Tigers Trek in East Africa


Some Grand Junction Tigers are kicking off the summer with an adventure.

Social studies teacher Justin Whiteford and a group of students are traveling to Nairobi, Kenya from May 29 to June 8, and then directly to a Kilimanjaro trip in Tanzania from June 8 to June 15.

The group of students is split into four groups, all with one or two adults. The trip includes immersive activities, such as wildlife safaris, an afternoon with baby elephants, and a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro.

Some students on the trip are able to get college credit. It is also Whiteford’s first time on this specific trip.

“It’s a 26-hour flight,” Whiteford said. The flights required to take the group to Kenya have a stop in Amsterdam, before flying south to Kenya.

“I most look forward to the kids being able to see someone living in a different environment, and experience other students their age that grow up in completely different conditions than they do. We’re going to be going to charities and schools and it’s part of teaching these kids to pay it forward,” Whiteford said. “They can come back and value and appreciate all that they have here.”

GJHS Sophomore Anders Griffin, who is part of both the Kenya and Tanzania trips, talks about why he is excited for the trip.

“The wildlife looks so interesting,” Griffin said. “I’m very excited for the Kilimanjaro hikes and the safaris. This is also my first time out of the country, so it’ll be a really new journey.”

Below is the group’s itinerary.

Day 1, May 29th: Travel to Nairobi
Travel to Nairobi
Day 2, May 30th: Nairobi
Arrive in Nairobi, rest at hotel
Day 3, May 31st: Nairobi
Visit orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program. Visit the giraffe center. Visit school, donate books. Shop in Blue Market.
Day 4, June 1st: Masai Mara National Park
Visit Maasai Tribe. Rift Valley and Masai Mara National Park. Masai Mara Sopa Lodge.
Day 5, June 2nd: Masai Mara National Park
Full day game drive through Masai Mara National Park. Masai Mara Sopa Lodge.
Day 6, June 3rd: Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru. Morning game drive through Masai Mara National Park, transfer to Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge.
Day 7, June 4th: Lake Naivasha.
Morning game drive in Lake Nakuru, then transfer to Lake Naivasha. Optional boat tour to see hippos and crocodiles.
Day 8, June 5th: Amboseli
Early Morning game drive at Hell’s Gate National Park. Head to Amboseli National Park. Stay at Amboseli Sopa Lodge.
Day 9, June 6th: Amboseli
Full day game drive in Amboseli National Park. Stay at Amboseli Sopa Lodge.
Day 10, June 7th: Amboseli – Nairobi
Early morning game drive. Drive to Nairobi to catch a flight home, or to Kilimanjaro for some
Day 11, June 8th: Nairobi
Stay at Best Western Meridian Hotel. Flight out back home.
Day 12, June 9th: Denver
Arrive home!

There are many trips being planned all around the school. If you are interested in traveling with GJHS, keep an eye out for posters in the hallways, announcements, and messages from teachers.