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Discover the real meaning of safari (the Swahili word for “journey”) on a three-week adventure in Kenya, created and implemented by Kenyans to provide an authentic and impactful experience. You’ll connect with the cultures and environments of this remarkable country as you explore national parks, visit wildlife reservations, and stay with a local host family. You and your group will tour urban centers—such as downtown Nairobi—and venture into the habitats of rare species like lions and rhinos. You’ll also meet and live with the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe, who live on a breathtaking national reserve, and learn about the Maasai way of life and their work. Enjoy three weeks of education and exploration in a country dedicated to preserving and protecting its vast natural beauty.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare

On this program you are likely to learn about these Sustainable Development Goals:


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.0
Age Range 15yrs, 0 months to
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Sample Program Itinerary to Kenya

The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.


I. Arriving in Nairobi

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience. 

AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Kenya will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff, volunteers and meet your fellow AFSers from around the world. Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Kenyan culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.

gp kenya 2019

After settling in, you will visit the The Wildlife Foundation (TWF) in Kitengela, a small but rapidly-growing urban center that neighbors the Nairobi National Park. TWF is a Kenyan NGO dedicated to conserving wildlife dispersal areas by nurturing a sustainable coexistence between humans and wildlife. After lunch you will have a brief introduction about the work of the TWF, learn more about Masai culture, and spend the night at Wildlife Foundation Center!

You will also volunteer in Nairobi with the Merciful Children’s Centre–a non-profit that supports homeless youth, where you’ll participate in sports and education activities. At the center, you will have an opportunity to learn more about its mission and have lunch with the kids. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to learn about the Biogas project as one of the interventions put in place to address climate change. The Centre received global attention from a community teenager’s invention that protects communal livestock from lions without causing harm to the animals. Past groups have even had the chance to meet and interact with him! Later, you will be escorted to your respective host families to stay the night with them.

kenya gp

II. Masai Culture, Karura Forest, and Ngong Hills Wind Power Station

You’ll get to visit Masai traditional homes locally referred to as Manyatta. There, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Masai rites of passage, oral tradition, ways of life, and artwork, including bead-making by Masai women. Expect another exciting expedition in the Masailand that will take you through guided nature walks and a local community boma (homestead) to see a predator deterrent lighting system, among other efforts for wildlife conservation.

On one morning session, you’ll plant trees at the famous Karura Forest in Nairobi. Karura Forest is an urban forest in Nairobi, managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association. The following day, you’ll visit Ngong Hills Wind Power Station to learn more about renewable energy as part of an effort to fight against climate change. The Ngong Hills are peaks in a ridge along the Great Rift Valley, located southwest near Nairobi, in southern Kenya.

You’ll also explore nearby cities, like the market town of Naivasha, which is located on the banks of an enormous lake that’s famous for its hippo population. Its attractions include the famous Hell’s Gate National Park. (The main locations for The Lion King, including Pride Rock and the Gorge, are modelled after this park, Longonot National Park, and Mount Longonot). This area is known for its abundant flower farms. You and your group will check-in at Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp and go on a boat ride to observe hippopotamus and other wild animals!


III. Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station, safari, and a tour of Nairobi

In the last week or so of your trip, you’ll visit the Kenya Wildlife Service training institute for a two-hour learning session about the effect of climate change within Naivasha ecosystem and what interventions have been put in place to address them. You’ll also spend most of the following day traveling to Lake Elementaita to see flamingos and other fresh water birds!

Next, you’ll visit the Olkaria I Geothermal Power Station to learn about renewable energy. The facility is located at the Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha. Later in the afternoon, you’ll visit one of the Flower Farms in Naivasha to learn how the farming industry uses natural resources within the Lake Naivasha Basin. The visit will give you first-hand information about the challenges faced by the Flower Farm in the use of the Lake Naivasha water.

As your trip comes to a close, prepare for a whole day of driving around on safari, where you’ll hopefully see lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo, and leopards, better known as the “Big Five!” During safari you will visit the Mara River, the ‘border’ between Kenya and Tanzania where Masai Mara meets Serengeti! On your journey back to Nairobi, you’ll have another opportunity to see the wild animals inside the Mara conservancy and National Reserve.

In the last few days of your program, you will tour the town, do some last-minute shopping, and enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants. You’ll visit The Bomas of Kenya for a colorful display of Kenyan traditional dances and visit displays of traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes.


Your Accommodations

For most of your time in Kenya you will be staying in hotel like dorms. You will also have the chance to say with a Maasai host family in a boma (traditional village). This is your chance to experience what daily life is like in their community and maybe even learn how to make some traditional foods like irio (green peas and mashed potatoes) or pilau (spiced rice with beef or chicken). Your host family will be a great resource for learning about different aspects of Kenyan culture!

Scholarships and Aid

We believe that studying abroad should not be contingent on personal finances. When you apply, we work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with available scholarships and aid. 100% of accepted applicants with demonstrated need receive funds.

Learn More

What's Included

  • Round trip international airfare
  • Accommodations, meals, and transportation
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Access to a 24/7 Emergency Duty Officer
  • Visa Support
  • Please review the Terms and Conditions for complete guidelines.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Kenya.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits

Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.0
Age Range 15yrs, 0 months to
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement