Fourteen intrepid Form 5 pupils embarked on the return leg of the CPS/Peponi House Exchange programme from the 8th-22nd February. They took part in game drives, bush camping, bird-watching, treasure hunting and even zip-lining, plus loads more!
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 took part in a treasure hunt with a difference. They tracked down an animal skull, a lilac breasted roller, a volcanic rock and hippo poo (among others)!
This was followed by a well-earned dip in the pool which over looked the beautiful lake and its surroundings. At night, there were roasted marshmallow and a quick game drive before it was quickly into our tents to avoid the aforementioned hippos wandering through the camp.
The next day saw us head to an activity centre where the pupils zip-lined across valleys, went for a horse ride through the forest or even practiced their archery skills.
During half term, the pupils went away with their hosts to a variety of locations. Several went to the stunning Maasai Mara, staying in luxurious (and sometimes not so luxurious!) tents. There were morning game drives to enjoy followed by a “bush breakfast”. There was amazing wildlife to experience including all the Big Five: cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles and many more.
Others went north from Nairobi to the Samburu National Park or to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where they took part in game drives and quad biking through the forests. Meanwhile, Marcus flew to Zanzibar in Tanzania to enjoy the beach holiday of a lifetime with activities such as wakeboarding and paragliding.
Our pupils were immersed in school life at Peponi House, an IAPS school in Nairobi. They took part in lessons, games and school trips. It took a little while for them to get used to playing hockey on grass, but they adapted quickly and did well to impress the coaches.
Towards 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, the pupils gave some heart-warming presentations about their experiences in Kenya. Then it was time to say goodbye, as the bus was loaded up with gifts, souvenirs and many happy memories of the last two weeks.
We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Blake, Mr Oganga and Miss Njeri, 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.