Kenya’s geographical diversity is truly awe-inspiring. Its tropical forests, desert savannas, mountains, and coastal areas are perfect for adventure. Kenya’s citizens are as diverse as its scenery. Kenya is a melting pot with an endless array of activities and destinations that promise undiluted fun.

In fact, Kenya is the world center for animal safaris. In Kenya, gappers will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see rare wildlife, eat exotic cuisine, sip wine aboard while sailing down the Indian Ocean, or whatever your heart desires. Take your gap year in Kenya and you will be spoiled with choices!

Photo Credit: Akarshan Kumar
Volunteering

Volunteers in Kenya will be provided with a life changing experience. Volunteers are given first hand opportunities to help people in a welcoming nation. Kenya is a luscious country, but has poor infrastructure outside of the cities, and an overwhelmed school system. Kenya has a significant problem with HIV/AIDS and systematic corruption within the country.

Volunteers are needed to get involved with a wide range of projects from planting trees, to building medical centers and working in orphanages. While volunteering can be overwhelming and, at times quite tragic, volunteer projects are often flexible and will give you time to explore the country. Volunteers will have the opportunity to go on safari and stay in traditional Kenyan lodges. They may take boat trips on the beautiful Lake Victoria, or learn how to make Fairtrade items. Perhaps the greatest experience of all is meeting the helpful and generous Kenyan people. Any volunteer in Kenya will take a piece of the country away in their heart!

Adventure Travel

Explore Nairobi, Kenya and head off to Rift Valley, were you can climb Mt. Longonot, trek past Mt. Kenya (Africa’s 2nd highest mountain), walk through Hell’s Gate National Park, or take a safari in Lake Nakur National Park. While exploring this lush and beautiful country make sure to participate in community-based projects. There are ample opportunities to get involved!

Take a white-water rafting trip, track chimpanzees, support economic self-sufficiency and health, help protect the Masai Mara National Reserve. Kenya is home to some of the best wildlife parks in Africa. Here you can see the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra as they cross the plains.

If you love fun and adventure, Kenya is the perfect place for adventure travel. Enjoy unparalleled wildlife while performing meaningful work for the disadvantaged.

Internships

One of the most important issues throughout Africa is widespread disease. There are many internships focused around medicine and health research. Working with a non-profit will help you gain experience in your field of study, giving you the tools you need to succeed in the future. An internship in Africa should not simply be a way to build a strong resume, but an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture while gaining valuable experience in the field.

The major industrial centers in Kenya are found in the urban areas of Mombasa and Nairobi. Most of the manufacturing work is linked to the processing of agricultural products. There are limited meat processing and dairy industries as well as leather, paper, textile, and sugar production. Kenya is not the ideal place for a business internship, but if you’re looking for an internship in healthcare, politics, or environmental protection/research, then interning Kenya will help you gain the confidence you need to succeed!

Cost of Living in Kenya

The cost of living is much lower in Kenya compared to Europe or the United States. In fact, 1 Kenyan Shilling is equivalent to .012 US Dollars. So with a favorable exchange rate against many international currencies, Kenya is a fairly inexpensive destination. Housing in Kenya is as low as $50 a month and taxis are only a fraction of what they cost in the Westernized world. All expenses are significantly cheaper than in the United States or Europe. A gapper could eat out every night of the week without having to worry!

Culture and Etiquette in Kenya

Kenya is far from being a homogenous country. Kenyans are made up of 13 ethnic groups with numerous sub-ethnicities. Kenyans are group-orientated rather than individualistic. “Harambee,” (coming from the Bantu word meaning “to pull together”) defines the people’s approach to others in life. The concept is about mutual assistance, mutual effort, mutual responsibility and community self-reliance. Kenyans believe that the extended family is the basis of the social structure. It includes relatives on both sides of the family as well as close friends. When people marry, they join their families, ensuring that there will always be a group to turn to in times of need.

Like most Africans, Kenyans place a large emphasis on the respect and reverence of their deceased ancestors. Kenyans believe that when someone dies, their spirit lives on and their spirit must be acknowledged. The person doesn’t die completely unless their relatives no longer remember them. Since one’s ancestors are thought to be in a limbo state and closer to God, they are able to influence events in life more than the living.

Health and Safety in Kenya

The Kenyan healthcare system is improving, but is still a major issue throughout the country. Health risks in Kenya include insect-borne diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, typanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), relapsing fever, tick-borne typhus, plague, and dengue fever; food- and water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis (bilharziasis), intestinal worms, giardiasis, amebiasis, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and E, and cholera; hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS. Be careful and receive all necessary vaccinations before leaving for your gap year.

Unfortunately, crime in Kenya is very high in most regions, and you should be wary of the “snatch and run” and stay close to your belongings at all times.

Why Take a Gap Year in Kenya?

Kenya offers everything from enchanting safaris to a chance to practice marathon running with the world's greatest athletes and gold medalists. Get lost in the mystical mountains of the Great Rift Valley. Watch lion cubs play in the savannah grass. Try eating nyama choma with the locals, or whatever interests you. With its fascinating culture and scenic majesty, Kenya is a great country to spend your gap year.

Gap Year Programs in Kenya

Displaying 1 - 15 of 21 programs
ARCC Programs
ARCC Gap: East Africa - Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania
Multiple Countries
9.8 •25 reviews

ARCC Gap East Africa explores the majesty, cultures, and challenges of...

Africa & Asia Venture (AV)
Adventure Travel and Volunteering on the Amazing Kenya Coast
Kenya
9.45 •22 reviews

If you like the idea of living beside the Indian Ocean near Mombasa...

Tru Experience Travel
Gap Year Volunteering with TRU Experience Travel
Multiple Countries
10 •8 reviews

Have you ever wanted to use your skills in less developed parts of the...

Natucate
Field Guide Courses Africa – Become a Game Ranger in Africa's Wilderness
Multiple Countries
9 •3 reviews

If you are interested in Southern Africa, an adventure seeker and...

Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad - IKPVA
Affordable volunteer programs in Kenya from $360 for 2 weeks!
Kenya
10 •1 review

Iko Poran offers a wide range of programs safe, exciting and...

Camps International
Camp Kenya - Volunteer in Kenya 1-3 months
Kenya
10 •3 reviews

Kenya is a really popular choice for a gap year experience because it...

Culsans Gap Travel
Hands on conservation, adventure and wildlife trip in Kenya
Kenya
9.67 •6 reviews

Unlike your regular Gap Year trips, Culsans Gap Travel offers a world...

United Planet
Gap Year: 6-month + Service Learning Opportunities in Kenya with United Planet
Kenya

Join United Planet for a gap year experience in Kenya! Volunteers will...

Global Routes
Meaningful GAP Year Programs in the US and Abroad for Students in High School or College
Multiple Countries

Global Routes GAP programs (GRIT Track) are tailored to the individual...

Youth International
Explore the Cultures of Kenya, Egypt, and Jordan
Multiple Countries

Join Youth International's newest program and immerse yourself in the...

YearOut International Volunteering - Italy
YearOut International Volunteering - Kenya Project
Kenya

Twins International, in partnership with Grapesyard Self Help Group...

Gap Year For Me
Pre Medical Internship in Mombasa, Kenya
Kenya

Your gap year opportunities multiply if you are at the CPGH for...

Wild Impact Adentures
Gap Impact Volunteer Expedition
Kenya

Whether you’re headed to university or into the working world we have...

Volunteer Action for Change Kenya
Let's Empower Youths in Local Kenyan Community
Kenya

Youth led initiatives have gained importance in the Kenyan society by...

Tropical International Volunteering and Exchange Services (TIVES)
Gap Year and Travel Adventure in Kenya
Kenya

This project offers the opportunity to volunteer with sea turtles in...

Gap Year Volunteering in Kenya

Volunteering is a great way to experience Kenya on your gap year
  • International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
    Most Affordable Kenya Volunteer Programs in 5+ Locations from $280
    Kenya
    9.46 •41 reviews

    Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable...

  • Volunteering Solutions
    Volunteer in Kenya | Most Affordable Projects Starting From $270
    Kenya
    9.2 •20 reviews

    Volunteering Solutions offers incredible and amazing volunteering...

  • Projects Abroad
    Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Kenya
    Kenya
    9.89 •9 reviews

    Become a valued volunteer in Kenya with Projects Abroad! Every year we...

  • Love Volunteers
    Make a difference in Kenya - From just $259!
    Kenya
    9.5 •10 reviews

    Join Love Volunteers and their local partner organizations to connect...

  • Village Book Builders
    Become an Online Mentor
    Multiple Countries
    10 •12 reviews

    Due to COVID we are putting expeditions on pause but you can still...

  • Africa & Asia Venture (AV)
    Adventure Travel and Volunteering on the Amazing Kenya Coast
    Kenya
    9.45 •22 reviews

    If you like the idea of living beside the Indian Ocean near Mombasa...

  • Global Dental Relief
    Global Dental Relief: Public Health Dentistry with Kids in Kenya
    Kenya
    10 •6 reviews

    You don't have to be a dentist to volunteer! In Kenya, you'll be...

  • Tru Experience Travel
    TRU Experience Travel: Volunteer Projects in Multiple Locations
    Multiple Countries
    9.8 •5 reviews

    Tru Experience Travel have some of the most amazing volunteer...

  • Natucate
    Field Guide Courses Africa – Become a Game Ranger in Africa's Wilderness
    Multiple Countries
    9 •3 reviews

    If you are interested in Southern Africa, an adventure seeker and...

New Jobs

View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!

What People Are Saying

I went on the East Africa fall semester in 2018, and it was the best three months! I chose to go to East Africa because I wanted to experience a new culture. I remember feeling so scared before...

We built and installed a solar panel energy system in this Maasai woman's home! This photo was taken after we finished the installation, and she asked me to take a photo with her.

I can't even begin to describe how much I loved my ARCC Semester in East Africa. It honestly changed my life, and whenever people ask how it was, my immediate response is "if I could get on a plane...

WE LOVE THIEMO!!!

I had an incredible experience on this trip. I was wary about the camping and the fact that it was a more group-oriented, structured program, but those two aspects ended up being major highlights for...

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