Volunteering in Kenya is an amazing opportunity to experience the traditional Masai culture, national parks with rich wildlife and support a good cause. If you’re planning on volunteering or interning in Kenya, there are some things to keep in mind.

Common Questions Answered

You need to obtain the necessary documentation. If you are a UK citizen planning to volunteer in Kenya, you'll need to obtain the following documents:

  1. Passport: You'll need a valid passport with at least six months' validity remaining from the date of entry into Kenya.
  2. Visa: UK citizens require a visa to enter Kenya. You can easily apply for a Kenya visa online. The Kenya visa cost is £74.95 per person and you will receive your travel authorization by email after approval.
  3. Work permit: Upon arrival in Kenya, you'll need to apply for a volunteer permit. It costs around US $145 and needs to be renewed monthly.
  4. Criminal background check: Some volunteering organisations may require a criminal background check before accepting volunteers.
  5. Travel insurance: It's recommended that you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, as well as trip cancellation or interruption.


  1. Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
  2. Courses or boosters usually advised: Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus.
  3. Other vaccines to consider: Hepatitis B; Meningococcal Meningitis; Rabies; Typhoid; Yellow Fever.
  4. Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera.
  5. Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Make sure to start the visa and work permit application process well in advance of your planned departure date to avoid any delays or complications.

Another important aspect of volunteering abroad is to consider cultural differences.

Kenya has its own unique culture, and it's important to be respectful and sensitive to these cultural differences while you're there.

Volunteering abroad in Kenya is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture, interact with locals, and gain a deeper understanding of the country's traditions, values, and way of life.

Make an effort to learn about the local customs and etiquette, and be open to new experiences.

Kenya is generally a safe country, but there are certain risks associated with travelling and working there. Make sure you understand the potential health and safety risks before you go, and take appropriate precautions to protect yourself:

  1. Keep an eye on your surroundings and stay alert for any signs of trouble. Avoid walking alone at night or in isolated areas.
  2. Dress appropriately and avoid wearing expensive jewellery or carrying large amounts of cash.
  3. Keep your valuables, such as your passport, money, and electronics, in a secure place. Use a money belt or keep them in a locked hotel safe.
  4. Use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services rather than hailing a random taxi on the street.
  5. Avoid participating in or attending public demonstrations or political events, as they can sometimes turn violent.
  6. Be cautious when interacting with strangers, especially those who seem overly friendly or eager to help. Scams and pickpocketing can occur in crowded tourist areas.
  7. Stay up-to-date with local news and any travel advisories issued by your embassy or the Kenyan government.

By following these tips and using common sense, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Kenya.

Subject to your volunteering and work placement location, YFL will often provide accommodation, and transport to and from work. Where YFL is unable to provide these, you will be reimbursed. Food is included when at the accommodation or travelling to the projects.

Join YFL Projects and Activities

By joining YFL, you can work in multiple projects for a period between 1 week to 6 months and you can work in multiple areas including:

  • Training: These are done face-to-face, online and/or through hybrid programs
  • Skills Bootcamps: These are done face-to-face, online and/or through hybrid programs
  • Tree planting & environment: Involves visiting local centres throughout Kenya
  • Youth Media: Involves visiting local centres throughout Kenya
  • Projects development: Working in our Nairobi office and local centres throughout Kenya

You can learn more about our work here.

About The Author


Joseph Mbithi