Volunteer Jake finds an interesting place to rest while waiting to fly out of Gatwick Airport. Volunteers all "travel heavy" on the way out, taking donated supplies, gifts and clothing for the schools. The usual rule is one suitcase for the volunteer and one for the charity.
UK volunteers Taylor, Rachel, Dhruv, and Ned have dinner at a roof-top restaurant in Instanbul with a view of the Bosphorous. There is usually a stop-over on the way to Nairobi to keep flight costs as low as possible.
Volunteers Jude. Jake, and Vish try Turkish tea and coffee at a tea-house in the grand bazaar in Istanbul on a stop-over on route to Kenya. Reaction was mixed.
The giraffes are friendly and gentle, happy to be fed by visitors. The Rothschild giraffe is an endangered sub-species of giraffe which the Giraffe Centre breeds to reintroduce to the wild.
At the Giraffe Centre there are trained rangers on hand at all times to answer questions and ensure people treat the giraffes kindly and with respect.
Emma, a UK volunteer and charity deputy chair, enjoys feeding the giraffes on a Sunday outing to the Giraffe Centre. Giraffes have long blue tongues and their saliva has anti-bacterial properties to protect them when they eat there natural food - thorn trees.
These majestic creatures visit the feeding station where visitors can enjoy feeding and interacting with an endangered species, a rare and special experience. In addition, by visiting, you are supporting an organisation that is doing wonderful work fighting the extinction of the Rothschild giraffe.
Martin and Sharon, volunteers from the UK, are amused by a giraffe at the Giraffe Centre using its long tongue to take food from them.
Jude, a UK volunteer, feeds a giraffe at the Giraffe Centre. The centre provides food for visitors to feed the giraffes and and shows them how to do it.
Ayana Suzuki, a volunteer from Japan, feeds a giraffe with a pellet on her tongue at the Giraffe Centre. Giraffe saliva contains a natural antiseptic.
The giraffe are fed by visitors on pellets provided by the Giraffe Centre in Langata to ensure that they produce healthy offspring for return to the wild as part of a programme to prevent the extinction of the endangered Rothschild Giraffe.
A baby elephant at the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust which rescues babies orphaned by accident and poaching, gulps down its bottle of milk provided by its keeper while volunteers from Porridge and Rice look on.
Keepers feed the rescued baby elephants at the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust, a home for injured or orphaned baby elephants, in front of visitors. Once old enough, they are returned to wild.c
Each baby elephant at the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust is allowed two bottles of milk. They gulp them down quickly then wander around the ring playing games and drinking water, much to the delight of people watching.
The keepers tell the audience why each baby elephant had to be rescued while the baby elephants are play. The babies happily come close to the audience, and people are allowed to touch and stroke them.
The young elephants at David Sheldrick wildlife Trust love water, not just for drinking but also to spray over themselves and other young elephants.
The young elephants are raised by dedicated keepers at the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust while limiting their contact with other humans to make it easier for them to return to the wild when they are old enough.
Despite their size, rescued baby elephants at the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust play like children by rolling in the dust and shaking branches about.
The Vervet monkeys of City Park in Nairobi are happy to interact with people offering them peanuts which can be bought at a low price from sellers in the park. Vish, Seb, and Ned, all volunteers from the UK, enjoy interacting with the monkeys.
Kuljit, a UK volunteer, is entertained by a friendly and confident monkey in City Park in Nairobi who hopes that she will supply several peanuts in return.
Leonie, a UK volunteer, enjoys feeding a monkey in City Park in Nairobi which sits entertainingly on her shoulder hoping that the supply of peanuts is endless.
Volunteers are taken on a tour of Lake Naivasha, the Rift Valley's highest lake at 1884m above sea level, to see the pink flamingoes, pelicans, and hippopotamus for which this beautiful area of Kenya is famous.
The pink flamingoes of East Africa have to be seen to be appreciated. These beautiful birds can be found at Lake Naivashi, in the Rift Valley in Kenya, which makes a good outing for volunteers.
Volunteers are given the opportunity to visit a traditional Maasai village and join in their singing and dancing. Ramy, Vish, Luan and Taylor, all UK volunteers, found that it was harder than it appeared.
Vish, a UK volunteer and university student, joined the traditional Maasai warriors to perform the dance for a wife - he might just get lucky - with the maasai warriors.
Leonie, an A-level volunteer from the UK, is invited by a Masaai woman to join the women to dance a traditional dance for the watching volunteers and tribesmen.
Many of the women in the slums make a living out of making and selling handicrafts using a mixture of traditional and modern materials. Rachel and Taylor, UK volunteers, look over the goods one such lady is selling.
Volunteers wait for the sun to rise over the Kakamega rainforest in Western Kenya after trekking for two hours in the very early hours through the dark forest, cold and muddy.
The remaining portion of Kakamega rainforest is a stunning sight in the early hours of the morning as the sun rises bathing the scene in sunlight.
Volunteers from the UK, Taylor, Rachel, and Dhruv, hold chameleons on a visit to a breeding centre for these intriguing creatures. Chameleons are released into the rainforest to reverse their declining numbers due to the shrinking size of the forest. They are an important part of the forest's ecosystem.
Volunteers join Excel school, a Porridge and Rice partner school in the Nairobi slum of Ngando, on a trip to Lake Magadi, the southernmost lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, to see the soda ash collection and processing.
The pupils of Excel school, a Porridge and Rice partner school in Ngando, part of the Nairobi slums, walk out over the layer of soda ash of Lake Magadi with teachers and volunteers from the UK.
The pupils of Excel school in Ngando in the Nairobi slums, wade in the warm springs of Lake Elementaita near the Kariandusi Prehistoric Site on a school trip, joined by UK volunteers, Rachel, Taylor and Dhruv.
Ned,a UK volunteer, examines life in the warm springs of Lake Elementaita with pupils from Excel school of Ngando within the Nairobi slums, on a school trip to Kariandusi in Nakuru County to see the Diatomite Mining Site.
Rachel, a UK volunteer, wades through the hot and cold patches of water of the warm springs of Lake Elementaita with girls from Excel school in Ngando in the Nairobi slums, on their annual school trip.
Volunteers, Rachel, Dhruv and Taylor, all from the UK, enjoy the warmth of the springs of Lake Elementaita on a school trip to Kariandusi with Excel school of Ngando within the Nairobi slums.
Volunteers, Rachel, Dhruv, Ned and Taylor, discover that the water runs hot and cold because of the hot springs of Lake Elementaita in Kariandusi, when they join the pupils of Excel in Ngando in the Nairobi slums.
Beth, head teacher of Lizpal school in Ngando in the Nairobi slums, and Ken, a UK volunteer, pose for a photo at the hot springs of Lake Elementaita in Kariandusi on a school trip with Excel school, a Porridge and Rice partner school.
Volunteers climb into the van that will take them to the start of the journey down the Tana River riding the rapids. White water rafting is a popular activiity among volunteers because of the thrill of riding the rapids and being in a beautiful surroundings.
Before white water rafting on the Tana river, volunteers Taylor, Luan, Leonie, and Vish, from the UK, are taught the commands that the leader of the boat will use to tell them how to react on a rapid, and coached in how to ensure it remains a safe experience.
Safety rules are explained to volunteers, Jude, Vish, Emma, and Ken, before launching on their journey riding the rapids of the Tana river through an area of great beauty and watched by Vervet monkeys.
Riding the rapids of the Tana river is a thrilling experience as the grinning faces of volunteers in the boat show. The day is led by trained professionals so the event is both exciting and safe.
It takes teamwork for Porridge and Rice volunteers to negotiate a rapid successfully on the Tana river. A highly experienced leader at the head of the raft will shout commands like 'lean left' or 'paddle right'.
There are several challenging rapids on the Tana river making it an exciting experience for volunteers in a beautiful, wild setting. Porridge and Rice encourages volunteers to work hard serving schooks and to see some of Kenya, a wonderful country.
Negotiating channels through the rapids takes focus and teamwork achieved by responding promptly to the instructions of the team leader. White water rafting is popular with Porridge and Rice volunteers as it provides an entertaining break from working hard in Porridge and Rice partner schools in the Nairobi slums..
The goal is to break through the waterfall into the cave behind it. The force of the falling water is so powerful that only a few teams make it through, and usually only after several attempts. Most teams fail.
Rafters have to row fast and hard to overcome the force of the water pushing the raft back away from the waterfall. It is no surprise that most teams fail and those that succeed do so, only after several attempts.
'Surfing' involves taking the raft as close to the rapids as possible and holding it there against the force of the water which seems intent on trying to capsize it. There are many suitable rapids to 'surf' on the Tana river.
At times, the rapids win overturning the raft. All rafters are required to wear helmets and life jackets to ensure there is no chance of anything going wrong. The charity takes the safety of volunteers seriously, and will not compromise. Please do not ask to be allowed to participate without a life jacket or helmet. No matter how strong a swimmer you are, this is simply not an option.
The day riding the rapids of the Tana river finishes with a meal and a chance to chat about the day's events. Then it is a two hour ride back to Wildebeest Eco Camp.
Vendors and crafters set up stalls at the Maasai market to sell their goods. Rachel, a UK volunteer, searches through the beaded bracelets and arm bands. The Maasai market is a good place to look for souvenirs and gifts made in Kenya. It is important to remember to check prices at different stands and then negotiate a good price.
Dhruv, a volunteer from the UK, inspects one of the wooden sculptures on sale at the Maasai market at The Juntion, in search of gifts and souvenirs. The market offers a wide range of goods made by Kenyans and elsewhere in Africa. Always check the source and remember to negotiate on price.
Ken and Brigitte, Porridge and Rice trustees volunteering in Kenya, stop for a well earned coffee with banana bread and a slice of gateau at Java House on the way back from a day in the Nairobi slums at Porridge and Rice partner schools.
Galleria is a 15 to 20 minute walk from Wildebeest Eco Camp, home of Porridge and Rice volunteers while in Kenya. It is a large shopping mall with everything from a supermarket to a chemist and cash machines.
The shopping mall Galleria has a wide range of restaurants and fast food outlets should volunteers wish to eat out. Jude, a software engineer from the UK, tucks into a hearty meal for lunch one weekend.
Planet Youghurt at Galleria is a favourite among volunteers with its wide range of local frozen yoghurt flavours like guava, mango and passion fruit, and numerous toppings from gummy bears to fresh fruit like papaya and passion fruit.
At Carnivore, an open-air restaurant in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, the waiters keep serving until diners put the flag down on their table. Vish, a volunteer in the UK, is offered turkey while the other UK volunteers, Ned and Leonie, tuck into their food.
Dhruv, a volunteer from the UK, enjoys Carnivore's specialty, a wide variety of meats like ostrich, crocodile and bulls' testicles along with the coventional options like chicken, pork, and beef. The restaurant also has a good vegetarian menu.
Emma, Jude, Vish, and Jake, all volunteers from the UK, take on the Carnivore all-you-can-eat menu with relish and a little bit of wine to wash it down. Carnivore remains a favourite experience with volunteers.
After a hard day working at Porridge and Rice partner schools in the Nairobi slums, dinner at Carnivore is a welcome treat for volunteers Taylor, Dhruv, Ned, and Rachel, all students from the UK.
Luan, Kuljit, Ramy, Ned, Vish, Leonie, Taylor and Emma, volunteers from the UK ranging from A level to working, spend an evening at Carnivore, a restaurant in the Nairobi suburbs that provides an excellent dining experience for all who attend.
Dinner at Carnivore starts with soup, freshly baked bread, and salad. Volunteers Emma and Luan will soon discover that it is wise not to eat too much of the starter but to keep space for the main course.
Cheesecake with vanilla ice cream, as chosen by UK volunteer Vish, is a popular choice for desert at Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi at the end of a meal of meats from crocodile to ostrich.
The Carnivore staff sing Happy Birthday and Jambo Bwana to Kuljit, a first year medical student volunteering for four weeks at Porridge and Rice partner schools in the Nairobi slums.
Dawa, which means medicine in Kiswahili, is a popular cocktail at Carnivore, Nairobi's famous restaurant for good reason as Kuljit and Ramy, both volunteers from London, find out while volunteering in schools in the Nairobi slums.
A group of Porridge and Rice volunteers reach the summit of Mount Kenya after 4 days of climbing. According to Kuljit, Leonie, Luan, Vish, and Ned, it was much colder than they expected.
Luan, a classics graduate and Porridge and Rice volunteer from the UK, was delighted to have reached the summit of Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Volunteers join Excel School on their trip to see the Diatomite mines of Kariandusi. The Kariandusi Prehistoric Site, disccovered by Louis Leakey, lies nearby and is an Early Stone Age site dating to approximately 1 million years ago.
Volunteers Vish, Ned, Taylor, Kuljit and Luan, listen to a talk from a guide from the diatomite mining company in Baringo County in the Kenyan Rift Valley. The mine is located on the southeastern edge of the Great Rift Valley near an Early Stone Age site.
Kuljit, UK volunteer, watches the children of Excel School, a Porridge and Rice partner school in the Nairobi slums, as they enjoy the unusual feel of diatomite dust having been told that they are free to explore the area and the tunnels of the mine.
UK Volunteers Vish, Luan, and Leonie enjoy exploring the diatomite mines as much as the children with the fine powder on the floor and the tunnels into the cliff face.
Taylor, Vish, Ned, and Luan, volunteers from the UK, pose for a photograph in one of the tunnels out of the cliff at the diatomite mine in Kariandusi in the Rift Valley in Kenya.
With the tour of the diatomite mine in Kariandusi complete, the children from Excel school break for lunch and Kuljit, a first year medical student, shares her photographs of the outing with them.
Luan and Kuljit, both volunteers from the UK, enjoy wading in Lake Elementaita with the pupils of Excel school, after a dusty visit to the diatomite mine of Kariandusi.
Going on safari in one of Kenya's outstanding game reserves is the most popular activity among volunteers. Kibo is the preferred accomodation for volunteers visiting Amboseli National Park.
UK volunteers Jude, Vish, Jake, and Emma, relax outside the restaurant at Kibo on a three day visit to Amboseli National Park in . The park is 392 km2 in size in an area occupied by the Massai tribe.
The bar at Kibo is a popular place for volunteers to gather on the evening at Kibo after a day of game watching in Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County, Kenya. The park protects two of the five main swamps in the region, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semiarid vegetation.
After a long day in Amboseli National Park viewing game, Jake and Vish, volunteers from the UK, relax with a drink in the bar at Kibo safari lodge where volunteers generally stay while on safari.
Looking for game in Amboseli National Park can be tiring work so after a shower and dinner, a drink in the bar at Kibo safari lodge is wonderfully relaxing way to end the day. Martyn and Sharon, UK volunteers, take full advantage of the comfortable bar at the lodge at the end of an enjoyable day.
Kenya is home to many amazing safari parks like Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park, where volunteers will have the opportunity to search for Africa's famous big five. UK volunteers Kuljit, Ken and Vish wait at the entrance to Masai Mara as their entrance fee is processed.
Emma and Jake, UK volunteers, begin the short but steep climb to get to the top of Observation Hill at Amboseli National Park. It is worth the effort because of the amazing view.
Observation Hill at Amboseli National Park provides a wonderful view of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the marsh created by its melting snow as discovered by Jake, Vish, Emma, and Jude, volunteers from the UK.
Amboseli National Park is famous for its large herds of elephant. These majestic creatures truddle slowly over the dry ground allowing plenty of time to take photos. Vish, a UK volunteer, captures a moment to remember his trip.
The African elephant of Amboseli National Park is the largest and heaviest land animal on Earth, being up to 3.96 metres tall at the shoulder and 10.4 tonnes in weight. On average, males are about 3.2 metres tall at the shoulder and 6 tonnes, while females are much smaller at about 2.6 metres tall at the shoulder and 3 tonnes in weight.
The male African elephant lives alone, and can be seen at Amboseli National Park grazing, bathing, and walking through the bush with their impressive tusks and large stature. The skull of the African elephant makes up to 25% of its body weight.
Elephant are social animals, travelling in herds of females and young. Amboseli National Park is famous for the number of large herds that can be seen crossing the savanah from the places they graze to where they drink and bathe.
Large herds of elephant can be seen heading for the marshes at the end of the day at Amboseli National Park. Their large size means that they must consume around 50 gallons of water every day.
Wildebeest and Zebra
The African buffalo is a member of the African big five weighing between 500 and 1,000 kg. They are temperamental, powerful, dangerous animals which gore and kill over 200 people every year. They can drive away even kill lions trying to attack them.
The wildebeest, also called a gnu, is an antelope. Wildebeest often graze in mixed herds with zebra which gives heightened awareness of potential predators. They are also alert to the warning signals emitted by other animals such as baboons.
The common hippopotamus can be seen submerged during the day. This large, herbivorous mammal emerges in the morning and the night to graze. The closest living relatives of the hippopotamus are cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc.) from which they diverged about 55 million years ago. The adults average 1,500 kg and 1,300 kg for males and females respectively.
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