Rustic Pathways | Tanzania

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About

Jump on board with Rustic Pathways in Tanzania, where we have been traveling to for 10 years now. The people of Tanzania are especially kind and welcoming, and will make you feel like you are a part of their family. As a Rustic traveler you will have the opportunity to work with a premier wildlife conservation organization, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), climb the infamous Mount Kilimanjaro, and learn what it truly means to be a part of a Tanzanian community.

“Karibu Tanzania! You know a country is special when the most often-used phrase is “you are welcome.” Sights such as the Serengeti, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar may be why visitors come to Tanzania, but the people are why they return...I have honestly seen no other place where people of vastly different religions, cultures, and tribes coexist with such warmth and inclusivity. I would encourage anyone to visit twice--first as a tourist and second, and forever after, as family.”
--Patrick Ziemnik, Tanzania Country Director

Impact

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 14 reviews
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 14 of 14
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Rose
10/10

Maji Safi program

This was truely a life changing experience and it is perfect for someone intreated in clean water issues and health related issues. The trip had a lot of educational oppurtunities and fun activity as well. It was a balance of fun and service. We built arbolu toilets and visited a lot of schools in the village and also had fun while going on a safari and shopping. The program is located in 2 places: Shirati and Arusha. Shirati is a rural village and arusha is a city and I like that you get to see both sides to Tanzania. The program is a great way to meet people with common intrests.

How can this program be improved?
I would love a longer home stay and longer program.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
10/10

The Maji Safi Project

This program was truly life changing. I have only been out of the country twice before, and I was very nervous to not only travel to another country, but to do it with a program where I didn't know anyone. As soon as I got to the airport the staff was very welcoming and I found that it was easy to sit down and make friends. My time in Tanzania felt impactful and was really fun. I was lucky that I was in a group that bonded quickly and got really close throughout the program. Whenever we did service, we worked hard but also had fun. My favorite memory was visiting a special needs school and getting to play with the kids. I really enjoyed this program and would definitely recommend it.

How can this program be improved?
This was the first time this specific program was being run, and so I think refining the schedule and making sure everything is set up would improve the program.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
9/10

Culture and the Crater in Tanzania

This trip was so amazing! The people, the leaders, the locals - everything about is what unique and special. Although this is definitely a service-heavy trip, Rustic does an amazing job to make sure we have multiple cultural activities incorporated into the itinerary as well. It was so nice getting to stay in one place and get to know the locals and the children really well. Would highly recommend this trip!

Yes, I recommend
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Gabrielle
10/10

Culture and the Crater

This trip changed my life more than I could have ever expected. Going into it, I was nervous to step outside of my comfort zone and spend two weeks with a group of people whom I had never met before in a foreign place with little communication with my family but the second I shook hands with my leaders I was nothing but excited. The trip leaders never failed to make me feel welcome, wanted, loved, safe, and there if I ever needed to talk. Culture and the Crater gave me the opportunity to learn about a different culture and way of life where less is more while also making a difference in their lives and seeing the genuine effects it had on those people. On this trip we were immersed into the culture, welcomed as locals, and thanked tremendously for our hard work. One of my favorite aspects was being able to create friendships with the children through actions and smiles alone, no matter our language. I recommend this trip to everyone looking to make a difference in the lives of people who, by the end of the trip, have a special place in your heart.

Yes, I recommend
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Avery
10/10

Rustic Pathways Tanzania: Njoro Village Service Immersion

I spent two weeks in Tanzania this past summer, and if I were to have the opportunity to change my plans, I would still have taken the same trips. After Climbing Kili, I was able to spend a week in the Njoro Village. It was a truly enriching experience, where I was able to understand the true village culture. The accommodations of the trip are better than expected in a rural village, as Rustic students stay in a dorm-style building on the property of "Mama and Baba" (Mom and Dad in Swahili). Mama and Baba are two of the sweetest people I have met abroad, which speaks volumes to the atmosphere in Tanzania. The trip does have a heavy community service aspect, as students complete 25 hours in one week, but the service at the local Poli Primary School flies by. The students constantly smiled and laughed as we helped build the new Dining Hall. When we were not doing service, there were plenty of enrichment activities, such as a safari, a soccer game with the local secondary school, a trip to church, and a few trips to local markets. My favorite memory from my trip was making Chapati (a typical Tanzanian dish) with the Mamas in the village. I now have a greater appreciation for African village life, and I have an increased desire to explore Africa as a continent and the other cultures that thrive within the continent. I would recommend this program to any student interested in a short trip or a connecting program where they are able to learn about Tanzanian culture, make a difference in a primary school, and explore the country through the people and experiences!

How can this program be improved?
The only change I would make to this program would be to make it longer!
Yes, I recommend
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Samantha
10/10

Climbing Kili

Rustic Pathways is excellent at giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of where they are visiting through having local leaders and activities with locals. Even when I was in the remote peaks of Kilimanjaro I was surrounded by singing and dancing Tanzanian leaders and I ate Tanzanian cuisine. The route that Rustic Pathways takes allows students to sleep in huts, which makes the climb more comfortable when temperatures range around freezing. Additionally, when I was at my lowest point, the Rustic and Tanzanian leaders constantly provided motivation and love. I felt safe on the mountain because the leaders would genuinely ask how we felt, and we had medical check ups every morning and night. Reaching the summit was unbelievably difficult, and what made it even more special was doing it with Rustic and my sixteen new best friends. I left Kilimanjaro in awe of the amazing people I met and feeling grateful for the opportunity. I can confidently say my time spent in Tanzania changed my life for the better. I have grown in my understanding and acceptance of different cultures, I discovered a strength and resilience inside myself, and I developed relationships with wonderful people. Thank you so much Rustic!!

How can this program be improved?
My only wish after completing this program was more reflection on our experience.
Yes, I recommend
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Katie
10/10

Culture and The Crater!

Being one of the youngest on the trip, I was a little nervous. Being only 14 years old, my parents were also very hesitant to let their teenage daughter go without them. But as soon as I stepped into the JFK airport, all my worries went away. While everyone was different from each other, we all had this unbreakable connection. After a long two days of traveling, we finally made it to Tanzania!! We took a 3 hour bus ride up to our new home, Mongla Juu. Mongla Juu was the most amazing place I have ever seen. Everywhere you went, kids run up to you, and hug you, and everyone was so happy to see us!! We slept in a classroom, and there was 13 other girls with me. There was not any running water, or electricity. And while sometimes it was diffcult to live in, it was one of the best things of the trip. You become so much closer with everyone, and it is like having a sleepover for 17 days! We would brush our teeth outside with a water bottle, and used squat toilets. Since its winter in Tanzania, bring jackets and a warm hat! Also, BRING SUNSCREEN. I got the worst sunburn of my life, and really regret not bringing sunscreen and a hat. We eat breakfast around 8am, lunch at 1pm, and dinner at 7pm. The food was so amazing. We had a couple birthdays during our trip, and wow. Tanzanians know how to party!!!! We also taught in the local school, which was the highlight of my trip. We played so many games, and sang/danced a lot. We played against the village soccer team, and even went to church! Church was so amazing, so much singing, dancing, and laughter. I was in tears by the end of the trip. If you even have the slightest interest in Culture and The Crater, please come. Pack your bags, and keep an open heart and you will have the best summer of your life.

How can this program be improved?
I wish I knew to bring a portable charger, as there was no outlets in the village.
Yes, I recommend
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Shaya
10/10

Culture and the Crater 2017

This trip could not have been programmed better. It was a perfect mix of hands-on service and cultural immersion with a bit of sightseeing and free time. Our service project was building a doctor's house in Mangola Juu (or Northern Mangola), a village near the Ngorongoro Crater. It was hard work - we learned how to mix cement and concrete, lay bricks, and speak a few construction-related words in Swahili. As other supplements to our service, we helped a family harvest a week's worth of corn, built a mud hut, and taught primary school children at the local school. The service, especially the construction, was my favorite part because we were making a tangible, real impact in a community as opposed to sending money off without realizing its end result. The hours spent laying bricks and mixing cement also gave way to many inspiring and hilarious conversations.

In addition to a safari and a visit to the Hadzabe, one of the last known hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, we participated in different activities in the village that helped immerse us in the culture and become closer to the people. We got our hair braided by the mamas in the village, played soccer with the village's soccer team, and later celebrated with the soccer team after their victory against a neighboring village. A few of us even joined in with some Maasai men having a jumping contest!

Overall, Culture and the Crater was an amazing trip and I would definitely recommend it to anybody, regardless of age or past travel experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Rachael
9/10

Culture and the Crater

Although the air travel was long, the trip was 100% worth it. The trip was such an eye opening experience. Living in a classroom with 12 other girls and no electricity or water and even sometimes a chicken (true story) seems like it would suck but in actuality it created memories for life and a great bonding experience. Spending time with the children of the village and seeing their happiness about every little thing most definitely changed my life for the better. If you do choose to go on this trip, make sure you know you won't be showering for a week at a time. Make sure you bring tons of baby wipes because that will be the only way you will get clean. Also bring sweaters because most nights and days are super cold. There is no way to charge your phone either so if you want to use it to take pictures, make sure to bring a portable charger!

Yes, I recommend
Nadia
10/10

African Wildlife conservation

I joined rustic in a chance to join Jane good all's roots&shoots program. My favorite part was going to the village in Sokoine where we installed water tanks and bagged 4,531 trees for the village also Lake Tanganyika was so much fun we had like our private beach and left in tents it was really great time to connect with people and life. My program changed me in many ways me personally in life. fun!

How can this program be improved?
A lot of activities with roots and shoots kids. we had a lot but i wish there was more community service things with them to help teach them more and teach us more,
Yes, I recommend
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Laura
10/10

Rustic Pathways, Tanzania - Culture and Crater

Our daughter had a blast in Tanzania! She just returned home late last night, and has lots of adventures to share with our family. She has a sincere appreciation of the little things, like electricity, hot and cold running water and a toilet in our house. What an experience for 17 days...with bucket showers, squatty potties and all the new and exciting foods she tried and enjoyed.

Our children have travelled to Thailand, Costa Rica, Tanzania, and off to the Dominican Republic in August, all with Rustic Pathways. We love Rustic Pathways, from our Travel Consultant, Carrina C. to all the exciting adventures that they will remember and enjoy for an entire lifetime.

We would recommend Rustic Pathways for all of your future trips, you will be so happy you chose this organization for your students.

How can this program be improved?
The air travel can sometimes be long for a young student. However, I understand why they need these safety cushions of hours /layovers because so many students are coming in from all over the world. On our daughters program to Tanzania, there were 16 total students coming in from every where around the world to go meet up at the JFK Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands and ten off to Tanzania. They were arriving from California, Colorado, Texas, Turkey, Dubai, and Switzerland. They will have lots of time to get to know one another in the airport, waiting for their departures.
Yes, I recommend
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Christina
9/10

Go on this trip!

This was my second year with Rustic, but my first in Africa. Just like last year, I had an amazing, life-changing experience. One of my favorite parts of Rustic is that the leaders don't treat you like little children. They talk to you about anything from serious matters to book and movies and honestly feel like friends. The service is incredibly rewarding (you usually do about half a day on Faces and 6 hours on Culture) and the villagers are amazingly friendly. It's an awesome program.

How can this program be improved?
On Culture I wish we had had a bit more free time.
Yes, I recommend
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devragelman
10/10

Incredible Experience

I've volunteered in Tanzania twice with Rustic Pathways, and both times were incredible experiences. Rustic Pathways provides the perfect mix of hard work and a fun time. Half the day is spent working on service projects that are clearly sustainable and beneficial to the community we worked with, such as building and renovating classrooms at the local school. The other half is spent going into Arusha, participating in cultural exchanges with the villagers, or exploring the village (there's a beautiful waterfall at the heart of Njoro Village and sometimes you can even see monkeys!). Additionally, Rustic Pathways staff members and program leaders are some of the friendliest and most professional I've come across. I highly recommend Rustic Pathways for a fun and memorable experience that also allows you to make a difference in the global community.

Yes, I recommend
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Michelle
9/10

Tanzania

It is difficult to describe my experience in Tanzania in words. It was a wonderful, life changing trip. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of my greatest accomplishments and I am grateful that the Rustic Pathways staff and other students were able to help me summit the mountain and reach my goal.The trip enabled me to challenge myself intellectually and physically. The staff members engaged the students and encouraged them to participate in activities even if they were not scheduled activities. For example, one of my trip leaders on the Culture in the Crater trip led runs through the villages almost everyday after we finished our tasks at the school. The runs were especially memorable because I saw a different part of the village than when I visited the school. I believe that the flexibility and openness of the trip leaders helped completely emerge the students in the culture.

How can this program be improved?
I woud make the individual trips longer. It takes a day or two to settle into a situation. I felt that one week was not enough time to experience everything that I wanted to experience on a given trip.
Yes, I recommend

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