' I LOVE this experience in chitwan for though short period! '

Xue Ying Fiona Wang

Tanzania FAQs

Disclaimer: The information given in this FAQ's page is generic. You should verify critical information such as visa-related issues, health and safety, customs and transportation with the relevant authorities prior to traveling. Please be aware that information given in FAQ's may change at any time. In effect, we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. For the latest updates, please contact us or our in-country coordinator(s).

General Information

The founder of RCDP has been involved in volunteer abroad business for the last 10 years. During this time, he has worked with more than 2000 volunteers and more than 200 universities, colleges, and schools groups.

Working with inspiring college students and humanitarian volunteers was very motivating as well as very enjoyable and presented many exciting learning opportunities. This experience encouraged him to start his own volunteer abroad program where affordable prices, premium programs and meaningful contributions to deprived communities would become the key components of the programs.

With this in mind, while setting up volunteer and travel abroad organization, we have selected many safe and culturally rich destinations where volunteers can make meaningful contributions, immerse in local culture, and get enriched from volunteer abroad experience. In each destination, we have carefully selected projects, host families, travel coordinating staff, and placed local support staff. We have provided them with extensive training to manage the program with professional services that will be delivered with care and respect for all volunteers. We are now proud of our coordinators, host families, host projects, and staff as all of them have at least 4 years of working experience with international volunteers. To meet your expectation, they are committed to working hard to meet your expectations, delivering professional services, and turn your volunteer abroad experience into a memorable journey.

Tanzania is an amazing land filled with natural wonders. We have utilized this beauty to offer programs where our volunteers can indulge in the breathtaking sightseeing as well as work to improve the lives of poor Tanzanians. We offer volunteer programs in two wonderful cities of , Arusha and Moshi.

We have also teamed up with local NGOs to offer meaningful programs that uplift the lives of grassroots workers. From improving the lives of Masai women to nature conservation and orphanage work, our programs touch the lives of downtrodden and ordinary Tanzanians.

Information on Application

Starting application

There are two options available to those applying for volunteer positions in the Tanzania programs:

  • Apply online(http://rcdpinternationalvolunteer.org/apply.php) 
  • Download the application form. Then, fill it out, and mail to RCDP.
After submitting application

Once RCDP receives your application, it will immediately be forwarded to Tanzania for processing. Our Tanzania In-Country coordinator will then carefully review your application to ensure you get placed in the project that matches your criteria and your qualifications.

Duration of the application process

Once RCDP receives your application, it will immediately be forwarded to Tanzania for processing. Our Tanzania In-Country coordinator will then carefully review your application to ensure you get placed in the project that matches your criteria and your qualifications.

Preparation

Once you receive the placement details, you can even call our Tanzania office directly and speak to our In-Country coordinator and ask for any information you might need to prepare for the trip.

Preparation for Tanzania trip includes: reading about Tanzania, vaccination, visa arrangement, booking tickets. If you experience ANY problems, please call RCDP office.

Once you purchase air tickets, they should immediately submit the flight details to BOTH RCDP and Tanzania office.

Information on Airport and Arrival

Please arrive at Kilimanjaro international airport, Arusha, Tanzania as all our programs are located in Arusha or Moshi area.

One of our representatives will be waiting for you in the arrival lounge holding a placard with your name on it. This will happen without fail if you have passed on your travel itinerary to our office. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can call our Tanzania office and talk to our In-Country coordinator.

Flight Delayed or Missed

If your flight gets delayed or if you miss your flight and book yourself on a later flight, please inform us our office immediately. You must try to call first and then email the details if possible. Look at your placement details for all the contract information.

If you can not make any contact and no one receives you at the airport, look at your placement details, hire a pre-paid taxi and go to the hotel recommended on it. Let the In-Country coordinator know your whereabouts after your arrive at the hotel or on the next day. The coordinator will arrange a pick up for you.

Arrival Day

Volunteers coming to Tanzania are recommended to arrive one day before the start of program. If volunteers arrive more than a day earlier or remain after the close of their program, they will be responsible for providing their own accommodation and meal.

Information on Accommodation and Meal

RCDP will look after your entire needs during your project time. RCDP Nepal doesn't have hostel Moshi or Arusha, once you picked up from the airport our ground coordinator will transfer directly to your host family . During the volunteering period, volunteers stay with a host family and will be provided with a separate room and shared bath room. Please note that one should not expect any luxury. In some case, volunteer joining the orphanage project will stay at the orphanage compound. Details of the room/food accommodations are listed clearly on the placement sheets.

Information on Visa

Volunteers working in Tanzania are required to get a class “C” resident permit to work in the projects. You can apply for this upon arrival at the Immigration Bureau in either Moshi or Arusha. The cost of the permit is USD 120. Our program fee does not cover the permit fee.
In order to apply for class ‘C’ permit, you need to submit:

  • 6 passport size photos
  • CV
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Application forms, which are available in Tanzania
  • Additional documents which RCDP will help you prepare

During your orientation, you will be further briefed about this.

Most volunteers arrive with tourist visa prior to applying for class ‘C’ permit. Though you can apply for the tourist visa upon arrival, we strong request you to get it before your arrival.

In United States of America, Tanzanian visas can be obtained from:

EMBASSY OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, 
2139 R STREET, NW, 
WASHINGTON DC , 20008. 
TEL 202-884-1080 OR 202-939-6125
FAX 202-797-7408.

Information on Health and Safety

Visit the sites listed below and acquire as much information as possible. Remember there is no harm in knowing more when it comes to health and safety.

General Health Tips for Volunteer in Tanzania

  • Drink only bottled we don’t provide boiled-water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by both filtering through an "absolute 1 micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1 micron filters" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
  • Buy bottled water from proper outlets. Be wary of fake bottled water which are available everywhere. Always make sure the seal is not broken and the cap not tampered.
  • Avoid eating food from road-side stalls. Eat unpeeled fruits and avoid fresh salads, especially in small hotels. If you are forced to eat food at some place that you have doubts about, make sure the food is served hot.
  • If you require any prescription drugs, bring enough for the duration of your stay in Tanzania. They will need to be carried in their original prescription bottle and the prescription must be in your name.
  • Please carry a small health kit which should include medicines to cure upset stomachs, some antiseptic cream, hydration powder, deer mosquito repellant, sun block, band aids, etc.

Information on Vaccinations

Please visit Center for Disease Control's website ( www.cdc.gov ) for traveler's health recommendations. Your travel doctor will be knowledgeable about current epidemics and should be consulted.

Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to Africa including Kenya. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
  • Hepatitis B , especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
  • Malaria: if you are traveling to a malaria-risk area in this region, see your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug.
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles , and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.
  • Precaution against Malaria
Required Vaccinations
  • A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries in East Africa. For detailed information, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country . Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Information on Monetary Issues

Currency

Tanzanian currency is "Tanzania Shillings (TZS)."

Exchanging

Dollars can be changed at the exchange counters inside the airport. Many businesses accept dollars at the current exchange rate.

ATM/Debit Card/Debit Card/Travelers Checks

ATM machines are available at various regions throughout Tanzania, especially in Moshi and Arusha.

Do not arrive in Tanzania without any cash as ATM machines can sometimes not work or fail to accept your card. Check with your bank to confirm that your card will work overseas. Debit cards and credit cards are acceptable at major stores. Travelers' checks are exchanged at the banks. In most locations, you won't be able to exchange them. Debit card is the best way of getting money out and ATM vendors are available in Moshi and Arusha. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in large stores and hotels in larger cities.

Credit card fraud is a big problem in Tanzania. Do not use your cards at any smaller or non-reputable locations.

Budget

You can get by with $15 a day provided you don’t spend much. Accommodation and meal during your project is free but if you want to explore Tanzania and shop, budget accordingly.

Information on Field Support and Supervision

We keep in touch with our volunteers. Our staffs visit volunteers every 2 weeks. You are encouraged to contact our office if you want to speak with us on anything.

Information on Communicating

Internet cafes can be found Moshi and Arusha and the cost of surfing the web is around $1/hour. You can also call home from international phone cards. For local phone calls, do not use international call cards.

Contact RCDP's office whenever you like you want to discuss a problem. We are there to help you and make your stay a pleasant and a rewarding one.

Information on Climate

Please bear in mind that Tanzania doesn’t experience any winter weather. Arusha and Moshi have sub-tropical climates. Volunteers will experience cooler weather. For more, visit:

Information on Materials to Bring

  • Travel documents (Passport, Credit Cards, Vaccination record etc)
  • Camera
  • Mobile phone (you can use mobile phones after changing sim cards)
  • Mosquito repellents
  • Insect repellents
  • Sunscreen
  • Some books of Tanzania
  • Map of Tanzania
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kits
  • Flash light
  • Electricity adapter/converter
  • Sunglasses
  • Walking shoes (for work and travel)
  • Towel

If you are planning to join safari please contact us for more information

Information on Bringing Gifts for Project

It will be a nice gesture if you bring items like books, pencils, color pens, toys and games, especially if you are volunteering in schools and orphanages.

You can also bring things like chocolates, CD educational, T-Shirts to the host family.

More Information about Tanzania

Culture and Religion

In Tanzania, tribal rivalries are almost nonexistent. This is in sharp contrast to Kenya and several other neighbors. It's rare for a Tanzanian to identify themselves at the outset according to their tribe. They always refer to themselves as Tanzanian first. Religious frictions are also minimal, with Christians and Muslims living side by side in relatively easy coexistence. Although political differences flare up - a glance at recent events on the Zanzibar Archipelago is enough proof of this - they rarely come to the forefront in interpersonal dealings.

The workings of society are oiled by a subtle but strong social code. Tanzanians place a premium on politeness and courtesy. Greetings in particular are essential, and you'll probably be given a gentle reminder should you forget this and launch straight into a question without first inquiring as to the wellbeing of your listener and their family.

Much of daily life is shaped by the struggle to make ends meet in an economy that is ranked as one of the worlds poorest. Yet, behind these realities is the fact that Tanzania is home, and not a bad place at that. Still, homes are often in varying stages of completion, waiting for the finances needed to finish construction - is of cinderblock or mud brick, with roofing of corrugated tin or thatch, a latrine outside and water drawn from a nearby pump or river. At the other end of the spectrum are a small number of wealthy people, often the families of government ministers, who drive fancy cars and live in western style houses. The remainder of Tanzanians fall somewhere in-between these extremes, although far more are closer to the first scenario than to the latter.
Most students don't have the opportunity to finish secondary school, and many of those that do have unemployment to look forward to, especially in rural areas.

Family life is central, with weddings, funerals, and other events holding centre stage. Celebrations are grand affairs aimed at demonstrating status, and frequently go well beyond the means of the host family. It's expected that family members who have jobs will share what they have, and the extended family forms an essential support network in the absence of a government social security system.

AIDS is not as widespread in Tanzania as in many southern African countries. However, the Tanzanian adult population has at least a nine percent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate which prompted an increased effort at raising public awareness.

Source: Lonely Planet Tanzania

History

Most of the known history of Tanganyika before 1964 concerns the coastal area, although the interior has a number of important prehistoric sites, including the Olduvai Gorge. Trading contacts between Arabia and the East African coast existed by the 1st century AD, and there are indications of connections with India. The coastal trading centers were mainly Arab settlements, and relations between the Arabs and their African neighbors appear to have been fairly friendly. After the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th century, the position of the Arabs was gradually undermined, but the Portuguese made little attempt to penetrate into the interior. They lost their foothold north of the Ruvuma River early in the 18th century as a result of an alliance between the coastal Arabs and the ruler of Muscat on the Arabian Peninsula. This link remained extremely tenuous, however, until French interest in the slave trade from the ancient town of Kilwa, on the Tanganyikan coast, revived the trade in 1776. Attention by the French also aroused the sultan of Muscat's interest in the economic possibilities of the East African coast, and a new Omani governor was appointed at Kilwa. For some time most of the slaves came from the Kilwa hinterland, and until the 19th century such contacts as existed between the coast and the interior were due mainly to African caravans from the interior.

In their constant search for slaves, Arab traders began to penetrate farther into the interior, more particularly in the southeast toward Lake Nyasa. Farther north two merchants from India followed the tribal trade routes to reach the country of the Nyamwezi about 1825. Along this route ivory appears to have been as great an attraction as slaves, and Sa'id bin Sultan himself, after the transfer of his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, gave every encouragement to the Arabs to pursue these trading possibilities. From the Nyamwezi country the Arabs pressed on to Lake Tanganyika in the early 1840s. Tabora (or Kazé, as it was then called) and Ujiji, on Lake Tanganyika, became important trading centers, and a number of Arabs made their homes there. They did not annex these territories but occasionally ejected hostile chieftains. Mirambo, an African chief who built for himself a temporary empire to the west of Tabora in the 1860s and '70s, effectively blocked the Arab trade routes when they refused to pay him tribute. His empire was purely a personal one, however, and collapsed on his death in 1884.

The first Europeans to show an interest in Tanganyika in the 19th century were missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann, who in the late 1840s reached Kilimanjaro. It was a fellow missionary, Jakob Erhardt, whose famous "slug" map (showing, on Arab information, a vast, shapeless, inland lake) helped stimulate the interest of the British explorers Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. They traveled from Bagamoyo to Lake Tanganyika in 1857-58, and Speke also saw Lake Victoria. This expedition was followed by Speke's second journey, in 1860, in the company of J.A. Grant, to justify the former's claim that the Nile rose in Lake Victoria. These primarily geographic explorations were followed by the activities of David Livingstone, who in 1866 set out on his last journey for Lake Nyasa. Livingstone's object was to expose the horrors of the slave trade and, by opening up legitimate trade with the interior, to destroy the slave trade at its roots. Livingstone's journey led to the later expeditions of H.M. Stanley and V.L. Cameron. Spurred on by Livingstone's work and example, a number of missionary societies began to take an interest in East Africa after 1860.

Source: www.tanzania.go.tz/history

Geography

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika. Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore. Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Serengeti National Park in the north.

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

Language

The Swahili are legendary mariners and traders; in fact Swahili means 'people of the coast' in Arabic. The Swahili language is basically of Bantu (African) origin. It has borrowed words from other languages such as Arabic, probably as a result of the Swahili people using the Quran written in Arabic for spiritual guidance as for Muslims.

As regards the formation of the Swahili culture and language, some scholars attribute these phenomena to the intercourse of African and Asiatic people on the coast of East Africa. The word "Swahili" was used by early Arab visitors to the coast and it means "the coast". Ultimately it came to be applied to the people and the language.

Regarding the history of the Swahili language, the older view linked to the colonial time asserts that the Swahili language originates from Arabs and Persians who moved to the East African coast. Given the fact that only the vocabulary can be associated with these groups but the syntax or grammar of the language is Bantu, this argument has been almost forgotten. It is well known that any language that has to grow and expand its territories ought to absorb some vocabulary from other languages in its way.

A suggestion has been made that Swahili is an old language. The earliest known document recounting the past situation on the East African coast written in the 2nd century AD (in Greek language by anonymous author at Alexandria in Egypt and it is called the Periplus of Erythrean Sea) says that merchants visiting the East African coast at that time from Southern Arabia, used to speak with the natives in their local language and they intermarried with them. Those that suggest that Swahili is an old language point to this early source for the possible antiquity of the Swahili language.