Travel with us to East Africa for 21 days on our teen community service trip and safari program in Tanzania.
This program gave me the opportunity to acheive one of my biggest dreams. It gave me my first taste of what it is like to travel, made me a new person, and opened my eyes to a new world.” - Chelsea H., RLT Alum
Keep scrolling to discover how to affect real and lasting change on The Road Less Traveled's summer volunteer program for teenagers!
Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rises in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland of East Africa. Kilimanjaro's sister, Mt. Meru is Tanzania's second highest mountain.
The Maasai, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic individuals, live and hunt within the Maasai Steppe, a unique ecosystem in northeastern Tanzania that covers more than 15,000 square miles. We visit with a local Maasai family living on the outskirts of Arusha. Here, we learn how the Maasai preserve their cultural norms living in a peri-urban environment. Our interaction with the Maasai is continually cherished as we observe our commonalities with compassion and curiosity.
Stretching along the base of the golden Rift Valley, the landscape of Lake Manyara is celebrated by Ernest Hemingway in Green Hills of Africa as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa.” Enjoy the lush forests surrounding the lake and search for popular wildlife including tree-climbing lions, elephants, baboons, and much more.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro’s crown jewel is a deep volcanic crater, the largest unflooded and unbroken caldera in the world. This natural wonder covers more than 100 square miles and offers breathtaking views. We will explore the crater in early morning to catch a glimpse of the elusive Black Rhino, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, and lions. Here, participants will get the chance to speak with members of the Iraqw tribe and learn about local culture and daily life.
The Ngorongoro Forest is of global importance due to the presence of globally threatened species, density of wildlife, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, and other animals. The highland plains allow wildlife to coexist with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing.
Students will work at Twende Design Lab, a social innovations center that empowers locals and visitors to implement creative solutions to solve community challenges. Participants will engage with local secondary school students, presenting their problem-solving designs to relevant community members at the end of the multi day experience.
Elephant scratching posts, wildlife tracks, and hyena hairballs mark the way to the Elephant Caves where elephants and buffalo dig for life-sustaining minerals in the soil. Areas like this are the perfect opportunity to see how African animals act in their natural habitat.
With some of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, join in on a walking safari and hunt through the lightly marked footpaths near Lake Eyasi. See the world through the eyes and experiences of both the Hadzabe and the Datoga tribes.
The Great Rift Valley is a 6,000-mile crack in the earth’s crust, stretching from Lebanon to Mozambique. It’s one of the world’s most important sites for the study of human evolution.
Visit Samaritan Village Orphanage where we will visit kids, help out with homework, and prepare and share a meal.
A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total number of hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.
Safari: Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater with Maasai Guides, Elephant Caves, Ngorongoro Forest
Swahili Language: Formal lessons and exposure within the community and country
Explore: Arusha, Twende Design Lab, Nanofilter, Samaritan Village Orphange, Shanga House, Ganako Secondary School, Mount Meru
Waterfall: Endoro waterfalls
Cultural Immersion: Maasai, Iraqw, Hadza, and Datoga communities, Mulala Women Cultural Tourism Center
Hike: Mt. Meru foothills, Endoro River Nature Trail, Elephant Caves
We sleep in bunkbeds in a dormitory. Showers are available; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability.
Tuition includes all activities and food while on the trip, along with a basic travel protection package. The Road Less Traveled has purchased the Group Protection plan post-departure benefits on behalf of all participants. If interested in the optional Cancel for Any Reason benefits please contact the RLT office for rates and information.
New York (JFK)
A leader-escorted round-trip flight will be available (but not required) for those travelers who wish to fly with a leader. Please contact our office for details.
Join in on the fun! Check out #HujamboRLT for a behind-the-scenes look at photos from past participants and leaders.
This summer we successfully ran our Colorado Wolf Refuge program allowing students to get outside, socialize with their peers, and volunteer their time. After months of quarantine and increased exposure to technology, time in the outdoors has proven to be exactly what students needed. With an abundance of caution and well defined protocols, we were able to keep students safe, healthy, and happy. We are confident that we are able to continue offering life changing experiences in the outdoors, mitigating risk to keep students safe. We encourage you to learn more here about our policies related to COVID-19.
After we’ve all gathered at JFK International Airport in New York, we depart on the escorted flight for Kilimanjaro Airport. Once we arrive in Arusha, we head straight to our home-away-from-home at the Center House. After orientation, the group will explore Arusha on foot as we learn the lay of the land.
We’ll join Twende Design Lab, a social innovations center that empowers community members to implement creative solutions to solve community challenges. We will participate in Creative Capacity Building Training and learn the "build-test-iterate" method of innovation. Time will be spent walking through case studies, engaging with local secondary school students, working on current neighborhood projects, and creating new designs to improve life in the community. On Day 6, we visit a local Maasai family living on the outskirts of Arusha where we will learn about the typical Maasai lifestyle and how they have adapted to living in peri-urban environments while preserving cultural traditions.
We visit Nanofilter in Njiro and learn about how designer and chemical engineer, Dr. Askwar Hilonga, invented a low-cost solution for providing safe and clean water to low-income areas. We will also discover how the business model functions as a social enterprise, helping families gain access to affordable and clean water. We’ll spend time at Samaritan Village Orphanage playing with local kids, helping students with homework, and preparing a meal together. Meet with the women in Mount Meru and explore the Mulala Women Cultural Tourism Center. Learn how they run their homestead and support their families through banana and coffee agriculture, cheese making, beekeeping, and regular daily activities that support their farms and families. Travel to the Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute to learn about key conservation practices and the history of conservation through the national park and reserve systems. Attend an artisan’s workshop that employs people living with disabilities to make products from recycled materials. Spend a day at Ganako Secondary School and engage with a secondary class and learn from each other as we discuss practices to protect the environment. During our down time, we receive formal Swahili lessons to help us develop our local language skills. We will also take on Swahili cooking courses to learn how traditional Tanzanian dishes are made.
See the world through the eyes and experiences of both the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes as you join them on a walking safari and hunt through the lightly marked footpaths near Lake Eyasi. Visit the Iraqw tribe that lives on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, including a hike to the Endoro Waterfalls and elephant caves. Our guides will teach us the origins of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the balance between conservation efforts and enabling local populations to thrive. Spend the day with Hadzabe women and learn about their daily lives, following them as they find and store water and gather edible roots, fruits, and honey. Then we jump in our 4X4 safari trucks and head out to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara in hopes of spotting the “Big 5:" elephant, cape buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard.
Free day to explore the Maasai markets before sharing one last banquet meal to celebrate our time together. Say our final goodbyes and board our escorted flight back to the U.S.
Please note that, given the unprecedented nature of travel currently, this itinerary is subject to change.
The Road Less Traveled requires an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years). In addition, we require an RLT Physician's Form to be signed by the partcipant's physician, affirming they are healthy to travel on an RLT trip.
Please visit the CDC’s website to read more about recommended vaccinations for travel to Tanzania. The decision to get some, none, or all of the recommended vaccinations should be discussed with your family doctor.
We will use a combination of quarantining prior to arrival, receiving negative test results, distancing from other groups, utilizing outdoor spaces, masking when distancing and outdoor spacing isn't possible, and sanitizing regularly to create our isolated bubble. We have mitigation plans should a participant or staff present with symptoms of COVID-19, and have extensively researched testing sites and medical facilities in the areas we travel. We are in constant communiation with top experts in the field to stay educated so we're able to make the best decisions for RLT, our participants, and our staff. We have had to completely rethink our itineraries to create COVID-19-safe programming while still maintaining the integrity of the RLT experience.
If you’d like to receive an emailed copy of this program’s day-to-day calendar, please give our office a call anytime between 9am and 5pm CST at 773-342-5200.
It is imperative that no one make any travel arrangements until RLT provides instructions for specific arrival and departure time windows. Those details are typically released in mid-spring.
Families are individually responsible for booking their own airfare to get their student from home to the starting destination on the first day of the trip, and from the ending destination back home on the last day of the trip.
This program offers an optional leader-escorted flight for those families who are interested.
If you wish to have your participant fly directly into the starting location, please call the office for details.
The Tanzania: Hujambo program requires a tourist visa. The Road Less Traveled provides directions on how to apply for the visa at the appropriate time (usually mid-spring).