Wildlife Conservation & Tribal Life
- Go on safari and encounter elephants, lions, and hippos.
- Experience life in a rural village at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Work on a National Geographic Project to build a boma fence.
- Hike on sacred lands with Maasai warriors.
Wildlife ecologist Laly Lichtenfeld will join the June 29 departure of the Tanzania expedition.
Choose one of these projects and delve further into your area of interest:
Itinerary 20 Days
Tanzania is renowned for its incredible wildlife, yet its diverse cultures and welcoming people are equally fascinating. Though the Maasai are perhaps the most widely recognized tribal group, Tanzania is home to more than 120 ethnicities. Immerse yourself in village life, and discover how tribal communities have interacted with their environment for centuries. From vibrant villages to open savanna plains, examine the challenges of preserving Tanzania's prized wildlife and cultural traditions through an On Assignment project of your choice: Photography or Wildlife & Conservation.
Maji ya Chai Village, Northern TanzaniaDays 1-9. Settle into a small agricultural village in a rural area near Mount Kilimanjaro to get acquainted with Tanzania and our group. Spend the first couple of days working together with the villagers on a community-service project, such as developing a water-delivery system or helping with repairs to the local school. Learn firsthand about ujamaa, the uniquely African concept of interdependent community developed by Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere. Break into your On Assignment teams to plan projects and interact with community groups, artisans, and village youth. Visit young children in an orphanage, play sports with Tanzanian kids, or tutor English at the local school. Assist community leaders and educators with their programs promoting education, good nutrition, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Learn about music and dance from local youth, practice batik, and participate in lively discussions about environmental and social issues. Throughout the week, report on your experiences through photographs, writing, or video, and develop a narrative about your time in the village.
Wildlife Safari and Maasai Tribal Lands
Days 10-17. Our safari begins with a special invitation to spend two days on the Maasai Steppe at Noloholo, an environmental research station run by National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantees Laly Lichntenfeld and Charles Trout. Discuss conservation efforts and land use issues with field biologists, and participate in the National Geographic-sponsored Build a Boma project, helping to construct a "living wall" of local trees to keep predatory animals away from a Maasai community's livestock.
Dressed in brightly colored robes and adorned with intricate beaded jewelry, the Maasai welcome our group into their lives. Meet schoolchildren who split their time between tending cattle and attending school. Witness drumming and jumping contests. Learn how these nomadic herders are adapting to the modern world. Then move to the Oldonyo Sambu Wilderness Area outside of Tarangire National Park. Here, set up camp and spend the next two days on hikes with traditional Maasai warriors through their ancestral hunting grounds.
Then head to a site among the baobab trees deep in magnificent Tarangire National Park. On daily game drives, get up close to lions, zebras, cheetahs, elephants, baboons, and jackals in their natural habitat. With our professionally trained guides, discuss natural selection, animal behavior, and the wildlife-management challenges facing the people of Tanzania. Continue to Ngorongoro Crater, one of the best game-viewing spots in the world. Situated on the edge of the vast Serengeti plain, this volcanic caldera contains almost 30,000 animals at any given time. Spot lions, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, and even black rhinoceroses from the safety of our safari jeep.
Continue on to flamingo-fringed Lake Manyara National park for more game viewing.