Breakdown of Costs
Depending on airline and month of travel, generally run between $1000-1700 CAD.
Heart of Ruth volunteer coordinator will keep an eye on flight prices, and inform you when the best time to book would be. Airways that volunteers have used in the past have been KLM, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Air, and Jet Airways. You will always be advised on the least expensive option.
Depending on where you would like to stay, accommodation prices range between 30000-45000KSH $(350-500CAN per person) a month, or 1000-1500 KSH ($12-19 CAD) per person, per night. Some accommodations come with some meals included, and others do not have meals included. Cheaper accommodations are available if you’d like to live more locally.
There are many places volunteers can choose to stay, and HoRM volunteer coordinator will help you decide which would be best suited for you.
Travel within Kenya can be done a number of ways. Most popular ways include motorbike, tuk-tuk (three wheeled vehicle), and matatu (minibus). Travel to and from volunteer opportunities, and to other towns, is very cheap. A matatu into the nearby larger town of Malindi is a mere 80KSH ($1CAN).
Prices change with local travel constantly, and locals will always try to negotiate. HoRM volunteer coordinator will guide you with this and provide useful information when negotiating in Kenya. Discussing a price and agreeing together before starting your journey is very important with any driver. HoRM can organize for you to have a trusted local friend be your driver, for a set weekly cost rather than each trip you take. We will also arrange transportation to and from airports for you (this will cost about 2500KSH or $30CAN per person, and will be in a car).
Food is very affordable in Kenya. There are local restaurants every few feet in Gede, Timboni and Watamu, Kenya, as well as two regular super markets, and two local food markets. If local eating is not for you (but it should be, it is delicious!) then there are many resorts along the coast of Watamu that offer many delicious, but slightly more expensive, options to eat.
If eating locally, it is normal to have a full plate of food for less than $1CAN. Traditional Kenyan cuisine include beans (maharagwe), ugali (corn meal), rice, chapati, pilau, local vegetable salad (katchumbari), chips, and many fresh meats such as chicken, goat, fish, and beef. HoRM volunteer coordinator will set you up with a list of must try restaurants.
Of course you couldn’t come to Kenya without bringing home something to remember your trip by. There are many local shops everywhere you turn in Kenya, and even a few markets with many tables from local crafty individuals. These items are generally very cheap, and locals love to negotiate prices for each item as well. HoRM will give you a list of reliable vendors that do not over charge, and must see markets.
While you’re in Kenya to volunteer, you may take some time during your trip to go on a safari of your choice. It is possible to go on a full day safari, an overnight safari, and a multi-day safari. Kenya has beautiful animals that include the “big 5” lion, leopard, black rhino, elephant, and cape buffalo. There are national parks surrounding the Watamu area, this includes Tsavo East National Park. Safari’s can be arranged through trusted local friends who will personally guide you through the park in a car, or safari van. Cost for this ranges also with the month, duration of safari, and accommodations while there. Starting at $300 CAN per person.
Many volunteer organizations charge a fee for their volunteer coordinator to organize your trip, Heart of Ruth Mission does not. We encourage you to fundraise for Rainbow House Children’s Home and Heart of Ruth sustainable projects, and our volunteers will assist you in whatever way we can with them.
In total, if volunteers stay for one month the cost would be between $2000-2500CAN. Each additional month volunteering would add approximately $600.00CAN to cover rent, food, and travel. It is very easy to live locally in Kenya and not spend nearly this amount, these numbers would be if you like to eat at the resorts and travel to the tourist markets often. All amounts subject to change, according to flight prices and month of travel, etc.