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Let your child discover the best of Africa during their gap year

Your child’s gap year is precious! Africagap is a unique gap programme based in Kenya and Zimbabwe run by professionals in safaris and conservation. With AfricaGap they’ll explore forests, deserts and lakes, learn about conservation, sleep under the stars and experience traditional tribe life while travelling in a group led by fun group leaders.

As parents of four adventurous, outdoor children, Annabelle Carey and Simon Dugdale are based near Mount Kenya and are keen explorers with a passion for wildlife and conserving the environment. Simon is a security expert having worked in East African security for 10 years before working for the United Nations in Kenya. Annabelle is a safari operator, and has run camps and lodges for 20 years.

What can you expect from AfricaGap?

AfricaGap programmes are 7 or 11 weeks long and offer unique and life changing experiences. You child could live in the bush amongst wildlife and learn about conservation. They could volunteer in primary schools near Mount Kenya, or go on incredible expeditions to Lake Turkana, seeing traditional tribes along the way. Perhaps climb Mt Kenya, visit Victoria Falls and raft the Zambezi.

AfricaGap is not a holiday. It is a unique time to learn and develop new skills led by professionals in an exciting environment, where they can leave with enhanced skills like cooking, first aid, orienteering, leadership, entrepreneurial ideas and confidence building. Through cultural experience, Africa teaches humility, courage and deep respect for the natural world.

AfricaGap’s mission

“Our wish is to deliver the broadest experience for gap students in Africa.  It is our aim to offer opportunities for young people to learn to thrive in an environment which is different, diverse, unknown, and challenging. Living in a team of up to 14 other students, our wish is that each person will experience and gain a passion for the African environment, its people and wildlife, gaining confidence and inspiration from their experience”

What do others have to say about their AfricaGap experience?

“Without a doubt the best thing I have ever done! A life-changing few months where I made life-long friends. We travelled to places I would never have been able to get to alone, or be able to communicate. Volunteering in schools was amazing, we made friends with great people of all ages and learned so much from them about life in a Kenyan village.

The whole experience far exceeded my expectations and was so much fun. I cannot recommend Africagap enough to anyone who wants to spend time in Africa on their gap year.”

How can my child apply?

Application is by zoom interview, and school character references are required. Please visit www.africagap.com for more information.

What about Covid restrictions?

Africagap emerged in 2020 in response to covid-19’s effect on the travel industry and the employees in safari camps in Africa. We have had 4 successful programmes this year, during spells on and off UK red lists in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

We have learned to live with Covid, and navigate around travel restrictions. It is possible to volunteer in Africa even when leisure travel is not recommended, and whilst Zimbabwe may be on a red list now (not for any scientific reason when there are no cases of new variants here yet plenty in Europe) Kenya is not on any red list and travel is very straight forward. Even during red list times, we did not have any nation wide lock downs here, have incredibly low numbers of Covid and nothing has stopped us running any of the Africagap highlights.

If we were to ask our students of 2021 who travelled here despite countries being on red lists temporarily, and ask them if they had any regrets about travelling, they would unanimously agree that they are so glad they got on and travelled to Africa, and did not let these concerns stop them and miss out on these experiences. Covid is here to stay and we have to learn to live with it, be vigilant and take precautions but without any health risks posed to our students, our programmes will run as usual in 2022.

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