International Volunteer HeadQuarters
When researching volunteer abroad programs, I found IVHQ to be the best. Of course you can volunteer in countries at a lower cost, but I wanted to go through an organization to feel more safe traveling on my own, meet and live with other volunteers, and have the convenience of mostly everything being planned out for me. IVHQ is committed to providing amazing volunteer abroad programs so you can travel overseas with confidence. If you’re searching for meaningful volunteer work and the opportunity to experience a life-changing volunteer vacation, gap year or alternative break, you can trust IVHQ to make it happen. They offer a range of projects in over 40 destinations around the world. I volunteered in Zambia last summer with IVHQ and loved it so much that I wanted to volunteer again this summer through their organization. You can check-out my blog post on Zambia here.
IVHQ Tanzania Website – I created this website for the general manager and program in order for her to keep updated information on each placement and program so that future volunteers will be more aware of what to expect before coming to Tanzania. It is also great for past volunteers so that they can see the progress of their placement since they have left. Volunteers are encouraged to comment and send pictures to the general manager.
After volunteering in Zambia last summer, I knew I wanted to head back to Africa again. Part of the reason that I spend my summer volunteering is to learn about new cultures and explore more of the world. I combine my passion of travel with my passion of volunteering. This is why I don’t plan on volunteering in the same country every time. Every summer, I plan on going somewhere new.
I chose Tanzania this time after comparing flights, excursions, and reviews on the programs. A girl that I volunteered with in Zambia last summer had previously volunteered in Tanzania and said that it was her favorite IVHQ destination out of the three she has been to.
After looking at the facebook pages for a couple different countries and also watching Youtube videos of people who have volunteered before, I decided Tanzania had everything I was looking for. One of the big draws for me was the fact that I could go on safari to the Serengeti and see Mt. Kilimanjaro.
After you have decided that you want to volunteer in Tanzania, you will need to submit an application. The application is free and you can apply for multiple countries at one time if you aren’t totally sure yet. On the application you will select when you would like to start and what project you are interested in doing. You will hear back within 48 hours of whether or not you have been approved. You can also set up an account on the IVHQ website in order to track the status of your application. You will use this account to complete all the necessary steps before you arrive. Your acceptance email will tell you who your program manager will be. You can e-mail him/her at anytime with any questions. Currently, Kaila LeMaitre is the Program Manager for Tanzania. She was very fast at returning my e-mails throughout the entire process. After being approved, your next step is to pay the registration fee in order to secure your spot. If you use my invitation code (F294F) you will get a 10% discount. Once you have paid the registration fee, you will be given access to a checklist on your account of which you will need to complete before you go. This includes paying your program fee (can hold off on paying up to 30 days before your start date), completing the online training (walks you through country information, safety precautions, and volunteer requirements), as well as submitting a background check, flight details, emergency contact details,and insurance details. You will also be contacted by the in-country coordinator after you have registered. Victoria Fernandez MacIver is currently the Tanzania coordinator and will be able to answer all of your questions beforehand, as well as when you arrive. She is the main person that gives orientation. She will notify you of your placement the week before you arrive. You can email her if you have any special requests.
Before You Go
To help cover the costs, I decided to create a fundraiser page on Facebook. Fundraising on Facebook is actually better than GoFundMe and Fund and Seek because a smaller percentage of funds are taken out. Here is a link to my page: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1064801063728237/
When I knew which dates I wanted to fly in and out on, I compared prices on Skyscanner, Google Flights, CheapFlights, and STA Travel. I ended up booking through Travel Trolley, a company that I found when searching on Skyscanner. I flew out of London Gatwick (LGW) on Rwandair and had a stop in Brussels and a layover in Kigali, Rwanda before getting to Kilimanjaro Airport.
You should know that some airlines have a humanitarian baggage allowance. Most airlines only let you check one bag for free, but British Airways and some other airlines allow a second bag for free on volunteer trips. I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org last year letting them know that I was going on a humanitarian trip and they responded to let me know that my second bag fee would be waived. This usually only applies on the way there so I just brought an old suitcase that I left with the school I taught at. They ended up using it as a supply trunk. However, Rwandair already lets customers traveling from certain countries a two baggage allowance so I brought one suitcase full of clothes and personal items and the other suitcase full of school supplies.
My school in England also had a School Supply Drive for me. Students donated over 1,500 school supplies for me to take with me on my trip. I was able to fill up 7 gorilla cases full of school supplies. In order to get this over to Tanzania, I called Rwandair’s cargo department and setup a date for them to pick up the cases and have them shipped to Tanzania. They picked the cases up 4 days prior to me leaving and they arrived the week after I arrived. Unfortunately, the process at Kilimanjaro airport was a pain in the neck. The cargo employees were wanting me to provide a lot of information that I was unprepared for. For example, they needed an invoice of every single item so that they would know the economic value of my donations in order to tax me properly. I was not told that I would be taxed. After two days at the airport, my school director and one of the IVHQ coordinators (Glory), were able to help negotiate the prices. I ended up paying around $250 USD for import fees, agent fees, taxes, handling costs, and service fees in addition to the $900 I already spent on the initial shipping costs.
Tanzania does not require any vaccinations, depending on where you are coming from. However, there are definitely recommended immunizations for the country. The most common immunizations are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Cholera, Malaria, and Yellow Fever. I got these just as a precaution. The Yellow Fever certificate must be shown at the airport if you are coming from a country with exposure to it. It is best to ask your doctor what vaccinations you should receive before you go. You can get more information on this website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania
IVHQ requires you to get travel insurance. I purchased mine through USAA Travel Insured International. My benefits included trip cancellation, travel delays, missed connections, accident and sickness medical expenses, baggage effects and delays, and more.
While you are in Tanzania, you will use both USD and Tanzanian Shillings. The local stores, taxis, and some excursions only accept Shillings. You will need to pay for your visa in USD. The exchange rate is roughly 1USD=2298TZS. During orientation, you will be taken to town to exchange and/or withdraw money.
What To Pack
- Filtered water bottle- The volunteer house has a water tank that you can use. You can also purchase water bottles from the store. Definitely don’t drink unfiltered water in Tanzania!
- Travel towel- You are not given linens so you will need a shower towel. I recommend travel towels because they are light and quick drying.
- Bug spray- If you go in the dry season, mosquitos are not a serious issue, but the bug spray will still help prevent the few from biting you.
- Portable charger- This will come in handy on the safari camping trip, although my jeep had outlets built into the car.
- Travel adapter- Tanzania plugs are type G (same as UK). Make sure if you are coming from the U.S., all your electronics are dual voltage since Tanzania is 220V. Your hair straightener and curling irons will break if they aren’t dual voltage.
- Luggage lock- In the volunteer houses, there are lockers for you to store your important items. Bring a small luggage lock so that you do not need to worry about items getting stolen or lost.
Visa & Arrival
All volunteers, regardless of nationality or length of stay in Tanzania are required, by the Tanzanian government, to obtain a work permit upon arrival when volunteering. The cost of this is $250 USD and must be paid in cash (USD only). You do not need passport photos, a resume, copy of your diploma, etc. You also do not need an invitation letter from IVHQ to obtain the permit.
You can easily obtain the permit at the airport in Dar Es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Airport. If you are coming overland or to the small airports in Arusha or Zanzibar, work permits are not issued at the border. TVE can help you obtain one once you arrive if coming via one of these routes.
Immigration has been doing random inspections at placements all over Arusha, including ones that TVE partners with. If you do not obtain a work permit, TVE will not allow you to volunteer, as volunteering without one puts our organization and yourself at great risk. If you refuse to obtain a work permit, you will not be allowed to visit your assigned placement until one is obtained. If you are caught at your placement by an immigration official without having the proper permit, you will face massive fines, and even deportation.
TVE, IVHQ, and myself understand that $250 is a lot for a permit to volunteer. It is frustrating, but we have to play by the rules of the country we wish to volunteer in.
For more information go to the Tanzania Immigration Website.
Be prepared for the visa process to take up to two hours. You will need to fill out an immigration form, stand in one line to pay for the visa, where you will find out that you need to fill out another form to get the business visa. After you pay, you will then stand in another line where they will take your photograph and fingerprints and issue you the visa in your passport.
After you get your visa at the airport, you will collect your bags and head outside where a representative from TVE will be waiting. Someone will be waiting right outside of the arrivals exit with a sign saying “IVHQ”. Be expecting to wait another hour or so for other volunteers that are arriving during the same timeframe as you.
More than 100 tribal languages are spoken in Tanzania. Swahili is the official national language, although not everyone in Tanzania speaks it. Most of the people that you will come in contact with will know English or at least be able to communicate with you on a small degree. If you are in the childcare or teaching project, the schools will be taught mostly in English, although the teacher may go back and forth with Swahili to better explain something for the kids.
If you want to go to Tanzania more prepared than I was, you should become familiar with the following phrases:
- Hello – Jambo
- How are you? Mambo
- I’m fine (response) Poa
- Goodbye – Kwa Heri
- Sorry – Pole
- Ok – Sawa
- Thank You (Very Much) – Asante (Sana)
- You’re Welcome – Karibu
- No Worries – Hakuna Matata
As a volunteer on the Teaching project in Tanzania, you will work in private or government schools, where the presence of volunteers is beneficial in opening the minds and broadening the horizons of the students, along with exposing them to native English speakers. Children in Tanzania love to attend school, often starting as young as 3 years old, and wherever possible, children hope to stay in school until at least 14 years old, as education is highly valued in Tanzanian society.
If you’re someone who is passionate about teaching and you want to help increase access to education in under-resourced communities in Tanzania, this project will be a good fit for you.
On this project, you will either work by yourself or alongside local teachers and other volunteers, teaching subjects, such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies (Geography and History), Art and Physical Education. There can be between 15 and 80 children in each class and you will often assist the local teachers with daily lessons, providing one-on-one attention to the students and sometimes relieving the teacher of a class or two per day. There is also an opportunity for volunteers to work in a special needs school in Arusha with around 25 students, aged between 3 and 25 years old. If you are placed at this school, you will work with students with a range of mental and physical disabilities, such as autism and Down Syndrome. These students require a great deal of attention and support in their studies and if you have experience in working with special needs children, or are interested in volunteering at the school, you will need to make a note in your application.
As you will be volunteering with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be qualified or an experienced teacher to participate on this project. However, they encourage you to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. You can visit the Online TEFL course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
Starting dates and Orientation
The program orientation begins on the 1st and 15th of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Arusha on the day before orientation. After you have registered for the program, you should book your flights to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Arusha. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
Orientation is hosted by the local team at the volunteer house in Arusha. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date around 9:30AM. If your start date falls on a weekend or a public holiday, your orientation will begin on the Monday or day following the public holiday.
Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Tanzania – introduction to Tanzania, Tanzanian customs, rules and expectations, travel opportunities in the area, and introduction to your project and placement. The orientation gives you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
The orientation is quite long. The general manager and other coordinators will talk to everyone up until lunch time. Everyone will then eat lunch together in the volunteer house before going on the own tour. This is when you can get cash out of the ATM and also purchase a local SIM card (make sure you come with your phone unlocked). A SIM card costs 35,000 TSH for 10GB for 30 days, which is about $15 USD.
On the first day of your placement, you will be escorted by either another volunteer who has already been going, one of the coordinators, or someone from your placement will come to get you. Make sure you pay attention, because you will need to do the route on your own eventually. However, the coordinators will escort you for as long as possible until you feel comfortable.
Transportation to/from placement is not included so you should expect to pay a small amount every day for a dola dola, which is the public transportation in the version of a small van. Some placements will take multiple dole dolas to arrive and can take up to 1 hour. You also have the option to take a taxi, but that will add up quickly. You are only recommended to take taxis on the app “InDriver,” which is Africa’s version of Uber. The only difference is that you pay cash after the ride, versus on the app beforehand.
I was placed at HEDA Daycare and Primary School. During my 3 weeks volunteering, there were 2-4 volunteers at this placement at one time. Teacher BoBo is the school director and she and her husband are absolutely amazing! They are very grateful for volunteers and will allow you to help wherever you feel most comfortable. Being placed here is amazing!
The daycare is about one hour away from the volunteer houses. You will be picked up in the school bus and pick up other students along the way to school. This was very nice so that we did not have to pay for dala dalas every day. If you wish to go to the primary school, it is another 45 minutes away from the daycare. I spent about 2 days at the daycare and 3 days at the primary school each week. If you need to get back early for any reason, just let the director know in the morning and she will let you know if it is possible. If they are not able to drive you back, then you can stay at the daycare and take a nearby dala dala.
The daycare has 4 classrooms (baby 1, baby 2, middle class, and preparatory) and ranges from 2-6 years old. The primary school currently has 4 classes (Class 1-4) and ranges from 7-12 years old. They plan on adding one more class each year up until class 6. Each class has approximately 40-50 students so you will mostly be assisting the teacher by walking around the room and helping where needed, as well as instructing some mini-lessons occasionally if you would like.
Students were on a school break the first week of my placement, so the other volunteers and I helped prepare playground equipment to include a soccer field with new soccer goals, painting volleyball net poles, as well as netball poles. One of the the other volunteers that I was placed with was also a certified teacher like myself. The director asked us to spend the last two days of the school break training the teachers and helping prepare teaching materials. We sat in a meeting with all of the teachers and listened to their challenges in the classroom. We offered them suggestions and discussed strategies that we commonly use in our classrooms back home. We then went into one of the classrooms and showed them various educational games, strategies, and techniques that we thought would help them with writing, spelling, reading, and spelling – which is what they said their biggest areas of concern were. The teachers were very eager to learn from us and started implementing some of our ideas right away.
When the kids came back to school the following week, we each bounced around the different classrooms assisting where needed. I also spent several days handing out the donations that I brought with me and renovating the school library. Before I came, there were no books in the library. Now the library is painted, has posters on the wall, and has a bookshelf for children’s books and teacher materials! Before I left, another volunteer and myself also donated money to help put in a separating wall that was needed to separate one of the rooms into two classrooms, a ceiling for the two classrooms, as well as a second water tank for the school to use for a future crop garden.
Come to Tanzania prepared for a different school experience. A lot of the students attend school just to be fed. HEDA School provides porridge and a lunch. There is no western toilet available at the schools. Be sure to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you every day!! You should also be aware that it is common for teachers to hit the students, although a lot of the teachers at this school are willing to learn alternative discipline strategies. One thing that I emphasized was rewarding positive behavior.
I loved teaching at HEDA Daycare and Primary School and felt like I truly made a difference. The main thing that you can do at a teaching placement is figure out where you can make the most long-term effect. Compared to my experience in Zambia last year, I focused more on teaching the teachers instead of the students. They are with the students all year, whereas I was only with them for a month. Whatever you do, they will be very grateful!
Here was my normal schedule:
- 7:00 AM – Eat Breakfast at Volunteer House
- 7:30 AM – Get picked up by School Bus
- 8:30 – 9:00 AM – Arrive at Daycare
- 9:00-9:30AM – Morning Songs and Exercises with Entire School
- 9:30 AM – Class Starts (Leave for Primary School or Stay at Daycare) – you will most likely be in classroom
- 11:00 AM – Kids have porridge and you have tea and a traditional snack
- 11:30 AM – Class resumes – you will most likely be outside having sports class (volleyball, netball, soccer, etc.)
- 1:00 PM – Lunch (They provide rice and beans typically for you and it is considered rude to turn it down even though we let them know that the volunteer house provides us with lunch
- 1:00 – 2:00 PM – Ride back to Volunteer House
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Lunch at Volunteer House and then Free Time
- 4:00 – 5:00 PM – Soup and Bread at Volunteer House
- 6:00 PM – Dinner at Volunteer House
Please note that English-medium schools run year-round and have holidays for the entire months of April, August and December. Government schools have holidays for the entire months of June and December. These schools also take week-long holidays during Easter and September. If your program duration crosses into the school holidays, you can take a break, travel, go on safari, take tutorials for senior students, or volunteer at another placement. As each school-type has holidays at different times, there is teaching work available for volunteers throughout the year, apart from December.
The schools are definitely in need of supplies. Bring whatever you can with you! You can also purchase supplies in the local stores. I recommend the following:
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Erasers (or as they call it-rubbers)
- Recess toys (balls and jump ropes)
- Maps or other educational posters to hang on the walls
Overall, I felt very safe in Tanzania. Fortunately, you are practically never on your own. Until you feel comfortable getting to your placement, a coordinator or someone will go with you every day until you have the hang of it, although you will most likely be going with other volunteers.
Some of the locals act as if they’ve never seen mzungus (white women in particular) before and will follow you and want to talk to you, but they are only being overly friendly. At times, it is best to ignore them and keep walking.
The main points of caution are when walking in town (the markets especially), make sure you put all of your valuables away. Also, try not to take random taxis. There is an app called In Driver, which is just like Uber, except you agree on a price and then pay cash when you are dropped off. Taxi drivers at night may be drunk and the motorcycle taxis can be dangerous. One of the volunteers died on a motorcycle taxi a few years ago so it is strongly discouraged.
Other than the obvious measures of caution, Tanzania is a safe place. The volunteer house is gated and has a security guard 24/7. There are also lockers in the house to keep your valuables safe.
Twiga, Simba, Tembo, and Homestay
During the high season, you will get placed at one of the three volunteer houses or one of the homestays. In Swahili, Twiga means giraffe, Simba means lion, and Tembo means elephant. You can request if you prefer a volunteer house or homestay on your application although most of the volunteers will stay in a volunteer house. Tembo House is a hostel and is not used by IVHQ in the low season.
Simba holds about 35 people and Twiga holds about 45 people. Tembo House was used for short-term volunteers and couples/singles who wished to have a room to themselves – although not guaranteed that this is always how it operates.
I was placed at Twiga House. I really enjoyed it! During my first two weeks, there were only about 20 volunteers there, but during the last two weeks it was full. I was in the downstairs room which holds 24 people. There are also rooms upstairs that hold 4-6 people. All of the rooms have bunkbeds. Some rooms have a bathroom and some you will have to use the hallway bathroom. Thankfully, there was usually warm water for showers! You may experience the power going out, although this usually only lasted for about an hour or so.
There are typically 2 mamas (cooks/cleaners) in the house at all times and you will see one of the coordinators coming in and out all of the time. The volunteer houses are only about a 10-15 minute walk away from one another.
You will become very close with the other volunteers at the house. You will have evenings and weekends to plan activities together. Everyone hangs out in the living room or the patio together. You will also have Social Night with everyone from every house every Thursday night. This is designed to mingle with people from the other houses, especially ones in the same program as you. After dinner, you will break off into the different programs and have a chance to share your highlights and challenges of the week.
On the last Thursday of the month is Proposal Night where volunteers are given the opportunity to request money for placement needs. For example, you may propose to everyone that your school needs a water tank in order to provide water for the school. After everyone has made their proposals (optional), the house will vote on where the money should go. It can go to multiple projects or all to one. The money comes out of our program fee (I believe it is 5%). TVE is the only organization in Africa to offer this opportunity.
Breakfast usually consists of fruit, bread, and one main dish. I usually had peanut butter toast. Lunch and dinner usually consists of a meat, a grain, and a green. Some of the meals were great and some were not my cup of tea. You will also get soup and bread in between lunch and dinner. This was usually really good although sometimes the soup was not put out until dinner time. The meals are very repetitive so you may get tired of eating the same thing all of the time.
If you are interested in eating a certain meal, you are always welcome to go to town to one of the restaurants. I wouldn’t get in the habit of doing this too much since the meals are included in your program fee. Some of the popular restaurants that volunteers like are George’s Tavern and Blue Heron. A lot of people also went to Coffee Lodge for a cup of coffee after placement. You may also want to buy snacks from the local grocery store. There is a small store called Mendez within a 5-minute walk from Twiga where you can get snacks and drinks. This is where I went to get my favorite Savannah cider.
The mamas at the house will do your laundry for you. They charge per kilogram, although I forget the price. You can also go to town to the laundromat if you wish to do it yourself. Luckily for me, I brought enough clothes to last me the entire month.
There is no Wi-Fi at the volunteer houses. This is why getting a local SIM card is necessary if you want to stay in contact with family and friends.
Besides your airport transfer on arrival, you will need to pay for all transportation yourself. An In Driver to town is usually 3,000-7,000 TSH ($1-$3USD). It is best to travel in larger groups so you can split this and lower your individual cost.
Most people take the dala dalas to their placement and other pars of town. It is 400 TSH per ride. Some places may require two dala days so it would be 800 TSH total, but still that is very very cheap. This mode of public transportation is convenient because they come about every 30 seconds. They are usually crowded so it can get a little cramped.
The other options of transportation are tuk tuks and motorcycles, although like I mentioned earlier, this is not recommended. If you are somewhere in town and need to get back to the volunteer house, you will just need to tell a drive that you need to be dropped off at Sakina Oilcom stop and they should know where that is if they don’t know the name of the volunteer house.
If you enjoy walking, you can walk to the cultural heritage center and AIM Mall, which only takes about 40 minutes and is an easy route.
I recommend not planning any excursions until you are in the country. You will want to go with other volunteers. The volunteer house will make a list of everyone who is interested in one of the TVE activities and organize it for you. Before arrival, you will b e given a list of activities and prices. Orientation is a good time to discuss with everyone what they are interested in doing so you can start planning your weekends. You will also be added to the Hakuna Matata WhatsApp group where you can communicate with everyone about potential weekend trips. The more people you get, the cheaper it will be.
The first weekend I was there I went on a 3-day Safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. I went with 3 other volunteers and we each paid $580 USD. We went through another company since TVE’s prices are ridiculously expensive. My biggest complaint with TVE is that they do not seem to offer the best prices to volunteers. In my opinion, we should not have to look elsewhere for better pricing. We received the exact same experience as those that went on TVE’s safari, but paid hundreds less. I understand that every company wants to make a profit, but the amount that they are taking in every weekend from their volunteers just doesn’t seem fair. I strongly recommend that you and other volunteers do your own research to get the best price. There are a TON of safari companies that you can go with. Unfortunately, most people go with TVE because it is convenient to all book together at orientation and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of looking elsewhere. We contacted Aron on WhatsApp at +255 757 522 522 and setup a meeting on the Tuesday before we went. Our tour guide was Moses and you can contact him on WhatsApp at +255 764 688 005. We also met him the Friday before we went. The company is currently working on a website. However, they have been safari tour guides for about 10 years. We read good reviews of Aron online and also heard about him from volunteers from another organization in Arusha. I recommend contacting them in advance to discuss itinerary and prices and then discussing that with other volunteers when you arrive.
For the 3-day safari, you leave on Friday morning and arrive Sunday evening. For the 4-day safari, you leave on Friday morning and arrive Monday evening. The difference between the two is that you get to go to another national park that is nicknamed Home of the Elephants on the 4-day tour. Don’t feel like you are missing a ton if you only want to do the 3-day because some volunteers said that they saw more elephants in the Serengeti than they did in that national park.
On the safari, you will be riding in a 4- or 6-person vehicle. The roof raises up and the windows open pretty far so that you can capture some great shots. You will be staying in tents. A sleeping bag, mattress, and pillow will all be provided for you. All meals will also be provided. You will have a cook in the vehicle with you and he will stay at the campsite preparing your meals as you go on game drives. Our cook was absolutely amazing and it was the best food I had the entire time I was in Tanzania!
The next weekend, I went with a group of 10 volunteers on the 2-day Moshi trip. We left on Saturday morning and arrived Sunday afternoon. On Saturday you will go to Mt. Kilimanjaro base camp, tour a coffee plantation where you will learn how to make your own coffee, eat lunch at a local restaurant, hike down to a waterfall where you can take an optional swim, explore an underground cave built by local tribes a long time ago, and taste banana beer and wine at a banana farm.
You will stay at a hostel near Moshi, which is very nice. We had 2 rooms for the 10 of us with 6 in one room and 4 in another room. Dinner is provided at the hostel.
On Sunday, you will have a town tour of Moshi where you can purchase paintings and souvenirs before heading to the hot springs. This is the best part of the trip! The hot springs are very tropical looking. I enjoyed using the rope swing to get into the water. You will have a packed lunch before heading back to Arusha. The drive is approximately 2 hours.
After you are done at your placement, you will have free time to do as you wish. Below are some of the popular options:
- Take a short hike up a crater to watch the sunset
- Bargain for souvenirs at Massai Market
- Look at art and shop for souvenirs at Cultural Heritage
- See a movie at the cinema in AIM Mall
- Play with the local neighborhood kids at Simba on Wednesdays from 4-6 PM
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make samosas put on by the Lifted Strong (HIV Program) mamas weekly from 2:15-5:30PM
- Volunteer at Cradle of Love Orphanage approximately 45 minutes away from the volunteer houses. They are open until 5PM and you do not need to tell them you are coming in advance. Just show up and they will be more than grateful to have you help with the kids. The kids range from 0-2 years old.
- Visit a Maasai Village. My placement is located near a Maasai community so my director took me after placement one day. We were surprised when we happened to visit on the day of a traditional Maasai wedding. It was such a cool experience!!
- Sing Karaoke and dance to well-known songs at Empire Nightclub on Wednesday nights
- Go to Le Patio and Via Via on Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday nights for drinks and dancing
- Attend social night on Thursday evenings where you will have dinner and socialize with all of the IVHQ volunteers at one house (mandatory)
- Do a home visit of one of the kids at your placement or even multiple homes. It is custom to give them a small gift during your visit. This is a mind-opening experience to see what the living conditions are like of some of the kids you will be working with. To set this up, just ask the director of your placement or one of the IVHQ coordinators. Some volunteers choose to sponsor a child and a home visit is a step that you will take before making the commitment.
- Registration Fee – $282.56 (10% discount when you use my code F294F) (Includes 5% banking fee)
- Program Fee – $470 for 3 weeks
- International Banking Fee – $19
- Flights – $547 (From London)
- Travel Insurance – $88
- Criminal Background Check – $19.95
- Shipping 7 Cases of School Supplies on Cargo Plane – $1,200
- Yellow Fever Vaccination – $85
- Cholera Vaccination – $50
- Other Vaccinations – Covered by my Insurance
- 3 Day Safari – $580
- 2 Day Moshi Trip – $95
- Zanzibar Roundtrip Flight – $200
- Average weekly expenses – $50 (taxis, restaurants, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs)
Tanzania Host Experience Price List
Note that these prices may change!
Traveling Before or After
Before or after your volunteer experience, you may wish to travel a bit on your own or with other volunteers. I chose to stay an extra week in Zanzibar. Some volunteers do this as a weekend trip, but I do not think that is long enough or worth the time/money to get there.
I stayed in Stonetown at Stonetown View Inn. If you wish to stay in a hostel, Lost and Found is the popular hostel that most volunteers stay at in Stonetown. Another popular area to stay is on the East coast at Jambiani Beach. Although this is a more picturesque beach, I preferred to stay in Stonetown because there were more accessible restaurants, markets, and nightlife. I took 2 day trips to the East Coast for very cheap so I think I made the right decision. Stonetown is also close to the airport making it nice on your arrival and departure days.
On my first day in Zanzibar, I explored Stonetown by walking along the waterfront, strolling on the beach, exploring the main market, and visiting the Old Fort. For dinner, I ate at the local street market where several food vendors prepare food along the waterfront. You can eat while you watch the locals dive into the water during high tide. I also went to Tatu night club to dance and have a drink.
The next day, I took a private tour of Prison Island and Nakupenda Beach. This cost me $50 total and included entrance fee to Prison Island, the boat ride, snorkel gear, and a delicious seafood lunch.
The following day, I went to relax at Jambiani Beach and then had dinner at The Rock restaurant. During high tide, you take a boat out to the restaurant that sits on top of a rock. It was a neat experience with delicious food!
On my final day, I went to Jozani Forest to look at the Red Colobus Monkeys and explore the mangrove and then headed back toward Jambiani to explore Kuza Cave. Here you can swim in the cave. I realized too late that they have dinner and drum shows here a couple times a week so I recommend looking this up in advance on their website.
If you want a good taxi driver, contact Muhammad on WhatsApp at +255 777 576 383. I paid $45 total for him to take me to Jambiani Beach. He waited in the car and then took me to The Rock. He waited in the car again and then took me back to Stonetown. Usually the price is $30 one way. I used him again the next day and he drove me around and waited for me again from morning until evening for only $45. Try not to go through your hotel because they get a commission. It is better to get a taxi yourself.
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If you have any questions that I have not answered, please leave me a comment!