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Explore 3 Kenyan Parks with OTA

Explore 3 Kenyan Parks with OTA

OTA is launching a series of weekend trips especially for Kenya’s citizens and the expatriate community.  This will give people living in Kenya the opportunity to explore this country’s top parks easily, conveniently and safely.

OTA's weekend trips to Maasai Mara, Amboseli and Samburu www.ota-responsibletravel.com

Throughout 2015, OTA will have three-day trips departing every Friday to Maasai Mara, Amboseli and Samburu.  This is an excellent opportunity for both Kenyan citizens and expatriates to explore Kenya in the comfort of a safari vehicle fit for photography, game-viewing and touring.  Starting from 16,300KES inclusive of meals, accommodation, transport and park entry fees, these trips are affordable and fun.  Prices vary according to group size and you can visit http://bit.ly/1sUS18Q for more information.  Any group size can be catered for with transport in safari vans or overland trucks.  All trips are accompanied by an experienced English-speaking driver-guide.  For reservations and enquiries, contact Tracey and Francis on tracey@ota-responsibletravel.com.

Francis Wamai, Founder and Director of OTA, says: “After a week of work, these trips offer Kenyans a great way to relax and explore their country.  Boring weekends at home are a thing of the past as you can come and meet other people and see the beauty of Kenya.”

These weekend trips give expatriates and Kenyans the opportunity to explore Kenyan parks affordably.  For more information, visit http://bit.ly/1sUS18Q or contact tracey@ota-responsibletravel.com to make a booking for you and your friends this weekend.

OTA offers trips in Kenya where you can experience the local culture, stay in villages, and engage with community development organisations as well as view the amazing wildlife and spectacular natural scenery in this amazing country.  We can cater to groups (large and small) for any budget, offering a range of accommodation from camping to luxury lodges.  Visit www.ota-responsibletravel.com for more information.

OTA's weekend trips to Maasai Mara, Amboseli and Samburu www.ota-responsibletravel.com

 

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Travel OTA’s stunning Kenya to Kigali Safari Adventure

Travel OTA’s stunning Kenya to Kigali Safari Adventure

Departing every November, adventure travellers have the opportunity to visit spectacular Maasai Mara in Kenya, track mountain gorillas in Uganda and soak up the Rwandan vibe in Kigali.  Lake Naivasha and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve are the Kenyan highlights, while the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to the endangered mountain gorillas, completes the wildlife-viewing trio.

Kenya to Kigali Adventure OTA Kenya Safaris www.ota-responsibletravel.com

OTA is leading the twenty-day Kenya to Kigali Adventure from 3rd to 23rd November 2015, beginning in Nairobi, Kenya and finishing in Kigali, Rwanda.  The highlights of the trip include experiencing the wildlife of the Maasai Mara and tracking the mountain gorillas.  Travelling in a comfortable safari van with pop-up roof fit for photography, game viewing and touring, this is a camping trip accompanied by an experienced English-speaking driver/guide and a cook.  The price is US$3985 per person with space for only six people.  You are invited to contact Francis and Tracey at OTA via email (tracey@ota-responsibletravel.com) for more information and to place your booking.

Tom Koerkemeier experienced the tour in 2012 and said: “I felt totally safe and comfortable with Tracey and Francis around. On the other hand there was never the feeling to stay in any kind of tourist-bubble in which you cannot get in contact with locals, their way of living or their culture. It was just the perfect mixture between culture, wildlife, adventure and relaxing.”

Kenya to Kigali Adventure OTA Kenya Safaris www.ota-responsibletravel.com

This Kenya to Kigali Adventure gives travellers the opportunity to experience the local culture and engage with community development organisations as well as view the amazing wildlife and spectacular natural scenery of East Africa.  Whether a single, couple, small group, expat living in East Africa or a holiday-maker this tour is for travellers seeking a bit more than a standard safari.  It is an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, take a much-needed break, and meet like-minded travellers.  Visit www.ota-responsibletravel.com or www.facebook.com/ OverlandTravelAdventures where you can sign up to the tour on the Events page.

How a Ugandan Student Found a Sponsorship Opportunity

How a Ugandan Student Found a Sponsorship Opportunity

If you have been following this blog for some time, you may remember a post from Jared at the end of 2012.  Jared was a 27-year-old Ugandan, volunteering at a palliative care clinic, but by 2012 he realised that volunteering wasn’t going to pay any bills and so he started contacting several companies asking for employment, including us at OTA.  The employment market is tough however, and he wasn’t successful.  Also his heart wasn’t totally in it – he would much rather go back to university and complete his Public Health degree.  The cost of university fees made this dream impossible, so Jared requested some assistance.  He compiled a request letter and his previous results which we published on this blog to see if anyone might be able to assist.  No one was more surprised than us when Bev answered the call!  And so we connected Jared and Bev directly to organise the sponsorship.

A university education is life-changing in East Africa but many young people miss out because of the expense.  Finding a sponsor is an incredible opportunity for a young person to break out of the poverty cycle, developing themselves and also their country.  Of course there was a bit more to the story than the abridged version above describes and so this article offers three tips to ensure your sponsorship is effective and legitimate.

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  1. Ask for references

Jared and Bev were connected through us.  Bev had travelled with Tracey in 2009 for five weeks from Beijing to Istanbul – this journey undoubtedly built a high level of trust between the two.  And Jared had been communicating online with Francis and Tracey as well as having the opportunity to meet in Kampala.  Sending school fees to random email requests is fraught with danger, but being able to check with a trust-worthy source means you can be confident that your money is headed in the right direction.

  1. Conduct regular check-ups with the university

The student should be sending the sponsor regular updates of their academic progress.  In Bev and Jared’s case, the updates flew thick and fast as they also got to know more about each other’s lives, families, and cultures.  This is not necessary but receiving the results at the end of each term or semester means there is some accountability for the student to make the most of the opportunity.  If the sponsor has the name of the university, it is sometimes also possible to check directly with the university that the student is attending classes and performing well.

  1. Be aware of requests for “extra assistance”

During 2013 Jared’s bike lost its gears and needed repairs.  Jared rode fifteen kilometres to university and found the bus cost too much.  It wasn’t until he asked for help to repair the bicycle that Bev realised more help was needed.  Since then she has sent him a monthly allowance and also ensures he can attend conferences or other university activities.  However, she is quick to stress that Jared is not a “taker” – he contributes by getting holiday jobs as a laboratory assistant.  Also she has never heard from any of Jared’s friends or family members asking for her to assist them.  This can sometimes happen where sponsors get bombarded with requests from the rest of the family asking for more.

This year, Bev came to Kenya and Uganda both to see the sights and to meet Jared in person.  The emails the two exchanged over the 18 months had brought them close enough to call each other “mum” and “son”.  Now there was the opportunity to travel together so Jared could see more of his own country and get to know his benefactor.  After the safari, Bev spent a week in Kampala seeing Jared’s life – they visited the university, met his family, saw plenty of hospitals (Jared is studying Public Health after all!) and also did the tourist highlights of the city.  The relationship was cemented and Jared can continue his studies as well as take on extra-curricular activities such as attending the East Africa Health Conference in Tanzania.

How a Ugandan Student Found a Sponsorship Opportunity; OTA Kenya Safaris www.ota-responsibletravel.com

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