St Hilda's School Tanzanian Adventure

St Hilda's School Tanzanian Adventure

Trip Highlights

  • Service Learning Project Work - Learning how to build and install solar systems in local villages, with the Napenda Solar Community Project.
  • Time spent learning and playing with the kids at Juu Primary School
  • Trying to spot the Big Five in the Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater safari
  • Masai Cultural experience
  • Camping out under vast East African stars
  • Witness the beauty of East African sunsets

Trip Summary

This itinerary, designed specifically for St. Hilda's School is the perfect combination of cultural immersion and interaction with friendly locals, incredible service learning, adventure and game viewing. Tanzania has some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa, including the opportunity to spot the rare black rhino. Combining dramatic views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the famous, vast Serengeti National Park where herds of animals, including migratory wildebeest, can be spotted and of course, the Ngorongoro Crater, a magnificent extinct volcano teeming with wildlife which provides unsurpassed game viewing of the many species of East Africa, including rhinoceros and large prides of lion - you are spoilt for life changing moments. We get off the beaten track and visit all of these, in the company of our expert safari guide, to the places where we know to be optimal viewing points for wildlife encounters. Stunning sunsets appropriately conclude the days, leaving lasting impressions of the charm and diversity of East Africa.

Along with the incredible experience of witnessing animals in their natural habitat, the majority of your trip and the main highlight and focus of your adventure, is the meaningful community project work that you will complete as part of the Napenda Solar Community Project. You will spend 7 days working alongside your fellow peers and teachers, with the assistance of the highly trained staff from the Napenda Solar Community, completing multiple tasks that will not only be personally rewarding, but positively impact the local villages and ensure an ongoing improved and enriched life! Your meaningful service work will provide much needed assistance in the lives of the local community, by providing a sustainable way to bring electricity and light into their homes. This will be a highly rewarding and enriching experience, providing cherished memories for years to come. This is a school excursion not to be missed!

Suitability

Overall this expedition has a grading of level 2 - "Adventure Touring". These adventure tours sometimes may visit remote areas where facilities are often basic. Many of these trips sometimes involve some camping or basic lodging. These adventure tours will often involve long journeys and rough roads. To enjoy these adventures we suggest reasonable fitness and health, a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude. Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.

The community project is also another physical component of the expedition. Although there is no trekking, the installation work being done can be demanding at times. There will be lots of drilling, sawing, wiring and climbing some ladders, sweeping - all of which can be tiring but is character building! Please speak to your teacher if you are unsure about your suitability for this expedition.

Itinerary

After many, many months of planning and preparing, your adventure is finally here! Your flight today is with Thai Airways TG474 and departs at 2:00pm (1400) from Brisbane Airport. You fly via Bangkok, where you will connect to a Kenya Airways flight at 01:00 on the 21st November, flying to Kilimanjaro via Nairobi.

Meals:  Nil

Jambo! Your flight is scheduled to arrive at Kilimanjaro airport at 08:30am. After a long journey, we finally touch down at Kilimanjaro International Airport and are met by our World Youth Adventures representatives and overland safari truck – our main transport vehicle for the next few weeks. We depart the airport and if we are lucky enough we will see Mt Kilimanjaro in all her glory towering over the African savannah. As we drive in the overland truck we are introduced to Tanzanian hospitality with the kids on the side of the road cheerfully waving and calling out to us “Mzungu Mzungu” as we pass by. We immediately fall in love with this beautiful country and welcoming people. We arrive at our camp ground which is located 20kms from Arusha, settle in and freshen up before a brief orientation tour of our camp and surrounding area. Today is at leisure and more detail about activities today will come closer to departure. At tonights Welcome Dinner, there will be a brief discussion about the weeks ahead and what you can expect from your adventure. Excitement levels will be high as you realise that you have made it to Tanzania, with the adventure about to begin! Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  D

Today we have an orientation day where we recover from our long journey, re hydrate, stretch the legs, sort out our packs and this morning, together we further chat about what to expect over the trip. Students can visit the Snake Park with a local guide and learn about the different snakes in East Africa as well as meet some unique birds of prey and Nile crocodiles! This is a very important day rather than hitting the ground running, most students are very dehydrated after the plane journey and this is a day where you can take it easy, drink plenty of water and let your body adjust to the minimal altitude (Arusha is 1600m). This day has proven to be paramount in keeping students healthier throughout the trip and is a great day to ease into everything. Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

Over the next two days, we walk to the local primary school approximately 1.5km from our campsite and spend the day with the school kids, witnessing firsthand the challenging conditions Tanzanian students face. In the morning we attend school with the students while they have their lessons. During break time we play with the kids and enjoy their company. In the afternoon it is our turn to be the students, where we are taught basic Swahili by the teachers while being coached by the Tanzania students. Tanzanian classrooms are never quiet as the local students erupt in laughter at our attempts to pronounce words in Swahili. These two days spent at Juu primary school will touch our hearts, as we recognise the difficulties these students face every day. Even with these challenges, they never seem to stop smiling and their determination never seems to dwindle. You will come away humbled by the experience. Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we are met by our local Masai guide to take us on a unique journey of discovery. We spend the morning learning about the Masai culture as we walk through the Masai Cultural Museum. Our Masai guides are very knowledgeable and open to questions and are more than willing to share stories from their life and cultural information with the group. We continue our cultural journey as we explore a local village and are taken on a tour of their homes. We are wooed by Masai dancers while the local kids cling to us asking for their picture to be taken! We continue to the adult education centre, one of the only education centres in East Africa for the Masai community, where courses are taught from computer classes to how to handle money and budget! Finally we visit the Meserani clinic, where they see 1000 people every month for a variety of ailments. Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, we commence our Service Learning component at the Napenda Solar Community Project. We begin with heading into the classroom to learn about solar power, alternative energies and generally how electricity works. Thiemo, our teacher from Napenda Solar Community, is very passionate about solar power and it won’t be long before his passion starts rubbing off! Not only do we learn about solar and alternative energies in a fun and interactive way, but we also start to look at our own electricity consumption, how much we rely on it for everything in our life and what we can do to reduce our own usage. The realization hits us - what would it be like to live in a home without electricity? By the afternoon of the second day our learning becomes more practical as we start to apply our knowledge to an actual solar power system in preparation for tomorrow when we are let loose in the workshop! Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

Applying what we have learnt over the past couple of days we are let loose in the workshop (under supervision of course!). Over the next 2 days we have been set the task to build several solar power systems, from building the brackets for the solar panels and power boxes to wiring the boxes, and filling the batteries. As drills and saws work endlessly, as the tape measure comes out and goes back away several times, we scratch our heads and discuss where brackets need to be attached so they fit properly on the roof. We quickly realise it takes some thought and concentration to make sure the wires are not only in the right place on the junction box, but are tight and fixed properly. There is a little more to this task than meets the eye! There will be experienced staff members on site to make sure that every solar panel system is constructed correctly and safely. As we work we chat about how exciting it is to be giving the gift of electricity to a poor rural family. We cannot fathom what it would be like to have to study by kerosene lanterns or open fire. We start to feel privileged that only after a few days we are able to bring a safe 12 volt solar power system to a poor family home. At the end of the day we look at our handy work and are very happy with the progress - but the proof is in the testing. Before installing the systems we need to make sure they work, so one by one we connect them and test. One by one the lights come on, which is an amazing feeling of accomplishment! We are ready to install! Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

We pack the vehicle with tools, rolls of wires, connectors, solar panels, batteries, charge controllers, ladder and electrical tape and off we head into the community... We arrive at our first home and on comparison to Australian homes it is tiny, and we find it hard to believe 5 people live in this small 2 bedroom home. We have a team meeting to decide which team does what and eventually split into our teams and keep discussing how we are going to tackle the task ahead. One group is charged with the task of wiring the entire house with electrical wire. One team is in charge of fixing the solar panels to the roof, another team is charged with connecting the batteries to the system and finally a team is responsible for wiring the lights and fixtures. Remembering what we have learnt, we enthusiastically get to work while the family, excited and smiling, watch over our work. As we tackle our tasks the crowd thickens as friends and fellow villagers come to watch us install the solar power system. At first they are pretty shy but after some encouragement we are chatting about what it means to them to have electricity in their homes. The local kids are also curious and before long they are clinging to us, intrigued by what we are doing – their smiles and laughter are contagious! For 3 days we install solar power systems, bringing the gift of electricity to poor rural family homes. We realise that not only have we given them electricity but we have potentially changed their lives forever - for the first time children can study after 6:30pm, productive hours increase, women can bead more jewellery to sell without straining their eyes, they can charge their mobile phones which means they can access medical care, transfer funds or other services urgently, without having to walk for miles, potentially saving lives. The benefits are endless. We feel pretty proud of ourselves and in a few days, we have learned so much from how solar power works, to building a system and installing in a home! Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

After our hard work from the last few days at our community project, today is a free day! It is also Sunday, which means feeding day at the Snake Park which always draws a large crowd. For those wanting to go shopping, we visit the local women’s Masai market for unique hand made beaded jewellery and other traditional items. If the teachers and students are interested we can visit the Cultural Centre just outside of Arusha town, famous for two things – a multistory art gallery filled with all sorts of African artefacts from traditional masks, weapons, and art works. The other attraction is Tanzanite – a rare blue diamond that is only found in Tanzania. The Cultural Centre is full of interesting artefacts and several souvenir shops. There is also the option to enjoy a camel ride towards the Monduli Mountains, and visit a local Maasai Boma, enjoying some beautiful scenery along the way. While you are there you will also get the chance to chat to the local Maasai and learn more about the Maasai culture. Alternatively, you can choose to spend the day simply catching up on your journal, playing soccer with local kids, playing cards, accessing WIFI to catchup with whats happening back home and general relaxing. Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, we leave our home and head out on safari! This morning we pack up camp and drive to the small town of Mto Wu Mbu not far from the gateway to Safari country. We arrive in time for lunch, put up our tents, and sort out what we want to take out on safari. In the afternoon we take a very interesting tour through the plantations and local farming area. Mto Wu Mbu is an oasis in the middle of a semi-arid desert with rice and bananas being the most farmed produce in the area. They even grow and are famous for red bananas! However, what makes Mto Wu Mbu so unique and interesting, is that there are over 70 different cultural groups living in the area. While we won’t meet all of them we will have the opportunity to meet some and learn what is culturally important to them. After a fascinating afternoon we compliment the day with a traditional meal in a traditional home. The meal consists of whatever is in season at the time but often includes ugali (maize flour mixed with water), sukima wiki (a lovely collard), bean stew made with fresh red kidney beans, kachumbari a tomato, onion and coriander salad, and matoki mashed plantain. Everything is prepared fresh and natural and this is a fascinating evening spent with a local family. Accommodation: camping, Tembo Campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we pack up camp, say farewell to the overland truck for a few days as we climb into our smaller 4x4 safari vehicles and head for the Serengeti National Park. We make our way toward the gates of the Serengeti NP, arriving around lunchtime. We enjoy our packed lunch and walk to the viewpoint to take some pictures of the famous Serengeti plains before an afternoon game drive. The Serengeti National Park needs no introduction, teeming with wildlife across the plains it promises to not disappoint. Famous for its plains and wooded areas, we look for lion, zebra, gazelles, cheetah, elephants, hippo, jackal, ostrich, mongoose, eland, wildebeest, dik dik, impala and hyena to name a few. If we are very lucky we may even spot a leopard resting in the trees. We slowly meander along small dirt tracks and stopping to photograph a plethora of wildlife as they continue to graze totally unperturbed by our presence. The Serengeti NP is one of the best parks to spot large prides of lions with generations of lions from the old matriarch male with an impressive mane to playful young cubs. We game drive until the sun starts to disappear over the horizon. The day will be long but the thrill of seeking and finding wildlife is exhilarating. After dark, the sounds of the African night may be heard outside our window, making the whole wilderness experience truly memorable. Come evening, we arrive at camp and enjoy a fresh hearty meal prepared by our crew, before falling asleep in our comfortable tents, under Serengeti stars, to the sounds of the wild. Accommodation: camping, Seronera campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

We wake early in the morning, most likely at sunrise to see the incredible orange, red and purple colours that magically paint the vast Serengeti plains and after breakfast we continue game driving through the Serengeti. The early morning is the best time to spot cats, so we head for the plains and look for cheetah and lions; along the way we stop at the hippo pools and watch hippos wallowing happily in the shallow waters. We slowly make our way out of the Serengeti National Park toward the next park, the Ngorongoro Crater. We arrive at our campsite on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater in the late afternoon and make camp. Camping on the crater can be rather chilly but again, is another wild experience that is second to none! Accommodation: camping, Simba campsite

Meals:  B,L,D

Our game drive today starts early in the morning and as we descend 600m to the bottom of the Crater we are amazed at the concentration of wildlife that are everywhere, all over the Crater floor. The Ngorongoro Crater makes up only a small part of the Ngorongoro Conservation area and is where the animals are most concentrated. The fertile soil in this ancient volcano ensures a constant supply of sweet green grass making it the perfect breeding grounds. The Ngorongoro Crater is home to the elusive critically endangered black Rhino and a number of very old “retired” bull elephants. We enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater and spend about 6 hours game viewing in this unique park. At nearly 2300m, the crater is one of the last refugees for the endangered black rhino in northern Tanzania; the rhino population here is carefully protected and they are quite commonly seen. With over 30,000 animals, the Ngorongoro Crater can be regarded as a “Garden of Eden”. The 100 sq km caldera also has the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa. We will be zooming around in 4x4s today, making sure we have the best opportunity to spot "The Big 5". Watch for lions, wildebeest, buffalo, reedbuck, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled! As we climb our way out of the Ngorongoro Crater we see just how incredible it is and why it is still a favourite destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. We make our way out of the Ngorongoro Crater as we return to Arusha and the Meserani Snake Park Campsite for our final night in Africa. Along the way we will stop at a curio (souvenir) shop for a spot of shopping for those wanting a memento! Back at camp tonight, we will enjoy a Farewell Dinner at our campsite, specially prepared by our crew and celebrate the incredible experiences shared and bid a final farewell to Tanzania! Accommodation: camping, Meserani Snake Park

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast this morning, tents and bags will be packed up and arrangements made for a trip into town for any last minute sightseeing and souvenir shopping. In the early afternoon an included private airport transfer will take you to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight home. Your flight home is with Kenya Airways, departing Kilimanjaro at 18:20

Meals:  B,L

Your flight lands at Bangkok Airport at 12:05 today and once clearing customs, we have private minibuses waiting to take us to our Bangkok Stopover Hotel which is a 10 minute ride away. Our hotel is incredibly comfortable with WIFI access, pools, spa, opportunities for a massage, gym and more, making this a welcome relaxation and rejuvenation stopover after your Tanzania Adventure! Please note that dinner is not included, but can be arranged at the hotel at an additional cost. Accommodation: Best Western Premier Amaranth Bangkok Airport

Meals:  B

You depart Bangkok today at 0900 on TG477 and will land back in Brisbane on the 10th December at 21:05pm. All services finish on arrival at Brisbane Airport.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 18 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 17 dinners
  • 17 nights fully supported camping (quality comfy tents and all camp supplies including mattresses, camping chairs, kitchen equipment, camping fees). 1 night 5 star hotel in Bangkok
  • Return Airfares with Thai Airways and Kenya Airways
  • Private transport in custom built overland safari truck
  • Return Airfares with Thai Airways and Kenya Airways
  • Customized 4x4 safari vehicles
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Napenda Solar Community workshop
  • All national park fees, approx USD382 per person
  • All sightseeing as indicated
  • Professional English-speaking World Youth Adventures Tour Leader, safari crew, cooks and drivers
  • Bottled water

What's Not Included

  • The budget for purchasing the Solar power systems resources. A per person suggestion is USD230 per person. Please see Fundraising section in these trip notes for further information
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tanzania Visa (USD$50)
  • Tips (not compulsory)
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (mandatory - please ask for a quote)
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Snacks and drinks outside of what is provided
  • Optional activities outside activities listed - eg: Ballooning in the Serengeti - USD$550

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:21 Days
Starting Point:Arusha
Finishing Point:Arusha
Activities:Service Learning Community Project
Wildlife Safari
Adventure Touring
Grade:Adventure Touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4235