Arrive in Stone Town and make your way to our joining point hotel. There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel (check-in time is approximately 3pm) and enjoy the city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town is a captivating labyrinth of narrow streets and winding alleyways. Lose yourself in the buzz of the markets, wander the bustling bazaars, and check out the many mosques and grand Arab residences. You could spend hours just wandering the alleys and squares, drinking potent coffee from pavement vendors or buying local snacks, such as sesame bread, from scores of tiny cafes. Optional activities include a city tour or a tour of the Jozani Forest. Zanzibar, 'the spice island,' has an interesting culture and history as the centre of the slave and spice trades in the 1800s. Zanzibar is one of the most fascinating places in East Africa, and despite a heavy increase in tourism since the early 1990s still retains much of its authenticity. Thanks to an ambitious and far-reaching preservation programme funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan Foundation, many famous old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being renovated.
On the morning of Day 2, you will be collected by taxi and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Jambinai where you will be volunteering for the next few days. G Adventures has partnered with African Impact, an African-based facilitator of volunteer projects, as a way to provide travellers with an opportunity to give back and have a true cultural experience while helping out local communities at the same time. While in Zanzibar we will be volunteering at a variety of programmes in the village of Jambiani. Our days will be spent assisting teachers and students in local schools, and organizing sports activities for children and youth from the community. Please note that due to the short time volunteering, much of your time will be in an assisting role than a full-time one. Jambiani is located on the southern part of Zanzibar’s beautiful and quiet east coast. About an hour’s drive from Stone Town, Jambiani is a long village stretched along the coastline, with stunning white-sand beaches that seem to go on for miles. Here you will find a community operating at a leisurely pace amidst the warm and humid climate. Economic activities in the village include fishing, subsistence level farming, seaweed farming, and tourism, much of which only provides seasonal employment—unemployment levels in the area are very high. Here in Jambiani you will not only witness incredible sunrises and enjoy the warm waters, but more importantly gain a deep insight into life on the island. After your days work, relax on the white-sand beaches and cool off in the warm tropical waters of Jambiani. Programmes with which we will be volunteering include: Education and Community Programme: There is a great deal of opportunity for volunteers to assist students and teachers in local schools. The local government school in Jambiani has about 1300 students and on average, only 20% of the students pass their government exams. Those that continue their education past the age of 13 or 14 must attend a school outside of their village. Although English is widely spoken in areas frequented by tourists, a large percentage of Zanzibar’s population has limited English language skills. Schools are very appreciative of help from English-speakers in helping children master the language. Due to a lack of teachers with science and computer training, volunteer assistance in these areas is also needed. Preschools There are 4 preschools in Jambiani and our time in each will be spent: - Teaching English to children and teachers through posters, pictures, games etc - Singing and dancing with children in English and local languages - Developing the children’s creative skills through crafts such as painting, drawing and colouring - Playing games with the children to aid in their physical and social development - General upkeep of the school to ensure it remains a suitable place in which to learn Primary and Secondary schools Many of Zanzibar’s schools have facilities with very basic, if not ill-equipped facilities. This, combined with frequent staffing shortages, has forced many schools to have two separate learning sessions each day in an effort to accommodate the vast number of students eager to learn. Our time in the schools will be spent: - Co-ordinating extra English tutoring before and after classes for students and teachers - Organizing and coordinating sports afternoons with the students - Helping clean, maintain and improve the schools’ grounds and classrooms
We leave Jambiani and make our way to Stone Town, where we catch our flight to Arusha. On arrival in Arusha we travel to our hotel where we meet other G Adventures travellers joining us for the safari portion of the tour. Arusha, Tanzania’s “safari capital,” is the most important centre in northern Tanzania. A modern town with markets and services, as well as many national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a great base for your safari trip. Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture, with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Unfortunately in recent years many local farmers have been badly hit by a coffee crisis, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood. Arusha, named for the local Wa-arusha people who have lived here for hundreds of years, is a historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the documents ceding independence to Tanzania (from the UK) were signed here. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; the establishment of the tribunal and its resulting employment has significantly impacted the local economy.
Approximate Distance: 130 km Estimated Travel Time: 2-3 hrs After breakfast, we make our way to Lake Manyara National Park and take part in a village tour to learn a little about what a typical village in the area is like. The village - Mto wa Mbu, whose name means "mosquito river," has over 18,000 inhabitants from 120 tribes. This two hour tour will take you from the village's local market through several different farms, local huts, and artisan shops, and back to the market, giving you the opportunity to get a true glimpse of northern Tanzanian culture!! After lunch in the village spend the afternoon touring and viewing wildlife in the park. This area is truly stunning, as the western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment provides a backdrop for your search of the park's phenomenal birdlife, tree-climbing lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippos. The afternoon is spent game viewing along the main road that winds for several kilometers through a cool, lush, mature groundwater forest dominated by large fichus trees and a tangle of green epiphytes. The name Manyara is derived from the Masai word “Emanyara”, which is a Euphorbia species of plant that is found around a family homestead in the area. The lake itself is a shallow, alkaline lake stretching 50km at the base of the sheer 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment. This forms part of the national park that covers an area on roughly 330km sq. Lake Manyara National Park is home to the giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees and grassy flood plains. The contrasts of this area are simply breathtaking, with the open plains, huge escarpment, central soda lake, dense woodlands, and distance volcanic peaks coming together in an area best described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. Animals such as blue monkeys, hippo, impala, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog, and giraffe all roam the park’s territory. The park is also home to legendary tree-climbing lions, and also has small populations of leopard. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s bird life, with over 400 species having been recorded within the parks boundaries. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Approximate Distance: 220 km Estimated Travel Time: 5-6 hrs Today marks an early start as we visit a local Masai village before continuing on to the Serengeti, one of Africa's premier game parks. The park is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay. As we drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. On day 5, after an early rise we enjoy an early morning game drive, returning for a hearty lunch followed by a brief but well-deserved rest. Continue your search for the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains. The Serengeti National Park is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The Serengeti, which derives its name from the Masai for “endless plain”, is the jewel of Tanzania’s protected areas, together with the Masai Mara and the Ngorongoro Conservation area it protects the most varied and greatest collection of wildlife on earth. With the Big Five, the Small Five and the extensive amounts of wildlife, this region offers arguably the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. That said, with its vast size and varied terrain, game viewing is only one aspect of the Serengeti - the scenery is simply breathtaking. The Masai people arrived into the Serengeti plains in the 17th century, displacing the Datoga pastoralists who had previously lived there. They lived an undisturbed, nomadic life in the region for hundred of years, until the first westerner, American Stewart Edward White, passed through in 1913. He recorded the plains in the chronicles of a journey that began in Nairobi, Kenya. What he wrote still applies today: “... We walked for miles over burnt out country... Then I saw the green trees of the river, walked 2 miles more and found myself in paradise” . There is no bad time to visit the Serengeti as every season has its own special highlight – even the rainy season has the daily thunder and lightening to look forward to. Changing seasons and light patterns form the most beautiful backdrop to view Africa’s majestic and incredible wildlife. It has more than 1.6 million herbivores and thousands of predators. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are the animals most commonly found in the region. This area is most famous for the migration that takes place every year; in October over a million herbivores travel toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River from the hills to the north. They continue west across the Serengeti, and then north once again, crossing the Mara River, after the rains around April, and often totals more than 800km. This phenomenon is sometimes also called the Circular Migration. Over 250,000 wildebeest alone will die along the journey from Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.
Approximate Distance: 160 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Before leaving the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning game drive to see the animal kingdom come to life in this incredible expanse of grassland savannah. You will return and break camp, and journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa's best game viewing. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are stunning, and there is an ever-present abundance of wildlife, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. You will arrive at your campsite at the crater rim in the late afternoon. The 8300km sq Ngorongoro Conservation Area is named after its central feature, the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and arguably its most spectacular natural arena. Ngorongoro Crater has often been described as a wonder of the world, not only because of its geological significance, but also because it serves as an extraordinary natural sanctuary for one of Africa’s densest populations of large mammals. The Ngorongoro was part of the original Serengeti National Park proclaimed in 1951, but it was made a separate conservation area in 1956 so that the Masai could graze their cattle there. The Ngorongoro Crater became a World Heritage Site in 1978. Land in the conservation area is unique to Tanzania as it provides protection for the wildlife whilst allowing human habitation. The landscape is made up of a blend of volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests, and the wildlife is extensive. The southern and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley, which also prevents animal migration in these directions. The annual ungulate migration passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with wildebeest and zebra moving south into the area in December and moving north in June. The area has healthy resident populations of most species of wildlife.
Distance: 200 km (3-4hrs) After breakfast embark on a half-day crater tour. The rich pasture and permanent water of the crater floor supports a resident population of between 20,000 and 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland, and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervet monkeys. All these animals in turn support large predators such as lion and leopard, and scavengers such as hyena and jackals. After this fabulous experience within the crater, we have to leave the wildlife behind us and start heading back to Arusha, where you can enjoy the last safari evening with your travel companions and say your goodbyes before departing the next day.
You are free to depart at any time on Day 7, though remember check out from the hotel is approx 10am.