Sadhana Forest

Sadhana Forest

Why choose Sadhana Forest?

Sadhana Forest is an international volunteer organization working on water conservation, indigenous reforestation and food security in India, Haiti and Kenya. Sadhana Forest operates from vegan, off-grid, low waste, substance-free, sustainable living campuses that provide food and accommodation to its volunteers.



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Yes, I recommend this program

New Experiences All Around

While I came to Sadhana Forest to volunteer in reforestation, I learned and experienced so much more. You can expect to learn information across a wide variety of topics, including zero-waste, composting, water conservation, and vegan cooking. The different types of volunteering range from low to high physical work, but all of it was a welcome change from desk work. With the volunteering I had the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge, such as different methods of planting new trees or how to make coconut milk from scratch. I loved being part of the Sadhana Forest community and spending quality time with the people here. Everyone is ready to listen and lend a helping hand. If you’re looking for a well-rounded experience that includes volunteering, skill-building, sustainability and community look no further and stay at Sadhana Forest!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The compost toilets were definitely the most surprising aspect for me! it was not something I was used to using, but I enjoyed learning the reason and function behind their usage in this sustainable community.
  • Welcoming community
  • Delicious food
  • Variety of experiences
  • Basic living quarters
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Yes, I recommend this program

Meaningful work at Sadhana Forest

One of the things I like most about Sadhana is that it’s not only the forest that is growing, it’s also the people. You learn so much here, and you can really bring your full self to the community. No one judges you and everyone is so welcoming. The work itself is so meaningful - helping to regrow the natural forest here, cooking for the community, cleaning, preparing water irrigation devices. In that way, you also learn a lot about conservation, sustainability and plant-based diets. These are all things you can bring back and integrate into your life at home. If you’re already thinking about coming here, think no further - do it!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Learning about and building water irrigation bottles! These devices help deliver water directly to the roots of saplings at a slow and steady pace.
  • Meaningful volunteering
  • Sense of community
  • Learning about sustainability
  • Noise at night from nearby temples
  • Not always the safest practices
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Yes, I recommend this program

Living with nature

Sadhana Forest is not just an experience, it's a way of life. I have grown up in India, so community living has always been a part of my childhood, but I never imagined living so closely with nature. Apart from indulging in seva, I learnt a lot of things about myself and it has given my life a direction, an alternative perspective. I realised that all the other species apart from humans have different personalities, moods, tantrums, emotions, experience pain, and trauma, just like humans and acknowledging all of this is very important. I also learnt to use compost toilets and to manage the compost after, which was one of my nightmares. But after I did it, I realised it's not at all how i imagined it to be. I relished some very delicious cuisine from all over the world each day I spent here. I worked and met with different people from around the world and learnt about different cultures. I have made friends for life in a very short span of time. In the process, I learnt to be compassionate, even when it's very difficult. And most importantly, I learnt to break my own mentality barriers and now I can take on life with a different perspective.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was surprised by a cobra at the toilet gates. For a second, i thought my life is over, and it would bite me. But after I stopped screaming, I opened my eyes and realised that it was more afraid of me than I was of it. Eventually it left, and I felt relaxed. I realised that, we don't have to be so afraid of creatures and this planet belongs to all of us.
  • Vegan food
  • Community experience
  • Nature
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Yes, I recommend this program

Living in a Forest with People

I came to Sadhana Forest expecting to learn more about reforestation and water conservation techniques, with the aim of understanding how my ecological footprint impacts the Earth. Although this expectation was met, I was also warmly welcomed into an accepting and unconditionally loving community of people from different backgrounds. In Sadhana Forest I got to know more about myself through meaningful interactions with others. The individuals I have met here were able to hold space for me and showed no judgement. If there is one thing I could take home with me from this experience it is the capacity we have to impact others through selfless acts, even a simple smile can change the trajectory of ones day.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise future travelers to be open to experiencing all that Sadhana Forest has to offer. This could be through volunteering in different Seva's, attending spontaneous workshops, sitting next to someone unfamiliar at meal time, swimming in the mud pool and much more! There are so many opportunities for inner growth in this community.
  • The people
  • The values
  • The setting
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Yes, I recommend this program

The project and the community really helped me connect back with myself after I had shut myself off.

It is the perfect vacation and volunteering project for me. I get to put my believes in action again and reconnect to parts of myself I hadn’t accessed in a long time. The community is really a safe space and really takes all the social anxiety off you. Also constantly living in the forest helps regulate the nervous system well with all the forest bathing that happens. Doing hands on physical work also helped me learn and start taking care of my body again. And considering the resource footprint minimisation while staying here is an added advantage. And you do all this while helping sustain an evergreen dry forest which has been grown in a dry arid land supporting the local biodiversity and recharging ground water table. I wouldn’t ask for more from a place.

What was your funniest moment?
Going to the mud pool in night to wear off all the heat and play group games in the water and then lay on the ground stargazing.
  • Regaining mental and physical health
  • Learning about various subjects like Geophysics, Afforestation techniques, and various ways in which trees sequester carbon.
  • Being inspired to learn new skills again.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I had already spent a good amount of time at Sadhana Forest India and think of it as my second - or maybe first - home. I was really interested to see how the organization worked in another, very different part of the world. While the India project works mostly with replanting the forest indigenous on publicly protected lands, the Kenya project works primarily on planting drought-resistant, food-producing trees on privately held land such as homes, schools and churches. I thought it would be a great way to support local people while traveling.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I didn't have any sort of program provider. Some friends and I were already at Sadhana Forest India and contacted Sadhana Forest Kenya directly. We organized our own flights. Since we were traveling in a large group, the staff at Sadhana Forest Kenya helped us to organize transportation from Nairobi to the site. On the way back, I organized the transportation on my own. It was affordable and not particularly difficult.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be ready for a new experience! Sadhana Forest is in a pretty remote part of Kenya. The landscapes are beautiful, wide-open semi deserts spotted with loads of zebras and gazelles, plus occasional hyenas, elephants and lions. There are NONE of the usual shopping or entertainment facilities that you are probably used to, so volunteers need to be relatively self-sufficient. Bring some books, an instrument, a journal, a camera, a meditative practice, or something else to do in your down time. The campus does have wifi access and plenty of charging power.

Also, be aware that this and other Sadhana Forest projects are places to do service. The focus is on using our time and energy to bring benefits to the local environment and population. The experience of living simply and focusing primarily on giving is one great gift that Sadhana Forest can offer to volunteers.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

All the exact details are available on the website and in the welcoming email that Sadhana Forest Kenya will send you once you've contacted them.

Volunteers wake before or around 6:00AM and generally do some work on the land (tree planting, watering, tree care) in the early morning. Then breakfast, then another work session, then lunch, then a break, then some more work before dinner. Volunteers can expect to be working at least six hours per day (which is great, because there's not much else to do there aside from admiring the scenery).

Sadhana Forest Kenya also makes regular trips to nearby homes, schools, churches, hospitals, villages, etc., to plant trees. Generally these trips require two visits - one before lunch to make mounds and prepare for planting, and then one before dinner to actually plant the trees.

Volunteers also participate in cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen, dealing with the food and human waste compost, and other routine maintenance tasks.

There is a weekly Samburu market every Saturday where you can go to buy clothing, produce, simple snacks and souvenirs.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I did not have any particular fears concerning my trip to Sadhana Forest Kenya. I have known the organization for a long time and was confident that I would encounter a truly eco-friendly campus and participate in work that was really serving local needs.

I must admit I was a little apprehensive about Kenya in general; much of what I had read made me a little anxious about the risks of petty theft. I was a little more careful than usual and had no problems at Nairobi or on the way to or from Sadhana Forest Kenya. At Sadhana Forest Kenya itself, I felt 100% comfortable.

What is it like to live a really eco-frienldy lifestyle?

It's awesome! Sadhana Forest serves fresh, local vegan food; composts all food and human waste; uses biodegradable toiletries and cleaning agents; runs on solar and wind power; draws water up from its own bore well; provides free water and charging power to locals; AND actively improves the environment by planting food-producing trees with local people.

Sadhana Forest is a fantastic place to live a life of consciousness, compassion and service. It's also a great way to experience a remote part of Kenya and to get to know local people.