Form 5 pupils’ exchange with Peponi House School, Nairobi

Ten intrepid Form 5 pupils embarked on the return leg of the CPS/Peponi House Exchange programme this February. From the 9th to…

Ten intrepid Form 5 pupils embarked on the return leg of the CPS/Peponi House Exchange programme this February. From the 9th to the 24th, they took part in game drives, bush camping, bird-watching, treasure hunting and even space-hopper races, plus loads more!  Please see the video, with lots of fantastic images of the whole trip, below.


The trip started with a weekend visit to Sanctuary Farm at Lake Naivasha. After setting up tents (which wasn’t as much of a mission as we thought it was going to be!), the children had a go at some challenges run by the Blakes as part of their Family Challenge for the Kamili Foundation to raise awareness for mental health in Kenya. They broke codes, went on treasure hunts with a difference, including having to track down an animal skull, a lilac breasted roller and hippo poo! Then the space hopper relays provided much amusement for all spectators, followed by a well-earned dip in the pool which over looked the beautiful lake and its surroundings. At night, there were campfire songs and then it was quickly into our tents before the aforementioned hippos came wandering through the camp.

During half term, five of the boys – Ollie S, Alex, Freddie, Elliot and Tom – went to Olomayiana; a beautiful bush camp owned by the Chevasse family. From there they went on safari to Amboseli where they were blown away by the sheer diversity of wildlife. The list of animals they saw was almost endless; three of the big five were spotted, but the highlight was the three lions that were so close to the roadside the children could almost smell them! Luckily, they seemed too hot to be bothered about hunting anything! A visit to a local children’s orphanage provided a reality check for the boys, but it was lovely to see them all playing a giant game of football with the children. This was followed by horse riding, a bush hike to a WW1 fort and more dips in the infinity pool which overlooked the stunning Kajiado hills.

Iris and Ollie A went with their host families to the Maasai Mara, where they stayed in luxurious tented rooms and enjoyed safaris and ‘bush breakfasts’. They saw some stunning wildlife, including leopard and cheetah, and had a fantastic time. Georgia also went with her hosts to the Mara and she took some stunning photos of a lion enjoying its lunch – zebra was on the menu! Back in Nairobi, Ollie attended a traditional Indian wedding and was given his outfit as a gift.

Charlie and Rufus went to Nairobi National Park where they were lucky enough to see black rhinos. They also went to the very swanky Muthaiga Club to play golf and cool down in the pool.

Our pupils were immersed in school life at Pepon

i House, an IAPS school in Nairobi. There they took part in lessons, sports fixtures and a Year 7 teatime concert where they all performed the house song. Individuals then stepped up to the plate to play drums and the piano. On the hockey pitch, Oliver A was proud to have scored the only two goals in a thrilling match against Pembroke House School, playing alongside Charlie P. Georgia and Iris were key members of the U13A team which drew 1-1, also with Pembroke. It took a little while for them to get used to playing on grass, but they adapted quickly and did well to impress the home team coaches.

Nearing the end of the adventure, a trip to the nearby elephant orphanage was scheduled. Young elephants rescued from poaching, or having fallen down ditches or wells, were hand-fed with bottled milk as we looked on. They then took great pleasure in letting us share their dust baths with them and, as they wallowed in the watering hole, showering us with mud while they played together. From there, we went to the famous Giraffe Centre. After a brief talk about the three different species of giraffe, we had a go at feeding the habituated Rothschild giraffes which lived there. Not content with feeding them by hand, we all had to have a go at feeding them by mouth; tantamount to kissing them! It was great fun, and strangely didn’t feel all that odd to be kissing a giraffe!

On the final day, after the concert, the pupils gave some heart-warming presentations about their experiences in Kenya. Then it was time to say goodbye…or rather…”until the next time”, as the bus was loaded up with gifts, souvenirs and many, many happy memories of the last two weeks.

People have asked what the highlight of the trip was, but it is so hard to pinpoint one individual event. It was all amazing!

We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Blake, Mr Oganga and Ms. Kwambo, and all the staff at Peponi House School for looking after us and for arranging the very exciting itinerary for us. We also need to say a huge thank you to the host families and their children for making our pupils feel like part of their family and for being so welcoming and caring.

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