Atlas Trek 2020

Join Jason Leonard, Simon Shaw and Nick Knowles on a mad cap adventure to deliver a Double Decker Bus converted to a mobile classroom and clubhouse for the kids in the Kibera Slum in Kenya.

A Big Adventure 

This Challenge will be a special adventure for one Trekker, Simon Shaw.

In January 2019 Shawsey met the kids we support from the Kibera Slum in Nairobi. Talking to the project leaders from the Kings Rugby Development Academy he realised that there is a big issue transporting the kids from their slum homes to the green fields of the British School. 

When he talked to the kids he realised that many couldn't even afford to go to school. 

So it just came to me. I said I was going to get a London bus and fit it out to be a mobile classroom, and drive it to Nairobi for the kids to use. 

Thus the Atlas Annual Challenge Event became a Trek across Kenya, with the added impediment of a double decker bus.

Jason Leonard, Atlas Chairman, will again lead the team, along with Shawsey and the DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles. We hope this unusual Front Row will be joined by other rugby champions, Atlas supporters and new friends for the 2020 adventure.

Support the Team the team 

The Itinerary 

5 days, 4 nights: Weds 22nd April to Sun 26th April 2020

June - December 2019

Be a part of the Trek Squad, sourcing a bus and fitting it out as a connected classroom. Fill the bus with essential kit and equipment and ship out to Kenya. 

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Arrive in Nairobi for a detailed briefing and a first night at the stunning Hemingways Collection hotel in the exclusive Karen district of Nairobi. Enjoy "sundowners" watching the sun set over the Ngong Hills, made famous by "Out of Africa". Meet some of the project workers and kids from the Kings Rugby Development Academy in the Kibera Slum.

Thursday 23rd April 2020

A charter plane awaits for your flight to the coast and the stunning Hemingways collection Beach Resort at Watamu. Here you meet your bus which will have been extracted from Customs by the Hemingways management (solid rugby people). Familiarise yourself with its ride and facilities (limited), elect your drivers, and take an inventory to ensure that all kit and equipment has survived its sea voyage. 

Friday 24th April 2020

Set out with the bus across the Tsavo National Park. If the bus is full you may find yourself having to follow in the camel train. This is a stunning national park full of big game. Finish the long driving day with a night in a tented village near natural springs. Watch the hippos wallow while you unwind around a traditional campfire feast.

Saturday 25th April 2020

Deliver the bus! Meet the project team from the Kings Rugby Development Academy, the Atlas Foundation in-country delivery partner. Meet the kids in their homes and then go back to school, this time as teachers. Help the children access online lessons in their mobile classroom, making direct contact with undergraduate volunteers in international universities. This simple innovation will provide essential language and number skills to get the kids through critical exams at 16.

Sunday 26th April 2020

Transport the kids from the brown slums of the Kibera to the green fields of the Hillcrest British School for their weekly training session, showers and hot food.Have a final stunning evening back at the Hemingways Hotel in Karen. An evening drinks reception with friends, family, rugby players and coaches will be followed by a long lazy dinner under the lights by the pool.

Optional extras 

Make the most being in the "World's Wildlife Capital". Start with an early morning game drive looking for black rhino, lions and leopards. Finish with visits to the giraffe centre and the elephant orphanage. Or set your own agenda. Take a well earned rest at the hotel, play golf or spend time on a behind the scenes tour of the capital. 

Alternatively set off for the mountains to take on Mount Kenya on a four or five day climb with expert guides.

All the Details

See maps and important travel details by clicking on our bespoke tour brochure (note the dates in the brochure were provisional - see above for final dates)

The Film

There will be a film crew following the adventures of Jason, Shawsey and their mates as they navigate their way through the technical, emotional and logistical issues of getting a bus to Kenya. Be a part of celluloid history by joining us for the ride. You might even find a famous SOS face with us.

The Cost

The direct cost to Atlas is £2,000 per person. If you raise £10,000 for Atlas we would be delighted to host you for free. Alternatively you can pay for the trip yourself and then raise £8,000

Let the Government pay for the Adventure...

If you are a higher rate tax payer, and you raise £8,000 in donations (from eligible sources) then the government will add £2,000 in gift aid, meaning that it has effectively paid for your trip. 

There really is nothing like it. The rugby banter, the camaraderie, the amazing feeling of doing good for kids with so little. Take your seat on the bus, you will have a ball.


Contact Sally Pettipher for more information or to book your place

Email Sally

Hemingways Foundation

The Hemingways team are much more than our travel partners. The Atlas Foundation works alongside the Hemingways Foundation to fund rugby and education programmes in Kenya. The hotel group was founded, and is still run, by the Evans family who have deep roots in rugby, as players, owners, and supporters from grassroots to the professional game.

We are proud to be returning to Hemingways, our friends and natural home in Kenya

For more information on the Hemingways Collection please see the brochure below

Atlas Trek 2020 For those on the bus... Set up your fundraising pages here. For those not on the bus... please donate to your friends, family, colleagues, or to Atlas directly. In April 2020 our Trekkers Jason Leonard, Simon Shaw and others will drive a Double Decker Bus converted to a mobile classroom and clubhouse to the kids in the Kibera Slum in Kenya. Find out more