Hostel Hoff: Low cost volunteering in Moshi, Tanzania!

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Hostel Hoff offers volunteer placements at a grass roots level, where you simply pay for your accommodation and we organise your volunteering for free, as it should be! We are a small family run organisation working with approximately 20 different volunteer projects in Moshi, Tanzania. Projects include women and community groups, orphanages, centres for children with disabilities, manual work such as farming, teaching projects and medical centres. There is a large variety of work on offer and we are careful to provide sustainable, ongoing support to the organisations we help. All of our volunteers stay at one of our two hostels, where they can share their experience with like-minded travellers! Karibu (welcome to) Tanzania!

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Questions & Answers


based on 6 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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The Hoff

Where do I start? I had an amazing time in Moshi volunteering for six weeks through Hostel Hoff. I decided to undertake a project involving manual labour, and for this I decided to join Kili Kids - an orphanage based very close to Moshi at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. There I was able to contribute to the daily maintenance of the farm, as well as help with jobs such as painting the dining hall. The kids there are absolutely adorable.

Hostel Hoff itself was a great place to stay. It is about 10 minutes walk from town, and at no time did I feel unsafe. For a one-time fee upfront you are able to have unlimited access to the bottled drinking water at the hostel, which I highly recommend. The rooms were cleaned everyday, and the laundry done on a semi-regular basis. Included in the fee is a full breakfast and dinner, which was unbelievably good quality. The hostel also has wifi, as well as satellite television and a DVD collection (donate a DVD, should you decide to stay!). The hostel also runs a weekly football (soccer) social match.

Should one have the time, and the money, I would recommend the awesome feat that is scaling to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Also recommended is going on Safari - these activities may be organised through the hostel, at a discounted rate to volunteers. Tip - bring USD beforehand to pay for these, to avoid multiple trips to the ATM!

As is the norm when volunteering overseas, I met the most amazing individuals from all over the globe. I travelled solo; however I met groups, couples, and even families who stayed at the hostel.

PS. Whitney is the best cook in Moshi :p

How can this program be improved?
Hard to say. The volunteering is free, the facilities are great, and the support staff are extremely helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program
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The hoff

The hostel hoff, is an amazing place to stay. You feel really safe and the staff is so wonderful. When you stay at the hostel it is like you become a family. The staff is also part of the family, and they are so nice and helpfull. If you are going to Moshi to volunteer, i would definitely recommend that you stay at hostel hoff.
The hostel is only a 15 min walk from town, although it is placed in a quite area, which is nice at night. The hostel has dogs to guard, and guards as well. They are really nice, and also part of the big hostel hoff family.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Home, not a hostel

I came to Hostel Hoff in February 2015, stayed for 3 months and had the absolute best experience of my life so far. I travelled to the Hoff alone but within days I felt like part of one big ever-changing family that consisted of all the staff and volunteers at the hostel. The staff at the Hoff are absolutely wonderful people and the heart of the hostel. They'll make you feel at home and welcome from the very beginning.

During my stay, I lived for 9 weeks in Hostel Hoff 2 and 4 weeks in Hostel Hoff 1 (as we entered low season, hostel 2 was temporarily closed). Each hostel has two resident dogs, which was just brilliant by me! The two hostels are within 2 minutes walking distance of one another and just as good as one another so there is no need to worry about which one you will be placed in.

The food at the hostel is just yum. Breakfast and dinner are both served buffet-style at the hostel and there is more than enough to go around. They also cater for vegetarians, despite the fact that vegetarianism is an awful lot less common in Tanzania than it is here in Ireland.

With regards to water, each hostel has a bottled-water dispenser which you can have unlimited access to for a price of 5,000TSH per week. This is only about €2.50 per week and definitely worth it considering how much water you'll need to drink in the heat!

The volunteer placements organised by Hostel Hoff through their charity Path to Africa are with local projects and will be the most rewarding part of your stay. Almost everyone finds the first week of volunteering difficult, between the language barrier and the culture shock, but those challenges are so worth it when you start to feel at home in your project and begin to figure out what you can offer to help. I worked for 2 months at KYGN (a charity school in a nearby village) and for one month at the Juvenile Retention Centre in Moshi - two extremely different projects but both so rewarding. Though I taught at both projects, I'm sure I learned much more by working with the kids than they learned from me.

It's worth mentioning that Hostel Hoff is quite modern and definitely offers some luxuries such as a television, hot showers and western toilets. This, on top of the fact that we had two meals cooked for us each day, our clothes washed for us and our rooms cleaned each day, did make me feel a bit too pampered. However, my 3 months at the Hoff definitely allowed me to fall in love with Tanzania and it's people and I'm hoping to return as soon as I get through university, if not sooner.

Overall, I would highly recommend Hostel Hoff to anyone looking to volunteer in East Africa for the first time, as you will feel safe, supported and at home as you ease into African life. You'll also meet loads of interesting and adventurous people and make life-long friends from all over the world.

How can this program be improved?
Although I know that the hostel does make an effort to ensure that the volunteer placements are of benefit to both the volunteers and the projects they work with, it would be great if a more structured role for volunteers was in place at each project to maximise the benefit for the projects themselves. I think that the hostel could be stricter about ensuring that there is a need for volunteers at a specific project before allowing volunteers to be placed there, as well as encouraging volunteers to volunteer at the projects in need of more help.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great stay!

I've stayed at the hostel twice, once in 2007 and then again 2012 and I love it! They are involved with many great projects and are very helpful in finding one that's right for you, no matter what your plan is (a friend and I needed a project for our Uni studies and they were very helpful!).

The hostel has good food, laundry included and many wonderful people to hang out with. So it's easy to come and just enjoy your stay in Moshi.

I we've recommended several people to go and know that all of those who have has enjoyed their stay.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Happy to be a Hostel Hoffer

At hostel hoff you were able to easily meet people from all around the world while also living in a completely different culture and environment from your own. The staff were especially great, always being there if I needed directions, to practice my swahili, teach me to cook or wash my clothes by hand, or to simply joke around with. They were definitely part of the reason that my stay at hostel hoff was so special.
The accommodations were also great. You have an option of staying in a dorm type room inside the house or living with one to three other people in the tents on the grounds. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the tents and it was the most comfortable place I stayed in while living in Moshi. The beds were comfortable, it didn't get too hot at night (although in the morning you couldn't sleep past 9 without dripping with sweat). But that's all part of the fun of living in a tropical environment.
Hostel hoff also helped me find a place to volunteer that suited me best. They gave me many options and I ended up choosing a school that is now near and dear to me heart, Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need. I may not have come across this wonderful school with it's wonderful children and staff if it wasn't for those at hostel hoff.
My time spent in Tanzania was great and being welcomed with open arms by the hostel hoffers made those first few transition weeks extremely easy. I am happy and proud to call myself a Hostel Hoffer :).

How can this program be improved?
The price to stay at Hostel Hoff was a bit much. It was over $500 per month and when you are volunteering and not making any money it can really become a struggle to have that much money each month.

Also I would have liked more of a variety of food. You were served breakfast and dinner there and the food was delicious (made by our lovely Jessica), however it was the same foods over and over each week while also being more western style foods than Tanzanian.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Volunteering Experience, Couldn't ask for anything better!

Hostel Hoff is in one word fantastic! I previously stayed in Jan/Feb 2013 for 5 weeks and loved it so much I am now back! The owner Amanda is lovely and helps you with anything. Mary the local Tanzanian manager is also very nice and welcoming. Anyone wanting to volunteer in Tanzania, should have Hostel Hoff at the top of their list. The staff that work at the hostel are all so nice and it really is lovely how welcoming they are. They work really hard and also always have the biggest smiles on their faces.

The volunteering can be hard work but this is outweighed by the fulfillment you get by helping those in need of it and the local orphanages and schools are welcoming and extremely grateful for your help. The opportunities you get to make a difference by staying at Hostel Hoff are great!

It is by far the best trip I have ever done and you also get the opportunity to climb Mt Kilimanjaro or experience a Safari in the amazing Serengeti National Park. The other great thing about staying at Hostel Hoff is the other volunteers you meet that are also staying at the hostel, I have now made so many new friends around the world and these will be friends that I keep for life! In my time at the hostel I have always got on with everyone and meeting a mix of people from all over the world is lovely.

The hostel itself is very clean and is a very relaxing place to stay. It gives you the chance to be sociable with the outside seating area but also available are the use of hammocks in the garden and other quiet areas if you wanted to read a book or get some quiet time. This place really does suit everyone and I couldn't recommend it more. The country is also very beautiful. Do yourself a favour and visit this amazing country and have a great time living at the HOFF!

Yes, I recommend this program

About Hostel Hoff

Hostel Hoff offers volunteer placements at a grass roots level, where you simply pay for your accommodation and we organise your volunteering for free, as it should be! We are a small family run organisation working with approximately 20 different...