Rift Valley Adventures Ltd. (RVA) is East Africa’s premier Outdoor Education and Adventure Activity Company, based in the Mt. Kenya and Laikipia region of Kenya. The company has its own outdoor adventure center and permanent camp in Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy. We frequently operate mobile camps and outdoor adventure activities in many parts of Kenya and Tanzania.
Over the past twelve years Rift Valley Adventures has hosted thousands of students from all over the world including the UK, Middle East, Asia, North America, Europe, Australia and international schools within East Africa. RVA has an enviable Mt. Kenya record, hosting more climbers than any other company in the world: we know Mt. Kenya like no other company. We have also invested in establishing sites for adventurous activities in the region including the installation of the world’s highest via feratta on Mount Kenya at 4985m, in 2011 and 2012. Together with partner organizations we have established a benchmark for qualifications and levels of experience for adventure instructors as well as carrying out adventure audits on potential sites for activities. Over the past three years, RVA together with our partners, has provided certified training on Wilderness First Aid and high-altitude mountain guiding for over 200 Kenyan mountain guides, porters and rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Services and community conservancies.
Times have indeed changed and expeditions are not quite what they used to be. Over the years, outdoor providers in the developing world witnessed expeditions becoming more ‘Center-based’ and less ‘journey-based’. This was mainly for reasons of tightening regulations and higher perceived risks in the journey-based approach. Whilst there is no question of the need for rigorous standards, practices and regulations to ensure that all expeditions oversees are safe, we should not lose sight of the value of journey-based expeditions. We stand to lose much of the personal and social development, which is at the very heart of what Outdoor Education is about, if we simply discard journey-based expeditions. Young people pushing themselves and rising to the physical and mental challenges of the journey are a catalyst for personal development and core to these expeditions. Equally important is to have the right leaders to guide these students through their journeys in a safe and responsible manner.
Initiatives to address this across the world are happening with opportunities for training and exposure for teachers and others in the education sector. RVA strongly believes it has a role to play in strengthening the capacity of institutions and individuals to rekindle the journey-based expedition and bring back the rigor to outdoor education. Our vision is not only to be a leading outdoor adventure and education provider, but also to become a center of excellence for leadership and training in this sector.
Let’s all get outdoors and embrace the challenge.