PMGY volunteer in Tanzania participants are based in the quiet suburbs of the city of Arusha, near the foot of Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain at 4,556m. The Volunteer House accommodation is based around 20 minutes from the city centre and is easily accessible by foot or public transport.
This vibrant African city is an excellent base and for the most part, it is lush, green and enjoys a temperate climate year-round thanks to its altitude. You will find all the amenities you could need in Arusha including banks, supermarkets and international standard hospitals as well as excellent restaurants and nightlife.
Participants generally volunteer on a Monday-Friday basis and the weekends are free to relax or travel further afield. As our volunteers will testify, the wider travel opportunities are extremely important to the whole experience and it is something we certainly recommend. Our local team are able to arrange activities, transport and accommodation but please note this is usually an independent experience outside of the core program.
This informative Maasai cultural museum gives an incredible insight into the lives of this proud, colourful tribe. The museum comes complete with mock-ups of a Maasai house (Boma) and you are taken on a bush walk by a real life Maasai warrior. You can then take a 30 minute camel ride towards the Monduli Mountains, and visit a local Maasai village. Here you’ll get a chance to chat to the local Maasai people and learn about their culture and way of life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see a real slice of Tanzanian life as its still lived today.
MT MERU CURIOS & CRAFTS MARKET
There are quite a few markets in Arusha but this is mostly definitely one not to be missed. Often referred to as the Maasai Market there are some great, local souvenirs to be found here as well some very good higher-quality items. There are almost 2,000 sellers here and it really is a one-stop shopping area for gifts, curios, gemstone minerals and traditional clothing. You will need to practice your expert haggling skills though and be persistent as this market is one of the best in central Arusha.
Tanzania has a plethora of highlights and so much to explore. Billed as ‘the’ place to safari, endowed with powdery idyllic beaches and topped off with the stupendous Mount Kilimanjaro, what’s not to love about this magical country. Throw in the exotic delights of Zanzibar and you can see why it will be unforgettable.
Our in-country team are on hand to help to sort out your weekend trips. They are easily organised and arranging them when you get there gives you much more flexibility, especially if lots of other volunteers want to go too!
The exotic island of Zanzibar, locally known as Unguja, has it all: amazing beaches, fantastic dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve and Stone Town. Stone Town is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. What could be better than chilling out on a spectacular beach by the Indian Ocean? You can choose how to spend your independent travel time, whether it’s lazing on the beach, snorkelling or exploring. You can try it all!
NATIONAL PARK SAFARI
Arusha National Park allows for exploration of a beguiling diversity of habitats next to the majestic peaks of Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. The shallow Lake Manyara was described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. It’s a viewing feast for lounging baboon troops, scampering blue monkeys, forest hornbills, zebra herds, giraffes, lions and tusked elephants. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five and interact with people from the Maasai tribe.
Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain in Africa at a height of 5895m but it is also the tallest free-standing mountain on earth. Conquering its unmistakable snow-capped peak has been the dream of seasoned trekkers for many years. It is a unique mountain full of extreme contrasts. It’s lower slopes are covered in dense forest, the mountain is surrounded by vast expanses of dry savannah, it’s caldera is covered with ice yet this dormant volcano is situated near the Equator. The views from the top of this vast mountain are mind-blowing.
PMGY ORGANISED WEEKEND TRIPS
PMGY operate a number of amazing weekend trips in Tanzania. Everything is planned for you by a PMGY member of staff who knows the country inside and out, which is the ideal way to travel. As with everything in life though it pays to be organised, so if you have your heart set on any of the trips below and would like to be guaranteed a place please book well in advance of travel.
If you’ve already signed up to one of our programs and would like to book, click the book button below. If you haven’t signed up already, you can add the weekend tour onto your trip during the online application form. Please note places on weekend tours are non-refundable and non-transferable.
WILDLIFE SAFARI WEEKEND TRIP (INDEPENDENT) - 539 USD pp.
INCLUDES - TRANSPORT, ACCOMMODATION, MEALS & ENTRANCE FEES
As one of Africa’s top safari destinations, this Tanzanian safari is something not to miss out on – during this trip, you will be fortunate to visit not one, not two, but three National Parks!
Your first day will be spent exploring Tarangire National Park. This expanse of land is based in the midst of the Maasai Steppe and the Great Rift Valley, spanning a tremendous 2,600km² – twice the size as the US City Los Angeles! This makes it the 6th largest of Tanzania’s National parks. Famous for its high number of African elephants, this place is not to be missed!
Your second day is spent exploring Ngorongoro Crater – the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Combined with its varied scenery, it is believed to home the largest density of game across Africa. This makes it one of Tanzania’s best-known locations for spotting members of the Big 5!
Lake Manyara National Park tops off this wildlife adventure! Although it might be one of Tanzania’s smaller parks, it is thought to be underrated, with diverse vegetation and tree climbing lions. Will you be lucky enough to spot one?
DAY ONE - TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Following breakfast at the Volunteer House, the group will be collected by Jeep and briefed by their guide, before embarking on the 1.5 hour drive to Tarangire National Park. On the way, you will have the chance to purchase snacks and beverages. Upon arrival, you will dive straight in with a game drive to become familiar with the land. After a quick pit-stop for a picnic lunch, you’ll continue exploring the beautiful landscapes that you can call your home for the weekend! As the sun begins to set, the group will head out of the park to camp at Lilac campground, for dinner and a good nights rest before the adventure continues tomorrow.
DAY TWO - NGORONGORO CRATER
After a bite to eat for breakfast, you’ll head back out via Jeep to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, approximately 45 minutes from base camp. From the edge of the crater, today’s first game drive will begin. You will be able to take in the beautiful sights, varying from plains, to forests and even swamps! Lunch will be taken at the famous ‘Hippo Pond’ – if you’re lucky, you might spy a hippo going for their midday dip! You will then continue to explore these breathtaking scenes before returning back to camp in the early evening. The day doesn’t finish there! It’s time to relax and rewind with dinner and a cultural dance show.
DAY THREE - LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
You’ll eat your final breakfast at camp before the group makes their way to Lake Manyara National Park, approximately 25 minutes away. Similar to yesterday, you will enjoy two game drives, split up by a picnic lunch. The park is famous for its tree climbing lions, great birdlife, elephants and baboons. As the late afternoon approaches, your guide will take you back to the Volunteer House in Arusha.
ZANZIBAR CHILL OUT WEEKEND TRIP (INDEPENDENT) - 209 USD pp.
INCLUDES - TRANSPORT, ACCOMMODATION, MEALS & ENTRANCE FEES
With bright blue skies and seas, Zanzibar is your place to be! Officially consisting of more than 50 islands, Zanzibar provides the perfect setting to rest, relax and re-cooperate after a busy week at project back in Mainland Tanzania. Unjuja is Zanzibar’s largest and most populous island. It is where this weekend trip is based and is unofficially referred to as ‘Zanzibar Island’. The island has the perfect mix of culture, history and beauty, and is conveniently just over an hour away from Arusha by plane – the perfect getaway!
There is a tremendous amount that you can squeeze out of your time in Zanzibar, and with a jam-packed itinerary across 3 days, you ensure that you get the most out of your mini-adventure. Marvel at dolphins as they graze the ocean’s edge, snorkel through the sparkling turquoise waters whilst exploring nearby islands and stay on the look-out for Zanzibar’s famous monkeys!
DAY ONE - ARRIVAL AND DOLPHIN SPOTTING
Welcome to Zanzibar! After arriving onto the island that morning, you will have a chance to grab your own lunch before getting stuck right in with a Dolphin Tour! Following your collection from the accommodation, the boat departs from Kizimkazi fishing village on the Southern point of the land.
This magnificent region is home to several schools of fish and dolphins, providing you with a great chance of spotting these majestic aquatic mammals. The boat will skim the waters as you keep your eyes peeled, and should the opportunity arise, jump in and swim along! This tour will last between 3-4 hours.
DAY TWO - SAFARI AT SEA
After breakfast at the hotel, you’re off on your next adventure back on the water – you’ll be branching off from Zanzibar Island to explore the other lands the region has to offer. Today is full of adventure, allowing you to engage in a variety of activities as you admire the beautiful islands that compose Zanzibar’s Archipelago. You’ll have a chance to get geared up snorkel gear to explore the fish and corals that decorate ocean floor, before wandering island trails and joining activities in the sand!
DAY THREE - JOZANI FOREST TOUR AND HOMETIME
Today is your last day on the island, but this isn’t to say that your venture is complete just yet. Following your final breakfast at the hotel, you will be spending the day on-land, exploring Zanzibar’s only national park – Jozani Forest. Zanzibar is the only home of the Red Colobus Monkey. These rare monkeys are full of character and can be found roaming freely around the forest. You’ll spend your day keeping a look-out for these peculiar looking creatures, amongst a vast range of others.
A guide will lead you through the trails, acting as your extra eyes as you explore what might be lurking in the trees! After completing the tour, you will have time to find yourself some lunch, pack and make the most out of any extra time you have left on beautiful Zanzibar Island.
DUBAI RETURN STOPOVER TRIP (INDEPENDENT) – 300 USD pp.
INCLUDES - PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFERS, ACCOMMODATION, BREAKFAST & ACTIVITIES
Maximise your time overseas with PMGY by finishing your trip with a long weekend in the glamorous Dubai. Plan your flight schedule to grab an opportunity to spend 4 days and 3 nights in this powerhouse of a city. There is no better city for a stopover trip on your way home than Dubai!
Dubai is a glamorous playground, full of innovative and ambitious projects. The world’s tallest building is found in Dubai standing at an impressive 828 metres. A feat of engineering, it won’t take you long to point out the Burj Khalifa. The world’s largest artificial island is another impressive landmark Dubai boasts. So impressive, the palm tree-shaped island can be seen from space!
Your trip includes a city tour, so you don’t miss any of the best bits of Dubai. Furthermore, you will enjoy an exhilarating 4×4 excursion across the deserts of Dubai. You’ll be sandboarding down huge dunes, taking a camel ride and getting a henna tattoo! The trip is topped off with a delicious barbecue dinner under the twinkling Arabian stars. Enjoy your final night feast whilst taking in a traditional Tanura dance performance.
DAY ONE - WELCOME TO DUBAI!
Welcome to Dubai! You will be met at Dubai International Airport by a PMGY representative. They will be holding a name sign and have a meeting point in place. The specific pick up instructions will be emailed to you a few days before you arrive into Dubai.
DAY TWO - DUBAI CITY TOUR
After breakfast, it’s time to hit the city and see what Dubai is all about! You will be collected from either the hotel itself or a common pick up point located close to the hotel. Across the day, there will be plenty of old and new Dubai city highlights to be visited! This will include Dubai Museum, Dubai Spice Souk, Dubai Mall, The Dubai Fountain and Jumeirah Mosque.
DAY THREE - DESERT SAFARI
The thrill-seeker inside you will come alive as we embark on a thrilling desert safari in an adventurous 4×4 vehicle. In addition, you will enjoy a range of other fun activities such as a camel ride, henna tattoo and sandboarding. As the sun sets on your final night in Dubai and the final night of your trip, we will enjoy an evening meal in the middle of the desert. A delicious BBQ dinner in a Bedouin-style tent awaits you. Enjoy your food as you take in a magnificent desert sunset and a traditional Tanura dance.
DAY FOUR - TIME FOR HOME!
Tuesday is your last day in Dubai and the final part of your trip with PMGY. We will arrange your return airport drop off in time for your flight home. Please note that this is included in your fees. Therefore, your PMGY representative on the trip will be in touch during your time in Dubai to arrange this.