Situated on the world famous Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Rift Valley Adventure Center and Camp is probably the only adventure facility sitting inside a wildlife conservancy in the region. When it comes to learning through adventure, our center brings you up close and personal to Africa’s big five, a sanctuary for chimpanzees, and safe haven for the last standing northern whites rhinos.
Our programs and activities are modeled on experiential learning with a focus on Outdoor Adventure, Life skills and Service (Environmental and Community). And it all begins inside Ol Pejeta Conservancy at the RVA Adventure Center (and more often than not, with the occasional herd of elephants foraging just outside our tents!)
Rift Valley Adventures has developed a sequential program for students aged 7 – 18 based on Curriculum Guidelines from Outdoor Education Australia. The program gives students a broad range of critical outdoor and personal development skills starting in their early years ranging from health and the outdoors to environmental management, conservation and culture. Each year, we build on core areas and offer certification for individual students after successfully completing each stage. Activities within the camp include rock climbing and abseiling on our tower, a high and low ropes course and mountain biking skills course.
Our climbing and abseil tower is based on a progressive learning approach. The tower presents varying challenge levels to suit the ability of each group. Our instructors are internationally qualified to run these activities ensuring safety is priority, learning in progress and having a lot of fun!
When it comes to low ropes, our course offers a diverse group experience. Our low ropes structure comprises of individual and group challenges, all in a closed circuit through a variety of elements, in either a timed or theme based scenario.
As if that’s not enough, our MTB Skills Course and BMX Track leaves you wanting more from the winding tracks across the camp and the varying obstacles along the ride. As we advance these skills, we gear up and take a ride into the community, taking our time to enjoy the adventure, as we learn and appreciate the culture and lifestyles of those around us.
We truly believe that charity starts at home and that positive change is only effected through long-term commitment. Over the past five years, we committed to assisting a less fortunate school next to our camp through a host of different infrastructure projects and embedding a cultural and educational exchange programs between the students of Irura Primary and those participating in our programs. Students from all over the world have been integral to supporting Irura Primary. Our most recent and ambitious project has seen the local students benefit from a fully-fledged computer lab and program. It’s through long-term partnerships with schools ranging from the International School of Kenya to George Heriot’s in Scotland and so many that we have been able to achieve so much for the local community and equally important is the personal development that is stimulated in so many young minds. Students not only have the opportunity to give something back but take so much away…
CONSERVATION IN ACTION
The issue of conservation is complex with many different viewpoints. For example, while most of us would agree that the preservation of wildlife is, in and of itself, a good and even a noble cause, the reality is that in much of rural Africa this view is not widely supported. While for the tourist it is a real joy and a rare privilege to see the herds of animals roaming the savannah, one could say these opportunities come at some cost. While wildlife tourism brings to Kenya considerable foreign exchange, for rural inhabitants the price can be high. These protected areas are vast and the land is unavailable for use by the local inhabitants. Many of these local inhabitants are nomadic pastoralist whose movement is dictated by water and grazing land for the large herds of cattle and goats, on which their livelihoods depend. Indeed, from early colonial times, there have been conflicts between wildlife and man and finding that balance is not as easy as one would hope.
Teaming up with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, students will have an opportunity to practically engage with conservationists and wildlife experts to understand the complexities of integrated wildlife land management programs as well as give a helping hand to get a feel of what it really takes to protect our wildlife heritage.
In the greater scope of things, we love to see a changing community influenced by the initiatives we set up and have our students run. We also value the efforts we put into conservation and learning about environmental stewardship in the conservancy. Finally we love to see our students coming out of a trip with big smiles because they learnt how to climb, abseil or ride a bike for the first time, or even becoming better seasoned and responsible riders on their own or with company.
RVA seeks to achieve these objectives as much as we can in each trip we run, and furthermore, to offer students not just a unique adventure experience, but a learning opportunity like no other.