Group of Laurentians in Kenya in Summer 2019

Engaging Africa Travel Experience

Celebrating 50 years of the St. Lawrence Kenya Connection

~ July 16th- July 28th 2022 ~

Group of Alumni on trip to Kenya in 2019 pictured in front of the equator crossing signs.

Alumni travel group in 2019 at the Equator. 

Karibuni Nyumbani (Welcome Home)

For nearly 50 years, St. Lawrence has built a unique connection with East Africa. In January 1972 we embarked on a pioneering study abroad experiment. Fifteen students and one faculty member spent three weeks in Kenya as part of the university’s effort to expand off-campus programs and explore opportunities in the developing world. By 2022, more than 2200 students from over thirty different universities have spent a semester or summer term in East Africa via the Kenya Program or (KSP). Our 2022 trip offers Laurentians an exclusive chance to celebrate and experience some of this rich history. Led by renowned Kenya program faculty and staff, participants will explore the program themes of culture, environment and development through an interactive and invigorating experience based on the traditions of the KSP’s past and present.

Welcome to the KSP family (Karibuni)

Trip Highlights:

  • Travel down the Great Rift Valley to the shores of Lake Naivasha to hike a dormant volcano, enjoy a hippo boat tour along the lake and relax amidst the forested lake shore. 
  • Visit Lake Nakuru National Park and examine the challenges of conservation and regional development within one of Kenya’s National parks.  
  • Engage with rural homestay families and view student internship sites.
  • Visit the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve.  
  • Stay on the St. Lawrence Nairobi Campus and meet Kenyan based alumni and program partners.

Itinerary (subject to minor changes):

If you would like a .pdf version of the itinerary and trip information, please email bknauf@stlawu.edu.

View an interactive map of the trip. 

Participants will be picked up at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Kenya Program staff and transferred to SLU’s campus in the leafy Nairobi suburb of Karen. You will enjoy a two-night stay and a relaxing introduction to campus live and Kenya’s cosmopolitan capital city. You will be able to experience the student perspective 1st hand.

  Overnight on the KSP campus - live/relive the student experience

We will travel down into the Great Rift Valley to the shores of Lake Naivasha (about 1.5-2 hour drive from the KSP Campus). During our two-night stay in Naivasha we will have the opportunity to hike a dormant volcano, enjoy a hippo boat tour along the lake and relax amidst the forested lake shore, famous for its rich biodiversity and bird life.

•  Overnight on the shores of Lake Naivasha (hotels examples include the Naivasha Sopa Lodge, and Enashipai)

From the shores of Lake Naivasha we will travel west along the Great Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru National park. Taking advantage of Dr. Abdelwahaab Sinnary’s longtime experience teaching about the park, we will examine the challenges of conservation and regional development within one of Kenya’s National parks---famous for Rhino and flamingo populations.

•  Two nights stay in Nakuru---(hotel examples include the Nakuru Sopa Lodge or Sarova Lion Hill)

Heading further west, we will climb the western Rift Valley escarpment to the lush tea fields of Kericho. Home to our current rural homestay site, we will have a chance to visit with host-families and explore the challenges and innovations of rural Kenyan life.

•  Two night stay in a hotel near Kericho.

As we make our way back to Nairobi we will visit the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve. Part of the larger Serengeti eco-system extending into Tanzania, we will stay three nights within the park to enjoy ample opportunities for wild-life viewing, relaxing and discussion.

•  Three nights stay in Maasai Mara at an exclusive tented camp style hotel.

The trip will end with a final celebration dinner and city excursions before flying back to the U.S. overnight Thursday with a Friday arrival.

Trip Leaders:

Headshots left to right: Dr. Matt Carotenuto, Dr. Abdelwahab Sinnary, Lina Karingi, Dr. Michael Wairungu and Njau Kibochi.

Left to Right: Dr. Matt Carotenuto, Dr. Abdelwahab Sinnary, Lina Karingi, Dr. Michael Wairungu and Njau Kibochi.

Dr. Matt Carotenuto: is professor of history at St. Lawrence and an alumnus of the Kenya program ’98. His research has long explored the politics of identity in Kenya and he is the co-author of Obama and Kenya: Contested Histories and the Politics of Belonging. He has also coordinated the St. Lawrence African studies program and is the on-campus coordinator for the Kenya program.

Dr. Abdelwahab Sinnary: has been the Academic Director of the KSP since 2004. He is Sudanese by birth and has done his graduate training and all subsequent work in Kenya. As a conservation biologist, he has worked closely with local and international wildlife conservation groups such as the Machakos Wildlife Forum and the Kenya Wildlife Service. Prior to joining the KSP he was a director for the School for Field Studies Program in Kenya.

Lina Karingi: is the Director for Finance and Administration. She joined the Program in 2002. Lina’s undergraduate and post graduate training is in Economics, Business Administration and Law. She worked in diverse sectors before joining St. Lawrence, at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), the Kenya Finance Bank and Kuona Trust. She is a full member of the Institute of Human Resources Management.

Dr. Michael Wairungu: joined the program in 2018 as an Assistant Director of Student Life and Academic Instruction. He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistic Anthropology from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining the KSP, he was an Assistant Professor, and coordinator of Swahili at Northwestern University. He also taught Swahili and various courses in Linguistic Anthropology at Stanford University, University of Virginia and the University of the South. Besides teaching, Michael worked as a curriculum designer and specialist of Swahili at the Diplomatic Language Services in the U.S.

Njau Kibochi: is the program’s longtime transportation coordinator and has been a friend and mentor to hundreds of alumni. He is also an avid birder.

Left to Right: Dr. Matt Carotenuto, Dr. Abdelwahab Sinnary, Lina Karingi, Dr. Michael Wairungu and Njau Kibochi.

Cost (airfare not included):

Alumni group photo in front of a building holding the St. Lawrence flag.

Alumni travel group in 2019 at lunch in Nyeri.

$4,900 per person (for double occupancy/sharing)
$5,500 per person (for single occupancy off-campus)
Maximum of 20 Laurentian participants-family members above age 16 are welcome to join.

Housing Information

Some shared accommodations may be required on the Nairobi campus, all other accommodations will be in 3 and 4 star hotels outside of Nairobi in single occupancy rooms.

Additional Information

All meals and non-alcoholic drinks during meals are included throughout the trip. Cost is also inclusive of a local travel/health care insurance coverage during the duration of the trip. Bottled/filtered water will also be provided for drinking.

Registration

This trip is now SOLD OUT.  If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please contact Barb Knauf via the contact information listed below. 

Full payment is due by May 31, 2022. If the University cancels this experience, we will work with travelers on a future visit to Kenya or work to refund the full or partial deposit amounts as circumstances allow.   

Questions?

Please contact Barb Knauf via email at bknauf@stlawu.edu or by calling 315-229-1847, or email Dr. Matt Carotenuto at mcarotenuto@stlawu.edu.

Alumni group with homestay families during 2019 trip

Alumni travel group with homestay families in 2019.