Welcome to Tanzania! You will arrive to Arusha to begin your journey.
Explore the incredible wildlife of Tanzania on this ultimate safari adventure. Ride through both the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorogoro Crater, spotting the famous big five animals, and learning about conservation and human-wildlife interaction along the way. Then, take a short plane ride to Zanzibar where you will learn about the historic island spice trade, experience a sailing safari out on the open water, snorkel, and relax on the beautiful beaches. What’s not to enjoy on this awesome animal adventure?!
All of Rustic Pathways scheduled group flights to Tanzania depart from New York. All scheduled group flights to Africa are escorted by a Rustic Pathways Flight Leader. The flight departs New York in the evening and takes about 16 hours. During your flight take the time to get to know other students on your flight, get some sleep in preparation for your arrival into Africa.
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. You will arrive into Arusha, Tanzania in the early evening and will transfer to the Rustic Pathways hotel. Spend the night getting to know the staff and as part of your initial orientation, you will be taught many aspects of Tanzania protocols and expectations of behavior.
Depart early morning from Arusha to experience the magnificent wildlife in Tanzania’s richest game park. Learn about animal behavior, conservation, tribal customs, and wildlife-human interaction from your safari drivers, as you can ask them just about anything! During your time in the Serengeti you will spend the nights camping out among the wildlife under brilliant blanket of stars carpeting the African sky.
Spend time in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Tanzania’s most important protected areas and world-famous national parks. 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. IF you ask them, your guide will teach you to track animals, paying particular interest to any species we have yet to see. In the afternoon of the fifth day, drive to Kilimanjaro airport and hop on a quick flight to Zanzibar, where ancient Islamic ruins, dense jungle, noble Arabic houses, and white, sandy, palm-fringed beaches coexist.
After several days on the dry plains of the Serengeti, awake today on the Island of Spice, a place rich with history and a melting pot of different cultures. Spend today 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 colors and textures that surround you.
Launch from the beach on a traditional wooden sailing down into the waters of the Menai Bay Conservation Area, home to dolphins, coral reefs, and various tropical sea life. Snorkel in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean, then take a break for a phenomenal seafood buffet and sunbathing on the beach at Kwale Island. Sail back to Zanzibar island in the late afternoon and engage in a heartwarming closing Rustic tradition over dinner.
Say goodbye to Zanzibar as you fly back to Arusha, a small African town nestled in the shadow of Mount Meru—Tanzania’s second-highest peak. Head to the market for some last minute souvenir shopping and enjoy the chance to recount some of the wonderful memories you have of the last few days before your evening international flight home.
Return home to the sights, sounds, and smells you grew up with, and the loved ones who will greet you at the airport as you say goodbye to your newfound friends. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what you and your group accomplished. What challenged you? How did you engage with the place and the people that you visited? And more importantly, how will you amplify their stories as you tell others about the growth-filled experience you’ve just had?
Kwaheri na safari njema! Goodbye and safe travels!
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity.
The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
“Optional Activities” are fully included in the cost of your program, but you can choose to not do these activities.
“Add-On Activities” are not included in the cost of your program and must be paid for separately. Add-on activities are rare, but include things like skydiving, bungee jumping, or weekend side-trips. Not every program has add-on activities.
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All programs in Tanzania connect well with other programs in Tanzania. Any programs that run consecutive weeks can be combined. (Remember: start and end dates are inclusive of travel times from the United States, so the listed start and end dates of consecutive programs will overlap by two days.)
Tanzania’s geographical location makes it difficult to connect seamlessly with the other countries we operate in. We suggest any student interested in connecting programs should first return home and wait for the following week until the next program begins. This will allow enough time to smoothly integrate into the upcoming trip.
In previous years most students visiting Tanzania have been able to purchase and receive their visa upon arrival into Arusha. However due to recent changes we have been advised to require travelers to apply for their visas in advance of travel.
Students attending a service oriented program in Tanzania (Faces of East Africa, Culture and the Crater, or African Wildlife Conservation) must obtain a travel visa for “Other Business” for their entry.
For travelers on adventure programs (Climbing Kili or Safari and a Splash of Paradise) a travel visa for “Leisure, Holiday” will suffice.
Once again, we have partnered with G3 Global Services to assist in the visa application process. You can review the updated visa requirements on their site at www.g3visas.com/rusticpathways.html. Since requirements for visas vary by nationality, G3 is only able to process applications for US citizens. However, they have provided additional information to assist families residing outside of the United States.
Should you choose to apply for your visa directly through the embassy or via another visa service agency please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require additional assistance.
A Flight Leader will meet all the students originating from the United States at JFK airport, and will be with them until their arrival into Tanzania. A Flight Leader will also be present on the return flight home.
This flight includes about 21 hours of travel, starting from your take-off in New York.
The advertised trip does include international travel time. To get a sense of the true in-country time, note that our programs start and end on Wednesday evenings.
Arusha, the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro National Park, and Zanzibar island.
There is a short internal flight from Arusha to Zanzibar. Typically this includes a short layover in Dar Es Salaam on either or both legs of the flight.
Each program in Rustic Pathways will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR.
Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders or Wilderness EMTs.
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 students. Additionally, each program maintains at least 2 primary program leaders, one male and one female.
Rustic Pathways uses sterilization techniques or purchases bottled water to ensure that all drinking water for students is potable and safe to drink. We ask students to bring reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic usage.
Students are allowed to bring phones on their Rustic Pathways program, but must abide by our cell phone policy. Students will not be allowed to use their phones during group activities, (whether as a camera or as a means of communication) nor at any other time where it is disruptive to the group dynamic. If students are unable to abide by this policy, disciplinary action may be taken.
Tanzania uses United Kingdom-style plugs at 220-250 V / 50 Hz (the USA is 120 V / 60 Hz).
We are in Tanzania in their winter, so in the villages and cities, the weather will usually be sunny and warm during the day (high 70s F), and cool at night (50s F). It is the dry season, so thankfully we do not expect much rain. On Zanzibar, you can expect warmer temperatures and more humidity.
On your first night in country you will be staying a comfortable guesthouse situated in Arusha. There are hot showers, sit down toilets and cozy beds for each room. During the nights spent in the Serengeti, students will be staying in camp style tents that hold two people at a time. The camping area is designated by the National Park service. There are squat toilets and sinks/water taps that run off of collected rainwater for washing. While in Zanzibar, accommodation will be at pleasant hotels in close proximity to the beach. There are hot showers, sit down toilets and comfortable beds.
While in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater we have cooks that travel along with us to the campsite. They have worked closely with Rustic Pathways in the past and provide westernized dishes along with the occasional local dish to try. When the students continue on to Zanzibar, they will be eating at restaurants and the local fish market, which is an annual favorite. The culinary highlight of all the programs in Tanzania is a beachside fish barbecue on the sea sailing day.
Flushing sit-down toilets and hot showers will be available on the first night in Arusha and at the hotel on Zanzibar. While on safari, you can expect outhouse-style bathrooms and cold showers.
You will not have access to phone during this trip. You will not have access to internet while on safari, but the hotel on Zanzibar will have internet access that you can use at the program guide’s discretion and as long as it does not interfere with group activities or discussion.
You will not have a chance to do laundry on this trip. If you are connecting to another program, it will be best to do your laundry on that program.
Generally speaking, there are usually a couple more girls than boys, but it is difficult to say with each trip being different.
This program has a fair bit of travel, as you will head to the far north of the country for the Serengeti, and then work back toward Arusha via Ngorongoro. There will be several hours of driving and most of your day will be spent in safari vehicles until you get to Zanzibar.
Airport runs are done via private bus that we contract, and the safari transport is in the safari vehicles themselves. Transport on Zanzibar is arranged via private van or bus with our partner organizations.
Tanzania is considered the most stable country in East Africa and now sees over a million tourists every year! Safety tips for traveling here are much like traveling anywhere – be conscious of your belongings, keep money hidden, travel in groups, and do your research beforehand. All of which we do and teach you to do as a young traveler.
There are a couple of health issues to note specific to Tanzania. The country is considered endemic for malaria and dengue fever. Both are vector-borne illnesses spread by mosquitos; malaria has both prophylactics and antibiotics available for prevention and treatment, but there is no cure or vaccine for dengue. Those most at risk for serious complications from dengue are those who have contracted it before. These diseases present the greatest risk during the rainy season (March-May), and near large bodies of water or in low-lying areas, such as the more southern city of Dar Es Salaam. Risk in the inland north where we operate is much lower. The risk on Zanzibar, where Safari & Splash students visit, is somewhat elevated in comparison, though Zanzibar has not had some of the outbreaks that have afflicted Dar Es Salaam. The fact that we travel during the drier and cooler winter months in Tanzania helps reduce that risk. Nevertheless, students should be vigilant on all programs and Zanzibar in particular to use bug spray with DEET and to wear long sleeves and pants, particularly at dusk and dawn. Our hotels on Zanzibar do provide bed nets.
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the International SOS and Center for Disease Control websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
For entry, we will note that yellow fever or other vaccinations are currently not required to enter Tanzania. The exception is if you have spent time in a yellow fever-endemic country (such as Kenya). You will want to review the countries to which you have previously traveled to determine if you will need to show proof of vaccination for entry.
International SOS is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to International SOS benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access to International SOS’ extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program. For more information please visit our International SOS webpage.
In Arusha, there are good clinics with English-speaking staff within a ten-minute walk from the basehouse, and as the primary launching point for tourism in the region, there are a number of well-equipped hospitals in the city.
While on safari, we are never more than one hour away from modern National Park Clinic, and in the Serengeti are also quite close to Nairobi’s modern healthcare system, though we would only transfer students via ISOS assistance to Nairobi in a serious emergency. Good clinics are available in Tanzania in all the places we travel on safari. On Zanzibar, we are never more than 20 minutes from a clinic on the island; while on sailing safari, you will not stray far from the main island and the boats are equipped with motors to speed return to the island if necessary.
Special circumstances can be accommodated as long as we have ample warning. Note that vegans can be more difficult to accommodate based on the food available in Tanzania, though not impossible. Vegans and those with severe allergies should consult with the Country Director or a Personal Travel Advisor before committing to this program.
There may be some mosquitos, depending on the region. Safari will likely have very few, while Zanzibar may have more. The hotels on Zanzibar do provide bed nets, and bug spray with DEET is encouraged during the all parts of the program and mandatory while on Zanzibar.
Personal gifts, internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.
$200-400 for snacks before the safari, souvenirs in Zanzibar and tips for local safari and Zanzibar guides. Note that our program leaders provide the standard tips, but many students develop good relationships with their guides and choose to give additional tips on their own.
A reusable water bottle, sleeping bag, and headlamp with spare batteries are required.
Absolutely! When we are outside of Stone Town and are on sailing safari or actually on a tourist beach, students may wear shorts, swimsuits, and other acceptable summer wear.
But while in or near Stone Town or residential areas, you must dress conservatively and act respectfully at all times. Our requirements here are similar to in the villages on service trips, but just a little more strict, as Zanzibar is a majority-Muslim island and Stone Town reflects a more conservative standard in terms of dress. As we do everywhere, we expect our students and staff to be respectful of the cultures and the people we visit. The clothing requirements are fairly straightforward:
Shorts – none. No shorts allowed on either boys or girls.
Leggings or yoga pants – not to be worn by either boys or girls. If the pants are paired with a truly long T-shirt, then leggings will be acceptable.
Loose-fitting pants, capris, and long skirts – acceptable and the only option in Stone Town
Tops – shoulders must be covered on both boys and girls. No tank tops or spaghetti straps. Shirts must be high-cut.
Gum – Not exactly a dress code item, but it’s considered mildly disrespectful to chew gum while walking around Stone Town.
Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:
Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.
A school backpack is ideal as it will be used for day trips.
A 50-70 Liter duffel bag or backpack is ideal. A wheeled bag is only suitable if it can be carried like a duffel over rough terrain.
(Travel size bottles in Ziploc bags)
Welcome to Tanzania! You will arrive to Arusha to begin your journey.
The crown jewel of East Africa’s national parks, view the sights and sounds of Tanzania’s wildlife.
Descend into the famous Crater, rimmed by lush forests and filled with zebras and wildebeest.
Rest overnight at a charming tented camp.
Head to the Island of Spice! Stone Town is a historic on the west coast of the island, full of winding streets and delicious food.
Enjoy a relaxing day of snorkeling, swimming, and sandy beaches as you take a sailing safari around Menai Bay and dine on a scrumptious seafood buffet.