Tanzania: African Cultures & Landscapes

Language and Cultural Discovery

Discover Tanzania’s natural beauty as you travel from the coast to the interior grasslands. Experience African traditions, spot incredible wildlife on safari, and work on a community service project.

Community Service

Certificate

Safari

Rugged Travel

Outdoor Activity

Homestay

Campground

DEPARTURE

July 1, 2019

APPLY NOW

Program Description

Experience African wildlife as you go on two safari adventures, the first in Arusha National Park, home to thousands of pink flamingos, giraffes, zebras, spotted hyenas, and numerous bird species. The second safari will come as you wrap up your Experiment journey at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll have a chance to spot elephants, lions, hippos, and baboons in their natural habitat.

But first, your adventure begins in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, where you will explore the city on a bike tour with visits to markets, coffee brewers, food vendors, and artists. As your journey unfolds, you will witness the country’s changing landscapes and breathtaking beauty. Travel to Arusha to take in the majestic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. You will learn about traditional African culture and arts while meeting with educators, artists, and musicians. You will also learn basic Swahili language skills and practice with your host family and local Tanzanians. Participate in a series of community service projects such as teaching English, renovating a school, or planting 500 cashew trees, one of the local cash crops.

Experience the vast differences between urban and rural Tanzania as well as the country’s diverse ethnic communities through two homestays. During your first homestay in the village of Stahabu, you will learn about the role of Islam in Tanzanian culture and sail in a traditional dhow along the beach. A Maasai tribe will welcome you into its community for your second homestay, where you will camp in a group of mud huts, known as boma. In the morning, herd goats with your host family and learn traditional beading for making Maasai jewelry; then, in the evening, sit under the stars around a campfire discussing important issues that impact indigenous communities.

At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a community service certificate noting the number of hours of community service completed.

U.S. citizens require a visa for this program. Participants will work with The Experiment’s visa agency to acquire and pay for a visa. Please see our website for details.

PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

Prerequisite:

None

Dates:

July 1, 2019 - August 3, 2019

Program Fee:

$6,020.00

(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:

TBD

Depart/Return City:

New York

Orientation:

Dar es Salaam, 4 days

Homestay:

Swahili coastal community*, 9 days; Maasai community*, 10 days

Other Accommodations:

Hotels, community center, camping

Sample Itinerary

  •  
    Days 1-5

    Orientation in Dar es Salaam

    • Learn about the history and culture of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam, the bustling tropical metropolis of Tanzania.
    • Get to know other members of your group during activities and discussions and a city bike tour through the streets and markets of the city. Explore diverse neighborhoods by visiting local coffee brewers , mama lishe food vendors, traditional healers and artists.  Visit the Mwenge carvers’ market to  learn about the cultural and economic significance of ebony makonde carvings. Students will be paired up with a fundi (local carver) to try their hand at carving
    • Take survival Swahili language classes and practice your Swahili in local markets, including a scavenger hunt at the busy Kariakoo market.
    • Visit a local high school and interact with local students, having a lively debate about the challenges students face in US and Tanzania. Prepare some local dishes with the students and enjoy a musical and theatre performance.
    • Enjoy some beach time at the popular Kigamboni beach and Kipepeo resort .
    • Spend two days in Stahabu, where you’ll learn about the role of Islam in Tanzanian culture.
    • Explore local markets, where you will get the chance to try on hijabs and barak sheikh caps and learn about the cultural history and significance they hold
    • Practice your Swahili language skills in local markets and with Swahili language teachers
    • Go on excursions to the Amboni Caves, the most extensive limestone caves in East Africa,  and to a nearby rural community.

    During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in centrally located hotels.

  •  
    Days 6-15

    Homestay and Community Service in a Coastal Community

    • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Tanzanian family and community
    • Explore and get to know your  host community and the surrounding area with your group, by helping prepare meals, doing household chores, and enjoying local activities such as weaving fishing baskets, collecting firewood, and harvesting coconuts.
    • Continue your Swahili language lessons at the village square and enjoy sports with your host families, improving your Swahili skills and understanding of the culture.
    • Support a local madrassa (school), by teaching English, helping teachers build a learning display,  repainting and rebuilding classroom walls, and working at the village cashew tree nursery.   
    • Enjoy a scavenger hunt with your host families and a Dhow ride, enjoying free time on the beach and experiencing a Tanzanian sunset

    During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample community: Stahabu

  •  
    Days 16-20

    Music and Arts Community Service in Arusha

    • Visit the United African Alliance Center, a non- profit and learn about its local community service projects and classes that involve music and the arts and communal living
    • Meet with local artists who help teach local youth to use arts, such as hip-hop, . Paint and repair a home for children, design a mural with local children and interact with them over topics of globalization, environment, and culture.
    • Create, compose, and perform music and take part in a poetry club event along with local hip-hop artists.
    • Spend a day in Arusha National Park where you will enjoy a walking safari, spotting wildlife including zebras, flamingos and colobus monkeys

    During this period, you and your group will stay in a guest house.

  •  
    Days 21-29

    Rural Homestay in the Maasai Village of Engikaret

    • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Maasai family and community, living in tents and bomas alongside local villagers.
    • Learn about Maasai life and culture through Maasai language training, meetings with local healers at Orpul (traditional) clinics, and workshops on medicinal plants and herbs.
    • Visit a local NGO working for the rights of pastoralist women and learn about the rights of the indigenous people in a Masaai village.
    • Assist village residents in daily activities such as collecting firewood and caring for livestock
    • Participate in daily morning community service projects alongside the local Maasai community, including helping with forestry and managing the eco-system by planting and pruning trees and caring for medicinal plants. Learn about the process of Masaai boma construction and its significance to culture and the community.
    • Take a sunrise walk to Mt Kilimanjaro and enjoy a breakfast overlooking the magnificent view.
    • Interact with the local youth around a campfire, reflecting upon issues in the Masaai community such as land alienation marginalization and post-colonial politics.

    During this period, you and your group will stay in tents and newly built bomas alongside local villagers.

  •  
    Days 30-31

    Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    • Visit one of the seven natural wonders of Africa through a daylong safari in Ngorongoro Park and  enjoy an overnight camping  at Karatu.
    • Enjoy day-long game drives to see baboons, hippos, giraffes, elephants, and lions.
    • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program

    During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a camping site outside of Ngorongoro.

  •  
    Day 32

    Departure

    Please note: This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Adrienne Rosenberg

    Adrienne Rosenberg hails from Berkeley, California. She first went abroad as a volunteer for Amigos de las Américas as a junior in high school, where she fell in love with fireflies and long walks with her host mom through the countryside. Since then, she has worked and studied in Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, and Tanzania. Adrienne received her BA in social anthropology from Harvard University, with a minor in gender studies. She has worked as a gymnastics coach, health educator, conflict resolution teacher, van driver, ropes course instructor, and high school tutor, and she currently studies psychology at The Wright Institute. Adrienne also fills her days mastering new skills on her springboard dive team, writing poetry, hiking, and learning American Sign Language.

  • Stephanie Teachout

    A native of Smithtown, New York, Stephanie graduated from Indiana University in 2001 with a BA in history and minors in business and Russian/Eastern European studies, during which time she studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Stephanie developed her love for teaching and cultural immersion in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she taught English at Payap University, partnered with hill tribes to organize service trips, and traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia. She received a master’s degree in comparative international education with a specialization in anthropology from Teachers College at Columbia University and later worked as the program director and development director for Princeton in Asia.

    Stephanie has worked as a teacher, coach, and director of student diversity programs for Rye Country Day School in New York, and she is currently the director of diversity and a 5th grade teacher at New City School in St. Louis, Missouri. She has led numerous high school programs domestically and abroad, including Experiment programs to Thailand in 2005 and to Tanzania in 2013. In addition to chasing adventure in 35 countries and counting, Stephanie loves playing tennis, bicycling, practicing yoga, reading in a hammock, and trying lots of new foods (though not all at the same time).

Student Voices

  • he moment we arrived to Dar es Salaam I felt good about where I would be for the next days. The first week while we were there i can’t express in words how much we were able to do. We went on a bike tour around the city where we visited different neighborhoods and got o learn about the people who live there. We went to Dar’s beautiful beaches, we went to carving classes and learned about their detailed and hard work put into their art pieces. The food at each restaurant was so good, and taking Swahili classes really helped when we wanted to do some local shopping around the city.

    --Dolly
  • I’m thankful for my home stay families because they taught me a lot about there culture and traditions. I know I wouldn’t have learned as much as what they have taught me, just by reading a textbook in a classroom. I got to experience there way of life and I stepped out of my comfort zone to do so. Another part I enjoyed from this trip was The safaris. I took many beautify pictures of the wild life animals. Spending a full day outside in the nature, looking at all the animals was just incredible.

    --Laura
  • Tanzania is such a culturally rich place with their preservation of traditional tribes, captivating music industry, and beautiful art and carvings. The people are so welcoming and they have the kindest hearts. We took on everything one day at a time.

    --Christine
  • We then had our homestay in the village of Stahabu, where I was stunned by the connections I was able to build with my family and other members of the village. The homestay experience is one that I believe could not be replicated outside of this program. It was unique and mind-blowingly different, yet normal.

    --Maya
  • From the safaris, to the beaches, the homestay, the Maasai, the mural, the songs, and the streets, to the love and community that I was revived with, I never expected it to be this amazing. I had read the itinerary a thousand times and yet everyday was a new adventure. Because no matter how much I read about it, actually experiencing it was 100x better.

    --Jacqueline

Pre-departure Documents

Summer 2019

Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the Tanzania: African Cultures & Landscapes program. Visit our pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning. In early 2019, our summer international information will be published in a secure page, found in the Parent Portal.

In early spring, the following program-specific documents will be linked to this page:

Many questions can be answered by reviewing these materials, but please do not hesitate to contact us if further information is required. To submit or update your domestic travel and emergency contact information, please login in to the Parent Portal.

Important Passport and Medical Information

If you do not yet have a passport, or if you have not applied for one, you should do so immediately.

If you have not had a physical with your doctor since June 2018, make an appointment as quickly as possible, as your health form must be filled out based on a current physical.

Please bookmark this web page for easy use in the future.