Cultural Orientation Week Tanzania

Learn more about Tanzania, bond with new friends, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Enjoy your kick start week into a new country and its way of life! This week will take you around to important locations related to Tanzania’s culture and history. The week will feature orientation classes and visits to a Maasai Village and other places of interest, all which will help you integrate into the local culture and give you everything you need to settle into this developing part of the world!

 

 

Program Description

This program is an essential way to understand Tanzania’s culture and give you an opportunity to learn about its rich history. Not only will it make your trip more enjoyable, it will also help you to understand it’s way of life better and become familiar with the location, making any longer stay more comfortable.

The Culture Week will be packed with an introduction to local customs and traditions, do’s and dont’s and language classes, as well as an immersion experience in a Maasai village. You will visit highlights of the amazing town of Monduli, which is a bustling and developing township with rich history and many places of interest such as museums, art galleries and monuments, where you’ll be sure to learn more about this country’s struggle with independence and progress. You will also have plenty of opportunities to explore around the town, and enjoy the scenic roads outlining the wondrous outdoors.

We’re sure you’ll love participating in our Tanzanian cooking class and taste your own food, but don’t worry, we’ll have chances to dine in the local eateries and taste the local cuisine too!

 

Aims & Objectives

  • Help you memorize helpful phrases in the local language
  • Broaden your knowledge of the local customs, history and culture
  • Provide a full induction, preparing you for a longer stay

Schedule

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Intensive Swahili Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Hike up the beautiful Monduli mountains  

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Maasai Museum/Snake Park & Handicraft Gallery
  • Lunch
  • Visit local Maasai Livestock Market
  • Cooking class
  • Dinner (enjoy what you helped to prepare)

Wednesday

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Arusha town: Cultural Heritage Art Gallery, local craft market, etc.
  • Lunch
  • Visit Arusha: Museum, Monuments, and supermarket
  • Dinner

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Depart for Maasai Village Homestay
  • Present a food gift to community elders to be shared by community
  • Introduction to Maasai culture
  • Lunch
  • Enjoy activities with community hosts and their children
  • Dinner

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Handicrafts: Beadwork session with Maasai women – learn how to make your own jewelry!

Or Engage with Maasai men herding animals and milking cows

  • Engage with community in daily morning tasks
  • Depart for Monduli Center
  • Lunch
  • Evaluation meeting and placement introduction/or free time
  • Dinner

Location

You will be staying in the district of Monduli located within the Arusha region, in northeastern Tanzania. The Monduli district is an extremely popular spot for tourists to learn how the local Maasai people live as well as observe the natural environment. Numerous attractions such as Lake Manyara, Mount Meru, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro can be found nearby and are the wonders of the region.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You will be staying in our local program center or with a host family, to provide you with a degree of basic comfort. There may be western-style toilets, but the traditional squat-style flush toilet may also be what is in use. Sometimes water will need to be heated for showers and these may be bucket style. The accommodation is on a local school campus and there is lots of green space to enjoy. We have a big garden available where you can relax during the daytime, and during clear nights, you can even star gaze at the Milky Way from here! We suggest that all participants get a local SIM card and buy a bundle to maintain personal 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 may need to be heated in some cases

Food Arrangements

Meals are inspired by the local cuisine and consist of a lot of corn, rice, potatoes, and bananas. Beef, goat meat, beans, and a few green leafy vegetables will help to add nutrients to your daily meals.

Facilities

There is a multitude of shops located within walking distance of the accommodation as well as small local restaurants, salons, pharmacy, an ATM and local markets). The hospital is also within walking distance and is well equipped.

There is a local “dala-dala” (minibus) area that can take you to Arusha, which is a major city in Tanzania where you can find numerous markets, shops, malls, restaurants, supermarkets and everything you might need within an hour.

Mandatory Orientation Day

On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.

Schedule

  • Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
  • Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Intensive Swahili Language Lessons.
  • Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
  • Lunch
  • Hike up the beautiful Monduli mountains

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Expanding over plains, forests, and savannas, Ngorongoro Conservation Area hosts Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera where incredible wildlife coexists with the Maasai. In here, you will be able to find wildlife… in a crater! A must when in Tanzania as it is one of the most emblematic locations of the continent.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is famous for its population of elephants and the symbolic Baobab tree. During the dry season, wild animals inhabit the park and you will be able to find zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and more! While not as common, you might be able to find a lion here as well if you are lucky!

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti is probably the most worldwide known National Park in the world. It is believed to hold the largest population of lions in the world! Aside from that, cheetahs, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos live here. Make sure you allow yourself at least two days to visit and stay overnight in either a campsite or a lodge. Serengeti cannot be done in just one day as it is so huge!

Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

The home of Mount Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. While it is not the best place to spot wildlife compared to Ngorongoro or Serengeti, it is still the home of many species including giraffes, warthogs, Cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more! However, the main attractions here are the landscapes that line the park to every side: to the west, you will find Meru Crater and the Jekukumia River. To the south, you will find Ngurdoto Crater and to the north.east, Momelia Lakes, which vary in color due to algae and are made even brighter by many different species of birds who love to have a swim in the water!

Lake Manyara National Park

During the wet season, pink flamingos brighten up the lake, which make it the go-to place for bird watchers. They do leave during the wet season, but Masai Lions, Leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs can be found here year-round!

Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro

Moshi is located about two and half hours away from Monduli and can be easily reached from Monduli by taking a “dala dala” to Arusha and then another one to Moshi from there.

Moshi is a sleepy town with a Western vibe as it is the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb! On a clear day, you can get excellent views of the highest mountain in Africa (tip: head over to Moshi Train Station for a top-notch view. This station is no longer in use for transportation purposes, but the locals have made the most out of it by placing some chairs and selling drinks and snacks with a view!).

Kikuletwa Hot Springs

A lesser-known but still amazing attraction located between Arusha and Moshi are Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot, but its temperature is perfect for swimming and relaxing. It is known as an oasis as it is covered with jungle and the water here is so blue that you wouldn’t believe! It is a favorite go-to place for locals and expats alike and there is even a rope you can use to dive into the water with style.

Arusha

Arusha is one of the main cities of Tanzania and is easy to reach from Monduli in less than an hour and a half. From here, most safari companies depart to many of the national parks surrounding it, so it is your go-to place for wildlife! In Arusha, you will be able to find a myriad of things to do – from Maasai markets selling crafts to bring back home, to cinemas, shopping malls, Western food, and more!

Hiking Around Monduli

Monduli is set amidst lush mountains that are a great opportunity for hiking off-the-beaten-path. There are numerous trails, one of which leads to a gorgeous waterfall. Speak to our coordinator to arrange, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots in order to conserve the area.

Iringa and Ruaha National Park

Not that close by, but an interesting place nonetheless if you have the time after finishing our programs! Ruaha National Park is a much lesser visited place for wildlife, but its few visitors are never disappointed by its beauty! In fact, it is the largest National Park in Tanzania and boasts cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!

Zanzibar

While a bit far, it is possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha airstrip, a small airport that operates domestic flights and is not too far from our center! Zanzibar is known for its sandy white beaches and unique culture. While here, don’t miss Stone Town, a place that is emblematic for its mazes and spices (take a spice tour for sure!). Another must is a visit to Prison Island, where you can spot dolphins and marine life. Travel north or east of the island for some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best!

Transportation

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

  • Arusha
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