Kenya Coast
94% Rating
(17 Reviews)

Kenya Coast

Summer programs - with a difference!

Adventure, travel and international work experience in Africa and Asia: get more out of summer 2018!

Find yourself challenged in ways you won't expect.
Be inspired by the people you meet.
Learn more than you can imagine.

All our programs are divided into three parts – orientation, cultural immersion placement and independent travel.

  • Orientation - a chance to settle in, get to know your group and make sure you're fully prepared for all aspects of your placement.
  • Immersion - you live and work with others in your group in our partner community at the coastal location of Msambweni, sharing your skills. Key to the experience is the high level of independence we offer. We're always available, but we stand back and let you make the most of the experience.
  • Independent Travel - the final month of the program is free for you to explore the fascinating sights of Kenya and even further afield. We're still here to support you whenever you need!
  • The Kenyan coast
  • Live and work in the community
  • Visit elephant orphanage and giraffe sanctuary
Weeks Min.
Weeks Max
Age Min.
Age Max
Spring Break
Year Round
Small Group (1-15)
Starting Price

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 17 reviews
  • Impact 8.3
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.4
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
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My experience in Kenya has changed me in many ways. It was an incredibly humbling experience, it brought me back to the pure joy of connecting with people with zero material possession or status and it made me aware of how truly blessed I am to live in the United States. I loved the people I met on this trip, the amazing sites, activities and cultures I immersed myself in and the feeling of making a difference in those less fortunate than I. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could - I miss the country very much and all of the wonderful people I have met.

How can this program be improved?

All I would improve is the packing list - make it geared towards each individual site, not general.

Yes, I recommend
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AV Summer Programme to Kenya.

I participated in this Africa Asia Ventures trip in the summer of 2016, and it was honestly one of the most impactful and incredible things I have done so far in my life!

The AV team was so helpful and kind, ensuring we were safe and were fully organised for the trip, and once out there the representatives were friendly and so easy to get on with. I didn't know anyone prior to the trip, but a few good friends whilst there. The best thing about AV is you see first hand where your money goes, and how it directly benefits people. I was pushed out of my comfort zone in the best way possible, and in the process I learned so much about myself.

I could not recommend this programme more enthusiastically; I encourage all to take a look at it and consider going on the adventure of a life time!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would say is, it would be very good to go on the programme with a friend or a group of friends. Although, I loved meeting new people from all around the world, having some familiar faces would have been nice as well.

Yes, I recommend

Kenya Summer Program

As an 18-year-old sixth form student, I chanced to hear about AV at a gap fair put on by my college. Not particularly knowing where I wanted to travel, only that travel I would, I started talking to Andrew and an ex-student / AV volunteer about their 5 week summer projects in Africa. About 4 months later I boarded Kenya Airways flight KQ0101 bound for Nairobi, from where a connecting flight would take us on to Mombasa. It is impossible to summarise all the fantastic memories and shared experiences of the trip, which ranged from seeing a wild leopard cub at Shimba Hills Game Reserve and later sailing a traditional Kenyan dhow to singlehandedly teaching classes of forty primary school children and seeing the renovation of a dilapidated classroom to completion. I made some great friends on the trip too, some of whom came from as far afield as the Netherlands and China, and I think it’s fair to say that they were all just as sorry as I was when our project eventually came to an end and we had to go our separate ways. In short, I can’t recommend AV highly enough. The UK office is clearly very well run and always on hand to assist in any way it can, and their representative on the ground in Africa, Charles, who was with us for the duration of the project always made us feel completely at ease and looked after despite being in such foreign land as Kenya. You couldn’t find a better gap year company than AV if you tried!

Yes, I recommend
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Best time/money spent of my life!

My AV experience was absolutely life changing for me. Through my volunteer group, I met people that remain my best friends (and one of them my future husband!) even today (eight years on). The Kenyan people were hugely welcoming and really opened my eyes to a different way of living and looking at life.

The school I was at (Lessos Elementary) was basic but not the most basic, which enabled us to have at least some teaching equipment (i.e. a few textbooks for the kids to share etc). The kids were AMAZING!! I was thrown in the deep-end a bit, with teaching English, Maths, French, P.E. and some drama/dance/artsy subjects but the kids help you through and they're just so eager to learn anything you have to share with them.

I lived with two other British girls and we all got on amazingly! We lived in this very cute little bungalow, which had no running water or electricity but it was very much our "home"! It made the whole experience more fun and realistic to how the locals live..! We taught together and then at the weekends we'd meet up with the other 20 or so volunteers and travelled around West Kenya together. One of the best weekends we had was getting a coach to Uganda, where we all bunked out in dorms and went bungee jumping and white-water rafting.

The free time at the end of the programme enabled us to see the coast and Nairobi - both of which are vastly different to the Rift Valley. We even managed to go on two safaris and visit the idyllic Zanzibar in Tanzania.

I can honestly say that those six months were the best six months I've lived to date - every day was fun, different and challenging and the people (both the Kenyans and the volunteers) really made it for me!

How can this program be improved?

I honestly can't think of anything..!

Yes, I recommend
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Changed my life forever! Do it!

This coming January 2015 will be 10 years since I went on AV to Kericho in Kenya and it feels like it was only a couple of years ago - mainly because I think of my experiences there and my friends so often! Friends that I will have for life and see as often as I can - often a year or more will have gone by between seeing each other but we fall back into friendship like we were never apart because we share a unique experience and bond together, and know each other inside out. One thing we share was that all our friends and family for years after we returned complained that we never stopped banging on about Kenya and how amazing it was!

When I was 17 I wasn't having a good time at school, I even considered moving to a new school for my last year of A Levels. Then my mum suggested that maybe I would like to take a gap year before Uni and do something adventurous on my own and I immediately thought, yeah that sounds like a good idea I totally want to do that! Once I was accepted onto the Kenya 2005 programme I had something to build towards and that got me through my school year. The AV team are so friendly and send you lots of info about fundraising ideas and get you fully prepared for your trip.

The orientation days were really helpful, not just in getting orientated in terms of the country, teaching and general info, but it's also the most important bonding time with the other AVs and is great fun before you pair off and go to your schools. I met my 5 best friends during that period as well, but got on with just about everyone - there was a real mixed bag of people. I lived on the Kericho tea plantation teaching at Marinyn Primary - the placement was fantastic, the teachers and kids lovely and just so absolutely delighted to have you there! The more you put into your placement the more you will get out of it. It's all about getting to know your kids, get involved in and start up after school activities and bringing them fun things that they just don't have the resources/facilities for in imaginative ways. And they'll love you for it! But even better, you'll love doing it and you WILL cry the day that you have to leave your school. With the money which you donate to your school by either buying or doing something, Laura and I painted pictures in all of the classrooms which the kids just loved and I really hope they're still there!

The whole thing is an adventure from start to end, working out how to get into the town, where and how to shop and going travelling about the country on weekends and in the free travel period. You'll want to make the most of every opportunity. I can't pretend that there aren't scary times and some hard times but that's why you signed up right, to have an adventure and to test yourself! And my experiences (of all types) in Kenya literally set me up for life, and my best friends would all say the same of themselves. The most amazing experience I will NEVER forget because it shaped who I am today. I went to Kenya an un-confident teenager and I came back full of confidence, experiences and the knowledge that I can always do something if I put my mind to it. When you're 18 none of us think about our CVs, our future careers and what we'll have to say for ourselves when we graduate and have those first 'real' job interviews. But man was I glad that when that time came I have an experience like AV to put on my CV and to talk about - and people are always so impressed. It shows them that you're a get up and go person, that you like and can overcome a challenge and that you didn't just spend a year out travelling so you could lie on a beach.

I actually feel quite emotional writing this nearly 10 years on - I wouldn't be who I am today without AV! I'm a confident, strong and successful person who knows her own mind and looks for adventure and challenge as often as I can. In the years after Kenya I used to promote AV at my old school by giving talks and also represented them at a UCAS fair (a university exhibition fair) which was fantastic - I got to rave about my fantastic experience for 2 whole days to people who were interested! In the ten years since I've always said that EVERYONE should take a gap year before uni and do something similar to AV - you'll be a totally different and more ready individual to go to uni afterwards. I always wish some of the people I've known could have had my experience that could have helped them in their lives! And I ALWAYS suggest that teenagers of people I know look at AV and consider a year out doing something worthwhile - as you can tell by the length of my review it was the best and most significant thing I've ever done in my life. I think it goes to show as well that one of the girls from my group loved AV so much that she joined the company and worked for them for a long while, while the dad of one of my best best friends from Kenya is now a company representative in the north of England. If you're lucky enough to become an AV, it will touch your life forever, and I'm so glad to have been a part of it.

How can this program be improved?

I genuinely can't think of anything I think could have been better.

Yes, I recommend
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A once in a lifetime experience

This is a superb programme which gives young people a very valuable insight into a fascinating continent. My time in Kenya has stayed with me and allowed me to look at the world in a more rounded manner than just from a Western European perspective.

Yes, I recommend
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Teach in Africa, it's amazing

Teaching in Kenya was totally amazing I found it to be a highly joyful experience. I think the only thing that was difficult was that I knew that AV is a for-profit organisation. Although profit is not a bad thing, I felt like If I had just gone to Kenya by myself and volunteered at a school and given the school say 500 pounds I could have done an enormous amount of good. However, it is very unlikely that I would have as an 21 year old gone to Kenya without support. As a young person this is an excellent trip, support is always available. However, what would probably be a more beneficial piece of advice for anyone who wants to be a teacher. Train to be a teacher, do that. This will more than likely be of far better use to the world. However, if you are looking for an adventure and you've got loads of cash. Why not splash it on this.

Response from Africa & Asia Venture (AV)

Many thanks for your review Matt - we're glad you enjoyed your time on AV. We would like to clarify that Africa & Asia Venture (AV) is a not-for-profit social enterprise which means any profit we do make goes straight back into the communities we work with. Yes it is true that you could have gone to a rural Kenya community off your own back but you would not have had an induction course to introduce you to Kenya, it's history, culture, customs and language; your accommodation arranged; a guaranteed food allowance throughout the time of your project work (budgeting can be diificult when you're unfamiliar with a new area); an established relationship with a community which you could slot straight into to start your volunteer work; and more importantly 24/7 in-country back up for emergencies as well as local knowledge and years of Kenyan experience. You may remember the 2007/8 rioting in Kenya - during that period any volunteers that were signed up for Kenya were offered alternative projects at no extra cost or admin charges to change flights - something that wouldn't have happended if you were on your own.

From the project fee there is a direct cash contribution made to the school for the volunteers to spend as they wish on things like equipment for the children in school, refurbishing classrooms, books for the library, sports equipment etc.

Our projects are not just aimed at those interested in teaching as a profession - it does give volunteers the opportunity to experience teaching in a developing country for 12 weeks but it can also offer them the opportunity to coach sports, introduce art, drama, music and PE to children who wouldn't normally experience these subjects, as well as running after school clubs for choirs, a school magazine, refurbishing classrooms, painting murals. We feel we give volunteers the chance to develop life skills and transferable skills used in the workplace, and the opportunity to stand out in a competitive job market. VSO offers some fantastic projects that are normally 6 months or longer in length AND you are required to have a degree and 5+ years of professional experience. Not many 18-24 year olds (the typical age of our volunteers) will fall into this category.

No, I don't recommend
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Loved every minute!!

I tought maths, geography & HIV/AIDS awareness in a secondary boarding school near a small town. I also coached the school basketball team, helped with the PE department and made the mistake of forgetting I was in the land of long distance supremacy when I agreed to do some road running...

The teaching side of a trip with AV set me up brilliantly for university, building confidence in standing in front of a room to present and taking me out of my comfort zone. I've actually now found myself in the teaching profession, something I would never have predicted before embarking on AV!! (I even break out the Swahilli now n then!)

Outside of the classroom the opportunities to travel and explore the country was brilliant, explore rain forests, hot springs, rural towns and fellow AV's schools on the weekends and holidays. In free travel I saw Nairobi, climbed Mt Kenya, took the overnight train to Mombassa where you eat your breakfast whilst travelling through a national park with wildlife visible as you eat, explored Mombassa, up and down the coast staying at wonderful beach towns and ultimately a two centre safari with the rest of the AV group.

Was such a great experience that (gulp) 12 years later I still talk fondly of my time there and would wholeheartedly recommend AV to anyone looking to embark on project based travel, a wonderful experience!

Yes, I recommend
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The Rolls Royce of gap year trips

I had the best time and will always remember the trip. It truly was the rolls royce of gap year projects - fantastic and worthile work with friendly and deserving people, a brilliant support network, an unbelievably beautiful country, plenty of fun, drinks, partying, gossipping and so much laughter. Brilliant opportunity to explore this magnificent country. Plenty of exercise as well (long walks, white water rafting, safaris, climbing mount kenya!) I felt safe and well looked after at all times. I also met my husband, a fellow AV-er, out there as well! Thank you AV!

How can this program be improved?

I would have altered our stay at the white water rafting camp to somehwere nearer the start of the trip - we went towards the end of our six week trip and we were too tired to enjoy it properly.

Yes, I recommend
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Best time of my life Apr - Aug 2000

I have so many amazing memories of my one in Kenya. Av were amazing. They actually care a lot about each person and made great effort to pair you with someone you would get on with. My av partner and I are still great friends and 4 of them
Came to my wedding in 2011. I loved Kenya and the programme was great, we went away every weekend as a group and had such fun. Would and have recommended them to a number of friends. Do it!

How can this program be improved?

Nothing it was amazing.

Yes, I recommend
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Life-changing experience!

This experience was the best of my life. I left Kenya a different person and would go back without even thinking. To wake up in Lessos and open the door and see all those smiles is just awsome. Everyone there was so kind and warm. I still get tears in my eyes every time I think of them all. People in general in Kenya were really kind. And the staff? THE BEST! You become part of a huge family! Once you arrive in Kenya you won´t want to come back. Trust me!

Yes, I recommend
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Incredible Worthwhile Experience

Incredibly rewarding and fun experience!! I taught many language to a school in the Rift Valley in Kenya, mainly focusing on sport - football, rugby, basketball, volleyball.

After 3 months of teaching we went travelling with a group of the volunteers to the coast of Kenya and then on safari.

You cannot go wrong going on an AV trip.

Yes, I recommend
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Still one of my fondest experiences

What a great time, I still have such good memories. We were based in Eastern Kenya in a rural village. I really learnt so much about the community, the culture, the country and the language. As well as really learning a lot about myself. I really grew as a person and gained a lot more confidence and indepence. The support from the UK team as well the local support was fantastic and felt secure in the village. The community also gave us a lot of support and really tried to ensure we were well looked after.

I took part in the course when I was 18 and now I am in my 30's. I still have great friends from that course and is still something employers look at when I go for job interviews. When I finished the experience and was going for graduate jobs, it was definetly a differentiator between other applicants

How can this program be improved?

When I did the course the accomdation wasn't complete, but I know that has now been addressed.

Yes, I recommend
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AV in Kericho, Kenya

AV placed me and two other girls in a village on the Finlays Tea Plantation in Kericho, Kenya where we taught for a full semester at the village primary school (Kapsongoi Primary School). I taught 7 math classes a week to a group of 30 fifth graders, 3 P.E. classes a week to fourth graders, and creative arts to 6th graders. I also led a weekly music club and spent most afternoons having tea or dinner at another teachers house or jumping rope with a group of 10-14 year old girls I was close with in my village. After 3 months at Kapsongoi, I traveled with the rest of my group, a total of 12, who had been placed near Kapsongoi and were doing similar volunteer teaching jobs for AV. We climbed Kilimanjaro (or in my case, attempted), spent a week on the beaches of Zanzibar, went on Safari in the Masai Mara, and bungee jumped into the Nile River in Uganda.

Yes, I recommend
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Great experience

I was on the 5 week programme which I did in the summer between doing my A levels and going to University. I wasn't doing a gap year and so the length of time this project went on for was ideal.

I felt the programme had the perfect mix of volunteering and other activities, we had travelled to Kenya and so it was great to do a wide range of activities the country had to offer. These included climbing Mount Kenya and going on Safari.

We spent the first 3 weeks working in the school building. This involved working on the efforts of many previous groups to finish of a classroom, seeing the end result was highly rewarding. My only criticism of this was that the building was hard work which a few of our group found understandably difficult and didn't enjoy. Those of us who wanted to did teaching in the afternoons, because we were there for only a short amount of time it was difficult to guage how useful the children found this and was also difficult because some of the primary school children were actually older than me (19). We went away for 2 weekends which was great fun, notably a trip to Wasini island.

The last 2 weeks were spent climing Mt Kenya and Safari. Both were great fun and I am so glad we did them.

The group was a good bunch, however there were the obvious problems of putting 10 strangers together in quite an intense environment. Some people didn't get on but it was never an issue that had significant repercussions.

Overall it was exactly what I wanted it to be and I made a great friend who I am at the same university as.

Response from Africa & Asia Venture (AV)

The building tasks involved in our Mini Ventures can be challenging as it does involve manual labour - we clearly state this on our website and within all pre-departure information. Sometimes these tasks can become extremely hard work in the Kenyan heat. Finishing a building project can be really rewarding though - as Will experienced.
The teaching part of the project is short but does give you a taster of teaching in the developing world. It gives you the chance to play games with the children and introduce new activities for them rather than formal teaching. Conversational English is hugely beneficial for the children so just chatting with them during their break times and after school can be just as rewarding!

Yes, I recommend

About Africa & Asia Venture (AV)

Africa & Asia Venture (AV) offers unique immersive summer and gap year volunteering and work experience programs in Africa and Asia for those aged 17 to 25.

We build groups of individuals and, normally in pairs or fours but never on your own, you...