2019 Brighton Jones Lemayian Trip
An Experience Like No Other
Kenya | January 19-30, 2019
3-day photo safari to the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve
Two days volunteering at the Ruben Centre, known as “An Oasis of Hope” in the middle of the Mukuru District, an underserved community in Nairobi
A tour of the United Nations headquarters in Africa
The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where we will experience the young elephants who have been rescued in the wild after losing their parents to poachers
The Giraffe Center, which supports the continued survival of the endangered Rothschild Giraffe
There have likely been a few moments in your life where you walked away wishing that others could have shared an experience that gave you true joy and fulfillment. For our family, one of those moments in time came in a small village in southern Kenya.
Five years after we embarked on a one-year trip around the world, we are still talking about our visit to Kajiado, a small town two hours south of Nairobi. The energy and optimism we saw on the faces of the children and staff we met at the GRACE Nanana Maasai Girls Rescue Center and the Kajiado Childcare Centre (KCC) transformed our view of the world, and now we are so excited for you to now share in that experience with the Brighton Jones philanthropic team, Molly Norton and Laura Tarbutton.
You could easily fly into Nairobi, spend a few days on a safari, and head home. But that simply wouldn’t do Kenya justice. Over the course of 10 days, you will witness compassion in action firsthand as you visit the Ruben Centre, known as an “Oasis of Hope”, in the Mukuru community. You will take part in a school day, visit the health clinic, and see the innovative micro-businesses operating inside the center. Last year’s trip participants loved this experience so much, that we added a second day at Ruben so you can more fully engage with the kids and community.
At GRACE Nanana and KCC, you see two organizations which are devoted to empowering young girls, promoting youth education, and caring for the needs of children with disabilities.
This once-in-a-lifetime expedition will open your hearts and minds, as you will get a real sense of what it means to serve. Quality time with the children and two nights at the newly completed Brighton Jones Global Services Volunteer Guesthouse will reinforce the lesson that showing compassion for others increases your own happiness.
You will close the trip with an extended safari through the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Great Rift Valley, introducing you to the incomparable wildlife and natural splendor of East Africa.
Thank you again for taking this journey—we look forward to hearing about your time together in this special place. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Here’s to a trip filled with learning, laughter, and compassion!
Live a richer life,
Jon and Gretchen Jones
What one participant said when asked about their favorite memory from last year’s trip:
Depart from the United States
Arrive in Nairobi
After clearing customs and immigration, you will be greeted by our driver and transported to the Ole Sereni hotel. Please refer to the visa section for more details on how to obtain a tourist visa.
We’ll meet in the hotel lobby and set off to explore Nairobi. In the morning, we will tour the United Nations office, which serves as the UN headquarters in Africa. After lunch, we will visit the Giraffe Center and get a special tour of the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Dinner and overnight at Ole Sereni hotel.
In the morning, we will drive to the Ruben Centre located in Mukuru, an underserved community home to over 700,000 people. Known as “An Oasis of Hope,” the Ruben Centre offers primary school services to over 1,800 students, health services, vocational training for adults, and income-generating workshops to the community. We will have dinner back in Nairobi and stay at the Ole Sereni hotel overnight.
Based on feedback from the group that traveled with us last year, we planned a second day at the Ruben Centre so we have time not just to visit and tour the school and community, but also to engage with the kids. If you have any special activity you’d like to do with the kids—art, music, math, technology—we can plan ahead and split into smaller groups. We will drive back to spend the night at Ole Sereni.
Kajiado – GRACE Nanana, KCC, and Brighton Jones Guesthouse
We will drive in a charter bus approximately two hours south to Kajiado to visit GRACE Nanana Maasai Girls Rescue Center and Kajiado Childcare Center where we will meet the children, staff, and volunteers who benefit from the Brighton Jones Guesthouse, where we will stay overnight.
Please note that the guesthouse is not a hotel and provides very basic amenities. It consists of three bedrooms and two bunk rooms with eight beds. This will be a chance to experience a day in the life of a volunteer.
We will have another day and evening in Kajiado getting to know the organizations and spending time with the kids. We will plan activities as a group before the trip.
Kajiado to Wilson Airport – Fly to Maasai Mara, Sentinel Mara Camp
We will depart Kajiado early in the morning to catch a flight from Wilson Airport to the Sentinel Mara Camp in the Maasai Mara, which will be our home for the next three nights. There is a strict 15kg (33lbs) weight restriction on the safari flights. We strongly recommend soft bags. Additional luggage can be stored in Nairobi during the safari.
Maasai Mara, Sentinel Mara Camp
We will have the entire camp to ourselves and have morning and afternoon opportunities for game drives, sundowners, and taking in the sights and sounds of the savannah.
Fly to Wilson
We will depart after breakfast to fly back to Wilson airport and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta, where we will catch our evening flights back to the United States.
Arrival in the United States
Health, Safety, and Travel Requirements
Trip costs include a 14-day membership to Global Rescue. We will send you the enrollment forms. Please be aware that if you are over 75, you may be asked to get the permission of a doctor to travel.
Global Rescue is a leading membership organization providing evacuation, medical, security, and travel risk management services to individuals, families, enterprises, and governments. You will receive an email from Global Rescue to your own personal account which will contain all relevant information about the membership.
Kenya requires all U.S. and European nationals to obtain a single entry visa, valid for 90 days. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport or before you travel through the Kenyan government’s eVisa website .
Please consult with your doctor to determine which immunizations are right for you. Feel free to call us for any thoughts on malaria prophylaxis or other vaccines.
You can keep up to date on travel advisories for Kenya through the Global Rescue account (information will be emailed to you) and on the website of the U.S. State Department at or by phone at 888-407-4747.
Because tipping in another culture can be overwhelming and awkward, we have estimated all tips for the duration of the trip and included them in your trip cost. We will take care of tipping any services and assistance for the group portions of the trip. If you’d like to add tips for exceptional service, the guidelines are listed below. Tipping can be in local currency or USD.
Safari ranger / guide: KES 1000 to KES 2000 (USD 10 to USD 20) per day
Camp staff: KES 500 (USD 5) per day. Often there are community tip jars which will be shared amongst the staff.
Hotel staff: KES 100 to KES 200 (USD 1 to USD 2) per guest per day
Bus drivers: KES 300 to KES 500 (USD 3 to USD 5) per day
- Travel light and consider leaving jewelry and expensive rings at home
- Energy or fruit bars for the flight and the trip
- High SPF sunscreen, after sun lotion, and lip balm
- Bug spray (40% or higher DEET recommended)
- Camera (consider bringing a dustproof bag to keep your equipment safe when not in use)
- Lightweight hat with a brim to protect against sun
- T-shirts or golf shirts in neutral colors for safari (brighter colors are fine while in Nairobi)
- Lightweight long-sleeved shirts
- In Nairobi, chinos/slacks or jeans and summer shirts are recommended for men; knee-length or longer dresses or skirts for women (or pants).
- Socks and underwear
- Closed-toe shoes for day use. Sneakers are okay, but bring shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty
- Sandals or flip-flops for when you are in your tent at the safari camp and in hotels
- Long, lightweight pants for safari (shorts are not as common in Kenya and offer less protection against the sun and bugs)
- Sweater or hoodie for morning and evening drives, as it can get chilly
- Lightweight waterproof or water-resistant jacket
- Imodium, azithromycin, or ciprofloxacin in case of traveler’s diarrhea
- Visa cards are accepted; be sure and notify your bank regarding your travel plans
- Hand sanitizer (travel size)
- Passport plus a copy of your passport kept separately
- Chargers and travel adapter
- Small backpack for day trips
- Check your international cell phone plan before departure