Welcome to Rustic Pathways in Tanzania!
Rustic Pathways first ventured into Africa in 1996. In 2006 we opened our first programs in Tanzania and have been running enriching community service and adventure trips for high school students here ever since. We also offer private trips for groups who would like to experience the majesty and diversity of Tanzania.
Group Travel in Tanzania
We custom design our Journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your Journey through Tanzania:
Rustic Pathways has developed various long-term partnerships with communities and local organisations in Tanzania. Take part in a number of different community service projects throughout Tanzania that will benefit the people of this culturally rich country. Some of our service projects that you could support include:
School Service: Volunteer at Poli Primary School, which is located in Njoro Village. Spend time within the local schools, tutoring students in English, helping with classroom activities and getting involved with local sporting events.
Construction work: Projects will involve building two new classrooms for the school of Njoro Village and painting the classrooms that Rustic Pathways’ students built last year. You may also help upgrade school buildings and build new amenities. Rustic Pathways works in a number of villages throughout Tanzania so the diversity of projects is broad.
Health Assessments: Learn about the health, food, and water needs of rural Tanzania in an ever-more challenging climate, and understand how you can help! Conduct a Health Assessment at the primary school to take health measurements, which will be used as a baseline by Save the Rain in their post-project evaluation efforts.
Sustainable development: Sustain the village’s future by learning about, planting, and tending the Moringa tree – Tanzania’s drought- and flood-resistant “miracle” tree – that can serve as a source of income for residents due to its medicinal properties, as well as protect ground-water supplies.
Save the Rain: You will be paired with a student from the primary school whose family will receive a residential rainwater harvesting system, and you will get to know your family and start by collecting water and dry stones for the build. You’ll quickly learn what it feels like to walk for your water and will be that much more excited to get started on the water tank for your family! Spend the next three days constructing the residential rainwater harvesting systems alongside 1-2 fellow Rustic Pathways students,* a local mason and a local laborer. Many of the masons are women in the communities that Save the Rain has worked in, who now not only have a rainwater tank but also have job skills and a source of income for their families! This project saves women and children from walking hours per day just to get unsafe water. They can instead spend time in school, or working to improve their economic situation, resulting in better health and education for the whole family.
Sustainable Agriculture: Learn about sustainable agriculture and cultivate part of the school farm, improving food security, health, and wellness for primary school students while you gain greater understanding of global food issues.
Education and Cultural Exploration
You may like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your Journey:
Zanzibar: The Island of Spice, where ancient Islamic ruins, noble Arabic houses, and white, sandy, palm-fringed beaches coexist. Spend time exploring the fragrant ingredients that give this island its nickname. Enjoy a spice tour with one of our local guides, and take this opportunity to focus on capturing the colours and textures that surround you.
Swahili Lessons: Meet with a language partner from the primary school to help them practice their English while you learn Swahili as well as engage in informal Swahili lessons from one of the older students at a remote school. He is always excited to teach students his native tongue and practice his English along the way.
Hadzabe Tribe: A guide will lead us to where the nomadic Hadzabe tribe is currently camping that day. You will get the rare chance to spend time with this endangered culture! Once we locate them, we will head straight out on the hunt, possibly even bows in hand. Through observation, as the Hadzabe speak no English, you will learn about their unique culture; one of the few nomadic tribes left on the planet. You will learn how and where they make their fires, what type of animals live around lake Eyasi, how their trained senses can track even the smallest of creatures and even visit a blacksmith who will show you how he makes the various arrowheads and tools of the tribe.
Cheetah Conservation Centre: This opportunity will bring you up close and personal with these majestic creatures while we learn about the plight of these cats and what is being done to help them.
Olduvai Gorge: Visit the Olduvai Gorge, the site where archaeologists found some of the earliest human remains. East Africa is known as the birthplace of man, and we will witness fossils thousands of years old, an intriguing and humbling experience.
Adventure and Challenge
Adventure and challenge is inherent to every Journey, however, if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:
Mt Kilimanjaro: Summit Africa’s highest mountain, with its 3 volcanic cones this extinct volcano towers at 5895m (19,340ft).
Serengeti & the Ngorongoro Crater: Two of Tanzania’s most important protected areas and world-famous national parks. Without a specific schedule or route, our game drivers allow us to follow the rhythms of the limitless wildlife as we witness the daily struggle between predators and prey. The kopjes, or massive islands of granite standing in a sea of grass, provide shelter to a great variety of animals from the elusive leopard to the tiny dik-dik. We learn to track animals, paying particular interest to any species we have yet to see.
Waterfalls: Hike to and swim in some of the locals’ favourite waterfalls and swimming locations.
Arusha National Park: Explore this national park, located about 70 km west of Mt Kili, as you hike through the majestic foothills of Mt. Meru
Sailing in a tropical paradise: Board a traditional Swahili style sailboat in Zanzibar, for the chance to snorkel, swim, and sunbathe next to the picture perfect, turquoise Indian Ocean, followed by a seafood and fresh fruit feast!
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Tanzania; it depends on how “rustic” you would like your Journey to be.
Base House: The base accommodation is located 10mins outside of the main city of Arusha. The property has been set up for Rustic Pathways to have sole use of the Country Style Bungalow’s and grounds at points throughout the year.
Tented Camping: Gender separated Safari-style tents with basic amenities.
Hotels: A variety of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels in cities and towns
Homestays: Students can homestay with local families in the villages that we visit.
Sample Itinerary (Culture and the Crater)
Village community service on the edge of the immense Ngorongoro Crater
Day 1 Welcome to Tanzania!
Spend your first night in the village getting to know your home, and its culture. Discuss your expectations and assumptions for service, cultural immersion, and exploration.
Days 2 – 4 Service With a Purpose
Focus your daily service on an education and community infrastructure project designed to provide an improved and sustainable learning environment for students. Engage in after-school games and activities with primary school students to enhance their cross-cultural competence, communication, and teamwork skills. Immerse in village culture as you learn to cook local foods, milk a cow, try to make the local style of pottery, and explore the geography of the village.
Day 5 Into the Wild
View the country through a different lens on an epic two-day safari! Spend a half day in Tarangire National Park, which has the most dense elephant population left in the world. Make the most of your safari by picking the brains of your experienced guides, who are eager to teach you everything they know about animals, their behaviors, and their environment. Overnight at a cozy tented campground over the Rift Valley, fenced for safety and comfort.
Day 6 Ngorongoro Crater
Wake up before sunrise and head to the famous Ngorongoro Crater for a game drive through dense animal populations. Experience the scenic descent into this lush valley, known for its herds of zebra and wildebeest, lion prides, and hyena packs. Get really lucky and spot the endangered black rhino, but remember, you never know what you’ll see as animals follow their own instincts. Return to Arusha in the evening.
Day 7 Return Home
Spend your final morning doing some last-minute souvenir bargaining for family and friends. Visit a local artisan social enterprise, if time permits, where Tanzanians with disabilities make high-quality crafts and goods. We look forward to seeing you again soon! Kwaheri na safari njema! Goodbye and safe travels!
Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your Journey.
There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
Please email us at email@example.com to start designing your Journey!
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.