Volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya
Experience modern urban life in Africa in Kenya's capital city Nairobi.
• Teaching in Kenya
We have the following programs in Nairobi:
• Orphanages in Kenya
• Healthcare in Kenya
• HIV/AIDS in Kenya
• Wildlife Conservation in Kenya
Nairobi (pop. 3.4 mil) is the largest city between Cairo and Johannesburg and one
of the largest cities in Africa.
Nairobi is the business hub of East Africa, a cosmopolitan and lively
place to live and volunteer. Most foreign visitors, including our
participants, arrive in Kenya at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International
Airport. Nairobi's elevation of 1,660 meters gives the city a pleasant
English is widely spoken. You will also hear a lot of Swahili as
well as several local tribal languages.
You will stay with a local Kenyan family who will provide you with
your own room, all meals, include you in family activities, and
generally help you adjust to and learn about their culture and country.
The host families have been hand-picked and trained by both Cosmic
Volunteers' staff as well as our local Kenyan Coordinators. Cosmic's
staff has visited the families' homes, shared meals with them, and
conveyed to them the unique responsibilities involved with hosting
foreign volunteers. Our families can host more than one volunteer
at a time, so you can stay in the same house with your friend(s)
or partner. You can also stay in separate host families that are
very near to each other.
There is a wide variety of food in Kenya: you will find a general
diet of meat, vegetables, and starch. A sample meal for example,
is Ugali with cream spinach and chicken. Ugali appears to be of
the consistency of mashed potatoes, but has a thicker consistency,
and made of white corn flour. It is a common staple in Kenya, and
accompanies many meat and vegetable dishes. You will also find lots
of ethnic cuisine in Nairobi, including Indian food, etc. Vegetarians
are easily accommodated by our host families.
Mobile phones are widely available in Kenya, including Nairobi.
You can buy and activate a mobile phone for 75-100 USD from one
of the many shops in the city. For Internet access, there are many
shops in Nairobi and surrounding neighborhoods where you can use
the Internet and make international phone calls. Your host family
will also have a phone that you can use for emergencies and local
Our local Kenyan Coordinators will accompany you by private car
from the airport in Nairobi and introduce you to your host family
and the organization where you will volunteer. On a daily basis,
you can either walk from your host family to the organization or
take a public minibus called a "matatu."
Health & Safety
Nairobi has gained a reputation for muggings, especially at night.
There is definitely a risk, especially at night, but by taking some
basic precautions (which we'll remind you of when you arrive), you'll
find that Nairobi is a pleasant location to live and volunteer.
As for personal health, the biggest problem faced by volunteers
is usually an occasional upset stomach as their bodies adjust to
the food and water and warmer climate. There are several large hospitals
in Nairobi for serious illnesses, as well as numerous smaller clinics
for everyday ailments.
Nairobi has a tropical to temperate climate year-round with periods
of rain in April and October.
Sightseeing & Activities
Most travelers will tell you that no trip to Kenya would be complete
without a visit to a wildlife park or game reserve. The most popular
and best known is the Masai Mara National Reserve ("Mara")
which was featured in the movie "Out of Africa" and is
home to the Masai tribe and the annual wildebeast migration in July.
Mara is better suited to a long-weekend trip, since it is 270 kilometers
southwest of Nairobi.
For daytrips, you can visit Nairobi National Park which sits right
next to Nairobi and has four of the "big five": leopard,
lion, buffalo and rhino (there are no elephants). You can also relax
at a beach resort in Mombasa, the largest coastal port in East Africa
and a six-hour bus ride from Nairobi.