the children, will be
explained and chores designated to each volunteer. You'll return to the hotel
in time for a late lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to ensure you are fully
recovered from jetlag and can acclimatize to the heat. Overnight at Barracuda.
Day Three After breakfast, it's back to the Home for the start of your
projects. You'll work until lunchtime at which point you'll return to the hotel
for a quick shower before climbing aboard your glass bottom boat for a guided
snorkel trip in the Marine Park with a marine expert who has studied the park
for over 20 years. The evening is at leisure. Overnight at Barracuda.
Day Four Once again the morning is spent at the Home on the various
projects. A picnic lunch is taken with you today though, as on your way back to
Watamu we'll stop off at the Gede Ruins for an afternoon guided tour through this
mysteriously abandoned town. Dinner and overnight at Barracuda.
Day Five Back once again to the children for the morning before a return
to the hotel at 2pm. The afternoon is at leisure before we collect you at 6.00pm
and take you to the village home of Nelson Bashora for an introduction into the
local Sanye tribe's culture and a traditional African meal. Overnight at Barracuda.
Day Six This morning you'll head off to the Malindi airport for your
morning flight to the island of Lamu. Upon arrival, you'll be collected and taken
to your hotel to check-in before heading out to explore the wonders of the island.
Dinner and overnight at Peponi's Hotel.
Day Seven At your leisure, exploring the island, relaxing on the beach
or lazing around the pool. Your afternoon flight returns to Malindi and Watamu
where you'll dine and overnight back at the Barracuda Inn.
Day Eight Continue your volunteer work at the Home. Lunch is at the
hotel where you have a few hours rest before heading to the Sokoke Forest for
a nature walk with one of the local guides. Keep an eye out for the Sokoke Six
- six birds that are found nowhere else in the world! Dinner and overnight at
Day Nine This morning you jump aboard a boat as you set out beyond the
outer reef to search for the dolphin pods in the area. Your guide will ensure
you learn about these playful, intelligent mammals as your boat travels gently
along beside them. Lunch at the hotel before returning to the Home to finish up
Day Ten It's the last working day today. The morning will be spent in
a frenzy of activity no doubt as the last minute final touches are put to your
projects. The afternoon is spent at leisure, shopping, relaxing or snorkeling
in the park.
Day Eleven The morning is spent at the home with the children having
a small celebration and saying your goodbyes. Lunch is at the hotel before you
head to Mida Creek for a sunset dhow cruise and return to the hotel for your last
night in Watamu.
Day Twelve You'll fly to the Masai Mara, via Nairobi, this morning and
game drive enroute to the camp. Spend the rest of the day exploring Mara. Dinner
and overnight at the camp.
Day Thirteen This whole day is spent in your safari vehicles game driving
though the Mara in search of the animals, birds, plants and insects that make
up this fascinating eco-system. All meals and overnight at the camp.
Day Fourteen After breakfast, enjoy a game drive enroute to the airstrip
where you catch your flight back to Nairobi and your onward international connection.
Includes: All transfers, all accommodation, all meals and excursions
stated in the itinerary, unlimited bottled water when at the Children's Home,
African Air Rescue Emergency game drives and driver/guide on safari, activities
as listed above, park entrance fees and local taxes.
Excludes: The charge does not include international flights, visas,
tips, personal purchases, drinks or international departure taxes.
Contact Melinda Rees for
more information on this safari.
Why travel with us? Because Eco-resorts is changing the world-one journey
at a time.
Animals and people both need land. Ecotourism provides an alternative income
for the people, leaving space for the migratory animals. Eco-resorts actively
supports the villages and projects that are protecting East Africa's environment
We develop self-help eco-projects, which promote wildlife conservation.
We also educate both our consumers and our partner camps with two free ezines.
We use renewable energy products, reduce paper and plastic consumption in our
office and have left the natural vegetation unscathed, resulting in duiker and
monitor lizards visiting the office!
We donate 10% of all post-tax profits to fund community and/or conservation
projects. Community projects are operated with the local villagers as the operators
and managers; Eco-resorts provides advice and guidance when requested, but abides
by local beliefs and traditions.
Our current projects include:
- The Children of the Rising Sun Orphanage, which provides accommodation,
meals, medicine and schooling for 28 street-children. Our goal is to have a vocational
job-training center operational at the home, for the kids and local villagers.
- The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, the last remaining tract of coastal
lowland forest in Kenya, which provides the only refuge for several endemic birds
and mammals, such as the golden-rumped elephant shrew and the Sokoke Pippet. Designated
as one of Conservation International's 26 global bio-diversity hotspots (www.conservation.org)
and surrounded on all sides by an ever increasing human population, the Forest
is in danger of disappearing as trees are cut for carvings, land cleared for subsistence
farming and animals trapped for food.
Eco-resorts hopes to ensure that the local villagers become the greatest supporters
of the Forest. One of the many projects in the Forest trains the local villagers
to breed forest butterfly species for export to the live butterfly market.
With two local butterfly farms already in operation, over 400 people in the
area bordering the Forest now have an income that relies upon the continued health
of the Forest. Our goal is to employ another 100 people.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed information on our
ezines and the Eco-resorts community and wildlife conservation projects
that your eco-adventure safari will support. Help us make a difference!