Veronica spent a whole 10 weeks in Tanzania and ended up falling in love not only with the country, but with her partner of 7 months! She told us “Feel free to share my story!”
Chris and myself met through the OV buddy list, as we were both wanting to volunteer at the same time in Tanzania we decided to book our flights together.
1. Why did you choose Tanzania?
I chose Tanzania because apart from working with the children we were both excited to see the wildlife, Chris had previously been to Africa (Ghana) and didn’t have a chance to see any animals.
2. Why did you choose to go when you did? Was that because of work or courses?
We had both finished our degrees and spent a year saving up money for our OV adventure.
3. How was your journey to Iringa?
Horrible, we also did the trip from Dar to Iringa in the bus a few times in our free time, which was always hot, crowded, and we were over charged. Although on the plus side we always saw wildlife as we passed through the national park, and one time we had our journey slowed by a family of elephants!
4. Was there anything that was easier than you had imagined?
Getting to know the locals, we made friends with a man called Anderson and were invited to his village to have lunch with his family. His assistant Magdalena also invited us to her church service, which was also quite the experience!
5. What were your volunteering highlights?
Our highlights included the baby orphanage, where we played with the very youung children. Also teaching in a local school called Kihesa on the weekends was great fun. We got artistic at a project called FISCH and painted a mural in the chapel. Handing out school equipment that we had raised money for was very rewarding.
6. Did you learn anything during your stay?
We learnt to appreciate the things we have, be they possessions, friends, or family.
7. What was the weather like?
Incredibly hot or incredibly wet. We also had waterfights!
8. What were your free time highlights? Did you get to visit other places?
Safari at Ruaha, where we saw a wide variety of wildlife including lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, antelopes, kudu, warthogs, baboons, zebra and amazing scenery. We also visited the Simila national park, shopped in the Masai markets, visited Bongoyo island and Dar es Salaam. Bongoyo island was when our romance actually began.
9. What were your essential items?
Sun cream, comfortable shoes/trainers, sun hat/ glasses, first aid kit, chocolate, hand gel, ladies products, condoms, mosquito repellant/net, afterbite care. (View our article on theessentials to pack when volunteering abroad)
10. Any tips for anyone considering Tanzania?
Make friends with some locals, eat at Mamma’s kitchen! Mamma Iringa also serves great pizza but it is tricky to find. Ice cream from Lulu’s, be sensible with money, shop around for safaris and there are 6 of you it only costs about £45 each for 2 days. Oh and remember a spare battery/charger for phones on safari!
Find out more about volunteering in Tanzania and details of our programme.