Cultural Orientation Week Tanzania

Experience beautiful Tanzania with IVI Volunteers. Learn about your new country, make life-long friends and immerse yourself in Tanzanian culture. Enjoy exploring the local area before your project starts. You will get to visit a traditional Maasai Village to meet local tribesmen, as well as enjoying helpful lessons in Swahili Language and local customs. The week will cover everything needed to help you settle into Tanzania, learn the do's and dont's, show you where the local amenities are and to ease you in to local culture.

What Does Cultural Orientation Week Involve?

Volunteer in Tanzania with IVI! Cutural orientation week is designed to give you an insight into local customs, to learn about Tanzania’s rich history and to get to know where you will be living for the next few weeks. Give yourself a head start, getting to grips with the local area before your project starts, making your stay much more comfortable and enjoyable. This is a fantastic way to get a much better understanding of local life.

The Culture Week will be a fun packed week, introducing you to local customs and traditions, cultural do’s and dont’s and Swahili language classes. You’ll also get a truly incredible immersion experience in a Maasai village. You will visit the lovely mountain town of Monduli, which has a rich past and many places to see such as museums, art galleries and monuments, where you can learn more about Tanzania’s past struggle with independence and recent progress. There will be many opportunities to explore the town and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery.

Try a Tanzanian cooking class and get to taste it afterwards! As well cooking your own food, there are many local cafes and restaurants nearby too.

Aims & Objectives

  • Broaden your awareness of Tanzanian customs, history and culture
  • Learn useful and helpful Swahili phrases
  • Provides a full overview of everything you need to know

Schedule

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Introduction meeting, Accommodation/ house rules, Expectations, Health and Safety Tips and Preparing documents.
  • Culture introduction, Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Learn about the country’s past and Intensive Swahili Language Classes.
  • Orientation walk around local area; how to get to find local shops, and chance to buy a local a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Hike up to nearby Monduli mountains

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Maasai Museum & Snake Park, visit a Handicraft Market
  • Lunch
  • Trip to a local Maasai Livestock Market
  • Tanzanian Cooking class
  • Dinner (enjoy what you prepared in your cooking class)

Wednesday

  • Breakfast
  • Explore the town of Arusha (Cultural Heritage Art Gallery & local craft market)
  • Lunch
  • Visit Museums & Monuments in Arusha and pick up supplies from the supermarket
  • Dinner

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Leave for your Maasai Village Homestay
  • Presenting of gift to community elders and for the local community
  • Introduction to traditional Maasai culture
  • Lunch
  • Spend time with the community, your hosts and their children
  • Dinner

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Bead work lesson with Maasai ladies- they’ll teach you how to make your own jewellery!

Or Help Maasai men to herd animals and milk cows

  • Immerse yourself in daily community tasks
  • Leave for Monduli Centre
  • Lunch
  • Evaluation meeting and introduction to your placement /or free time
  • Dinner

Location

You will be staying in the mountain district of Monduli, which is situated within the Arusha region, in North-Eastern Tanzania. The Monduli district is a great place for visitors to learn how the traditional Maasai people live and to experience an authentic local village. The region is situated between the famous Mt Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti- making it a perfect place to go on a safari or trek in the mountains. Lake Manyara and Mount Meru are also popular attractions to explore in this beautiful region of Tanzania.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You have a choice to stay at the volunteer house or with a host family, which will be basic but comfortable. There will usually be western-style toilets, but some homestays will have a squat-style flush toilet in use. Sometimes showers might be a bucket style, using heated water (this just adds to the experience!). The accommodation will be on a local school campus with green spaces to enjoy on days off. From the big garden on clear nights, you can even see the Milky Way! We advise that all participants buy a cheap local SIM card for local calls and internet access.

Available Room Types

Standard Room
All meals included Yes *
Free beverages Yes **
Persons per room 2-6
Wifi in public areas No
Laundry facilities Yes ***
Safety box No
Lockable rooms Yes
Hot shower Yes ****
Private bathroom No
Bed linen Yes
Towels No
Air conditioning No
Fan No
Mosquito protection No

* 3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
** Water, coffee and tea provided
*** Buckets and brushes available
**** Water might need to be heated in some cases

Food Arrangements

Meals are usually local style, consisting of corn, rice, potatoes, and bananas. There will be nutritional daily meals of beef, goat’s meat, beans, and a leafy green vegetables.

Facilities

There are plenty of shops situated within walking distance of your accommodation, such as small local restaurants, hair salons, a pharmacy, an ATM and local markets. There is a well-equipped hospital is also within walking distance.

The local transport is called a “dala-dala” (minibus) and can take you to into Arusha, which is a large city in Tanzania. Here you can find numerous supermarkets, coffee shops, clothing shops, Western restaurants, a cinema and everything else you might need. The journey will take just over an hour.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On your first Monday in Monduli, you will take part in our orientation day, to familiarize yourself with the local areas and Tanzanian culture. Your project will continue from Tuesday onwards throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, General rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and insuring you have all your documents.
  • Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Cultural introduction, learning about Tanzania’s history and Intensive Swahili Language classes.
  • Tour around the accommodation and local area. We will show you where to find local amenities and where you can buy a sim-card.
  • Lunch
  • Hike up to nearby Monduli mountains

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the project.

Sights & Surroundings

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Home to the Ngorongoro Crater, this stunning area of vast plains, green forests and wild savannahs, sits next to the Serengeti National Park. You will see the highest concentration of animals here from lions, zebra, wildebeest and elephants. The views from the crater are absolutely stunning, with an atmospheric mountain backdrop. This should be at the top of your bucket list for Tanzania!

Serengeti National Park

Another one for your bucket list and a perfect way to spend your weekend off. The Serengeti is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the big 5 (lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo & elephant). You will also find zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, hippos, baboons, hyenas, ostriches and many more incredible animals. The best way to explore is by camping out in the open or in one of the many lodges. The area is huge, and we recommend at least 2 days here.

Tarangire National Park

A quieter park in Northern Tanzania, Tarangire is known for its large population of elephants and the incredible Baobab tree. In dry season you can spot all kinds of amazing animals that congregate to the Tarangire river. Spot anything from zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and even lions of you’re lucky.

Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro

Moshi is about a two and half hour drive from Monduli and can be easily reached using a “dala dala” or taxi to Arusha and then changing again onto Moshi from there.

Moshi is a quiet town with several Western cafes and coffee shops. It is also the closest town to the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro trek. On a clear day, you can get excellent views of Kilimanjaro right from the roadside (Tip: Moshi Train Station, which is no longer is use, has fantastic views of Africa’s highest mountain, with locals selling drinks and snacks up the top).

Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

Mount Meru is located in Arusha National Park and is the second largest mountain in Tanzania. If you’re looking to Climb Kilimanjaro ,then Mt Meru can be a great acclimatisation trek, taking you through various types of vegetation. There are also scenic trails around the mountain at ground level. Other attractions include Meru Crater, the Jekukumia River, Ngurdoto Crater and the Momelia Lakes which are known to change colour! You might even find wildlife here including giraffes, warthogs, cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more.

Lake Manyara National Park

If you love bird watching, then head to Lake Manyara during the dry season where pink flamingos flock to the vast lake. During wet season see if you can spot the lions, leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs roaming the park.

Kikuletwa Hot Springs

A somewhat ‘secret’ pool of clear blue water, situated in between Arusha and Moshi is the Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot but totally refreshing after the dusty drive getting there. Enjoyed by tourists and locals, this is a beautiful spot for relaxing and swimming in the crystal clear water, surrounded by jungle. There’s even a rope swing into the water for more fun and games. If this wasn’t on your list before, it should be now.

Arusha

Just over an hour’s drive from Monduli, Arusha is a large city in Tanzania which has many Western style eateries, a cinema, Maasai markets, shopping malls, supermarkets and a cultural centre. There are a lot of things to do here and a great way to spend your weekend. Close to the Serengeti, Arusha is a popular starting destination for wildlife safari tours.

Hiking Around Monduli

If you’re looking for off the beaten path trails then there’s no better place to look then in Monduli. There are numerous treks, one even takes you to a beautiful waterfall. You will need to ask your local coordinator to arrange certain visits, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots, this is to conserve the area.

Iringa and Ruaha National Park

If you have the time after finishing your project, Ruaha National Park is a quieter and much less visited place for wildlife viewing. It’s located in Central Tanzania, near the small and quiet town of Iringa (which is a great stop off for visiting Ruaha). The park is actually the largest in Tanzania but less frequently visited by tourists, although visitors are rarely disappointed by its natural beauty. It’s home to cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!

Zanzibar

A little further afield, it is still possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha (although several days here would be ideal). Zanzibar is known for its sandy white beaches, turquoise water and unique culture. Stone Town is an interesting town, known for its mazes and spices. Other things to do is a visit to Prison Island, where prisoners were once held but is now home to giant tortoises. You can also spot dolphins and try snorkelling off the island. The North and East of Zanzibar have some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world.

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Arusha

 

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