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Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa and the ideal location for those with a passion for culture and history. Home to the tallest mountain in Africa – Mt. Kilimanjaro – and one of the oldest African tribes – the Maasai – you don’t need to look far to find incredible sights and authentic experiences. Off its coast sits the stunning tropical island of Zanzibar, famous for its beautiful beaches, rich culture and interesting history (it was a key trading post that connected Arabia, India and Africa). While Tanzania is a very large country to explore, visiting the Kilimanjaro Region and the island of Zanzibar will make for a well-rounded, meaningful and diverse experience. Add to this the extraordinary wildlife – both on land, and in the ocean – it’s an unbeatable combination.
This tour commences in the traditional Tanzanian town of Moshi, only a short distance away from Kilimanjaro International Airport. This first week will be spent living with the African Impact volunteer team, empowering local villages in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Combating poverty and strengthening communities through education, you’ll work alongside other international volunteers and run free education classes for anyone who would like to take part. We have a solid group of students who we work with each week, and a lively nursery school we support. We’re also exceptionally proud to have built fantastic relationships with members of the Maasai Tribe, so you will assist with their language skills and in return, learn about their iconic way of life.
Zanzibar, the paradise island located off the coast of mainland Tanzania, is as rich in history as it is in beauty. There is so much to discover; from the bustling city of Stone Town (recognized as a World Heritage Site and famous for its spices and trading history), to lush forests, endless sand banks, coral reefs and welcoming, friendly communities. This long-hidden gem of a destination is starting to pick up popularity in the world of travel, for good reason. Every year more and more travelers are coming to experience this incredible island for themselves and discover its well-kept secrets. You can too as you travel from vibey backpacker, to eco-lodge, to beach-side bungalow, and embark on ethical tours and eco-trips around the island that highlight the culture, lush landscape and stunning marine life.
Fly in to Kilimanjaro International Airport (be sure to try and spot Mt. Kilimanjaro’s snowy peak above the clouds as you descend) and meet our team who will be ready and waiting for you. As you depart for our volunteer accommodation – your home for the next week – take a moment (or several) to admire the incredible view of the mountain and prepare for the excitement that is ahead of you. Welcome to a whole new world. Karibu Sana to Tanzania!
Having completed your induction and orientation Monday afternoon, it’s time to jump in the deep end and accompany our team to the local community. On the agenda this morning: Maasai literacy class. Here you will spend time working through our award-winning curriculum, utilizing games, group work and one on one time to improve language skills for the community members. You’ll be supported throughout by our staff team, who are there to help you feel comfortable. From there, you will head to the nursery school to assist in some fun learning activities for the children before you head back home for lunch. Afternoons will be spent with the oldest, wisest and cheekiest of the community – the members of Langoni Old Person’s Home.
After an action-packed day of community work, you’ll head home and enjoy some delicious home-cooked food and an opportunity to get to know our amazing team of staff and fellow volunteers.
It’s another early morning as you continue your lesson from yesterday with the students in our Maasai literacy class, many of whom are looking to secure work in the tourism industry. Later that day, you’ll get to pick what you’d like to do; continue with the classes, join the nursery school children, help out at an after-school club for vulnerable children, or accompany our team to one of our gender equality groups. There is so much happening in this community, so it’s up to you whether you’d like to try them all, or simply focus on one.
Wednesday evenings are free for you to relax. But, if sitting back isn’t your thing, you can step it up a notch with a game night, cultural evening, or even a movie night out on the veranda.
Today is your final full day of volunteering. If you’re feeling exhausted (we kind of hope you are, or you haven’t been working hard enough!), don’t panic; from here it gets easier. But, before that, another busy day of working with the community. We hope you’ll have found a project that speaks to you by now, so your day will be planned around what the community needs, and where you’d like to visit (this does depend on the schedule, however we will do our best to ensure you can remain with your chosen project, or try something completely new).
Savor your last few moments working with the Maasai, the schools and the Langoni Old People’s Home as after this morning, the next adventures begin. The afternoon brings about the first of your included excursions; learning more about the Moshi communities with a tour of Moshi town and the nearby villages. This tour is conducted by Rafiki6, local community members who have the best insight into the culture and location. To top it off, Rafiki6 was actually formed through African Impact and our skills-training initiative.
Time to really enjoy the area on your first full day of free time! Ask our team for the full list of activities we recommend in the area, but here’s just a couple of ideas: Take a dala dala (local taxi) into town to check out the markets, go on a hike to nearby waterfalls and coffee plantations. Or, another option, join a weekend safari to one of the nearby world-renowned national parks (these are all optional activities and are not included in the price).
It’s your final full day in Moshi, so make the most of it with your fellow volunteers as you depart tomorrow for your adventure in Zanzibar. Capture some last-minute photographs of the majestic mountain, book a unique day trip only possible in this area, or simply relax at the volunteer accommodation and take some time to reflect on the incredible week you’ve had.
Enjoy breakfast at the volunteer house while you say your goodbyes – it’s time to catch a flight to paradise with those joining you on the 2-week expedition. After a short flight (included in the fee), you will arrive in the bustling center of Stone Town, in the island’s capital city. You’ll be staying in dorm-style rooms within a vibey backpacker hostel. Once you’ve dropped your bags, we thought it’d be a good idea to join a guided walking tour of Stone Town and begin to understand some of the region’s history.
As the island was once one of the world’s leading producers of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, you can’t visit Zanzibar and not visit a Spice Farm. Today, spices are still grown and exported worldwide, so you’ll join a guided tour of a Spice Farm just outside of Stone Town. Throughout this walking tour you’ll get to learn about the history of spice trading, as well as smell and taste all kinds of spices and fruits; from lemongrass, nutmeg and turmeric, to coconut, papaya and jackfruit.
This morning you’ll be collected from your backpacker hostel and be driven to the coastal fishing village of Jambiani, home to African Impact’s volunteer base. Moving into a beach-side bungalow, it’s time to slow down the pace and simply enjoy the beaches you’ve been dreaming of. We’d suggest soaking up the African sunshine, swimming in the turquoise waters and maybe taking a stroll up the white sandy beach.
To boost your credibility even further as a responsible traveler, today you’ll have the opportunity to join the African Impact team in Kizimkazi and volunteer. Since 2013, we’ve been working to provide free education to the rural community, as well as undertake key marine research on the wild dolphin population. Today you will be able to try your hand on both sides of the project as you embark to our Kizimkazi project base. Hop aboard our boat to collect data on how tourism and dolphin swims are affecting the dolphin population. Once that data is collected – if the conditions are right – you may be in for an ethical dolphin encounter! The excitement isn’t over because from there we will take you to Pungume, a disappearing sandbank just off the coast, where you can snorkel and enjoy lunch. Once back, it is time to engage with the local community. You can put the knowledge you’ve just learned to use as you accompany our team on our Kizimkazi Community Outreach Program, working with the village youth in our Conservation Club.
Having enjoyed a number of immersive village tours, today brings an opportunity to head to one of our favorite spots in Zanzibar; an eco-lodge that uses the money from lodging guests to help provide education to the local community. After kayaking through the mangrove forest, you’ll get to choose between a jungle or mangrove lodge and spend the night totally off-grid. This is a real back-to-nature experience and possibly one of the most authentic experiences you can have on the island. After a home-cooked meal, you’ll fall asleep to the sound of nature and, quite possibly, be awoken throughout the night by cheeky monkeys and bush babies who are curious as to your arrival in their forest!
(Please note, this is an optional activity. If you do not wish to visit, you’ll also get the opportunity to head out for the day and visit the Kuza Caves – just let us know in advance!)
Today you’ll spend a magical morning exploring the fishing village of Jambiani, accompanied by a local who operates these tours to help generate income for his family. After learning more about the way of life for many locals in this region, as well as some of the best spots to grab a cool drink and a chapati (a local delicacy), it’s back into the water. We think there is no better way to cool down and relax for the afternoon than by snorkeling across the Jambiani coral reefs – be sure to ask your guide for more information on what you see under the water!
Who are we to tell you how to spend your last day in paradise? This Sunday is yours to do whatever your heart desires. Perhaps you’d like to take a beach day and enjoy the peace and quiet? Maybe try out the daily yoga sessions that your hotel offers? Or, throw caution to the wind and try your hand at some water sports. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to soak it all in as tomorrow you’ll be departing home.
After a jam-packed two-week itinerary, you may be ready to catch your flight home. Or not. Either way, all good things come to an end. Your hotel will drop you off at the airport in time to catch your flight home, so be sure to take in the views and reflect on all that has happened in the past weeks. We know first-hand how easy it is to catch the travel bug, especially in Africa, so we look forward to seeing you again soon.
We believe that when you travel, there should be no compromises. Even if you are limited on time you should be able to explore while still doing some good in the world. This is what we do. In fact, we are the experts in Africa. We create volunteer travel experiences that change lives (and not just your own).
Named the Top Volunteer Abroad Organization in 2017, we are expanding our extremely popular Expedition Programs that take you #BeyondVolunteering. They are not your average tourist holidays; they are the ultimate way to see, do and achieve as much as possible in two weeks. Join our team of passionate staff on the ground for a week of volunteering with local communities or wildlife, before heading out on a road-trip to discover some of Africa’s most iconic destinations.