Volunteering in Tanzania: Arrival Procedure in Arusha and Dar es Salaam
- Arrival Airport: Kilimanjaro (JRO); Dar Es Salaam (DAR)
A member of Projects Abroad staff meets all volunteers at the airport when they arrive. Volunteers who are working in Arusha can fly into either Kilimanjaro or Arusha airports. Kilimanjaro airport is about an hour taxi ride from the town of Arusha, whereas Arusha airport is about 20 minutes from the town center. It is also possible for us to pick volunteers up from the bus station in Arusha if you decide to travel from Nairobi or Dar es Salam by bus. If volunteers are working in Dar es Salaam then we will meet the volunteer at Dar es Salaam airport. We will be waiting for you in the arrivals area holding a letter-sized laminated “Projects Abroad” sign. You will then travel by taxi to your host family.
The volunteers based in Arusha live in various districts in and around the town. Some volunteers live in Arusha town itself, whereas others live in an area called USA River which is about 40 minutes east of Arusha or in the Monduli district about one hour west of Arusha. Volunteers living and working in Dar es Salaam are mainly based in the Kinondoni area in the northern part of the city. You will first be introduced to your family and spend time unpacking and settling in.
Volunteering in Tanzania: Orientation and Induction.
You will have your induction on the next working day after you arrive. We will come and pick you up from your host family and show you around the town. You will start the day by going to our office where we will go through the Tanzania Handbook with you, including all the necessary safety and security measures.
A member of staff will also give you two forms that you will be required to fill out in order to get your volunteering permit. Volunteers working in Arusha and Dar es Salaam will need to get a Carrying out a Temporary Assignment (CTA) permit, which allows you to work in Tanzania as a volunteer.
If you are based in Arusha immigration authorities require that all volunteers submit the completed forms, 5 passport photographs, a copy of your passport, visa, and resume, and an additional fee of US$300.
Volunteers who are working in Dar es Salaam need to submit the completed forms, 4 passport photographs, a copy of your passport, visa, and resume, and an additional fee of US$250.
A member of staff will go to the immigration office and get your CTA permit processed for you.
We will then take you around the local area and show you the important sites and landmarks including internet cafes, the post office, where to change money, and how to get to each place from your accommodation. We will also show you where other volunteers live and you will have the opportunity to meet some of them.
Depending on the time and your program, you may be introduced to your placement on the same day as your induction. If not, we will pick you up and take you the next day. We will show you how to use public transport so that you become familiar with the route and landmarks. You will need to cover the cost of your journey to and from work. Most volunteers travel to work on the local bus, which normal costs about 50 cents per ride.
The majority of our volunteers stay with host families. Tanzanian people are known for their hospitality and you will experience this first hand when you meet your family. The houses are spacious and usually have a garden or outside terrace where you can relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Alternatively, a few volunteers stay at the orphanage or center where they work. You will get an authentic Tanzanian cultural experience as you live with locals in the Tanzanian community.
Host families speak Kiswahili and English. The children in the host families are always eager to teach the volunteers Kiswahili and practice their English. Vegetarians can easily be catered for.
The Projects Abroad office in Arusha is based in the center of the town near the soccer stadium. The local bus station is just next to the office, making the office very accessible for our volunteers. The office itself is easy to find as it’s located in a tall blue building known as Blue Rock House – a local landmark in Arusha. The office provides a great view of the city and on a very clear day you can even see Mount Kilimanjaro!
Our office in Dar es Salaam is also in a prominent position and can be easily found just outside the large shopping complex known as Milimani city. Buses, taxis, and bajajis make regular stops outside the big shopping center making our office easily accessible by public transport.
Both the offices in Arusha and Dar es Salaam are spacious. They have work areas for our staff and also workshop rooms where doctors and teachers come and talk to the volunteers on a regular basis. There is equipment in both offices for the volunteers including materials, books, and medical equipment. There are also rooms for the volunteers that have comfortable chairs, a water cooler, and local newspapers and books to read.
Tanzania has two main seasons: summer (dry season), which lasts from June to November, and winter (wet season), lasting from December to May. In the northern and eastern regions of the country (where Projects Abroad is based), the rainfall is bimodal, so there are two rainy seasons. The “short rains” or Vuli occur from October to December while the “long rains” or Masika last from March to May. Volunteers should bring a sweatshirt and jacket with them as it can get chilly.
At the end of your placement we will arrange your journey back to the airport by taxi. If you are based in Arusha then it will be to Arusha or Kilimanjaro airport, if you are based in Dar es Salaam then it will be to the Dar es Salaam airport.