Location
  • Kenya
Length
2 - 26 weeks

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Mountain Climbing Safari
Timeframe
Fall Spring Summer Winter Year Round
Housing
Hostel Lodge
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
17
Age Max
25

Pricing

Starting Price
2950
Price Details
Price for five weeks - max length of program is 16 weeks for $5,000
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals Tour Guide
What's Included (Extra)

24/7 in country support

What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Apr 05, 2024
Jul 07, 2024
42 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

If you like the idea of living beside the Indian Ocean near Mombasa, enjoying water sports and safari adventures but doing more than that (getting involved with the local community, helping the children, playing sports etc), then this is the program for you! Whether you are taking a full Gap Year or just want to go for a few weeks, we can help you find a meaningful experience to match.

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

#seetheworlddifferently

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

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • The Kenyan coast
  • Live and work in the community
  • Gaining transferable skills for the future
  • All programs run by our own teams - we do NOT use third-party providers
  • 24/7 in-country support

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.87 Rating
based on 31 reviews
  • 5 rating 90.32%
  • 4 rating 6.45%
  • 3 rating 3.23%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.45
  • Support 4.55
  • Fun 4.45
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.6
  • Program Selection 5
  • Pre-departure Help 5
  • In-program Support 5
  • Impact on Student 5
  • Value 5
  • Housing 3.9
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.85
  • Value 5
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 31 reviews
Default avatar
Emily
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience with AV

I have recently just returned home after traveling for five months, four of which were spent with Africa Asia Venture. I had the most amazing experience with them and felt that I got to soak up the atmosphere from the locals, from going to weddings to snorkeling trips, to sports competitions at other schools. The privilege and ability to take a long period out of your day-to-day routine to plunge yourself into life in Msambweni are rare, so you want to sign up with a company that will look after you and cater to your wants and needs.

The process right from the start feels super easy as you have an initial consultation with either Andrew or Sarah, who will make sure you have signed up for the right project, as they have many to pick from. AV is a brilliant organization as it is small enough to feel like family, as the people take the time to get to know you as an individual, but big enough that they have a network of connections and contacts who come and look after you. One of the team will meet you at the airport, and that is when you get fully thrown into the experience, as this will most likely be the first time you will meet the people you will be living with for the next three months.

Once you arrive in the local town, Diani, you will be met by Grace and Khalfan, some of the AV team down on the ground, who will then give you an orientation. They make you feel right at home immediately as you meet the locals, take you to their favorite shops, and show you the schools. This for me was something that I thought made AV stand out, because leaving your home to spend 3-4 months halfway across the world, naturally, can feel daunting, so this orientation makes you feel very well looked after.

After this weekend is over the time starts to fly by. Monday to Friday will be spent teaching at your school, I taught Maths, English, and Science, so don't worry if you feel like you don't know the subjects well enough the teachers are there to help! When you are not teaching lessons, there is still plenty to do. I would often chat with the teachers, draw with the kids, or paint murals on the school walls. If you don't believe me when I say you become best friends with the teachers then let me tell you that my friend Layla and I were even lucky enough a couple of times to go over to one of our teacher's houses and learn how to make chapatti and beans (my favorite). Once the school day is over, you have the opportunity to play football or other sports with the children or go to the beach, which is on your doorstep. It is a surreal experience to be able to walk 100 meters and be on a lovely white sandy beach, a perfect way to cool down after an exhausting and sweaty day.

It gets even better, every weekend like clockwork we could wake up on Saturday and go straight to Diani by tuk-tuk, the local transport. In Diani there are so many different things to do, by the beach, you could sail, windsurf, kitesurf, kayak, paddleboard or go tubing. There are also lots of lovely places to eat, all at a very affordable price, and there is a big drinking scene, especially Diani backpackers which was the best and our favorite place we would go every weekend.

So why pick AV?
There are many reasons why I would suggest this company and that make them stand out.
Starting with the strongest, and my particular reason for picking AV, was because of their perfect balance of support. When you are 18/19 and on a gap year, this is often your first time living away from home, and I think AV balances the independence well. They have Grace who lives in Nairobi who would often pop down once a fortnight to check on you and that you were doing okay. However, they didn't smother you in support and overwhelm you by constantly checking in as you still had an opportunity to do things your way and be in control of what food you wanted to cook or what you wanted to do in the evening. They also have Khalfan who lives just a couple of houses down, so he would also check on us a couple of times a week and also will be there if you need any help or support.

Second, you are not doing a project with a big umbrella organization, you are with a relatively small organization that looks after you and checks in, it makes the volunteers feel a lot safer, as the company knows you by name. Often if you do a project like this with a big company, if you have a problem and need help, it is hard because the company is big so they won't know who necessarily you are.

Lastly, the opportunity to improve your skills development is great. I am sure if you ask most people who have done a project with AV they will tell you they feel so much more independent and ready to take on different challenges. This is so true, having done AV is great preparation for the 'real world' and helps equip a young individual to tackle the situations life throws at them.

I wish someone could go back and tell me last January when I was starting this project that there was no reason to be scared and then when it all ended I wished I could go back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travellers on this program would be to make the most of every given opportunity. It may seem overwhelming and intense, but it will be so worth it and you don't want to look back and wished you had done more.
Pros
  • The friends you make
  • Getting to teach at an amazing school
  • the local food
Cons
  • the house - fine for me but its very different from home
  • being surrounded by the same people 24/7 if you dont get along
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Layla
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I recently returned home after spending 12 weeks with AV in Kenya volunteering, and an additional 4 weeks travelling in Tanzania after the program ended. I can confidently say that my choice to sign up for this program with AV was the best decision I could have made for myself.
Before arriving in kenya, AV helped us prepare for our travels by sending out information of what to expect upon arrival. We were also put in touch with the other volunteers on the program. After arriving, we had a lowkey, but also very helpful orientation course with our local guides, Khalfhan and Grace.
After settling in the first 2 weeks, I quickly fell into a routine of going to school Monday-Friday to teach and participate in after school activities with the kids, and then going into the local town of Diani on weekends with the other volunteers. We found a good balance between the time we spent volunteering in school, and the time we spent relaxing outside of the classroom.
I was very lucky with the group I was apart of throughout this program. Because you are all living together in the same house, and sleeping in the same bedroom, it is very important that all of the volunteers are able to get along together. I was very happy with the group that I went with.
The main thing that I found so great about the AV project was the cultural immersion aspect of it. This is not a program where you travel from location to location doing very touristy activities, but rather it is meant as a way for you to become immersed in the local culture. This comes very naturally, as you spend the duration of your stay living in the same house among all of the locals. We found ourselves getting invited to dinner at peoples homes, playing football matches with the local team, and many other things.
Another aspect that I found to work well is the balance that AV has found between allowing the volunteers to have their own freedom, while also keeping an eye on everyone and making sure that they are safe throughout. We were able to make plans on our own and travel freely around the village, but we always knew that Khalfhan and Grace were always there in case we ran into any difficulties.
Overall, if you’re looking to sign up for a gap year program, I believe that AV is the best way to go!

Pros
  • The People - both the locals you meet, and the friends you make from just the program alone.
  • The independence you have throughout the program.
  • Location - you're living right on the beach.
14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Patrick
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A never-ending adventure with friends!

I would preface by stating the most important factor is the other volunteers you work with. You spend all day with them - at home, at school, afterschool activities, and weekend activities. I adored the people I shared this experience with and would definitively say that I made lifelong friends. Thus, every experience I had here was elevated by the simple fact that friends accompanied me everywhere I went.

I would say the defining feature of AV was the independence offered. The first few days are simple because Andrew and Sarah guide you through pre-orientation and then, once you arrive in Kenya, Khalfan and Grace bring you through orientation (which they do an amazing job of by the way - the first few steps really help you get accustomed to a new environment before you are thrown into volunteering).

However, the fun truly begins after that. Everything you do is up to yourself and the initiative that you have to make the most of the experience... and I loved that aspect. You have free reign to decide how you want to spend your time volunteering at school, what you want to do in your free time afterward, and, of course, your weekend plans. I can't stress enough how liberating it was to be able to freely choose what you wanted to do. Volunteering is far more fulfilling when it's built on your initiative. Your free time is so much more exciting when you have complete freedom to decide what you want to do. AV gives you the opportunity to craft your own experience. This isn't to say that you're alone because Khalfan and Grace are a doorstep or one text/call away from helping you. You will always get the advice that you need but the best part is that it doesn't interfere with what you personally want to do.

To offer a glimpse of my experience:
At school: I taught 7 subjects, played all sorts of games with the kids after school, and helped decorate the school by painting.

Outside of school: beach trips (you live right next to the beach), football matches, weddings, hikes, safari, tubing, water park, jet ski, snorkeling.

Basically, if you decide to join AV in Kenya, you'll have the same opportunity I did to experience all these amazing adventures with friends.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Dry-fit shirts are pretty clutch ngl.
Pros
  • Extremely flexible program
  • The people!! The kids you get to teach are just so so amazing. The locals are extremely friendly. And of course the peers that you will get to experience this with.
  • Everything in Kenya was quite cheap comparatively - made it easier to try new things.
Cons
  • The HEAT. I was sweating 10 minutes after entering a classroom to teach.
  • The house. It's fine for living in but you will be missing a lot of the comforts from home.
  • The people. I loved my fellow volunteers so I had a great time. If you don't get along with yours then it may dull your experience.
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Oscar
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Av travel Kenya trip

I went on a trip to Msambweni in Kenya with Av travel and have to say it was an amazing experience. I was there for 12 weeks, spent 8 weeks volunteering in Kingwede School and 4 weeks at Home Streets Home program in Makongeni. The school was an incredible experience although somewhat depressing to see the facilities and daily lives the kids have. We got thrown straight into the deep end, teaching classes by ourselves in English, Science and Pe which at first was slightly nerve wracking however we quickly got the hang of it. The kids are so friendly and constantly want to play to the point where you can easily get very tired. We were kept mostly busy during the week with kids at school and in the village. The house is less than 5 minutes away from a beautiful beach. I felt well looked after and safe at all times, but also left with independence. Got to say especially a thank you to Khalfan who is a lovely man and always looked after us.

Also Msambweni is around 45 minutes from a Tuktuk from Diani, which we enjoyed on many weekends where there is also a beautiful beach and hostels and nightclubs which were also very good fun. There is also possibilities to go to Mombasa and Kilifi which are also not too far. Overall there is plenty in the area to keep you occupied.

I would definitely recommend Av travel in Kenya for anyone who wants a cultural experience in a beautiful part of the world. And it definitely something I will always remember.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Get stuck in, and go along with the experience, it can be a big change at first but it will start to feel more normal.
Pros
  • The place
  • The weather
  • The people
28 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sophie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable 3 months!!

Wow, thank you AV!!! I went on the 16 week programme departing to Kenya in January 2022. I met the most incredible people in the community, who I am still in contact with to this day. From invites to weddings, funerals, playing in football matches, teaching, painting and exploring a new culture, you do really get involved with everything.

The support you get from Sarah in the UK through to Khalfan in the village is great. They were always on hand when you have a question, and even now asking for job references later down the line. I truly wouldn’t be in the line of work I am now if it wasn’t for my experience and confidence gained through AV.

Pros
  • Authentic experience
  • Meet the most incredible people!!
  • Locals, and housemates very friendly
Cons
  • Share a room with all other volunteers, I liked it but not for everyone
53 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Will
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure of a Lifetime

Like nothing else I will ever do- until I go back. Kenya's south coast is stunning, baobab trees dark majestic against the African sunset whilst below the Indian Ocean shimmers. This was the perfect contrast to our life Mon-Fri, teaching and thriving in our home village and village schools. Msambweni, our home for 8 weeks, is a world away from our day to day. I miss walking in my locally tailored patterned shorts to our roundabout to pick up supper's veg, drinking water and the occasional cheeky mango juice. Our village had it all, kids playing evening football, a quiet yet energetic ambience, smiling people at every porch and the stunning palm tree home of Mwaembe beach.
AV is very special for this, providing the safety nets and school and home and then giving true freedom to make your own gap year expedition. My time teaching in Milalani school will never leave me. Improvised skipping lessons full of laughter to forming strong bonds with the kids during exam time. Leaving the school after re-vamping the library and walls of the school felt like our last play in giving back to the teachers and kids that gave us so much.
From the bitter and beautiful peaks of Mt Kenya to the dance floors of Afrobeats this trip had it all- approx 8 weeks working in the school followed by the independent travel period in which we climbed the stunning mountain creates THE perfect program.
I still text teachers and Khalfan (the brilliant first point of contact/ beach football competitor) ensuring Kenya never leaves me.
Could not recommend it more highly.
Poa poa!

Pros
  • Freedom with a new group of friends
  • Ever friendly and spot on Information
  • Beautiful surroundings
Cons
  • Isolated from home and comfort at times
  • Living with others isn't for everyone
  • Weekend adventures are out your own pocket
75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alice
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

My experiences in Kenya with AV

I spent 2 months on the beautiful Kenyan coast after discovering Africa and Asia Venture through a friend of a friend. At first I was skeptical of committing to such a big experience as I've done very little travelling in the past and thought perhaps this would be too big of a step for me. After some self-encouragement and incredibly helpful introductory/preparatory emails from AV, I decided to just go for it. And I will forever be so thankful that I did.
Despite my worries about being so far away from home in a very different culture, they were all set aside upon arriving in Kenya and immediately being greeted by Grace and Khalfan - the amazing souls that work with AV to keep us all afloat. AV has the perfect balance of allowing their volunteers to be independent and learn, travel and experience for themselves whilst ensuring a helping hand is always just a phone call away. I never felt unsafe or overwhelmed as a result of this.
Within just under a week we all had a timetable at our local schools and were teaching children subjects of our choosing. The teachers were so encouraging and kind, and the children were so fun and cheeky and full of light and energy. When things got hard, the kids had the most amazing way of making me forget about my worries.
Everyone I met in Msambweni was so friendly and thrilled to help us learn more about their culture whilst also showing enthusiasm in learning about us and our culture. It was a type of community I've never experienced before - one of immense support and care and general selflessness. We attended weddings, baby purifications, local football matches and helped build mud houses all within the first couple of weeks. Everyone was so eager to immerse us and equally so grateful when we got involved.
One thing that I can see everyone who volunteers with AV has said, no matter what programme they went on, is that you get what you give from the experience. This couldn't be more true. The more enthusiasm you show, the harder you work, the more effort you put in, all gives you the best take away from the experience. I can confidently say that you will enjoy your time far more by getting more involved.
I cannot recommend AV more. They're amazing!

77 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ollie
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic experience

I spent nearly 11 weeks with AV on the beautiful southern coast of Kenya. What an experience it was. I highly recommend AV.
If you're looking for full cultural immersion on your gap year, here is your answer. Within the first fortnight, we had already attended weddings, supported the local football team, gone to the local market, got rustic (!) haircuts and started teaching at our placement schools.
It was the first time that I had been away from home for an extended period of time, as well as living with a group of individuals my age. This brought many challenges as well as rewards and is all part of the experience. I formed relationships that I will treasure for a long time, both with my housemates as well as our hosts.
I also witnessed that there is a direct correlation between the effort you put in and the amount you get out. I was committed to the school and wanted to make a difference, which was obviously immensely appreciated by our hosts. Getting to know the kids and teachers takes time but is so rewarding. Putting effort into your lessons and into the community really pays off.
I had to leave early on account of increasing Covid-19 restrictions but I will be back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
- Go for as long as possible
- Give it your all
- Try Swahili (the locals seriously appreciate effort)
- Take some time every now and then to watch the waves on your own. It is the best form of relaxation therapy :)
140 people found this review helpful.

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