We are fully aware of many tourism companies falling under the guise of ‘Voluntourism’, where activities with children are included, where volunteering for an hour for a photo opportunity, or where non-local vendors are used to carry out the work. We cannot stress highly enough how that doesn’t represent the work we carry out nor the trips we run. We never include any child-focused activities. We wholeheartedly believe in ‘Transformational Community Development’, as our method of sustainable development and is used today to lift communities out of cyclical poverty.
Our projects are carried out via a local NGO, where all staff mirror the nationality of the country where the work is carried out, in this case Tanzania. From there we hire local vendors, native to the country, but more specifically involved within the community directly. Prior to this work, our partner NGO has liaised with the local community to identify a project, 6 months before our trip is planned, from there the relevant stakeholders discuss the options and then inform us of their decision.
We then drip-feed the funding (from our donors) through our partner NGO. They discuss and employ all parties from there-on-in, overseeing the 4 month preparation and construction. Throughout this process we’re kept up to date with progression.
Ideally, as our trip arrives in our partner community, work will be reaching completion. From here, our travellers arrive and witness the great work that our partners have carried out, and the impact a relatively small donation can make to a community. We will assist with the final touches on the project, under the watchful eye of the staff involved, painting, landscaping, furnishings etc, adding a little touch of final TLC that otherwise wouldn’t be carried out. This last addition brings the project a wonderful last appearance, and draws the project to a close.
We are fully committed to both our partner NGOs, and our partner communities, both now and in the future. You can sign up to our mailing list to get yearly updates on the project, and any future work we carry out with their help.
Welcome to Nairobi. We’ll have an airport transfer waiting for each and every adventurer. Please schedule your flights to land before 6pm as we’ll have a group dinner at a local restaurant at 7:30pm and maybe even a glass of wine, to meet the team. Tonight won’t be a late one as we get used to the time difference (if any) and be ready to explore Kenya’s bustling Capital in the morning.
Breakfast in Africa! Welcome, after kicking off the jetlag, we’re off to the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi. Get ready for sights and sounds, an intensity like you’ve never seen before. After lunch we’ll head off on a walking tour with former street kids, and then we’ll have a girlsLOVEtravel meet up and dinner.
Time for some real travel! We hop on our private transfer to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border. Get stamped outta Kenya, into Tanzania and then off to Arusha we go, Kilimanjaro as the backdrop throughout. Spectacular. Once we arrive in Arusha, we’ll have our project coordinator come and join us for dinner to explain the great work they do here, and how your donations, and hard-work in the coming days will benefit the local community.
Project time, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Dress accordingly, your clothes will never be the same again. We hire people local to the community to carry out the bulk of the construction long in advance, so depending on how far along they are, your jobs could range from shifting sand & bricks, to painting the new classrooms, helping landscape the area, or putting up fences. Either way, factor in heat, sweat and smiles.
Another day of blood, sweat and tears (hopefully we’ll skip the blood!) as we make progress on our project. Expect a hot, hard day with plenty of painting, cleaning and fun. An evening cocktail could be a great award when we get back to our accommodation this evening.
We’re nearly there, or at least we should be if we’ve worked hard enough! The morning will be spent finalising all our various tasks, and then in the afternoon we’ll have our unveiling at the official opening ceremony. Expect laughs, smiles and even a few tears amongst the big softies in our group. This is what travel, and giving-back, is all about.
Hope you had an early night, because we are up for bucket list item this morning. Safari time! It’s Wildebeest migration season, so if we’re lucky, we should be seeing HUGE numbers of animals, so keep those fingers crossed ladies! Let’s hope to spot the big 5 as we explore the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater, perhaps the most exciting place to safari on the planet. We’ll be sleeping in tents amidst the wildlife that evening, keep your eyes peeled for those hyenas who love to enter camp
Another day of game drives amongst lions, rhinos, giraffes to name a few. Today we head to the UNESCO world heritage site of the Ngorongoro crater, where we hope to spot a rhino or two. Hope you have some spare battery packs, you’ll need them. Tonight we’ll sleep in tents on the crater rim.
One last morning game drive to try to tick off those elusive animals, then we will be driving back to Arusha, spotting wildlife all the way back. Tonight we’re back in a hotel, so after 2 nights camping in tents, treat yourself to a hot-water shower, wifi, and some well-earned home comforts!
Finally, a lazy morning. Well, lazy-ish. A not-to-early breakfast at the hotel, time to show off your safari pics on Instagram, then we’re off to Arusha airport, where we’ll be flying directly into Stone Town for a late lunch. From here, we’ll have a 1.5 hour walking tour of Stone Town before jumping into our transport up north to Nungwi, where white sand paradise is awaiting us, just in time for sunset. A group dinner on the beach, and the evening is yours.
Wake up to the sound of the waves crashing, Maasai warriors wondering the village of Nungwi on their days off, local villagers selling trinkets at every corner. Today you can explore the north of Zanzibar, or sit by the pool and read a book. Be ready to meet for the late afternoon Dhow cruise though, we have a local band joining us on our sunset Dhow boat trip. Grab a drink and let’s watch the sunset over Africa.
Our last day, how did that happen? Take the morning to reflect on an adventurous two weeks. Optional spice farm visits and snorkelling trips are waiting for you, but if you’re joining the optional Kilimanjaro climb in a couple of days, a massage or two sounds like a better option to us. Tonight it’s our last dinner as a group, tissues at the ready.
That’s all folks! It’s the last day of the trip, we’ll help you guys transit back to StoneTown, if you’ve booked flights back to Nairobi, or want the ferry back to Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania’s Capital), we’ll help you there too. For the Kilimanjaro climbers, we can help you get transportation arranged to get to Moshi where you will start your climb. We hope to see you for another project in another corner of the world soon.
We will meet in Moshi, Tanzania. Airport transfers are included and will be waiting for those coming in by air. Followed by that, a group dinner with the guide, and a debrief with the team about gear, expectations. Tonight you’re in a hotel, so enjoy your hot shower, and wifi before you hit the mountain. You also have the chance to rent all the gear you need here too. Then an early night ready for the climb tomorrow.
The 8 day package includes a 1 night hotel stay in Moshi, followed by 5N/6D on the mountain including food, porter, guides and water. Finally an additional 1 night in a hotel in Moshi after the climb and airport pick-up and drop-off to Moshi International Airport.
And so it begins. Machame Gate (1,640 meters) to Machame Camp (2,835 meters)
The climb starts from Machame gate (1830m), we walk through the lush lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Slowly gaining altitude while enjoying the diverse flora and fauna of the rain forest, you will arrive to the first Machame Hut, situated at 3000m above sea level If is a clear day we may get our first closer look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit.
TODAY: 6-7 hours walking
MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
A shorter day climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic site, and continue up a gentler ascent through the lower alpine moorland, which is known for beautiful wild alpine flowers. The most spectacular views of Kibo peak can be seen from Shira Camp. Machame Hut to Shira Camp (3,840m);
TODAY: 4-6 hours walking.
SHIRA CAMP TO BARRANCO VALLEY
Today we walk on a gentle ascent and panoramic views. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and after hot lunch the bottom of the Lava Tower (4,600 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.). Shira Camp to Barranco valley (3,900 m.):
TODAY: 5-7 hours walking.
BARRANCO CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP
A steep climb up the eastern wall leads us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo, the trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley. After a short break for a hot lunch we take a steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views through this empty and dry landscape up to Barafu Camp. The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can been seen from Barafu Camp. After a hot lunch at the Camp, The remainder of the day is spent resting as we prepare for the final ascent before an early night summit walk. Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp (4,600 m):
TODAY: 7-9 hours walking.
BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA CAMP
Wake up before midnight in the cover of darkness. We begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5,735m. We will rest there for few minutes to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling good can continue slowly to make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to main peak (5,895 m), which is the highest point in Africa. After a few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment we descend to Barafu is amazingly fast, and we stop at Barafu Camp for some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach Mweka Camp. Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp (3100 m):
TODAY: 13-15 hours walking.
DESCENT – MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE TO ARUSHA
A gentle walk takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka gate successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. After lunch we drive back to Moshi, and back to the hotel for a well-earned shower, and sleep! Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate: 3-5 hours walking.
YOU DID IT! CONGRATULATIONS!
CONGRATULATIONS! After saying bye to our team of guides then we’re done and dusted. We’ll have helped with your onward travel long before this though, so if you’re flying home from Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam or if you’re staying in Africa, we facilitate all you need.
For this GLT GiveBack trip we will be working with a community in Arusha, Tanzania. The local school, where we will be assisting, is under supervision of the local governments of Kiranyiward and Siwandeti ward. They manage three primary schools, Ilkiurei Primary School, Olchoki Primary school and Natema Primary school.
The Ilkiurei primary school is the local government school, built solely through the villager’s self-funding and work ethic, it has since been helped partly through donations from foreign individuals. Currently the school has a total number of 667 students, 316 boys and 351 girls. The school maintenance costs are funded by the Government but the upkeep is left to the local Maasai community. Struggling for funding, you will see that the classrooms are falling apart. Additionally their equipment is lacking and despite the hard work by the teachers, they’re constantly fighting a losing battle.
Thanks to Girls LOVE travel, we’ve been able to pledge 2 new refurbished classrooms for the community. This will allow the hiring of local engineers and labourers to take ownership of the project, and begin construction 4 months before we arrive, stimulating the local micro-economy but also ensuring engagement within the school and community.
With the addition of our on site labour during the trip, that will allow us to add the final touches to these classrooms. A luxury appreciated so much by the kids and locals alike, but a touch that wouldn’t otherwise be added. We will assist with painting the project, tidying up the area, landscaping and donating much needed additional supplies that will allow the classroom to truly feel like a place of learning.
Includes 10 nights in hotels with wifi, air con and pool. 2 nights camping in tents with sleeping bag and mat included.
Come & explore East Africa on an all-female trip, exclusive for GLTers, including a GLT meet-up in Nairobi!
All group day trips, including our Dhow sunset cruise, all group excursions including 3 day safari, National park entrance fees. Optional activities are additional.
Your Project Donation (100% of which goes directly to our project partner in Arusha).
All group in country transportation. Buses, domestic flight and Safari jeep.
Two experienced guides that will be there for you 24/7. Additionally Girls LOVE Travel will have representation on the trip.