At a glance
- Get Started: Download this trip's itinerary
- Experience the local culture in East Africa by living and working in Tanzania for four weeks, and in Kenya for two weeks.
- Work in several areas, ranging from protecting endangered giraffes to empowering disadvantaged women.
- Participate in community development and learn basic Maasai vocabulary and phrases for cultural enrichment.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
How does the East Africa Gap Semester Program work?
Our Gap Semester in East Africa functions as a standalone module, or you can easily link it to other Gap Semester programs to have a fuller gap year experience. Each module includes a Capstone Project as an educational component, and it can take any form, such as an essay or even a painting.
The East Africa program covers two locations: Kenya and Tanzania.
Students start by flying out to Kenya, and you’ll have orientation before starting work at the Soysambu Conservancy for two weeks. Here, the focus is on giraffe and lion conservation, and participating in some local community initiatives. Over the weekend, you’ll visit two stunning national parks filled with African wildlife.
From Kenya, you’ll travel to Tanzania in a private bus arranged by us. You’ll then join two projects of your choice, for two weeks each. You can choose from the following projects:
- Human Rights/Women’s Empowerment
In addition to your projects, you’ll also enjoy cultural enrichment through a basic Maasai Language Course and be involved in a community development project. Over the weekends, you’ll do a safari and visit local markets.
What work will I do on my projects?
- 2 weeks Giraffe and Lion Conservation at Soysambu Conservancy
- Visit national parks and join cultural activities
- 2 weeks with a project of your choice
- Weekend Safari
- 2 weeks with another project of your choice
- Learn about Maasai culture
We explain more about these projects and what they involve below. We can facilitate internships during your Gap Semester if you need to fulfill requirements for school; you just need to let us know.
In Tanzania and Kenya, you can:
Support local female entrepreneurs and give them the tools they need to achieve financial independence
Raise awareness of women’s rights and gain legal experience by writing pleas, researching cases, and more
Lion & Giraffe Conservation in Kenya
Experience the ultimate African adventure by living and working in the heart of the savannah at Soysambu Conservancy. You’ll get hands-on experience and learn from expert conservationists, while doing things like:
- Research endangered species and monitor local populations
- Set camera traps
- Raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment
- Remove invasive plant species
- Maintain natural water holes for the animals
You can read more about the project here.
Medicine in Tanzania
Our Medical Project aims to improve access to healthcare services for underprivileged communities. As a volunteer, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside medical professionals at a hospital in Arusha, observing local doctors and gaining valuable experience.
In addition to your hospital work, you'll also participate in community healthcare outreach. These outreaches involve educational workshops that raise awareness about non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, and provide basic health screenings and medicine to local residents.
You will also attend medical-based educational workshops which will provide you with the opportunity to learn about local healthcare challenges, the specific diseases that impact the region, and the cultural context in which healthcare is delivered.
Women’s Empowerment and Human Rights in Tanzania
Gender equality is a critical issue worldwide, and we’re working to bridge the gap between genders in Tanzania. Our Women’s Empowerment Project targets specific, marginalized groups, and everything we do for them is centered around building a sustainable future. With us, you can do things like:
- Run skills development classes for local women
- Teach kids in schools and people in the community about gender equality
- Raise awareness about issues that hold women back, including poverty, illiteracy, and ill health
If you're interested in legal work, we also empower women through our Human Rights Project. You’ll focus on actively protecting women’s and children’s rights in Tanzania, through tasks such like:
- Writing pleas
- Researching cases
- Giving human rights presentations
- Tackling injustices and helping with issues of land, inheritance, and probate law
Read more about Women’s Empowerment and Human Rights in Tanzania.
Microfinance in Tanzania
The main goal of this project is to support female entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities on their journey to achieve financial independence. Projects Abroad provides an interest-free loan to kick-start a small business, and you assist with:
- Provide general business advice and teach basic numeracy and literacy if needed
- Do home visits and interviews with prospective beneficiaries
- Develop business plans and marketing strategies
- Manage loan accounts
You can read more about this project here.
Support Education in Tanzania
In Tanzania, we’re supporting education in rural areas by making sure young students can access English classes. We’re also focused on improving literacy, and making sure that students learn in safe, clean environments.
As a volunteer teacher, you’ll:
- Plan and run English classes
- Work with teachers to prepare exciting practical lessons
- Assist with extracurricular activities such as music, sport, art, and drama
You can read more about Teaching in Tanzania here.
Experiential Learning: Capstone Project
As part of your Gap Semester program, you’ll work on a Capstone Project. It can take any form or medium, like an essay, poem, photo journal, or painting. You pick a topic and a question to think about critically and explore. This topic should relate to both your own experiences on the program and also the setting of East Africa. At the end of the program, you’ll present your project to the group.
Where will I work?
Arusha is a city nestled at the foot of Mount Meru. It’s home to over 400,000 people and has a mix of high-rise buildings and less modern developments. With our volunteer opportunities in Arusha, Tanzania, you’ll have exposure to many different aspects of life in Tanzania.
During your free time, you can enjoy the buzzing city centre. Visit local markets and buy souvenirs like Batik artworks, or try out the local cuisine. There are nearby wildlife reserves which give you the chance to connect with Africa’s amazing nature during safaris. You’ll even have the chance to learn more about the Maasai tribe while visiting a traditional village.
During your time in Kenya, you’ll be based at the Soysambu Conservancy.
The conservancy is located in the heart of the ancient, beautiful Great Rift Valley in Nakuru County. Soysambu is on the Kenya Wildlife Service’s list of endangered ecosystems. This is why we need volunteers to support the work of local conservationists in Kenya, and this particular wildlife conservation effort is the perfect opportunity.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in Arusha. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Tanzania and have a truly unique experience.
We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.
Your programme fee includes three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team
Not quite what you’re looking for?
Take a look at the following pages where you'll find collections of similar projects:
Gain practical work experience and build your CV in areas such as Business, Medicine, and Journalism.
Help make a difference in local communities and learn new skills. Get involved in Childcare, Wildlife Conservation, and more