Trip Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2359
Airfare Estimate: $1200
Nightlife: 8 • Activity: 6
Safaris, Mustafa, Timon, Pumba, beaches and crazy nightlife. What else could you possibly need? We’re the group that’s going to bring the energy you’ve lost after spending a long orientation getting to know your classmates and trying to remember the 85 names in your section.
Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 15
Depart the United States for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Bring your eye masks and noise-cancelling headphones to get some rest on the red-eye over the Atlantic and continental Africa.
Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 16
Arrive in Nairobi with your fellow Trekkers, where a private shuttle will transfer us to the 5-star InterContinental Hotel in the center of Nairobi. We will have a welcome meeting with our guides followed by a group dinner before hitting the sack for some well-deserved ZZZs.
Day 2 — Monday, Aug 17
The most important meal of the day is included, so make sure to grab a bite before we hit the ground running with a busy day in Nairobi. First stop is the Giraffe Center, where we will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with the tallest animal in the world; you might even get to kiss one! We’ll head to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage to see the rehabilitation efforts of baby elephants in East Africa. After our day with the wildlife, we’ll go to the Karen Blixen Museum, the estate that carries the name of the author of Out of Africa and home to a coffee plantation she established. We’ll end the day with visits to two local businesses, Kazuri Beads and Ocean Sole. Kazuri Beads employs local needy women to make, decorate, and string together beaded art in order to create a positive impact in the community. Ocean Sole is an effort to recycle discarded flip-flops that pollute Kenya’s waterways and turn them into unique works of art. We will go see how these two enterprises are making a lasting positive impact on their communities before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 18
Remember to bring your cameras or binoculars because today is all about wildlife at the Nairobi National Park! Home to over 100 mammalian and 400 bird species, you can see four of the Big Five (lions, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos) with the city of Nairobi offering a spectacular backdrop. We’ll drive through the park to see as many animals as we can, so you’ll have some once-in-a-lifetime photos to throw on social media.
Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 19
Grab your last breakfast in Nairobi and don’t leave your swimsuit behind, because we are off to the beach today! We’ll take a short internal flight to Ukunda Airstrip, right in the resort town of Diani Beach! Check in to the luxurious Leopard Beach Resort & Spa, where we will have a relaxing stay for the remainder of the trip. Here, the group will enjoy some of the best beaches in the world along with great food and drinks at the resort’s many dining options.
Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 20
Grab an early breakfast because we’re making a short, early drive to Shimoni for a tranquil cruise on a traditional dhow ship over to Kisite Marine Park, where we will have the opportunity to see and snorkel with the local dolphin pods! After playing with Flipper and his friends, we’ll make landfall on Wasini Island for an exotic seafood lunch served in traditional fanfare (with options for vegetarians and non-seafood fans). Once lunch is finished, we will make our way back to the resort with an evening left to our own devices.
Day 6 — Friday, Aug 21
This day will be spent in Mombasa, Kenya’s oldest city founded around 900 CE. An entry point into continental Africa, Mombasa has a rich and mixed history with influences from Arab, Indian, Portuguese and British cultures. As part of our city tour, we will see the Hindu temple, visit the elephant tusk sculpture initiated by Queen Elizabeth’s visit, a Portuguese castle and the Akamba wood carving factory. We will have lunch in Mombasa before heading back to the resort for the afternoon and evening.
Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 22
We will spend the next to last day in Kenya on a glass bottom boat, observing the exotic underwater world of the Kenyan coastline from the comfort of being above the seas. Near Diani Beach lie sheltered coral gardens that are home to a wide variety of reef fish that we will get to enjoy as we cruise for a few hours along one of Africa’s most beautiful coasts. If the tides are low enough, we will get to make landfall on the white sand Robinson Island, home to some of the most beautiful underwater creatures across all of Kenya’s coastline. After the boat ride, we will have the remainder of the day to relax and partake in other activities at the resort.
Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 23
Take one last opportunity to relax, soak up some sun, and enjoy the outdoors before we leave Kenya. The resort offers a ton of activities from sports, yoga, and entertainment to daytrips for surfing, kayaking, and fishing. For lunch, you will get to be the chef! We will have a private cooking class and BBQ where we will learn to make some of the local specialties. Spend one last night getting to know each other at dancing events held by the resort before heading back to the real world!
Departure Day — Monday, Aug 24
After checking out from the hotel, a private bus will drive us to Ukunda airfield, where we will fly to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. From there, a second bus will transfer us to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our return back to the USA.
Ever heard of the most interesting man in the world? The Dos Equis guy has nothing on Ben. In his prior life before business school, he was an engineer. He’s a certified Rescue Diver, First Aid and WSET (we think that means he likes wine), so if anything goes wrong Ben will be there to put a bandaid on it. When Ben isn’t spending his time shark diving, making wine or posting cute pictures of his dog on Instagram, he’s hosting wine nights for his classmates and teaching them the fancy way to hold a wine glass. On this trek, you can expect him to know a bunch of random facts and to lead the group to all the hidden gems in Kenya.
What a year of transitions and new beginnings this has been for Carly. Despite moving from New York City to Ann Arbor, the most life-altering transition she’s made this year was the day she decided to switch her go-to drink order from vodka soda to tequila soda. She has never been happier and hasn’t looked back since. One of Carly’s main motivations for coming to business school was her love of theme parties. For her birthday, she hosted the first ever finance-themed party at Ross, in which attendees dressed in their finest Wall Street attire. You can expect more festive theme nights in Kenya! Carly will be returning to New York this summer to work in investment banking. Feel free to ask her about finance recruiting, impact investing, the Social Venture Fund, and obviously, theme parties.
Dorothy Yen, AKA the “Middle-market Queen” in the Ross investment banking community, is the friend you have to make at Ross. She is warm, supportive, and fun, she knows EVERYONE and her instagram game is very strong. As a Californian native, Dorothy cannot live without sport activities. You can find her hiking in the woods, rock climbing, or lifting weights in the gym. She also loves cooking. Chinese, Mexican, Italian, etc., you name it and she can cook it. Be ready for her passion and opinions on food during this trip.
With the most charming smile and most defined abs you’ve ever seen on campus, one would expect Ryan to be that classic b-school bro the blogs warned you about. But fear not, Ryan is one of the sweetest guys at Ross. “Where did Ryan get these fire abs?”, you may be wondering. As you suspected, Ryan is an athlete, both formerly and currently. He represents the Ross School of Business in club soccer tournaments in remote locations like Los Angeles and Austin. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Ryan enjoys the finer things in life and for this reason he is heading back to the Big Apple to launch his career in FinTech/PE/VC/insert more finance buzzwords here. Ryan is also passionate about dogs, and if you have one he will be your new best friend. He will also post about his interaction with your dog on Instagram for all his fans to admire. Said fans will appreciate this post, because only serial killers do not love dogs.
Zoe is the quintessential MBA student – a consummate professional at finance recruiting events by day, and a full-bore partier by night. Don’t sleep on her because she’s deceptively innocent: Zoe is a quiet, social woman who turns around to run half-marathons in her spare time and whose threshold for being drunk is whether or not you remember last night. Expect her to help you find some of the best nightlife in Nairobi! When she’s not in class or staying fit, she’s off making a difference in the world, helping investment funds all over the world to establish and grow non-profits and improve communities in developing nations, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, and writing articles about gender equality on Douban.