Community Service Projects
Thanks to its fantastically rich wildlife, the allure of the fascinating Maasai people, and many years of stability, Tanzania is one of Africa’s great success stories. Yet life in rural villages remains simple, and basic infrastructure is still being developed in many areas. In the hills of northern Tanzania, settle into a village and work on projects that help improve daily life for residents. Document life in the village and craft a story about your experience. Cap off the trip with a wildlife safari and a very special evening in a Maasai community.
Community Service Village
Our home in Tanzania is a small agricultural village in the lush hills below Mount Meru. We’ll split into small groups and spend our days working with the village residents on a variety of community-initiated projects. Improve a local water supply system, help with repairs at the school, or lend a hand at a nearby orphanage. Roll up your sleeves and pitch in with planting and harvesting at a local farm, or help farmers sell their produce at market.
In the late afternoons, get into the rhythm of village life and explore the area. Play soccer with kids from the village, discover a waterfall in the surrounding mountain forest, shop for dinner at an outdoor market, or write in your journal with views of Kilimanjaro in the distance. Spend time with the local children, who are excited to share their lives, practice their English, and teach you their pastimes—from drumming and dancing to batik and beading.
Wildlife Safari and Maasai Village
Head into the Maasai Steppe where, at the invitation of Maasai tribal leaders, we’ll stay a night in a traditional boma settlement—a group of mud huts ringed by thorns to keep away predators. We’ll get to know the customs of the iconic Maasai, witness drumming and jumping contests, and learn about their pastoral lifestyle.
Then set out on a safari adventure in three incredible—and very different—wildlife parks. In the low woodlands of Tarangire National Park, watch elephant families interact, look for tree-climbing leopards and lions, and spot a myriad of bird species. Descend to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera that is home to zebras, cheetahs, hippos, rare rhinos, and many more species. Finally, stop for more game viewing at Lake Manyara, a Rift Valley lake whose vast colonies of flamingos often turn its edges pink. With our experienced safari guides, discuss strategies for addressing human-wildlife conflict and learn about animal behavior, symbiosis, and wildlife migration in each park we explore.
Return from safari and spend your last two days at a community-based eco-lodge in a small village near Arusha. Learn from local farmers how coffee is grown and participate in a traditional dance workshop. We’ll have a farewell celebration before flying home.
In the village, the group sleeps on bunk beds in a simple village house. Boys and girls share a sleeping area and bathroom with other students of the same gender. We work in teams to help prepare meals. In the Maasai tribal lands and on safari, we stay in tented camps.