This programme creates a very unique Kenyan experience differing from the typical ‘big-game safari holidays’. It will enlighten your perspective of day to day life in a rural village setting. We have provided a general itinerary to give you an idea of the amazing experiences you will have.
Arrive in Nairobi and check-in to one of our Community Centres. We will get you ready for the village homestay by giving you additional background about the village and your hosts. We will also discuss what to expect and answer any and all questions you may have.
Depart Nairobi for the village homesteads, arriving around lunchtime. After settling into your accommodation you are invited to share a traditional meal with them. Each host family welcomes a maximum of four guests including a staff member (to assist with translation where necessary). During the evening there is a song & games session to help ‘break the ice’ and blend in with your host family and the other villagers.
All the visitors gather together after breakfast for a discussion session about history, culture and present-day status of the host community. In the afternoon there is a ‘cultural learning’ session where you are given the option to learn a specific element of the community’s culture e.g. handicrafts, medicine, language, songs & dance. The host families may also use this session to display their handicrafts for sale.
Activities on this day are based around spending time with your host family helping them in their daily tasks. These vary from family to family however the most common activities you would participate in are: harvesting grass for livestock, collecting firewood, tilling the land, sowing, obtaining water, market shopping and milking the cows.
The community has identified a community focused sustainability project (utilising the proceeds from tourism) based on their needs. Such projects could include: small construction projects (wall making bricks, borehole digging), handicrafts and weaving, environmental clean-up etc. The rest of the day is spent visiting and participating in tasks related to these projects.
We organise visits to the local hospitals and schools as well other landmarks that form a focal meeting point for the community such as the church or community centres. This provides an opportunity to understand how the village is connected with their wider environment and locality. Your hosts also take their guests on a local site-seeing trip of local areas of special interest; this varies from village to village.
The day is spent visiting nearby National Parks viewing and appreciating the wildlife and scenery. Some of the parks include Lake Nakuru National Park famous for its flamingos, Aberdare National Forest Reserve known for its ‘big-five’ wild animals, Nairobi National Park etc. The National Park visited depends on your village location; this would be advised upon on your arrival in Kenya. Later in the day the host families organise an exchange ‘cultural evening’ which is also a time for the guests to thank the hosts.
Depart the homesteads and villages for a final shopping day, in Nairobi.
How Community-based village homestays, Kenya makes a difference.
Through our village homestays in Kenya your visit will help encourage the villagers to support responsible ecotourism as a viable alternative to sustainability rather than focusing on the unsustainable practices of commercial farming. Your visit provides an important income which will reinforce and promote the long term conservation of their cultural identity and their nurturing environment.
The village community receive proper economic benefits from the tourism operation and are remunerated for their work in the operation. In addition they are trained in all the different areas related to socially and ecologically responsible tourism.
Benefits for communities
This holiday is part of the responsibletravel.com and Conservation International Community Based Tourism Programme to support and promote community based tourism ventures that offer significant conservation and development benefits to local communities. To see other community based tourism holidays and find out more about the programme click here.
Your accommodation is provided by the host community in their homes or homesteads. In return you are able to absorb the local village culture through shared meals, discussions and language exchange, sightseeing, and various activities.