A journey like no other.
It is said that it is here, in the heart of the great Rift Valley, where humankind was born. This dramatic landscape is refuge to some of Africa’s largest and most exquisite wildlife populations. Among the soft prairie grass and acacia trees, expansive herds of wildebeest, elephant, and zebra roam free. Rare black rhino, lions, leopards, and gazelles all share this land with Masai herders.
Blending in with this abundant wildlife are over 100 tribal groups and others of Indian, English and German ancestry. Beyond its spectacular beauty, Tanzania’s warm, welcoming and loving people make it an ideal setting for self-discovery.
Safari in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, home to lion, giraffe, zebra, elephant, and rhinoceros.
Construct classrooms and laboratory facilities, teach English, and initiate health education classes for your village school.
Learn to cook ugali and sukumaweeki with your host mother.
Hike the fertile slopes of Mt. Meru.
Experience the “spice isle” of Zanzibar as you sail the clear waters of the Indian Ocean in a wooden dhow.
Below the majestic Kilmanjaro, Moshi’s busy streets and colorful local markets serve as the gateway to the “Northern Circuit” of Tanzania. Here you begin Swahili language classes as your group makes preparations for the safari of a lifetime. From Moshi, your bus steers west to climb the escarpment of the Rift Valley. You make camp in this dramatic landscape of rolling grasslands and natural cauldrons of the most famed wildlife parks in the world. Safari into the depths of the massive Ngorongoro Crater where some of East Africa’s last black rhinos thrive in the grazing pastures of the Massai people. Catch a glimpse of tree-climbing lions on the edge of Lake Manyara, where soda deposits draw thousands of pink flamingoes to its shallows. Finally, enjoy the large herds of elephant and zebra that graze the baobab tree-dotted landscape of Tarangire National Park.
You are welcomed with a great celebration of song and dance into your rural village in the Chagga lands outside of Arusha. This fertile landscape is home to some of Tanzania’s most prolific tea plantations against the looming backdrop of Mt. Meru. Working together in the spirit of umoja, your construction efforts for the school is a community event, bringing families and friends together to offer their tools, skills, hospitality, and laughter. Spend an afternoon conversing with the village elders, making ugali (corn meal porridge) with your host mother or drinking a chai in the local duka (store). For nearly two weeks you experience life as those in your village do: in a joyful union of work and leisure, gathering water from the community well, harvesting and roasting corn, playing an impromptu game of soccer, or raising the walls of new buildings.
For a weekend excursion, your group can climb part of the spectacular Mt. Meru, a volcanic crater with exhilarating views. At 14,980 feet, it is the second highest peak in Tanzania and is a steady presence in the landscape of your homestay village. Stay overnight in huts located on the mountain before descending back down into your host community. Or, visit the amazing United African Alliance Community Center for more of an educational and artistic twist to your group’s adventure. Spend two days engaged in workshops and classes with the children at the UAACC creating music, art, games, and conversation together.
After a heartfelt farewell ceremony, you depart your Tanzanian home and journey on to the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is said to be the birthplace of Swahili, the language created specifically for trade between the Bantu tribes of the archipelago and the Arabian traders that sailed these waters thousands of years ago. Zanzibar grew to be an important port along East Africa’s 19th century slave trading route and vestiges of this history still remain. Explore the remains of this ponderous past and the ornate architecture and mysterious cobbled-alleyways of Stone Town. Tour a working spice plantation and enjoy the intricacies of this diverse Swahili culture. Your final days are spent relaxing on remote sandy beaches, enjoying snorkeling in the Indian ocean, and riding the waves in a dhow, a traditional wooden fishing boat.
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