To Help With Your Packing
When you are packing, please remember our climate. You will be sending the bulk of your time outdoors.
Please note: Wild Animals do not react well to bright colors in the bush, particularly red. We suggest packing minimal bright colored clothing.
- Passport, insurance certificates and personal documentation, incl. some certified copies stored separately
- Proof of inoculations
- Spending money in Kenyan Shillings and US dollars
- Camera and memory Cards
- Medical Volunteers – bring a lab coat / scrubs for working in the hospital & healthcare centres
- Sunscreen (minimum Factor 30) & lip salve
- Sun Hat
- Comfy shoes (walking boots optional)
- Sandals / Flip flops
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Fleece type pullover (it can get cold at night) and lightweight sweater
- Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
- Short sleeved shirts or T-shirts (no low-cut cleavage)
- Trousers and long skirts (over the knee)
- Shorts (knee length or below)
- Binoculars (for game viewing)
- Water bottle (1ltr capacity)
- Waterproof & secure bag for documents & money
- Chargers – Kenya uses British 3-pin plugs
- Hand wipes & antibacterial gel
- Personal medical first aid & hygiene kit, diarrhea, anti-histamines & headache tablets
- Personal torch (as powerful as possible) & batteries (head torches are great for camping especially when going to the toilet at night!)
- Mosquito repellent (50% DEET is recommended) Mosquito net is not required
- A Swahili phrase book and a dictionary is VERY useful to bring along with you
- Snacks from home
- Cards and games / Books /e-reader
- Wildlife books
- A positive attitude!
Don’t let this be stressful, follow these guidelines and remember we are here to help if you have any questions. Please note: Arranging your visas is your responsibility and the information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. Do always check with your embassy for advice if you are unsure.
All volunteers participating in this project require a TOURIST VISA. You can automatically get this at the airport when you arrive which costs US$50, which you must have in cash. However, we recommend if you have enough time to apply for an E-VISA online before you arrive. You must do this through the official website: www.ecitizen.go.ke and the cost is US$51. Please do NOT purchase it through any other website as it may be a scam. When you apply online you will also need to upload a letter of invitation – please ask
your destination specialist for this – and your accommodation address in Kenya: Brackenhurst International Baptist Conference Centre, Limuru, Kenya.
You should have a passport valid for at least six months after your arrival date in Kenya, so please check the expiry date. It is advisable to bring a photocopy of your passport in case you lose the original.
Prior to your trip, you will need to arrange medical insurance which will give you full cover for any medical requirements which may arise during your trip, including cover for full air evacuation in the unlikely event that this is necessary. Your medical cover also needs to include repatriation. If you do not already have a company that you are happy to use to take out a policy with, we suggest World Nomads, who offer comprehensive medical and travel insurance. Please be sure to check your policy carefully to ensure that it does cover activities which you are likely to participate in.
Registration with AMREF:
Due to the nature and environment of the project, you are highly recommended to register with AMREF (also known as Flying Doctors) as well as being insured from your home country. This is to care for an emergency airlift evacuation.
You can register here: AMREF
Your Medical Insurance must cover airlift evacuation and your membership with AMREF ensures that you can be located and your details are available on arrival. The cost of registration is roughly $25 for 2 months.
We recommend you arrange this with AMREF prior to your arrival at the project.
Police clearance / Background Check certificate:
You must please get a police clearance/criminal record check certificate
PLEASE NOTE: WITHOUT POLICE CLEARANCE, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO JOIN THE PROJECT. It is mandatory for all our volunteers to complete police checks prior to joining any one of our projects to ensure they have no criminal record. As a volunteer, regardless of project selection, you will come into contact with minors or vulnerable adults during your stay. We, therefore, feel that it is our responsibility to run a check on everyone volunteering with us in order to ensure the safety of the people and communities we work with. Depending on your nationality and the rules attached to your home country, there will be a small charge, either payable to African Impact or your local authority.
Please note that your police/criminal record check cannot be more than 6 months old when you start your volunteer program, so if you are booking more than 6 months in advance of your project start date, please wait to obtain this check.
If from the UK or US we can assist you with the process for a minimal fee. Please note it is required for all projects. For all other countries we have helpful contacts and usually, experience. In addition, African Impact insists that volunteers and interns avoid any contact with drugs and any inappropriate activities relating to alcohol.
Please consult your private doctor with regards to immunizations/vaccinations. Below are details of what is likely to be recommended.
Yellow Fever: A Yellow Fever vaccination and the certificate are obligatory for Kenya. You WILL NOT be allowed to enter the country without it.
Please consult your doctor with regards to other vaccinations. Below are details of what is likely to be recommended, most of which you would have received as a child.
Hepatitis A&B: Recommended
Malaria: Limuru is a malaria-free zone. However, if you plan on traveling outside of Limuru on excursions to the Maasai Mara, for example, you will need a supply of anti-malarial tablets for your trip as well as mosquito repellent. Ask your doctor to prescribe the best one available. N.B. We do not recommend Larium (sometimes known to cause hallucinations) or Doxycycline (many people have bad reactions to the sun when they use this prophylactic).
You will need sunscreen for the hot African sun – SPF 30 and above. Also, please bring a hat and a water bottle with you, as you may be in the sun for a good portion of the day. Even if the sky is overcast, the sun is strong enough to cause burning.
We take your safety very seriously and on arrival, will give you a comprehensive talk on the do’s and don’ts around Kenya. We pride ourselves on our safety record and give all our volunteers 24-hour support should you need it. We have the best knowledge of the local area – please respect this advice.
- Avoid traveling alone, especially at night.
- Find out where the unsafe areas are and avoid them
- When traveling keep all important documents and valuables in a safe place, like a hidden pocket or money belt.
- Carry only as much cash as you think you will need for that day.
- Don’t wear expensive jewellery or watches.
- Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
- Keep cameras and cell phones out of sight and always keep bags and purses in your sight.
We would advise not sharing your personal contact details with anyone. In addition, you will be working
outdoors, in an unfamiliar community and environment. Listen to your project manager and respect the
local rules and customs at all times!
Make sure we have a copy of your emergency contact person at home.
Know the emergency number of the Project Manager and make sure we have a copy of your emergency contact person at home.
Staying in Touch
You are able to purchase a Safaricom or Airtel SIM card either at the airport or from a nearby shopping centre on your first Friday on project. Make sure your phone is ‘unlocked’ before you travel. Generally, phone coverage is not a problem in the areas you will be in. Once in Kenya you will also be able to purchase a Telkom phone card, your project managers will be able to advise you as to where you will be able to purchase these cards.
Wifi is available at the café next to the volunteer house for a small fee.
Money (where available)
How much spending money you need differs from person to person and depends on how much you shop, drink and eat besides the meals provided for you. We recommend that you allow a figure of at least 500KSH (approx. US $5) per day for extra spending. It is also important that when deciding how much money you bring, you take into account what optional activities you anticipate participating in.
We recommend bringing enough US Dollars which you can exchange in Nairobi on your arrival or near the project. You will need US$50 at the airport to pay for your entry visa if you have not purchased it in advance online.
Credit and debit cards can be used in some places and you will be able to draw Kenyan Shillings from ATMs not far from your placement. VISA and MASTERCARD are the most widely accepted. If you are planning on going on safari that has been organised by African Impact, please note that we do not accept credit cards. Payment can be made in Kenyan Shillings or USD.