Climate change initiatives + cultural immersion


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Discover Tanzania

Grass root climate change projects

Take the Leap to the world’s ‘safari Mecca’, home to the lion-stalked plains of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater’s National Park and the lofty Mount Kilimanjaro – all contrastingly breathtaking and waiting to be explored.

This Leap program will take you off the tourist trail and help you become a true eco-warrior as you work alongside a Maasai community to introduce sustainable solar power, water harvesting systems and reforestation plans before educating students on the importance of recycling and helping coffee farmers respond to climate change conditions. It's going to be busy.

But it's not all work and no play, as your final week will be spent in Lake Manyara learning about local Maasai culture as you construct a Maasai thatched hut, prepare traditional meals and explore the famous Tarangire National Park on safari.

Through this unique leap you'll have access to the community spirit of Tanzania – a privilege in itself to get beyond being just a tourist in this famous safari destination – 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 as you will live with our project Mathias's and his ever expanding family. From here you will spring board to your projects around Arusha before you head north to Lake Manyara.

The following is a sample itinerary.



Welcome to Africa

You’ll fly in, over the glistening frozen peaks of Kilimanjaro, known as the shy mountain (pray for a clear day as it’s often shrouded in cloud) before stepping out into a wave of equatorial heat. Arusha sprawled at the foot of Mt Meru is a true cosmopolitan city decorated by the elegant Maasai warriors.

This busy bustling town of Arusha is the gateway to the safari circuit and boasts a busy trade in tourism. It’s an oasis of civilisation in the harsh African surroundings. There is plenty to do here, great places to eat, drink and buy souvenirs from the hundreds of touts selling safaris and all kinds of African goodies.


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.


3 meals a day.

Expect lots of rice, beans and pasta.

Wks 1 - 4

Moshono School and Maasai village Sustainable grass root development

Create a better environment

Tanzania has begun the war against plastic by banning plastic bags, to the extent of fining tourists up to $13 for bringing one into the country. They mean business. We are excited to join this eco-movement and now get our leapers involved in the following initiatives:

Conducting workshops on the Sustainable Solar Project with the Maasai women in the village of Olkokola. Introducing free and sustainable lighting solutions to the village.

Teaching students and teachers at the Machwa Academy on climate change, its effects and what students can do to practically reduce environmental problems. Tree planting will be key here.

Helping a coffee producing village on the slopes of Mt. Meru to adapt to new farming methods to combat climate challenge.

Introducing water harvesting projects to the Maasai Village of Engikaret.


Lake Manyara

Lake and flamingos

For your final week 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.


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.


3 meals a day.

Expect lots of rice, beans and pasta.

Wk 5

Massai Village and Safari Safari, Culture and Development

Safari and culture

A very busy week up in Manyara. First up you'll be treated to a days safari in Tarangire National Park. Tarangire is a beautiful baobab-studded National Park which stretches along its namesake river covering 2850 sq. km. This park has the 2 nd highest concentration of wildlife of any Tanzanian Park and one of the largest concentration of elephants anywhere.

Maasai School
Part of this week will be spent in the Maasai Village 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.

Program Details & Costs

We have two departures to Tanzania throughout the year in January and July for 5 weeks, but of course we are flexible and happy to work with different dates and durations - just get in touch.

Jan program start on:

2020: 7 Jan

2021: 8 Jan


5 Weeks
4 weeks Arusha + 1 week Manyara
2020: £18952021: £1947

Summer July program starts on:

2020: 9 Jul

2021: 7 Jul


5 Weeks
4 weeks Arusha + 1 week Manyara
2020: £18952021: £1947

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 Lake Manyara - culture and wildlife mixed.

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 5-6 hours.


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

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.

Mathius has now joined the eco-push in Tanzania and has changed the program to reflect the needs of the communities out in Arusha. its all abour sustainbel living and protecting their very special eco-systems. Together we can make a difference however small.

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


Some of the best bits from January 2018


April 2018. Credit Abbie Llewellyn


January 2017. Credit to Eve Eberlin

"​Amazing, emotional and I would do it all again "

Communication was very good before and during the trip, it was nice to know that the leap would reply quickly plus I felt very safe, the 24/7 security relaxed and settled me in. Stella matias and jimmy were amazing, they made my trip!

The programmes and schools we visited were life changing and made me appreciate what I have. The fact that we actually made a difference by raising money for an orphanage to build a well is so exciting and rewarding! And the relationships I made with the children and the other leapers I will never forget.

- Bethany

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