|Dates:||July 6 – July 28|
|Arrive:||New York, New York|
|Depart:||New York, New York|
|Grade||9th, 10th, 11th & 12th|
(Students Grouped According to Age)
*Airfare for group flight from New York additional
Learn More About Us
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- Install Solar Energy and Water Systems in Rural Masai Homes
- Go on a Multi-Day Bush Safari in Serengeti National Park
- Collaborate with Local Teachers in a Rural Primary School
- Live Amongst the Inspiring Masai People
- Explore by Land Rover the Stunning Ngorongoro Crater
- Search for the “Big 5:” Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino & Buffalo
- Trek to the Remote Villages of the Usambara Mountains
- 30 Hours of Community Service
Building Catchment and Solar Power Systems
Throughout much of Tanzania, families spend hours each day walking to gather and purchase water despite the abundance of rainfall. Much of the water used for drinking and cooking comes from contaminated sources, and causes chronic illness. With the large majority of East Africans lacking power, this leaves little daylight for productivity, homework, and a means of earning income. Kerosene lanterns are widely used, but are expensive and burn toxic fumes in the home. Our focus project partners with a rural village and brings two essential utilities to enrich the lives of its residents through the installation of solar power panels and water catchment systems in families’ homes. Working with villagers, we are bringing electricity and a reliable water source to families for the very first time.. Together, we’re creating a healthier, safer, and more productive future for Tanzanians.
Journey to the captivating land of East Africa’s Tanzania. Work hand in hand with a local village to build and install solar power panels and water catchment systems. Encounter an extraordinary array of wildlife on safari in the celebrated Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. Organize a village soccer match in a rural Tanzanian community and work in a local elementary school. Take part in sustaining the indigenous way of life for the vibrant Maasai people through cultural engagement. Hike and discover the rugged, lush, and biologically diverse Mountains of northeastern Tanzania. After many red dirt miles, high fives, nails pounded, passports stamped, wildlife sightings, and stunning sunsets, we say goodbye to our newfound friends and board our flight home, Africa now within us forever.
Masai Village Building Projects
Our Tanzania summer service program begins in the north, where we start our orientation in culture and customs in the shadow of the magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro, the African continent’s highest peak. After acclimating ourselves to life in East Africa, we board our private vehicles and head to the bush to begin a series of service projects and adventures. Our first destination in Tanzania is the Maasai community of Meserani. Here we have the opportunity to experience the unique culture of the Maasai people and learn about their lands, their people, and the mounting struggles they face in a rapidly urbanizing region of the world.
It is in Meserani where we experience the significance of serving and learning from a rural village and its people. This village is our home for the next 6 days as we join hands with the local people to build water catchment and solar power systems for families’ homes. The sense of accomplishment helping a family light their home with electricity for the first time is indescribable. During our stay, we get to know the members of the local community through long days of work together, shared meals, visits to the local primary schools, and nightly friendly games of football/soccer. We are rewarded for our work with lasting new friendships and the knowledge that we have impacted this community in a powerful and positive way.
Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park
Our adventure continues into the beauty of the ‘bush,’ where the towering slopes of Ngorongoro Crater and famed plains of Serengeti National Park beckon us. Both classified as a World Heritage Sites, they are world-renowned for abundant wildlife and even grander landscapes. Our first safari begins at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater where we can see this natural wildlife park 2000 feet below. Descending into the crater of this extinct volcano, is it in this 100 square mile reserve where we have an opportunity to begin our three day search for the Big Five; rhino, lion, elephant, cape buffalo and leopard, as well as countless zebra, giraffe and gazelle.
Our wildlife odyssey continues in world famous Serengeti National Park. Considered by many to be the finest game viewing location in the world, the Serengeti offers us quintessential Africa. At just about every turn, we come across animals of all shapes and sizes. We are lucky to overnight in a “bush camp” in the park during this section, saving us hours of driving. At night after a traditional Masai meal, we go to sleep to the sounds of the African night, at times interrupted by the roar of a far away lion.
We begin our days early in the Serengeti with dawn game drives—often the best time to see the most elusive of the Big Five. Riding in famed land rovers, we dart around the park capturing the scene as the African savannah wakes up for another day. We spend our day roaming between animal sightings observing life in the famed African savannah.
Usambara Mountain Villages
Our Tanzanian odyssey continues as we head on to the Usambara Mountains – home to a biologically diverse world of plants and animals, and a number of rural villages. There, we begin an overnight trek into the lush mountain vegetation passing through a number of remote villages and giving us a glimpse of a life so different from our own. Along the way we will meet with a local “healer” and learn about herbal remedies and the traditional medicines still widely used in East Africa. We stay in a rustic camp nestled in the clouds high in the mountains with views of the African plains far below. The following day we venture into old-growth cloud rainforest where we meet local subsistence and coffee farmers, converse with small village communities, and look for the rarely seen Usambara chameleon and Eagle-owl.
After three weeks of hard work and adventure our Tanzania summer service program comes to an end. After many miles, high fives, nails pounded, passports stamped, wildlife sightings and stunning sunsets, we say goodbye to our newfound African friends and board our flight home, Africa now within us.
What is the packing list for this program?
Each program has a specific packing list that has been designed to fit the program’s activities, length, climate and cultural differences. Please click here to view the Tanzania: Safari and Solar packing list.
What is the weather like in Tanzania?
The weather can vary from very hot equatorial climates on the coast to more mildly cool climates up in the higher altitudes in the savanna (some nights it can get as low as the high 40’s). Located at an altitude of 5,000 to 7,600 feet, Northern Tanzania’s dry, sunny climate is nothing like the steamy African jungle of Tarzan movies. The weather is spring-like year round, with daytime temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, evenings in the 60’s. The coastal and lowland areas near Dar es Salaam tend to be more tropical in temperature and actually will get into the 90’s.
What are the service projects like?
ARCC has linked up with a company that has been running programs in Tanzania for over a decade. Through them we have made some incredible contacts that have led to valuable and meaningful service projects. Through these contacts we have built relationships with local East Africans who enjoy hosting our student groups. We have designed the service projects to help their communities. The service projects will vary from painting and repairing the local school, helping young students with their English skills, or possibly building a soccer field.
What kind of health precautions should I take before traveling to Tanzania?
Tanzania is a relatively clean and safe place to travel. However, ARCC does recommend that you take some health precautions before your trip to Tanzania. When you enroll in the program, you will receive more complete information on pertinent travel vaccinations and immunizations. Please also refer to the Traveler’s Health section of the CDC website. Our leaders carry a full first aid kit, and are all certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR).
I hear Malaria is a problem, what can we do to ensure a safe program?
Required Medication: ARCC suggests that all students on the Tanzania program take a prescription antimalarial drug. Although ARCC groups spend relatively little time near malaria-risk areas in Tanzania, and chances of contracting malaria are relatively slim, we still recommend that students protect themselves against the possibility of contracting malaria. As there can be side effects to the malaria medication, we suggest you consult your physician regarding treatment.
Suggested Medications: The recommended prophylaxes in risk areas near Dar es Salaam are Doxycycline or Atovaquone/Proguanil otherwise known as Malarone.
Please consult your physician to determine which antimalarial drug may be most appropriate for you.
In-Country Prevention: Malaria is mosquito-borne and therefore anti-mosquito measures such as covering as much skin as possible with loose-fitting clothing and using insect repellent with DEET are highly recommended and strongly encouraged during the program.
Where will we sleep?
Throughout the program, we will be camping in private campsites. ARCC will provide the tents and camping gear, and we ask that students bring a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. We will spend one night in a small hotel as well.
What is the transportation like once we are in Tanzania?
Throughout the program we will be traveling in a custom built safari truck made for ‘Overlanding’. Each truck comes fully equipped with tents, mattresses, kitchen equipment, stereo, cooler box/fridge, coach seats, storage for valuables, luggage space and a comprehensive medical kit.
Overlanding is a safe way to travel through Africa over land, with a group of like-minded individuals. We travel in custom built safari vehicles that are used to ensure maximum comfort while experiencing the best Africa has to offer. We are completely self-sufficient, fully equipped with all our gear needed for the expedition. Overlanding is the best way to see and experience Africa and our experienced overlanding outfitters have intimate knowledge of the geography, people, politics and locales. No problem is too big for them to sort.
What is the food like?
The food we will eat will be a mix of Western-style food (sandwiches, pizza, burgers, pasta etc.) and traditional local food such as stews, soups, fruits and vegetables. Breakfast often consists of cereal and fresh fruit. We will have a chance to sample incredible traditional dishes over a home-style BBQ spit.
Vegetarians and medical dietary requirements (i.e. allergies) are catered for. It does help if we are informed of this prior to departure date.
How much spending money should I bring?
For the Tanzania program, ARCC recommends that you bring an additional $325 of spending money. This will cover cash for souvenirs, communication, visa entry fees, exit fees and possible clinic visits. The money needs to be in large denominations (50’s and 100’s) of crisp American Dollar Bills. All bills must be produced in 2005 or later (Dollars with big head) because of circulated counterfeit dollars. We recommend you bring all of your money in cash. ATM’s are found in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, but are limited outside the city.
If you do bring an ATM/debit card, we strongly recommend talking to your bank about its international withdrawal policies to avoid any surprise fees or card cancellations.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, all students traveling to Tanzania need to have a valid passport. Please make sure the passport expiration date is at least six months after you travel. Passport applications are available at the post office. If you do not already have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as you enroll in this adventure. It normally takes six weeks to process a passport application.
Do I need a visa?
You will need a visa to enter Tanzania, but you don’t need it before departure. We will purchase them upon arrival into the country. A visa for Tanzania costs $100. This payment needs to done with US Dollars cash printed 2005 or newer.
What is the time difference between Tanzania and the USA?
Tanzania is on the the East Africa Time Zone (EAT), 10 hours ahead of San Francisco and 7 hours head of New York City.
Do I really need to bring a backpack, or can I bring a rolling suitcase on this program?
Although you will not be doing traditional backpacking on this program, it is important that you bring a backpack as your main piece of luggage. During the program the group will be navigating through airports, getting on and off the truck, and taking short hikes on unpaved paths. The group will be able to move much more efficiently if everyone is carrying their belongings on their back.
What kinds of goods and supplies can we bring to donate for the people we meet?
We have the chance to live amongst some people who have the very basics for survival. With education being a tool to better their lives, basic school supplies are welcomed with open arms. Pens, pencils, notepads, and books are widely accepted. Soccer balls are also an incredible way to cross the cultural border and share smiles. Because of limited space on our vehicles, ARCC would ask that every person bring no more than a gym bag of goods to donate.
Do they have modern conveniences in Tanzania?
As a former German colony, Tanzania have many of the modern conveniences you would find in the western world, such as air conditioning, large grocery stores, ATMs, and modern hospitals. However, during our time in the villages and other rural areas, you can expect a much simpler lifestyle. Villages often can support themselves by growing their own vegetables and selling them at local markets for income. Agriculture is a big part of Tanzanian life. Few people can afford cars, so most travel by foot, bicycle and public bus. Western food, bottled water and Coca-Cola can all be found throughout Tanzania.