From Kenya’s dynamic capital and urban center Nairobi, to the remote forest area of western Kenya, and on to the lush wildness of Tanzania, this unique journey to Africa is the experience of a lifetime. We overnight on Lake Victoria, meet members of the famous Maasai tribe, and safari in word-class game parks. We build relationships with grassroots community leaders committed to overcoming the heartbreaking poverty of the region. Above all, we foster a network of support and learn how to become responsible global citizens. The African Journey is a remarkable opportunity to make your world bigger!
- The African Journey is different from a typical tour. Though we will visit several game parks, our focus is not primarily on tourist attractions, but on experiencing the vitality and daily life of Africa from within. It is for those who want to get off the beaten track, become involved with local people, and connect with another view of the world.
- Participants must be able to climb at least two-flights of stairs and walk up to one mile.
- Accommodations will be simple, clean, and safe. This is not for those envisioning 4-star hotels.
- Ground travel within Kenya and Tanzania will be in a bus with African Passionists serving as our local guides.
- The African Journey will be led by Fr. Joe Mitchell along with priests and brothers of the Passionist communities of Kenya and Tanzania.
- Registration is limited to 18 people. Preference is given to those who have previously participated in Earth & Spirit Center courses or programs.
Cost for 19 days: $2850
- Cost includes double-occupancy accommodations, meals, all ground transportation within Africa, services of local guides, stipend for Passionist communities, game park and all other entry fees.
- Cost does not include tips, alcoholic beverages, camera fees, any optional services, or expenses of personal nature such as laundry, telephones, etc.
- Cost does not include international airline travel.
- An initial deposit of $650 is due upon registration to reserve a place on the African Journey.
- 50% of payment balance ($1100) is due by August 1, 2019.
- Remaining balance payment ($1100) required by September 15, 2019.
- Each participant will arrange and pay separately for their international air travel, flying into and out of Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport).
- Single entry tourist visas are required for entering both Kenya and Tanzania.
- Some immunization vaccinations are suggested. Consult your local travel clinic for advice.
The African Journey – 2020 Itinerary *
Day 1 – Departure: January 8, 2020
Day 2 – En route
Arriving in Nairobi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be warmly met by members of the Passionist community with a Swahili greeting: “karibu” (welcome). The native Passionists of Kenya and Tanzania will be our hosts for this journey into the heart of Africa. Overnight will be at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi. (Most international flights coming into Nairobi arrive late-evening.)
Day 3 – Welcome to Kenya
We will be staying at the Passionist retreat center located in Karen-Langata, a tranquil area on the outskirts of Nairobi. Morning will be a time to rest and recover from travels. In the afternoon, we visit the renowned Elephant Orphanage, a local craft center, and the massive Winchester Rose Farm.
Day 4 – Nairobi City
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is a fascinating and eclectic blend of cultures and styles. Many United Nations offices are spread throughout the town and it is East Africa’s commercial hub. In the morning we have an opportunity to visit downtown Nairobi and the Kenyan National Museum. The afternoon will take us to the nearby Giraffe Center. Overnight at the Passionist retreat center.
Day 5 – Kibera and Kenyan Culture
We will meet with grassroots leaders who work in Kibera – one of the largest slums in Africa, with an estimated population of a million people in one square mile – to hear their stories and meet the residents. More than half the residents are children under the age of twelve. A lecture on Kenyan culture and history fills out the afternoon. Overnight will be at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi.
Day 6 – Lake Nakuru National Park
Today we drive through the dramatic landscapes of the Great Rift Valley toward Molo, a farming community located in the central high country. En route we will visit the wild game park at Lake Nakuru or the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary in Lake Naivasha, depending on which site offers optimal viewing of animals. Overnight is at the Passionist residence in Molo.
Day 7 – From Molo to Lake Victoria
On our drive from Molo to Karungu there will be ample views of expansive vistas and verdant agricultural areas of central Kenya. The spectacular rolling hills and manicured tea fields of central Kenya offer an opportunity to visit a tea plantation in Kericho. Overnight at the Passionist retreat center in Karungu.
Day 8 – Karungu
Our home base will be the Passionist retreat center. It is stunningly set on the sloping shore of Lake Victoria, the legendary source of the Nile and cradle of early human evolution. The haunting call of exotic birds fills the air in this garden setting and unique ecosystem. We will visit the nearby St. Camillus Mission Hospital and Orphanage. Overnight at Passionist center in Karungu.
Day 9 – Karungu and Tonga
The people of Kenya are comprised of 42 ethnic tribes, each with its own unique values, language and cultural practices. Karungu is home to the Luo tribe, the third largest community in Kenya. We have the unique opportunity to experience local hospitality with a visit to the remote village of Tonga, meeting local people and learning more about village life in this secluded tropical area of the world.
Day 10 – Central Highlands
Driving back to Nairobi will take us through the luminous green highlands. Lunch will be with the Passionist community in Sotik. It’s an all-day trip crossing the Great Rift Valley, but we’ll arrive at a familiar place – overnighting at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi.
Day 11 – Nairobi
Take it easy and relax at the retreat center in Nairobi. It’s a chance to catch your breath and catch up on rest. Or you can engage in optional activities such as visiting the Karen Blizen Museum or the Bomas of Kenya Cultural Center. Overnight at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi.
Day 12 – International Border Crossing from Kenya to Tanzania
This easy drive takes us south from Nairobi into Tanzania. On a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro looms large on the horizon. After crossing the international boarder, we soon arrive in Arusha, regarded as the gateway to the popular northern safari circuit. Situated below majestic Mount Meru, Arusha enjoys a mild climate year-round. Overnight at the Passionist residence in Arusha.
Day 13 – Tanzania Culture and Karatu
The morning offers an opportunity to learn about the culture and history of Tanzania, the cradle of human evolution. After lunch we begin our excursion to Karatu, driving the through the vast dry expanse of the Rift Valley and up into the lush green fields on the southeast slope of the Ngorngoro Crater, about 7500 feet above sea level, often with its head in the clouds. Overnight at a guesthouse surrounded by a coffee plantation in the majestic hills outside of Karatu.
Day 14 – Ngorngoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Crater is often called “Africa’s Garden of Eden.” A visit to the crater is a main drawcard for most tourists coming to Tanzania. Who knows what all we will see! Within the crater rim herds of zebra and wildebeest often graze in large herds while lions lurk in the shadows. At dawn, the endangered black rhino can sometimes be seen grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. In the evening we return to the guesthouse in Karatu.
Day 15 – Tarangire National Park
The highlight today will be visiting Tarangire Game Park, known for its vast herds of elephants and iconic baobab trees. The diverse land gives rise to abundant wildlife. Impalas, wildebeest, zebra, giraffes and baboons inhabit the park, which is also known for its tree-climbing leopards. We conclude the day by returning to the Passionist residence in Arusha.
Day 16 – Arusha Humanitarian Programs
The day begins with an opportunity to explore and shop at the Maasai Market. Then we visit local programs of humanitarian enrichment. Options include: Food Water Shelter (a health center and orphanage for vulnerable women and children), Zahanati Health Clinic (AIDS work and nutritional center), Sunflag Textile Factory (the story of our cotton clothing). Overnight at the Passionist residence in Arusha.
Day 17 – Drive from Arusha to Nairobi
Today we return to Kenya and our home base at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi. A festive meal to celebrate our African Journey awaits us when we arrive in Nairobi.
Day 18 – Evening Departure from Nairobi
In the morning, set your own pace. You may hear a call to the market, the Karen Blizen Museum, Langata Botanical Gardens, or Bomas of Kenya Cultural Center. In the evening, we bid farewell to Africa and our companions as we begin the journey home.
Day 19 – Arrive home: January 26, 2020
This may be the end of the adventure, but it’s also the beginning of your personal journey to carry your experience forward.
Before or by September 15, 2019 - 60% of full payment is refundable
After September 15, 2019 - 40% of full payment is refundable
After November 15, 2019 - No refund is possible unless your place can be filled by another person.
All trips cancelled at this time.