Culture Experience in Kenya
Spend a week immersing yourself in true Kenyan culture, where you’ll learn more about the lifestyle, history, and language of the country. During this program, you’ll get to visit museums and beautiful natural attractions, as well as indulge yourself in typical Kenyan cuisine through cooking classes, and improve your language skills with Swahili practice.
This is the perfect opportunity to familiarise yourself with the local surroundings before beginning another Kenya program, you will begin to truly experience and understand Kenya. You will get to sight-see around your new home, begin to interact with the local people and visit a number of natural wonders including the Great Rift Valley and the Abadere mountains.
Through cultural introductions, walking tours and language classes you will come out of this week having a new understanding and appreciation of this fascinating and untouched African country.
Aims & Objectives
- Help you get familiar with your local Kenyan surroundings
- Teach you helpful phrases in Swahili
- Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
- Provide a full induction, preparing you for a longer stay!
The week is jam packed full of cultural experiences and lessons, with the aim being to show you as much of the area as possible. You will experience cooking lessons, craft workshops and sightseeing tours around the area.
Our culture week offers you the chance to learn more about Kenyan culture, lifestyle and history. You’ll also discover the best sights around the area as well as get to know your surroundings.
In a nutshell, it is the best way to get acquainted to your new surroundings and get ready for your stay in this untouched region of Eastern Africa. During the week, you will be introduced to the Kenyan culture first hand through:
- Cooking and language lessons
- Sightseeing around your new home
- Visits to the Elephant Center and the Giraffe Center
- Our countless interactions with locals
- In this way, you will get the opportunity to better understand Kenyan life, culture and begin to feel at home in your new surroundings.
Cultural Introduction and Language Lesson
Village walking tour, including: passing by a local coffee plantation site, local market, hospital, police station and district offices
Visit Blue Post where you will see a local waterfall and art gallery
Coffee Farming Overview and Visit
Lunch in Thika
Visit Thika city center (supermarket, Bank, ATM, local market, post office, bus station)
Visit Giraffe Center
Visit Bomas of Kenya
Visit a local farm and see the daily activities
Enjoy free time or Creative Activity (make your own mat)
Visit a local community organized Vocational School (hair braiding, beauty therapy, etc) and/or Visit the local market in Kirwara
Depending on local conditions (weather, traffic, etc.) Afternoon activities may include any of the following: Enjoy a scenic ride to man-made water dam; Visit Local Grassroots organization to learn about social programs offered in the area; Creative Activity: Make your own bracelet or mat; Free time.
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Gatanga Village will be your new home and will give you the chance to see authentic rural Kenya. Close by is Thika, an industrial town where you will be able to find anything you need. Nairobi is not too far either, and you can head there during the weekend for nights out or sightseeing. Likewise, there are many natural areas in close proximity to Gatanga, a simple example are Fourteen Falls, a set of waterfalls that will leave you awestruck.
You will be accommodated in our centre. All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Sometimes there are power and water cuts during the day, but do not panic. This is life in the village. This is a very simple local accommodation, but you will have all of the necessities while here. You will have meals provided and rooms cleaned on the weekends, but you will also be expected to clean up after yourself and play your part in keeping the accommodation neat and organized. The location is very close to the Police station and a short walk to local market and shops.
- Standard Room
- All meals included
- Persons per room 2-4
- Wifi in public areas
- Hot Showers
Food served will mainly be Kenyan food, which consists of vegetables, potato, eggs, bread, pancakes (commonly known as “chapati”) and fruits such as oranges, bananas and avocados.
3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
Thika town is located a thirty minute drive away from our center and is filled with supermarkets, shops, ATMs, local markets and good restaurants. There is local transport available such as bicycle and motorbike taxis, van taxis and buses. Vehicles come up to our project sites every hour and drop you off in Thika town. Moreover, the bus station in Thika is your launching spot into other parts of Kenya.
Please be advised that in the event of an excess number of participants, we may use other local accommodation in the area that meets a similar standard as described herein.
Trip Country Info
Language: English, Swahili
Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)
Time zone: UTC +3
Discover our gap year volunteer programs in Kenya.
The first thing that might pop to mind when thinking of Kenya are lions, zebras and leopards. However, this vast country has much more to offer. With 40 national parks and reserves scattered around the country, Kenya features almost every landscape and activity that you can imagine and it will suit any type of traveller’s palette.
Undeniably, safaris are the core of tourism in Kenya, but you might also venture in deeper and discover the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe known for its color-filled adornments. Nairobi is another destination to explore, with its bustling nightlife and unique vibes. For those who love nature, a visit to the Great Rift Valley is a must. And for those who enjoy chilling at the beach, Kenya’s coastal area covers almost 80,000 square kilometers and remains sun-filled during most of the year!
Kenya is a big country and its climate varies from tropical along its coast to arid in the north and quite temperate inland. Kenya receives a large amount of sunshine year-round but generally, the hottest period is considered take place in February and March while the coldest one between July and mid August. The “long rains” season happens between March and June, while the “short rain” season is between October and December.
Over the course of history, Kenya has been the hub of migration and henceforth, the country has become one of the most diverse culture and language-wise.
The country has over forty different ethnic groups, including Luo, Kamba, Maasai and more. Each speaks a variety of mother tongues, although Swahili remains the most widely spoken language. Moreover, European, Arab, Indian and Pakistani groups who came to the country in the 19th century can be added to the mix of diversity.
Even though religions such as Christianity and Islam are widely spread, many still believe in the ancestor world, where the dead have an impact on the lives of the living.
Today, Kenya’s culture, including forms of dress, music and food sees its strong influences from other parts of Africa, India, Europe and the United States. However, in certain parts of the country, many communities retain their traditional lifestyle and culture and people still wear clothes, skins, jewelry as they did centuries ago. Many remote tribes remain absolutely isolated and indigenous as
Traditional Kenyan food are known for consisting corn, potatoes and beans. A staple dish is Ugali, a porridge made out of maize. Another typical delicacy is irio, a blend of corn, beans, potatoes and beans dipped into meat or vegetable stews.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance