Travel Tips & FAQs
We believe, leaving behind your comfortable homeland and travel to Africa can be daunting and stressful especially when you don’t know who to meet and what to expect from volunteering in Tanzania. We want to make your trip and volunteering unforgettable experience as smooth as possible, so we have put together this list of tips and frequently asked questions from former volunteers.
Before travelling to Tanzania !
- A valid passport is mandatory, and it shouldn’t expire within six months validity and then you are free to book your flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Go through our websites or sites for more information our projects and contact us if you have any questions.
- Get all the following vaccinations: A and B hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Typhoid Fever and Tetanus.
- Make sure also that your MMR vaccination is still valid and get malaria prophylaxis plus an appropriate travel insurance, we are neither doctors nor tropical medicine experts! We strongly recommend you to make an appointment with a specialist to get advice. Further information might also be found on your Foreign Ministry’s website and/or the World Health Organization’s website.
- Go through medical checkup to avoid any unpleasant surprises. You will get good medical health care in Tanzania during your trip if needed.
- Inform us about all your medications, any special diets, chronic illnesses, sicknesses, allergies or other limitation or precautions.
Things to take with you !
- All your personal medication and medical prescription, Insect repellent (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania)
- Stomach medicines for both diarrhoea and constipation, Sun cream (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania)
- Hat to protect you from sun and also clothes with long sleeves and long trousers to protect against mosquitoes
- Comfortable shoes and during the rainy season, shoes that can be used in mud
- Take a mobile phone with you. If possible you can take some old one which you don’t use any more at home.
- Kyosei gives you a local Wi-Fi router connection for free to use during your trip.
- Flashlight or headlight (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania).
- Check requirements of dressing in your placement from your placement´s presentation.
- AC power plugs and sockets used in Tanzania are British type G, BS 1363 and the voltage is 220240 volts. If your electric devices don’t fit to this kind of plugs you will need to take an adapter with you.
Things you don’t need to bring !
- All the most common medicines e.g. painkillers, plasters etc. are available to purchase (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania).
- Products such as shampoos, lotions, toothpaste, laundry powder can also be bought (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania)
- Bed sheets, mosquito nets and towels are included in all the rooms (can also be bought here in Arusha, Tanzania).
Currency and payment methods !
- Tanzanian currency (code) for Shillings in TZS and you can withdraw cash (Tanzanian shillings) from ATM machines with Visa, Visa Electron or MasterCard, Bills come in denominations of coins for 50, 100, and 200 shillings; and notes for 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10,000 shillings.Notes must not be older than 2006, as local businesses will automatically reject these due to a past counterfeiting problem.
- The exchange rate, rankings show that the most popular Tanzania Shilling exchange rate is the USD to TZS rate. It isn’t possible to buy TZS outside the country and Shillings are accepted everywhere in Tanzania, US dollars in some tourist destinations, You can’t pay with credit card or you can’t cash traveler’s cheque Fluctuation in the exchange rate are common but currently 1 Euro = 2.600 Tsh, 1 GBP = 2.900 Tsh and 1 Dollar = 2.300 Tsh. The US Dollar is widely used, but may not be accepted in some establishments. It is also important to note that most businesses that do accept US currency will not do so if it is torn or wrinkled.
- ATMs that accept both Visa and MasterCard are available in most cities. You will be able to withdraw from your accounts in local (Tanzanian shillings) currency by entering your PIN. The daily withdrawal limit amounts to roughly $ 500 USD.Be sure to alert your bank that you will be traveling to Africa. Many banks will deem transactions made out of your native country as suspicious, and may lock access to your accounts if you have not forewarned them
Visa and Residence Permit !
- If you’re a tourists/ internship/ volunteering/ teacher exchange period is more than 3 months you need to buy tourist visa USD 50 (from USA and Ireland USD 100, on arrival airport or crossing the border)) as you arrive to Tanzania.
- NOTE: Even if you are only volunteering for 2 weeks or couple weeks or months. You are still needed to pay for a business visa or volunteer permit (250 USD)? Yes. According to Tanzanian law, all volunteers and interns need to pay for business/Volunteer permits then the application for volunteer permit in Tanzania are usually filled by organisations that accepts volunteers.
- Volunteering is a best way to get involved in the real life of Africa community. Several opportunities are available within our foundation and to get volunteering in Tanzania. you will need to have: (i). Invitation Letter – You will need proof that you were invited to volunteer by providing a letter from the NGO or non-profit for which you will be volunteering. (ii). Certificates of Commitment – Your volunteer organization should be able to provide you with certificates showing they are committed to join for voluntary work in Tanzania and all these certificates can help on Visa process and we are also committed to help you on this.
What if you get sick during your stay ?
- If you get sick, our organization will make sure you get to the hospital. There are doctors in Arusha town that are capable of treating stomach problems, common infections etc. In case of more severe illnesses there is a good hospital in Arusha, about 40 minutes away from volunteer house.
- We do recommend you to take a travel insurance that covers illnesses as well as your flight home if suitable treatment is not available in Tanzania.
Possibilities of shopping !
- There are several places for shopping while staying in Arusha and we can help to show you inorder to avoid Muzungu /European prices.
Popular items include Makonde carvings, Tingatinga paintings, batiks, musical instruments, wooden spoons, and various small soapstone and malachite carvings.
The colourful vitenge (the singular of this is kitenge) worn by most Tanzanian women can be picked up cheaply at any market in the country.
The curio shops near the clock tower in Arusha are the best place to shop for curios, offering decent quality at competitive prices, bur a good selection is also available on Zanzibar and in many upmarket hotel shops.
Prices in shops are fixed, but those offered at stalls are highly negotiable. Unless you are good at bargaining, you may well end up paying more at a stall than you would in a shop!
- We will show you different shopping places like Kilombero Local Market/Traditional market for alimentation and products, Soko Kuu roofed main market in Arusha, Arusha Curio Market/ Masai Crafts Market, Krokon Second Hand clothes market as well as Supermarket and Pharmacies.
Means of local transportation !
There are numerous transport that are inexpensive to use here in Arusha starting from;
- Daladala/Minibuses and Bajaji/Tuk-tuk from our organization/Kyosei to town is 400TSZ to 500TSZ approximately quarter to half a dollar go and return, the popular word to use if you want to get off or drop off say (susha) the daladala/ Bajaji will stop and you get off.
- Bodaboda/Motorbike, when you want to use from our centre/volunteer house to town then you can use this means of transport which will not exceed 2000TSZ approximately one dollar, you may sometimes use on weekends or evenings and mostly we will get you in touch with the motorbike driver that we trust in order to avoid inconvenience with untruthful drivers.
- Taxi you may prefer to use taxi to town from our centre or volunteer house at an appropriate price and should not exceed 10,000TSZ and if you don’t mind we can get in you in touch with driver trustworthy who knows our centre, town, restaurants and carry in minded that Tanzania have no digital transportation system and we all use public or private transport. Taxi cars also exists here in Arusha approximately one hour drive you’ll pay approximately (25 – 35 USD).
- Foot, Arusha is a big city, so you can’t do everything on foot. But there are places, such as the city centre, where it is recommended to explore on foot, because you’ll see more hidden spots of beauty and wonder. It’s also recommended to take a local guide with you who will show you around the first time(s) you explore the city centre. Google maps is your best friend when you’ll get lost !
- Bike, It can be great to explore Arusha by hiring a bike, but because of the bad condition of the roads this seems a little bit difficult. If you are a good biker maybe you can overcome these obstacles. You can always try hike a bike approximately (10 – 25 USD) per hour !
Accommodation, meals and drinks !
- Dear volunteers and Interns, we say it again and again that Volunteers are obliged to contribute a minimum contribution of $ 50 USD per week all inclusive to help in supporting the organization activities. It’s that simple. With Kyosei there are no hidden costs or fees, we want you to be as comfortable as possible to make this life changing journey simple.
- We provide a private and shared rooms which can accommodate 4 to 6 people at once and we provide all three meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some typical mainland foods are wali (rice), ugali (maize stuff porridge), chapatti (kind of bread), ndizi nyama (plantains with meat), Samaki (fish), Nyama choma (bbq meat/grilled meat) so above are the main food we serve our volunteers but you are free to let us know your dietary.
- The toilets and bathroom are locals’ types without hot water but having running water for toilets use and basic purposes.
- We provide other facilities like room amenities including bed sheets, mosquito nets, pillows, blankets and towels (you may will to bring your own towel).
- Additionally, we only have manual washing with liens in the backyard but you will have to wash or clean your clothes alone and if you want someone who can help in washing, we can hire someone to wash for you and pay a little amount but there are laundries in town for washer and dryer with reasonable prices.
- We all cook and eat together as one family in order to experience locals culture and get to learn new culture practically and also simplifying other work and gain new life but if you want to cook for yourself or us its applicable and we will give you a gas stove and some utensils for cooking.
- It is not safe to drink tap water in Tanzania. In fact, it is advisable to use tap water only for showering or washing your hands.To avoid health problems, use only bottled or filtered water for drinking and brushing your teeth.
- You may also wish to bring along water purification tablets and any medications you take for any existing medical conditions.
Volunteer schedule !
First Day: On the first day of the volunteering placement, you will be escorted to the project by our local staff and introduced to the staff at the centre you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical day would be as follows from Monday – Friday:
07:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house compound.
08:00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to work placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.
14:00 – 15:00 Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
20:30 Dinner at the volunteer house compound together.
Weekends: be free and we would like to organise some trips during the Saturday or Sunday
Tanzania Security and Safety !
- Some foreigner think that, is Tanzania or Arusha city safe place? Yes however you should be careful of travelling in both cities in Tanzania and be suspicious of strangers offerings, tours and special deals.
- Just be cautions with your properties especially money, smartphone, cameras because we don’t say no criminals but evenhanded in case be careful and not expose all your properties especially money in the public or negotiation places at the markets.
- Tanzania is one of the safest countries in East Africa, but you never can be too careful when you’re on the road. While safari areas are generally very safe, the country is no stranger to criminal activity. Like any other country in the world, there is always some risk of theft.
Arriving information and pick up services !
- You might fly in via Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), upon arrival please mention at the immigration that you come for tourism. It is important because the process will probably take a long process and you would probably have to pay higher amount, panics or show further documents or certificates.
- Both the Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airports (JRO) are in a good reachable position to Kyosei Foundation in Arusha, if you wish to stay with us feel comfortable to arrange a pick up at arrival lounge to make it sure and safer, we will bring you with a taxi driver who can bring you direct to our organization or accommodation compound safely at cost of only 50 dollars that can be arranged.
- Just provide us with all confirmed flight details and one of the representative of our local team or the director will be outside the waiting lounge to pick you up on arrival. We will take you to the volunteer accommodation and introduce you to your new home away from home, your local hosts, students and fellow volunteers if any present at a time.
- Before beginning your volunteer placement, you will attend a program orientation which is hosted by the local team to give you an introduction to the local culture and customs, safety advice, transport options, rules and expectations, your placement, and weekend travel opportunities.
- Don’t worry, feel at home! Our local team are available 24/7 to provide support to you during your volunteer program, so whether you are traveling solo or with a group of people, you know you will always be well looked after.
- Remember at the airport that you will have to pass the health surveillance desk, in case the flight had a stopover in any African country like Kenya or Ethiopia. At this desk you will need to show your vaccination pass that shows your yellow fever vaccination.
- Incase you arrive at our organization without a volunteer permit, we will help you to apply for work permit thus keep the cost for you at a minimum, you will only need to provide us with copy of your passport visa, CV, cash and we will write a covered letter for you and submit it to regional immigration officer for your permit approval before start volunteering with us.
Electricity and Electronic Devices
- You should prepare yourself for a culture perhaps very different from what you are used to. There are often power cuts and problems with the Internet but not at large, only sometimes please.
- The practices at your workplace may also differ from the ones in western countries and things are not always done the way you may be used to. The best way to cope with the differences is to come with an open mind.
- Remember that you are coming to visit and learn local culture and life, not coming to bring your own habits. NB: When you come with open mind, when you ask, when you wonder and when you look around you will get unforgettable experience from Tanzania and from Tanzanian culture.
- Tanzanian power outlets use 220-240V, 50Hz. If you are traveling from a country with a voltage less than 220V should check whether or not their electronic devices have a dual voltage power supply. If not, you may need to purchase a converter before leaving.
- Generally speaking, most electronics (smart phones, digital cameras, tablets, and computers) work on a dual voltage basis. Electrical appliances such as razors and hair dryers do not.
Do you receive any help from the government ?
- We don’t receive any funding from government, local authorities, or businesses, but we often depend on gifts and supports from people like you, who want to help vulnerable children and youths in Africa, And continue our work as well as running our projects.
- The regular supporters provide us a stable source of funds to carry out long-term work, and keep projects running that are vital for those who need them, but may not be funded by local authorities.
Maximum/minimum time to participate in a projects !
- First of all we believe and we will appreciate that the longer you work in a project, the more you and the project will benefit. The first days will be for settling in: How do I get to the project? What are my tasks? Where can I help?
- Nevertheless, we want to take into account the situation of our volunteers and interns, so the minimum stay duration is two weeks. Due to visa regulations you can spend a maximum duration of more than two months as a volunteer or intern in Tanzania.
Language and culture !
- First impressions, Tanzania has a robust culture, full of life and flavor! Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Tanzanian culture is our “greetings.” The way you greet others will definitely impact someone’s first impression of you. It is important to take the time to learn basic phrases in Swahili such as “Hello,” (Habari = Salama), (Mambo = Poa), (Vipi = Safi ) “How are you,” and “How is your day.”
- You might hear people say phrases like “this is Africa” or “no hurry in Africa.” HAKUNA MATATA, Below you’ll find a few useful Swahili phrases to get you started.
Karibu: Welcome, Habari/Hujambo: Hello, Habari?/Habari yako?: How are you?
Nzuri: Good. Standard reply to how are you, Samahani: Sorry.
Asante: Thank you, Chakula: Food, Rafiki: Friend, Hapana: No, Ndio: Yes.
How much extra money do I need to plan per week ?
- That’s a question we actually can’t answer because that depends on your personal spending habits. However, we want to give you some highlights about prices for your planning: Local meals start from 2.500 – 5.000 Tsh and if you are looking for Western food around 15.000 Tsh.
- A beer cost between 2.500 and 5.000 Tsh and cocktails start from 10.000 Tsh. Fabrics for the tailor start from 12.000 Tsh and tailor made clothes start from 10.000 Tsh. Souvenirs can be found from 3.000 Tsh onwards.
Gifts to bring or materials to donate ?
Yes, every gift matters and any gift will really help support the evolving needs will be appreciated ! Here down are the list of needed supplies and materials;
Anything useful for the teaching like; Pens, Toys, Crayons or kids motivate Games or Cards for learning, Pencils, Notebooks, Rubbers, English Story Textbooks or Dictionaries, Menstrual Cups or Reusable Pads, Clothes or Sports Jerseys for the students, Balls, Roap and Color Paintings.
Any useful devices for administration like; Laptops, Computers, Tablets or iPad, Old Phones, Printing Papers, Long extension cable, UPS battery backup, Refillable Whiteboard Markers and Refilling Inks, and any useful building materials.
Please If you are interested in finding out more about giving a gift in your Will, then you can contact us in person to talk about your options, here online Whatsapp chatting: +255 757 564 014 or Email: email@example.com
How much profit do we make or our financial status ?
Kyosei Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, so our financing come straight from volunteers we call them “Big supporters (Kyosei Foundation lives 100% on donation, – any donations come goes straight back into the foundation which help vulnerable children and local families and our projects in general.
- Also we ensure that we’re able to continue supporting those vulnerable children and local families during uncertain periods of funding.
Climate and Tanzania’s seasons !
There is no truly bad time to visit Tanzania; the optimum months depend on which parts of the country you plan to visit and your main interests.
1. Long rains start (April to May) and average temperature is (72 – 81°F
2. Short rains start (November to December) and average temperature (81– 86°F)
3. Long dry starts (June to October) and average temperature (70 – 81°F)
4. Short dry starts (January to March) and average temperature 84°F or 29°
There is no truly bad time to visit Tanzania; the optimum months depend on which parts of the country you plan to visit and your main interests.
Can I go traveling and sightseeing ?
- Yes as you volunteer with us, you will have your free time and weekends available to explore more of your host country and our local team will be happy to provide recommendations for tours or trips that you can take.
- Trip is the most authentic way to experience a country through living and working with local people, we understand that many of our volunteers wish to visit and experience sites like regular travellers too.
You can review more about culture tours and day trips for you to explore and have unforgettable experience in Tanzania.
- Tipping is customary in Tanzania, and is very much a part of the incomes of many people in the hospitality and tourism industry.
- As a general rule of thumb, tipping for satisfactory service should be as follows:
- Safari and Kilimanjaro climbing guides: $ 10 – $ 20 per person per day.
- Cooks, Porters, Caddies etc: $ 5 – $15 per person per day.
- Local guides $ 5 per person per day.
Will I get a certificate or a letter reference after completing ?
- Absolutely yes, you will obtain a Certificate of Volunteering after completing your volunteer program, which reflects the date and duration of your volunteer program.
- This certificate can be a valuable addition to your resume as many employers recognise that volunteer travel is beneficial for personal and professional development, as well as cross cultural competence.
- We can provide you with a letter of reference at the completion of your trip, upon request. we are often happy to act as referees for past volunteers as well.
Leaving a review | honest feedback.
- We value your hard work, and also your honest feedback. We hope you enjoyed the time you spend in Tanzania with us. Without the your hard work and support of our volunteers, our projects wouldn’t be able to thrive, grow and come a true dream, So We Say Asante Sana, Ashee Olengi !
- As well as the assistance you give us, we hope to give you memories that you will cherish forever, and experiences that will help to shape your futures.
- If you feel like your experience with Kyosei Foundation was worthwhile, we would appreciate it if you could leave a review of our volunteer program on one or more of the websites below. By leaving a review, you will inspire and encourage others to join us as volunteers, which helps us to keep our projects going and continue to help children and disadvantaged groups in Tanzania.
- You can also help us out by telling all of your friends about your experience and encouraging them to visit us too. Like or follow us on Facebook , Instagram and workaway profile to keep in touch – we hope we will see you again soon!
Hopefully this tips will continue to supported you!
If you still have questions, doubts or thoughts that aren’t clear yet, please don’t hesitate to contact us or Online Chatting Whatsapp: +255 757 564 014.
Joining us can’t be a big challenge anymore, come now and have unforgettable life experiences and added value in your personal and professional life. You’ll never return back home as the same woman, man, son, mother, friend, partner, colleague… you can build a brighter future with us now !
It would be lovely to welcome you in our team and in our family. Hope to hear from you soon!
Kyosei Foundation Team.