Medi Trip Tanzania is based in Arusha, Tanzania which is easily one of the most beautiful destinations surrounded by several of the world's best Safari Parks including the Serengeti and Lake Manyara. Our interns get to experience the humbling nature of Tanzania life as our accommodations are in the heart of the local community. They quickly adapt, learn to engage with locals and learn so much about the local culture.
Tanzania belongs to the East African community, neighboured by Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique. Arusha is in northern Tanzania; a very unique and vibrant city at the base of Mount Meru, about an hour away from the tallest mountain in Africa Mount Kilimanjaro. The city is surrounded by natural beauty being in close proximity to several national parks including Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Olduvai and Arusha National Parks.
Interestingly, Arusha hosted the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda and sits as the de facto East African Community capital. Despite being in a conservative and religious country, Arusha is regarded as more liberal and very open to foreigners. Perhaps due to it's historical significance in the 1961 Arusha Declaration, which gave independence to modern Tanzania from the British Commonwealth. The city is very much a melting pot, multicultural and populated by people from all different backgrounds. The main language spoken is Swahili and a visitor would do well by learning a few of the many greetings.
The diversity is not only in the changing landscapes but also the people, with over 110 tribes with their distinctive dialets, coming together to speak the common tongue of KiSwahili. These amazingly cultured people compete with the complex modern world. Many fall victim for poverty, sickness and lack of development. Lack of access to basic healthcare, basic education and opportunities means they struggle everyday to improve their lives. Many young boys and girls leave school early to help their families at home, taking care of their livestock, helping on the farms or working to help raise income. Many girls and boys leave their villages to find better opportunities in bigger towns or cities, many are left homeless on the streets far away from their homes.
With access to basic education, learning how to gain access opportunities to further themselves, the community are looking for sustainable ways to develop. Interacting with likeminded people from around the world stimulates ideas within the community and helps them realise there are many people like you who care. These warm and gracious people are well known for welcoming people from all around the world. By really immersing in their culture, you get a better understanding of their lives, their struggle and help them move forward with solutions that make a difference to them.
Many Medi Trippers will not have ever visited Africa, much less Tanzania and often don’t really know what to expect. At Medi Trip, we try not to build any particular expectations as every Medi Tripper’s experience and perception is very unique and individual, however none are let down or left anything less than amazed by Tanzania. Tanzanian’s uphold a strong reputation of being incredibly gracious, kind and warm people. You will often find yourself involved in an extended greeting or a long conversation of someone getting to know you or just simply finding out how you are and it is considered very rude not to greet people appropriately. Don’t be shy and enjoy the warm welcomes you will be greeted with walking down the street, socializing or at work!
Although most Tanzanian's speak and understand basic English, language may be a barrier when communicating with your medical colleagues and your patients. It is important to remain open and confident while working. Remember that you will always have your supervisor at hand to assist you and help guide you along the way. Many people find once they get to know their colleagues and get into the flow of things, this isn't much of an issue, however this is another challenge that you will have to be prepared to overcome.
We provide safe, clean and comfortable accommodation, comfortable bedding, excellent breakfast and dinner and housekeeping. This will be a quiet and friendly neighbourhood only 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town. You will have wifi, hot showers, 24 hour gated security, a domestic/cook (who will happily do your laundry for a small fee) and a coordinator who will ensure you settle in quickly and comfortably into your new town. This is a shared home where you will be staying with other volunteers and guests from across the world, so you will never be on your own in your new environment. The house is impeccably clean, well kept, modern and spacious.
How will you get around?
You have the choice of local taxi’s (we have contacts of affordable, trusted drivers) who can get you around town or you can use the famous ‘dala dala’ mini buses that most Tanzanian’s use to travel locally everyday.
Important VISA & Permit Information
You will be required to pay a for a VISA & Permit for voluntary work assignment. Please enquire for details.
Medical Practice Fee.
This is a payment all medical volunteers in Tanzania must make towards the Ministry of Health, Tanzania. This is a stand alone fee all medical volunteers and workers make.
Where do my fees go?
Most of your fees are spent locally. Fees ensure you have above local standard accommodation, that you have a personal coordinator picking you up at the airport, orientating you and you have a coordinator day to day and your program is planned and facilitated specifically for you, to match your skills and get you to provide the very best to those that need you.
Do any fees go directly to the projects?
Yes they do. Although we don't necessarily think that making financial contributions solve the complex issues faced by deprived areas, we do make a charitable donation on your behalf to your project placement. This is not mandatory. We do this as we know how challenging it can be for our partners to host, supervise and very often teach volunteers. We want our partners to know they are valued and respected for their time as best we can.
Is Africa safe for me to travel alone? Do I need to be with other volunteers?
Regardless of whether you're volunteering on a clinical mission, you're still a tourist. Forward planning is key to protecting yourself from risk as you would anywhere in the world. As a group or a solo traveller from abroad, you will attract attention but, you will also have a great support system in your volunteer coordinators, fellow travellers/volunteers and supervisors. It's important to try and be conscientious of your new surroundings and respect and follow local customs as much as possible and insure yourself from any possible risks.
Africa is a large continent with every country varying greatly in local culture, customs, rules and regulations. Research your destination as much as possible and ask as many questions as possible. We would never place you at risk or in harm's way, however it is important you take ownership of your journey and behave responsibly.
Still have more questions? Ask and get in touch!