PSAI Member Karibu Loo/Friends of Ngong Road will host any interested PSAI Members for a 10-day trip in August 2018.
Each year the PSAI Board of Directors plans a group visit to a PSAI operator Member. These trips have taken place around the globe with the local PSAI PRO acting as host to anyone willing to make the journey. In 2018 the PSAI will be heading to Nairobi, Kenya to visit Karibu Loo – and you’re invited!
Many will recall how the proceeds of the 2017 Urgent Run were donated to Friends of Ngong Road, the charity associated with PSAI operator Karibu Loo. This trip will allow PSAI Members to see firsthand how their donations from that event are being used in Kenya. Lindy Boehme, Co-Chair of the 2017 Urgent Run, weighed in on this travel opportunity:
“As Co-Chair of our first Urgent Run in November, I am thrilled that the PSAI has chosen to visit Karibu Loo/Friends of Ngong Road in August. Members on this trip will have the rare opportunity to interact with workers in this unique environment to better understand all the challenges that face these individuals daily. This is a once in a lifetime chance to see how the money we raised as a group through the Urgent Run is impacting such a large group of people daily.”
Fellow 2017 Urgent Run Co-Chair Karen Holm plans to make the trip to Kenya in August. She had the following to say:
“As I have learned more about the truly inspiring work that the Friends of Ngong Road and Karibu Loo do to enrich and transform the lives of impoverished and HIV-infected families in Nairobi, Kenya, it makes me very proud that the PSAI has chosen to be financially supportive of this worthy cause. I am also very excited about the opportunity to visit this amazing country and to learn about these children and the day-to-day challenges they face in their home andfamily lives as well as their challenge to learn in a quality educational environment.
We have a unique opportunity to contribute to this amazing cause by imparting our industry knowledge on the Karibu Loo Management and Staff, but I also feel that we have so much more to be gained by learning about a culture and people different than our own. I am looking forward to visiting Kenya to experience the sights, sounds, and culture of the inner city of Nairobi, but I am also extremely excited to experience the amazing wildlife of the African Serengeti. I hope you will consider being part of the PSAI delegation to visit this remarkable land and to meet the wonderful staff of Friends of Ngong Road, Karibu Loo, and the students whose lives are transformed each and every day.”
Whether you’re interested in seeing Karibu Loo’s daily operations, or if you’re looking for a great reason to visit the country and combine business with some time on safari, all PSAI Members are welcome to attend.
CLICK HERE or on the image to the left to enlarge and download the trip itinerary.
Friends of Ngong Road founder Paula Meyer (see right, pictured fourth from the left) took the time to answer a few frequently asked questions for those interested in the trip. See below.
1. What is included in the price listed (e.g., hotels, ground transportation, number of meals, safari excursions, etc.) and what is extra?
Included in the trip cost is all lodging, meals, in-country transportation including roundtrip flights from Nairobi to Masai Mara – the site of the safari excursion, safari excursion expenses, and guide gratuity. Not included is alcohol, souvenirs, additional snacks you may choose to purchase in country, and any additional tips or desired services. The price first quoted for this trip was slightly lower than the current price of $4200 per person plus airfare to/from Kenya. That is because we concluded it would be a better experience for everyone if we fly to Masai Mara rather than the less expensive option of driving. Flying will both provide us with more time for safari activities and be far less arduous. The road conditions in Kenya are not always the best.
2. How modern/rustic will this be?
All the hotels and lodges are modern, comfortable facilities with ensuite bathrooms. In Nairobi you will be staying at the Amber Hotel. In Masai Mara you will be staying at Keekorok Lodge. Both are beautiful lodging options Karibu Loo has used in the past.
3. Will the trip be appropriate for children or older people?
Travel to Kenya is somewhat arduous. From the time you leave the US, it will take approximately 20-38 hours to arrive in Nairobi depending on your point of departure and connections. Kenya does not have any regulations designed to ease challenges for people with disabilities, so it is best if guests can walk comfortably. Walking with a cane or walker can be very challenging as the ground can be uneven and unpaved. Roads can be bumpy and dusty, especially on safari. Children under the age of 12 or people with mobility issues or serious health issues may not enjoy the rigors of a trip like this.
4. Who will be leading the safari portion of the trip?
We will be patterning with Wilderness Inquiry, a respected travel nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, MN. Our group will have the lucky experience of Richard Muthoga, a contract staff member with WI, leading the safari. Richard is a longtime friend of Friends of Ngong Road and a knowledgeable local Kenyan.
Richard Muthoga’s biography:
As a child growing up on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Muthoga used to look after his family’s livestock in the dense forests of Mount Kenya. He quickly learned the ways of the wilderness through this responsibility and fell in love with the outdoors. He has since trained and worked as an outdoor leader extensively in East Africa and North America with Wilderness Inquiry for Kenya trips, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the University of Minnesota, Teva Adventure, and many others. He is a certified NOLS instructor, Wilderness First Responder,and a member of the MtKenya Search & Rescue Team.
Muthoga attended Nairobi University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. He has taught in a number of schools and helped form clubs geared toward making students aware of the various opportunities that people can enjoy in outdoors. Muthoga also helps raise funds and construct classrooms for local schools in the Mt Kenya area that are unable to afford adequate facilities. He is a true champion of local peoples and believes that the key to improving our future is to invest in the youth of today.
In Kikuyu, Muthoga’s tribal language, his name means “one who likes to talk.” No name could be more fitting, as he loves to explain his country to visitors. You can ask Muthoga about anything from wildlife behavior to politics–he has deep understanding of East Africa and the ways of the world. A trip with Muthoga in Kenya can truly be a life-changing experience.
5. Why is the schedule set up the way that it is? Why so much time with Karibu Loo and FONR? Why was this (busy) time of year chosen?
We know August is a busy season for most portable sanitation companies. Unfortunately, the wildebeest do not. To ensure the best possible safari experience, we chose a time that coincides with both with wildebeest migration and some activities at Karibu Loo that our group can be particularly helpful in addressing. This trip is designed to both introduce you to the animals of Kenya and the people of Kenya, with a special focus for one day on the experiences of a portable sanitation provider in Kenya who is a member of PSAI. This will be a much richer trip for you than a typical visit to Kenya because you will get the chance to learn about the people of Kenya, especially people who are born into deep poverty.
6. What days do we need to be in country? What if someone arrives a day late or needs to leave a day early?
Because the first couple days and the last day are in Nairobi, you could shorten your time by a day or two and still experience most of the planned itinerary. Unfortunately doing that will not alter the cost of the trip because the rooms are bid at a group rate based on the total nights involved in the intinerary.
7. Is it safe to travel in Kenya?
Kenya is situated in east Africa, close to Somalia, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Travelers to Kenya should read the U.S. State Department commentary on the country:
That said, it should be noted that Paula Meyer, founder of Friends of Ngong Road/Karibu Loo has traveled there many times over the years and has not yet been made the star of a Lifetime movie concerning her misadventures. Paula will be leading a couple of informational phone calls about the trip and, based on her experience, will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding travel there.
8. Do I need a visa? If so, how does that work? What should I expect?
You must have a visa to visit Kenya. It can be purchased by completing an online form, which takes about an hour. The cost is $52.
9. Do I need immunizations?
You must have numerous current immunizations to visit Kenya, as described at this website:
10. I’m ready to commit! Now what?
Let PSAI Executive Directory Karleen Kos (email@example.com) know. She will add your name to the list. Once we have eight (8) firm commitments, Wilderness Inquiry can finalize the contracts in Kenya and lock in our rates. We need eight PSAI travelers to commit in order to host the trip! When that is done, you will formally sign up through Wilderness Inquiry’s website. Payment will be as follows:
– 25% non-refundable deposit is due at sign up
– 75% due by May 8; 12 weeks prior to departure
We are advised that April 1, 2018 is the last realistic date to sign up, given everything that needs to happen between sign up and the date of departure!
11. I have more questions. What should I do?
Send them to Karleen. Also watch the PSAI newsletter for the dates in February and March of informational phone calls with Friends of Ngong Road founder Paula Meyer where you’ll be able to ask the questions directly and learn more about Karibu Loo, Kenya, and this exciting trip!