Tanzania

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Feb 21st, 2009, 06:34 AM
  #1
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Tanzania

Hello - I'm a Fodor's regular but not on the Africa board, except for a trip to Morocco last spring. My 15-year-old daughter and I will be spending 3 weeks in Tanzania this summer (July-August) with Crosscultural Solutions. We will be located outside the village of Moshi. This is our first trip to sub-saharan Africa. We will be traveling from Zurich where we live but we are Americans with American passports.

We have just started doing some research and I would love help from anyone on the following: daytrips for our weekends with the possibility of seeing wildlife, what to bring in terms of medications/foods etc, any experiences with Crosscultural Solutions or other volunteering here. Really, any advice or tips to make this a positive experience would be most welcome.

From what I'm reading so far here on Fodor's lots of people bring clothing donations - what is most useful to bring? We will likely be working at either an orphanage or school.

Thank you.

gruezi
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Feb 21st, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Hi gruezi, welcome to Africa forum. Search the forum with the word "volunteer" and you will find ann_nyc threads on preparing and actually going on an Africa volunteer trip. She was in Mozambique but there is much there that would helpful wherever.
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Feb 21st, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Looks like Moshi is not that far from West Kilimanjaro. Though I have not been there, you should have some good elephant action along with other species, if you spent a weeked at one of the camps/lodges in West Kili.

I would think Crosscultural Solutions would have extensive info for you on what to pack, bring, etc. I would insist on talking to Crosscultural clients who have gone to where you are going in during a similar time frame. References are always a nice idea, but in this case, I think they'd be especially informative.

It may get quite chilly at night with no heat and hot during the day. Layers are good. Skirts (knee length or longer) may be preferable for ladies rather than trousers in the village.

For medications, you'll need malaria prevention for sure. I would check with a travel clinic, especially when a child is involved and when your activities go beyond the normal tourist safari stuff. They may suggest Hep B in addition to the widely prescribed Hep A. Ask for Cipro or something similar in case of prolonged and severe stomach problems and load up on the Pepto and Imodium for less severe strains. Probably won't need any of it, but just in case.

I don't know how much time you have in total, and 3 weeks away from home is substantial already, but would you consider extending a few more days to a week+ after your volunteering, to do some of your wildlife viewing? Or going early and doing it before?

I'm sure you will have a wonderful experience.
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Feb 21st, 2009, 12:08 PM
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I would also speak to crosscultural previous clients regarding "resident rates" for camps and lodges.
T think you also need yellow fever vaccination.

SV
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Feb 21st, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Crosscultural should provide detailed info re inoculations - Tetanus, HepA/B, Polio Booster, Thyphoid (tabs), Yellow Fever, other, especially working with locals. A Travel Clinic should be visited, but also take a look at the CDC site, www.cdc.gov/travel (select Tanzania) to familiarize yourselves. They should provide suggested packing list. Also, as above, get references of previous participants.
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Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:08 AM
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Thank you everyone for all these helpful suggestions. We are pretty set on vaccinations (I'm a nurse with a vaccine mfger) and plan to take the malaria prophylaxis. I will get Cipro to bring along as well as the immodium and "pink stuff." Also the wipes....Any thoughts on needing food ie PB? My daughter is a picky eater...

I did find ann_nyc's thread and what she packed which was very helpful.

I will do as recommended and ask to speak to people who have gone to the site we will be going to. I have spoken to 2 so far, but they work for the organization so I don't think that is the best reference.

If anyone else has anything to add, I would really appreciate your input.

I'm particularly interested in what we could do during the two weekends we will have off from work. We are not able to extend the trip, as 3 weeks is already a stretch for me with my job and my other family commitments. I just know my 15-year-old is quite the animal lover - esp. monkeys and elephants - and if there were anyway she could see some wildlife she'd be thrilled. I just don't know what we could arrange for just a day or overnight sort of thing from our location.

Thanks again.

gruezi
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Feb 22nd, 2009, 01:50 AM
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Thank you everyone for all these helpful suggestions. We are pretty set on vaccinations (I'm a nurse with a vaccine mfger) and plan to take the malaria prophylaxis. I will get Cipro to bring along as well as the immodium and "pink stuff." Also the wipes....Any thoughts on needing food ie PB? My daughter is a picky eater...

I did find ann_nyc's thread and what she packed which was very helpful.

I will do as recommended and ask to speak to people who have gone to the site we will be going to. I have spoken to 2 so far, but they work for the organization so I don't think that is the best reference.

If anyone else has anything to add, I would really appreciate your input.

I'm particularly interested in what we could do during the two weekends we will have off from work. We are not able to extend the trip, as 3 weeks is already a stretch for me with my job and my other family commitments. I just know my 15-year-old is quite the animal lover - esp. monkeys and elephants - and if there were anyway she could see some wildlife she'd be thrilled. I just don't know what we could arrange for just a day or overnight sort of thing from our location.

Thanks again.

gruezi
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Feb 22nd, 2009, 07:23 AM
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I understand the 3 week limit. I adhere to that, myself.

I believe this summer may mark the end of the picky eater syndrome for your daughter. Though I have never been forced to eat weird or unappetizing stuff in Africa, even when doing volunteer activities. You will likely have healthy meals prepared and provided for you by staff that is trained in cookery.

It appears Moshi is around 20 miles from West Kilimanjaro. Here is some info. If you like horseback riding, that is a big activity there.

From my research on the area, where I'd like to go but have not yet, June and July are big elephant months here, when they congregate. I'm sure August would be good too. If you have a choice, I'd go to West Kili on your earliest weekend excursion.

Here is some info that might also be included in the links I've given you.

"Poaching is another problem but I do not have time to dwell on the negative here.

Map is here:
http://www.go-safari.com/Westkiliman...ilimanjaro.htm

There are 4 camps of note in the area and I stayed at Hemingway’s, Kambi ya Tembo and Ndarakwai Ranch. Unfortunately Shu’mata Camp was not open yet.

Patterns are changing. The most wildlife (and best scenery) is further north to the west of Hemmingway’s and along the Kenyan border. The area near Hemingways is beautiful with much less dust and even fewer people than Kambi ya Tembo for example.

Hemmingway’s Camp is the place to be if you want an intimate camp with just 7 tents with stunning views and it is closest to the best wildlife concentrations. From the nearby hills you can even see the some of the Amboseli Camps in Kenya!

http://www.go-safari.com/Westkiliman...rurumuWest.htm

I am visiting Shu’mata again soon to focus on the wildlife nearby. I cannot say more about the camp at this time but I think it is very promising especially because of the work they are doing with Maasai women’s groups. The bedding and art seen in my pictures are all done by hand nearby.

http://www.go-safari.com/Westkilimanjaro/Shumata.htm

Ndarakwai Ranch is further south and game drives are mostly on the ranch and to Arusha National Park. Owner Peter Jones is a close friend so I am biased but several of his guides are top-notch. I love the walks and scenery on the ranch and it is where I take fashion photographers for modeling assignments (Kilimanjaro as a backdrop also helps!).

http://www.go-safari.com/Westkilimanjaro/Ndarakwai.htm

Kambi ya Tembo has changed and it is no longer on my list of favorite camps. The owners are focused on large groups (OAT, etc) and Kambi now has 20 tents and I wonder if it will get even bigger.

I am certainly disappointed with their new direction because over the years I have been very supportive of this company but sadly their camps no longer offer the intimate experiences I am looking for.

Unfortunately the Kambi location is not the best either. It is a bumpy and very dusty drive away from the best wildlife areas in the area. There was so much dust it permanently messed up one of my cameras (a $400 fix is required).

http://www.go-safari.com/Westkilimanjaro/Kambi.htm

I must add that all these camps offer cultural experiences with local Maasai villages. Pick your camps & cultural visits carefully as the Maasai is smart when it comes to tourism! Visiting a village as part of a tour group takes a lot away from the experience."


http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...ilimanjaro.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...njaro-area.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...nya-update.cfm

About twice the distance is Arusha National Park. It is a forest habitat with colobus monkeys and sizeable giraffe herds. You can walk and canoe there. Green Footprints is a company with roots in this geographic for walking and canoeing. If you search for Green Footprints, you'll see some info on it. But there are many companies that could help you with Arusha activities. Lately everybody is staying at Tulips Hotel in Arusha, but there are many hotels. With limited time, you may want to stay in the park.

The Mt. Meru area is another one to check out or ask Cross Cultural Solutions about.

Here is a site on all the Tanzanian parks, including the ones near Moshi. It gives accommodations, activities.

http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/index.html

I bet CrossCultural Soltuions could recommend outfitters to take you to these places, and as Spassvogel mentioned, you might be able to get special pricing through their connections. You might be able to team up with other volunteers for even better pricing, if you were interested.
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