CANOPY LIFE IS WRITING A DIFFERENT STORY
TRIP DATES: June 7th – 17th, 2024
LOCATION: Koma Hill, Karen Blixen Safari Camp in Maasai Mara, Kenya
WHO’S INVITED: Everyone. Come one, come all! This relationTRIP is open to current student sponsors, donors, and any individuals and/or families (children ages 8+) looking for a different kind of service trip experience.
TEAM LEADER: Stacy Williams
COST: $2,800/Person + Cost of Airfare
A relationTRIP is a team experience which provides the opportunity for participants to travel to Koma Hill, Kenya to serve the students, staff, and communities of Canopy Life Academy. Travelers engage in worldview expanding activities and relationship building experiences, as well as model healthy leadership and lifestyles for the students. Different than a task-focused mission trip, a relationTRIP challenges travelers to shift their perspective from what they are go to do in Kenya, to who are they going to be in Kenya.
With 36% of the Kenyan population living below the poverty line and limited job opportunities readily available, we’ve found immense value and success in employing members in our local community of Koma Hill to complete various projects on our campus so we can utilize the gifts, talents, and skills of our travelers to relationally engage, empower, and encourage our students and staff members.
Below is a general schedule for the 2024 June RelationTRIP. This schedule is subject to change as we confirm the day to day activities with Canopy Life and engage the gifts, talents, expertise, and interests of the trip participants. Our hope is that this schedule will facilitate building authentic relationships and worldview exchange through intentional and shared experiences.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How Much Will My Trip Cost?
Relation-trips with Canopy Life International cost approximately $2,800/person plus the cost of airfare. We will assist you with resources for building a sucessful fundraising campaign and we will provide resources for booking airfare.
When are the deadlines for funds to be in?
A deposit of $250/per person is due upon registration.
50% of funding is due February 6th, 2024 (120 days prior to departure).
100% of funding is due April 6th, 2024 (60 days prior to departure).
If I need to cancel, can I get a refund?
Canopy Life International is a registered 501(c)3 not for profit organization. Tax receipts are issued upon receipt of donation for all trip donations and therefore we are unable to issue any refunds.
In lieu of refunds, Canopy Life Itnernational can:
1. Apply funds to a future trip
2. Apply funds as a donation to a special project or program area
What is covered in the cost of my trip?
Cost includes local transportation, lodging, food and beverages, 3 day/2 night safari (incountry flight, lodging, game drives), and travel medical insurance.
Not included are: International flights to Naiorbi, tourist visas, personal travel vaccinations, “a la carte” safari activities such as: hot air balloon rides over the Maasai Mara, Maasai village visits, wellness services, night game drives, etc.
Is the trip cost tax deductible?
Yes! Canopy Life International is a registered 501(c)3. Any funds/donations paid online or by check to Canopy Life International are tax deductible. Checks should be made out to Canopy Life International and mailed to Canopy Life International c/o Traveler Name | PO Box 500942, Atlanta GA 31150 or with a note including traveler name and trip dates.
Please note, do NOT write the traveler’s name in the memo line of the check. Funds returned upon cancellation are no longer tax deductible.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Will I be safe?
Safety is paramount and Canopy Life International will do everything possible to ensure your safety. Every team will have an experienced and trained team leader that will be with you the whole trip. Every trip participant is registered in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and an International Travel Policy is purchased on behalf of every trip participant.
We hire private transportation with vetted and experienced drivers who are highly knowledgeable of our communities, hotels, surrounding areas and alternate routes. As an added precaution, no team member is permitted to leave the hotel or school grounds alone at any time. We will always travel together as one group or in small groups.
Lastly, our Kenyan Directors are our ears on the ground and they will inform us of any possible issues and any changes that need to happen to ensure the safety of our teams.
What immunizations are required for travel?
Currently there are NO REQUIRED immunizations for travelers from the United States into Kenya. Proof of Yellow Fever immunization is required IF you are traveling from a country with risk of Yellow Fever (this does not include the United States).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has an extensive list of recommended immunizations and medications for travel to Kenya. Link – https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001
Please contact your local healthcare provider or public health department to determine what the best options are for you. It is a best practice to carry a copy of your immunization records for international travel.
Please note, regarding malaria, the relative risk for U.S. travelers is high. Chloroquine is not an effective malaria preventative.
Are there any COVID requirements for travel to Kenya?
Kenya no longer requires proof of COVID vaccination or negative PCR tests for any travelers entering the country.
What do I need to know about the food and water?
It is important when traveling in a developing nation to use caution with the food and water you consume. Canopy Life International works diligently in selecting accommodations where food is prepared in a safe manner. Three meals a day will be provided, however, we do suggest bringing your own snacks to enjoy in addition to the meals provided.
Bottled water will be provided for you. This water is to be used as drinking water and for brushing your teeth. Please do not drink the tap water, use it to brush your teeth, or open your mouth in the shower.
Beverages and meals prepared with boiled water are considered safe to consume. This includes coffee, tea, soups, and stews/stewed vegetables. Fresh and uncooked produce that can be peeled is safe to consume.
What if I don’t know the language?
Most Kenyans speak English, including the Canopy Life students and staff. In addition, there will always be a Canopy Life staff member or translator who will assist your group as needed throughout the trip expereince.
We encourage you to learn some Swahili and use it during your trip to connect with the students and staff. This intentional effort means a lot to them and helps grow authentic connections.
Can I give my personal contact information to the people I meet?
Building authentic relationships is a primary goal for this kind of trip. If you would like to communicate with individuals you meet, please send letters or emails to the Canopy Life U.S. staff and we will forward them along on your behalf.
We strongly discourage directly sharing personal contact information (including social media) with anyone. It is important to understand that once your personal contact information is exchanged, it may be distributed to others in the community in search of unhealthy Western support.
PACKING & TRAVEL
When do I book my international flight?
Once your registration is received and capacity is confirmed, Canopy Life will provide recommended flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi (NBO) that best accomodate our ground itinerary.
Do I need to obtain a visa prior to the trip?
Yes! A visa is required for entry to Kenya for travelers 16 years of age and older. A visa is about $52/person. Due to the personal nature of some of the questions on the visa application, we cannot complete this process on your behalf. However, we will provide you with detailed and step by step directions to obtain a visa prior to departure.
How long does it take to get to Kenya?
Total travel time depends on where you’re traveling from, number of connections, and length of layovers. Actual flight time to Kenya is approximately 18 hours from the southeastern region of the US.
How many bags can I bring?
Airline baggage allowances vary and change from time to time, so it’s best practice to consult your airline’s website to confirm allowances and requriements.
We ask that you pack your personal items into one bag to be checked, weighing no more 50lbs. Most airlines also permit two small bags in the cabin of the aircraft: a carry-on and a personal bag. It’s important to remember that you are responsible for managing your luggage for the duration of your trip. Elevators are not common in Kenya and you may have to naviagte several flights of stairs with your luggage.
For our 3 day/2 night stay in the Maasai Mara, flights requrie a soft-sided bag (duffle) weighing no more than 30lbs. Any larger luggage will remain in Nairobi under safe keeping while we safari and will be returned to you upon arrival back in Nairobi.
Canopy Life will provide packing suggestions and a packing check-list in post-registration training materials.
What will the weather be like?
Kenya lies directly on the equator and has a pleasant tropical climate; however, weather varies significantly depending on elevation and season. The dry season runs from June to October during which the average highs range in the 70s-80s (afternoon) with clear skies and sunshine. The average morning and evening temperatures can drop into the 40s-50s, so please be prepared with light layers, a sweater, and/or a jacket.
Do I need an electrical adapter?
All electrical items in Kenya run on 120/240 voltage electrical outlet. An adapter will be needed to utilize electrical outlets to charge your devices and accessories. Most rechargeable camera batteries, laptops, phones, etc will operate on dual voltage of 120/240. Some items such as hair dryers can be manually changed from one voltage to the other. If not, a voltage converter will also be needed.
Please note, hair dryers are not provided in the hotels, so please plan accordingly.
Who will meet me at the Nairobi airport?
A representative from Canopy Life International and a hotel representative from Four Points by Sheraton will be outside the main doors where you claim your bags with a sign paging your group/name.
As soon as the team loads all the bags into the Four Points shuttle, your group will be transported to Four Points by Sheraton for the night.
Where will we be staying?
First Night – Four Points by Sheraton
Canopy Life Days – Canopy Life teams will stay in hotels vetted by our staff for saftey, cleanilness, hospitaility, and comfortablilty. These hotels are different from those in the U.S. but offer the services we need and are as close as possible to your service destination.
2 night/3 day Safari – Karen Blixen Safari Tented Camp: A luxury camp in the exciting Maasai Mara, Karen Blixen offers an amazing glamping expereince and unparalleled wildlife viewing.
What will we do in the evenings?
This is down time for the team to relax and process what you have expereinced during the day. The team will have dinner together, debrief, and regroup for the following day. You will be tired, so plenty of rest is suggested.
Can we extend our trip?
Yes, you are welcome to extend your time in Kenya or through Europe on either end of the trip. We recommned adding any extentions to the backend of your trip as to limit unforseen circumstances that may delay your arrival to Nairobi. Canopy Life can provide suggestions on activities, vendors, and accomodations for extending your time in Kenya, but they will not book anything on your behalf.
How much spending money should I bring?
That is up to you. Typically, we recommend bringing $100.00-$200.00 in cash, but Visa and Master Card are becoming more widely accepted forms of payment in Kenya.
Will I have an opportunity to shop?
Time for shopping is planned into each itineary. Limited souvenirs can also be purchased at the airport prior to departure.