Travel Kenya responsibly
Thinking of donating to local projects, visiting a school, or giving away goodies to the locals? Make sure you donate responsibly and be aware of the possible counter effects. Read this article with some advice to consider when visiting Kenya
Some advice to consider
Do not randomly hand out money, clothes, pens or sweets to local children. However touching it might be, it encourages begging and creates a distorted view of tourism. Instead, show genuine interest, play and talk with kids like you would with children in your own country.
If you really want to bring goods, a lodge owner or connection to a local organization is a good source of advice. You can also check Pack for a Purpose. It would be good to find out which goods can be bought locally. Basic school supplies and basic (first aid) medical supplies are easily found in the shopping malls in Nairobi - in this way you stimulate the local economy.
We discourage leaving stuff behind in your hotel room - it's better to give it to the lodge owner than leave it for the maid to find, which might cause friction among the staff.
Most lodges have a tipping box and distribute the tips equally among all the staff. If you enjoyed the service, just be generous and contribute to the tipping box. As for your driver or guide, tipping is highly appreciated.
English is widely spoken in all areas in Kenya. It is appreciated if you try to speak some Swahili. If you travel with a driver-guide, he can surely teach you some words. If you're going on a self-drive adventure, ask the locals for a local language lesson. They appreciate your effort.
Giving back more
You will not be the first roadtripper moved by the fact that Kenya and its people have given you such a warm welcome, and you may want to show your appreciation. Below are a few initiatives which you can sponsor. These are local, sustainable initiatives that are well managed, and we know your money will be well spent.
Big Life Organization
They have a cross-border anti-poaching initiatives and protect wild animals when they move outside the national parks in Kenya.