A group of gap semester students experience cultural immersion in a Maasai village in Tanzania, East Africa.

Take a Gap Semester Abroad in East Africa

Kenya and Tanzania

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. 

Start Dates: 

Throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Six Weeks

Ages: 

17-24


How does the East Africa Gap Semester Program work?

The Gap Semester in East Africa functions as a standalone trip, or you can easily link it to other Gap Semester programmes to have a fuller gap year experience.  

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: 

  • Education
  • Human Rights/Women’s Empowerment
  • Medicine
  • Microfinance

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. 


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.


Where will I work?

Arusha

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.

Soysambu

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.

 

When you arrive at your respective airport in Kenya, a Projects Abroad staff member will be there to meet you and drive you to the conservancy. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Kenya Arrival Procedures page.

Once you have finished your Project work in Kenya, you will board a private bus arranged by us to take you across the border into Tanzania.


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

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

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