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Tanzania

Community Development + Safari

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Itinerary Options

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Looking for something more flexible? Get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.

Discover Tanzania

Serengeti, swahili and snowy mountains.

Take the Leap to the world’s ‘safari Mecca’, home to the lion-stalked plains of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater’s National Park, the lofty Mount Kilimanjaro and the stunning crystal clear Indian Ocean – all contrastingly breathtaking.

It is an undeniable fact that Tanzania packs the punches on the wild and exotic front but, in our humble opinion, its true charm lies in the warmth and beauty of the Tanzanian people. There are more than 260 tribal groups in Tanzania, each with their own distinct culture and traditions, living peacefully side-by-side.

Through this unique leap program you will have access to the real people of Tanzania – a privilege in itself to get beyond being just a tourist – you will make a difference to their day to day lives as you go about completing simple, yet sustainable development projects.


Program Itinerary

This program has a homely feel to it as Mathias's home becomes your own, living amongst his ever expanding family. From here you will spring board to your projects around Arusha before you head north to Lake Manyara and over to the Indian Ocean.

The following is a sample itinerary.

Overview

Arusha

Welcome to Africa

You’ll fly in over the glistening frozen peaks of Kilimanjaro (pray for a clear day) before stepping out into a wave of equatorial heat.

Arusha is the gateway to the northern safari circuit, boasting a busy trade in tourism. A true cosmopolitan city, strolling along the streets of Arusha you’re just as likely to see a briefcase-toting professional as you are an elegant Maasai warrior, armed with his traditional panga.

Accommodation

Your base will be in the quiet suburb of Olorien, around 6km from central Arusha. Next to the home of our project director Mathias, it consists of three bungalows each with 2 large dormitory style bedrooms with 4 volunteers per room with bunk beds and en-suite toilets, some being European and some with the squat style.

One of the bungalows has a communal dining area where everyone hangs out.

Food

3 meals a day.

Expect lots of rice, beans and pasta.

Wks 1 - 7

Moshono School and Olevolos Development + Refurbishment

Create a better environment

Throughout your time in Arusha you will work with a number of schools and centres who are keen to add a little inspiration to their environments. You will contribute to simple but effective projects such as building better floors or painting murals, times-tables and other visual teaching aids on the walls. All the while impromptu English lessons and a game of football will be a standard part of the day.

Moshono Primary School is just one example where you will help renovate their classrooms and play games with the kids in the afternoons or the Olevolos Children Centre run by the inspiring Mama Jane. Olevolos is a home to about 45 kids and has very little government support. You’ll help here with their vegetable garden, cooking, painting and of course playing.

Overview

Lake Manyara

Lake and flamingos

Next up you will venture north to spend a week close to Lake Manyara – a gem of a game reserve, stretching along the base of the Rift Valley.

The park spans 330 sq km, with lush jungle-like forests and open grasslands surrounding a giant salt-water lake, fed by hot springs and home to flocks of vivid pink flamingos and we are talking about thousands of them...a stunning spectacle.

Accommodation

For this week, you’ll camp on the outskirts of the national park, where you’ll get a taste of ‘life on safari’– living in raised, permanent tents and falling asleep to the sound of Maasai song.

The tents are made of sturdy, mosquito proof canvas, with en-suite bathrooms containing showers and toilets. Both camps have a thatched communal bar and dining area.

Food

3 meals a day.

Expect lots of rice, beans and pasta.

Wk 8

Massai Village and Amani Safari, Culture and Development

Safari, culture and development

A very busy week up in Manyara. First up you'll be treated to a half day’s cycle safari through this remarkable wildlife haven, which, though compact compared to the neighbouring Serengeti, offers a microcosm of the Tanzanian game viewing experience. Troops of baboon, vervet monkeys, herds of elephant, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, lion and even the elusive leopard have made this park their home.

Maasai School and Culture
Part of this week will be spent in the Maasai Village School teaching English and spending time with a local women’s group learning to make traditional food and handicrafts before nipping out to witness one of their hectic market days and learning about their traditional dancing.

Amani Children’s Centre
Second half of the week will be spent at Amani, a home for forty children aged between 3 and 12, from diverse religious and tribal backgrounds, many of whom lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, and have suffered a great deal of poverty and hardship during their lives.

The Leap has been working closely with Amani’s incredible manager Juma, constructing and continually improving their dormitories, classrooms and kitchen. But with all successful projects we can’t just stop – these kids now rely on the Leap volunteers to keep renovating, practice their English, arrange football matches but most of all provide them with love and friendship.

Overview

Dar Es Salaam

Welcome to the Tropics

Your last 2 weeks will be spent over in Dar Es Salaam - Tanzania’s main port. Huge, hot, humid and boasting rich Swahili culture laced with an exotic mix of African, Arabian and Indian influences - you’ll feel a world away from the bush and easy to hop over to Zanzibar at the weekend.

Capital city in all but name, ‘Dar’ is a down-to-earth place, built around a picturesque seaport with all the historic buildings, shops and restaurants you expect with a population of over 4 million. Long stretches of sandy beaches, fringed with palm trees frame Dar to the west, with safe, private zones belonging to hotels which make the perfect spot for sunbathing. Heaven.

Accommodation

The team house is in Mbezi Luis, a quiet residential area to the west of Dar es Salaam and about 30kms from the beach. The house has three bedrooms, with 4-6 volunteers in each, in bunk beds.

Food

3 meals a day.

Expect lots of rice, beans and pasta.

Wks 9 - 10

Dar. Tegeta Schools Development

We can't stop now

This school is a private enterprise, relying on private funds and local manpower to get it off the ground. This is where we come in… over the last few years we have helped with its renovation - laying floors, painting, fixing doors, painting wall charts, planting trees to create shade for children and watering plants to reduce dust and the risk of eye infections and providing assistance to the teachers.

Leapers have become a permanent feature so we need to keep going, to help this school keep striving.

Program Details & Costs

We have four departures to Tanzania throughout the year: January, April, July and September for either 6 or 10 weeks. The most popular is the all singing and dancing 10- week option where you can “do it all” but of course we are flexible and happy to work with different dates and durations - just get in touch.

Depart Jan, Apr & Sep

2018: 3 Sep

2019: 3 Jan, 4 Apr, 5 Sep

Costs

10 Weeks
7 weeks Arusha + 1 week Manyara + 2 weeks Dar es Salaam
2018: £31102019: £3110

6 Weeks
5 weeks Arusha + 1 week Manyara
2018: £22232019: £2223

Depart July

2018: 2 Jul

2019: 2 Jul

Costs

6 Weeks
3 weeks Arusha + 1 week Manyara + 2 weeks Dar es Salaam
2018: £21222019: £2223

Dates Don't Suit?

Don't worry - we can work around this, just get in touch and we'll chat through options more suited to you.

Social Life

Guaranteed. You will travel and live with a tight team of volunteers throughout, so always someone to hang out with.

The Bigger Picture

All our projects are long term and you are part of the flow of volunteers needed to keep progress in motion.

Mix of locations

From the African bush to the Indian Ocean - best of both worlds.

Cultural Exchange

Through living and working beside local communities who will welcome you into their world.

Monday to Friday

Every day will be different but expect to carry out projects 5 days per week for about 5-8 hours.

Weekends

The weekends are yours to do as you please. You are welcome to stay and chill at the Leap house or head off for a change of scene. Masses to do.

Backpacker favourites:

  • Safari to Tarangiri, Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater National Park
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro
  • Massai Bomas
  • Zanzibar Island

It all started with Mathias, our program director...

We have worked with Mathias since the very beginning and he still inspires us at our very core.

Mathias is Tanzanian and has an amazing, life affirming back story…He was a local boy, at a local school with an intelligence which shone through, so much so, that he was picked up by a mentor who sponsored him through his education and consequently won a scholarship to finish his studies in America. He is now married to the lovely Mama Jo Jo, has a never-ending brood of children and has dedicated his life to enhancing the state education for Tanzanian children.

Over the years Mathias has become involved with many of the local state schools in and around Arusha and Dar es Salaam which are historically underfunded and overcrowded. Mathias knows he can’t change the big picture but with the assistance and hard work of the Leap volunteers he knows that he can make the schools a nicer place to be and therefore a more successful place to learn. A good education being paramount to changing their life’s expectations. Laying down concrete floors (reducing dust), building desks (comfortable) mending windows (ventilation) flushing loos (hygiene) and painting visual aids (inspire) are all simple projects but they can make all the difference to those who have limited horizons and little expectation.

BUT it goes way beyond tangible… while you are busy working – the kids will buzz about guaranteeing impromptu English lessons, football matches and immediate friendships will emerge.

Leaper's Highlights

Have a read of what our Leapers have been up to...

Hot springs, teaching and wild beasts Rosie O'Donnell

The second week started off similarly to the last week with a few of us still being ill. While the boys stayed home, the rest of us girls proved our strength by carrying buckets full of cement to finish off the foundation of the school building. Once that was done we were allowed to help teach the children. It was an incredible experience to compare schools here to the ones at home. It was lovely to see just how excited the kids were to learn and how greedily they take in everything they are taught

Saturday, the girls left on a day trip to Tarangire National Park. We spent hours spotting different animals in their natural habitat. Since rhinos are poached in this area, we only got to see four of the “big five”. It was very exciting to not know what animals we were going to see around the next turn of the road. We were able to spot giraffes, zebras, elephants, a lioness, wildebeests, antelopes, ostriches, warthogs and also a very fast monkey stealing our food.

Sunday had a very bumpy start with a flat tire on our way to the hot springs. Nevertheless it was worth the prolonged journey, once we got there and saw the picturesque setting of the hot, springs. It felt like a little oasis in the middle of nowhere. We spent the day enjoying the clearest blue water surrounded by palm trees. The view was magnificent.

We can’t wait to see what the next week holds for us!

Wide smiles and incredible people Laura Clark

On Tuesday morning we travelled to Jane Olevolo’s Orphan Centre. Here we began work planting a vegetable garden; this involved hoeing the soil, picking out weeds, creating shallow holes and putting ground nuts into each hole. It was a messy process but also truly rewarding, especially when we saw how deeply our work would be appreciated in providing a sustainable food source. Sarah also planned to allocate some of the funds she’d raised towards providing a fresh source of drinking water.

On Friday, we spent the morning finishing off the gardening by watering our freshly planted beds. There we were introduced to a seventeen-year old boy named Lucas, an orphan who had grown up in Jane’s care. For some reason, Lucas’ difficult life struck a resonant chord with me. Lucas was an incredibly friendly and vibrant individual with an enviable work ethic. In his position, it would be easy to resent a group of privileged individuals such as ourselves. Yet he showed no signs of hostility or even indifference towards us, greeting us with a wide, genuine smile. He is a huge credit to Jane’s orphanage, proving it to be a caring and nurturing environment, but he is also an admirable character who we could all do well to learn from.

Bella had brought some gifts for the women of the orphanage- reusable cotton sanitary items. For many women, periods are an unnecessary burden, and are so stigmatised that it is rarely discussed. Consequently, many women have no access to basic sanitary products. Again, seeing their immense gratitude for these gifts made me seriously rethink my own privileges, in taking such things for granted.

African style communion, internships and Masaai meetings

Naku penda!

In the last blog I promised to report back about the communion we were invited to. Well I can tell you it exceeded expectations. There was about 200 guests, big party tents, a DJ and huge speakers that were bumping all night long. It was such an incredible experience being able to see such a big and important event in the culture here. They had this cake ceremony where all the important couples fed each other pieces of cake and two of the leapers got to go up and feed each other too!

This week we started our internships, I am doing the care internship which brings me to Jane Olevolos Center for Orphans. My responsibilities are a dream come true: three two-year-olds with endless smiles and beautiful little laughs. I know I’m biased, but I think my internship is the best. They taught me how to say “I love you” in swahili: Naku penda! Probably my favourite term I’ve learned here.

Four of my fellow leapers are on the business internship and they’re currently learning the ropes of forming safari itineraries for travellers. They have to do everything the safari companies have to do in order to organize their client’s adventures. This includes learning the migration patterns of safari animals, determining the “hot spots” of animal viewing in the parks, and calculating costs. Then they learn how to relay all of that to the clients.

The last four leapers on the trip are doing the teaching internship. They teach side by side teachers at the school that we are building the floor for. They teach pretty much every subject from maths to english. The kids can’t get enough of them.

This weekend we got to see the Massai tribe and climb this mountain that was behind the village. It took hours of sweat and dedication but the views were breath taking! We will all most definitely be sore tomorrow!

Watch our videos

Tanzania

Some of the best bits from January 2018

Tanzania

January 2017. Credit to Eve Eberlin

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