Hakuna matata and a warm welcome to Tanzania! Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as we travel into the heart of this stunning country to get a true taste of African culture and wildlife. We will get to know the country like locals as we embark on a week-long service project with a local school for girls, participating in activities with them as we grow to learn about both ourselves and our new friends. As we head up north, we’ll learn how to live the rustic, African way of life as we spend our days in the bush viewing wild game and our nights camping under the clear, starry skies. Our encounters with local tribes will give us valuable insights into how people have existed in the area for thousands of years and the many ways that they continue to preserve their cultures today.
Informational Meeting Details
A TFT representative will give a short presentation and answer your questions.
Date: Tuesday, October 15th
Location: Agnes Irwin School Auditorium
DAY 1: DEPART FROM THE USA
Group flight departs from New York (JFK) to Arusha!
DAY 2: Arrive to Arusha
Private ground transfer from JRO Airport to Arusha lodge. Arrive to Arusha. Relax by the pool at the lodge and enjoy dinner under the stars.
DAY 3: Marangu Mtoni and Kilimanjaro Foothills
Our morning starts early as we drive to Marangu Mtoni, where we will meet our guide and visit the home of the locals who accompanied the first recorded climber of Mt. Kilimanjaro as his guide in 1889. We will also have our choice of two beautiful waterfalls to hike to before visiting a traditional Chagga house where we will learn more about their culture as we enjoy a hot, local lunch carefully prepared by the women in the village who participate in this cultural program with us. After lunch, our guide will take us to see a historic site in the Makundi area where we will visit caves used to protect people during the Maasai-Chagga wars in the distant past. We will also visit blacksmiths who still use traditional methods to prepare tools as well as a local woodcarving school. At the end of this amazing day full of cultural experiences and our up-close encounter with Mount Kilimanjaro, we will head back to Arusha to enjoy our final night there accompanied with a delicious celebratory Swahili dinner.
DAY 4: Monduli Mountains and the Maasai
This day is full of cultural experiences as we trek through the Rift Valley and the forest of the Monduli Mountains. We’ll visit a Maasai boma (homestead compound) and Maasai villages along the way with our guide. Here we will learn firsthand about the Maasai culture from the Maasai people themselves, a very unique opportunity to gain insights into the most famous of the area’s tribes. Following our visit, we will return to Arusha for the night.
DAY 5: Ngorongoro Crater
After an early breakfast, we will depart the lodge and and drive to Ngorongoro Crater, where the stunning ethereal blue-green vistas are simply breathtaking. The famous Crater is a World Heritage Site and situated at the eastern edge of the Serengeti. Though the views from above are beautiful, the real magic happens when you descend down into the world’s largest unbroken caldera, nearly three million years old and considered “Africa’s Garden of Eden.” It is a haven for thousands of wild game, including lions, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, rhinos, Thomson’s gazelle, and buffalo. We will descend into the Crater for game viewing and drive among this unparalleled concentration of wildlife, including the highest density of both lions and overall predators in Africa, as well as the last of the remaining Black Rhino. After our game viewing and picnic lunch, we will ascend the Crater and drive to Lake Eyasi and the campsite where we will have dinner and spend the night camping in tents.
DAY 6: Hadzabe Bushman Tribe
This morning our guides will introduce us to the Hadzabe Bushman Tribe that inhabits the area. This is a hunter/gatherer tribe that lives much as they have since the Stone Age. They hunt for small game with homemade poison arrows and gather berries, nuts, and honey. They have no permanent home, preferring instead to make shelter of leaves and other bush each night. As human activities and agriculture have increased, their very existence is under constant threat. It is considered a very special privilege to have the opportunity to learn firsthand about their culture and lifestyle. Following our visit to the Hadzabe, we will meet the neighboring Datonga Tribe. This tribe is known for their many metalsmiths who trade with the Hadzabe, providing them with the arrows that they use to hunt as well as beautiful metal jewelry. At the end of the day we will travel to Monduli Juu for dinner and will spend another night sleeping in tents under the starry African sky.
DAY 7: Tarangire National Park
In the morning we will drive to Tarangire National Park, the least visited of the northern Tanzanian game parks, providing the real feeling of truly undiscovered Africa. It lies a little distance to the south of Lake Manyara and covers an area of 1,000 square miles. We will enjoy game viewing throughout the day, as well as a picnic lunch. Keep your eyes peeled for herds of elephants and a variety of birds while taking in the epic scenery of baobab trees and the Tarangire River. In the late afternoon we will drive to Panorama Camp for dinner and stay the night in African style igloo rooms!
DAY 8: Overland Transfer to SEGA
After breakfast our real adventure begins! We will travel to Morogoro with a private bus, having lunch en route. Upon our arrival, we will receive a warm greeting with a traditional welcome song from the students at the school.
DAYS 9-11: SEGA SCHOOL CULTURAL EXCHANGE
This visit to the school is the heart of this trip. You will work on projects focusing on life skills and leadership training, as well as forming bonds with the students. Most of the students are from highly disadvantaged backgrounds and many of them arrived to the school suffering from very low self-esteem. We continue to help address this important issue by helping the students build confidence and leadership skills through a variety of games and activities. Together you will work on hands-on projects including assisting with the organic gardens, Anti-Ivory Club activities, cooking lessons, and many others. We will also have the unique opportunity to visit the homes of some alumni who live in the area.
DAY 12: Choma Waterfall Hike and Final Evening Celebrations
We will celebrate the end of our time together by joining the girls on a day trip to a nearby mountain where we will hike to a waterfall and enjoy a relaxing dip. This day is a favorite for both TFT and the students alike. We will spend our last evening together enjoying a delicious Swahili meal, singing, dancing, and recalling stories of our time together over the past week.
DAY 13: Overland Transfer to Dar es Salaam
After breakfast, we will say farewell to our new friends and begin our overland journey to Dar es Salaam. Kwaheri, Tanzania! Until we meet again!
DAY 14: Arrive back to the USA!
Deadline to register: December 15, 2019
Within three days of registration: Deposit of $1500
(February 2, 2020): $1000 payment due
(March 16, 2020): $1000 payment due
(April 9, 2020): $1000 remaining balance due
Trip must be paid in full no fewer than 60 days before departure, by April 9, 2020.
*All payments are fully refundable until January 15, 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Travel For Teens?
We are in our 18th year in the teen travel business and have emerged as the industry leader for teen travel.
Our philosophy: We offer genuine and authentic trips for travelers, not tourists.
Our goal is to engender a passion for learning about other cultures and places through living like a local in that place.
How much is tuition and what does it include?
Tuition for the trip is $4695, which INCLUDES flights, all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, accommodations, transportation, entrance to museums/events, taxes and tips.
Tuition does NOT INCLUDE beverages other than filtered water at meals, laundry, souvenirs, shopping, visas and visa application fees, personal and medical expenses, activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary, excess baggage fees, damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. transportation delays or natural disasters), or Trip Cancellation Insurance (Travel Protection Plans).
If I cannot afford the payment schedule listed above, does Travel For Teens provide flexible payment plans?
Yes, Travel For Teens is willing to customize a payment plan for any participant who needs a little flexibility in the payment schedule. Please email email@example.com for details on payment plans.
How much is trip cancellation insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance will be mandatory for all participants and is not included in your deposit payment. AIS will work with the students and families directly regarding coverage.
How much is airfare? How do the flights work?
Travel For Teens will reserve a group contract for all participants traveling from New York (JFK) to Arusha (JRO) and from Dar es Salaam (DAR) to New York (JFK) on the return. The exact flight path will be determined in December 2019.
Who can go on this trip?
This trip is open to all Agnes Irwin School students. Space is limited and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Are parents allowed to go on this trip?
Participants will be traveling without a parent. Adults associated with Agnes Irwin School may contact the lead chaperone if they wish to come as an additional chaperone.
What happens after I register?
Once your deposit is paid, you will receive an email that confirms your registration.
You will receive another email that contains your USERNAME and PASSWORD to MyTFT. All forms to be completed by parents and physician as well as packing lists, travel tips, travel insurance information, and other important information can be found on the MyTFT portal (hard copies of the essential legal/medical forms can be mailed to participants upon request). Our contract and release must be signed by all custodial parents (or guardians) and the participant. We will host a second meeting in advance of your departure to go over all last minute questions and details.
Where do we stay?
We stay in a variety of fun and safe accommodations throughout the program (from African igloos to rustic lodges). The names of the accommodations are available to all families once they have signed up for the trip.
Single rooms can be requested and will cost $70 additional per person per single. Note: singles must be requested at the time of registration to be guaranteed.
Trip Emails & Photographs
We will take dozens, if not hundreds, of photos each day. The best photos will be posted as regularly as possible (ideally every day) to a private webpage where you can follow along with the trip. We will send you an email to alert you when we post new photos. We will provide every family a link for downloading all pictures immediately after the trip returns. All photos can be purchased in high resolution after the trip via digital download ($50) or USB ($75).
The trip director will be in regular email contact every 24-48 hours, internet willing, with the families. Email will be the best way to communicate messages to the Trip Director.
Safety, Sickness & Communication
SAFETY AND SICKNESS
The safety of your kids is our #1 concern, which is why we have only experienced trip leaders running the show.
All trip leaders and chaperones will have international mobile phone access and TFT will give you these numbers before departure.
The TFT trip leader will also have a smartphone that is accessible 24/7 that can be called in case of emergency.
Your kids will be given opportunities to call and email home on a regular basis. Teens are encouraged to bring a cell phone on the trip. Outside of the hotel students can use their cell phone for photos/videos and emergencies. At the hotel, they can use their smartphones for social media, texting, emailing etc.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the food like on a TFT program? Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
We also love to have picnics al fresco and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!
Are participants allowed to have their cell phones on the program?
We do allow participants to bring their phones, but we ask that they use it solely as a camera when we are out and about during the day. We want everyone to focus on living in the moment and fully experience each new destination we are visiting without being absorbed in their phones. We ask that participants look at their journey with us as a way to disconnect. When we have downtime at our hotels in the evenings it is okay for participants to use their devices to connect with friends and family back home.
What is the activity level of this trip?
This is an active trip. The goal of the trip will be to maximize each day. We aim to achieve a good balance of activity and downtime. You will need to be comfortable walking about 5 miles a day in total.