TANZANIA DETAILED ITINERARY
IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION (Days 1-7)
Below the majestic ridgeline of Mt. Meru, Arusha’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 Arusha your bus steers westerly to gradually climb the escarpment of the Rift Valley. You make camp in this dramatic landscape of rolling grasslands and natural cauldrons of the most prized 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 traditional 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.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE (Days 8-36)
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 and 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, food and laughter. Spend an afternoon conversing with the village chief, making ugali (corn meal porridge) with your host mother, or drinking a chai in the local duka (store). For nearly three weeks you experience life as Tanzanians do, in a joyful union of work and leisure, gathering water from the community well, harvesting and roasting corn to eat for lunch and playing an impromptu game of soccer, as you raise the walls of a building of great value and longevity.
For a 5 day excursion, your group climbs 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 Arusha. Also visit a children’s orphanage and learn and collaborate on leading activities for children.
TRAVEL ADVENTURES (Days 37-42)
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 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 riding the waves in a dhow, a traditional wooden fishing boat.