Immerse yourself in the vibrant life, sublime beauty and terrific promise of this remarkable land. See abundant wildlife on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Volunteer at an orphanage in Arusha and mentor local schoolchildren. In your last week in Tanzania, take on Africa’s greatest hiking challenge—a weeklong climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent.
Tanzania—its beauty and promise—distilled.
Some people dream of the wildlife. Others the service. Still others Kili. What’s your dream? What will you look forward to most? When you join a Field Studies Tanzania group, your dreams flow together, and the group very quickly shares one dream: to have the greatest three weeks possible in a beautiful, fascinating place.
You’ll explore the wildlife-filled Ngorongoro Crater and spectacular Serengeti. These are must seize on any trip to East Africa, but you’ll do more: you’ll take a number of hikes in beautiful natural areas off the beaten track—along the rim and down into the Empakaai Crater, across the shoulder of the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano and to a waterfall near Lake Natron.
In Arusha the focus is service. You’ll volunteer at an orphanage and primary school, teaching English to young children, playing games and helping with after-school chores. Every day, you and your group will take time to study Swahili with a native-speaker language instructor and learn about the geography, culture and history of Tanzania.
On Kilimanjaro your group will challenge themselves with a weeklong summit bid. At 19,341 feet Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the continent—a spectacular snow-draped volcano astride the equator.
Experiencing all of this—the Crater, the Serengeti, Arusha, Kilimanjaro—is the stuff of dreams. Field Studies Tanzania makes those dreams a reality—and let’s you share them in a fun and friendship-filled Overland group.
8 (1-10, 1 is easiest)
Start / End Location
New York, New York
Cost $4,495usd for 3-weeks
Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.
We will meet at JFK airport in New York, and prepare for our group flight. We’ll get to know each other and learn about the trip before flying that evening. Upon arrival in Tanzania, a private shuttle will bring us to our accommodations in Arusha.
Our adventure begins with a five-day driving and walking safari. Our guides will pick us up in Arusha, and we’ll head west to the National Parks, home to the most spectacular vistas and impressive wildlife Northern Tanzania has to offer. We’ll spend five days traveling through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Empakaai Crater, Lake Natron, Olduvai Gorge and the Serengeti. This route gives us great wildlife viewing opportunities (wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, elephants and lions) and the chance to challenge ourselves with a number of day-long hikes off the beaten track: around the Empakaai Crater, across the shoulder of the Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano all the way to Lake Natron’s beautiful waterfalls.
In Arusha, we’ll spend five days volunteering at the Living Water Children’s Centre, an orphanage and primary school in rural Tanzania several miles outside of Arusha. We’ll spend our mornings studying the basics of Swahili with a native-speaker language instructor and learn about the geography, culture and history of Tanzania. In the afternoon, we’ll work with the children, teaching them English, playing games and helping with chores. We’ll cook dinner together before returning each night to our volunteer accommodations.
After two weeks in Tanzania, we’ll be ready to tackle Africa’s greatest hiking challenge – a week-long summit bid on Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent. We’ll meet our guides at a mountain lodge to prepare for our summit attempt. Over the course of five nights, we’ll progress towards the summit of Kilimanjaro, hiking the Rongai route with our professional guides. We’ll move at a pace that will allow us to appreciate every moment and to adjust to the gains in altitude as we ascend towards the roof of Africa.
At the end of the trip we’ll return to Arusha and celebrate with a final dinner before boarding our flight back to New York.
2 nights on an airplane.
3 nights in private rooms at lodges in Arusha and on Mount Kilimanjaro.
10 nights camping while on safari and on Mount Kilimanjaro. We will have access to bathrooms, running water and showers at most campsites.
6 nights in a private volunteer residence at the Amani Hostel
What to pack
Explore, volunteer and hike in Tanzania while engaging with local communities.
Students going on Field Studies Tanzania should prepare for:
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Climbing Kilimanjaro it is a strenuous physical activity and requires proper training. Your group will be accompanied by professional guides and porters who will carry the majority of your group’s gear. You will carry a day pack with additional layers of clothing, water, snacks, a camera and lunch.
Before your trip, we strongly advise you spend time breaking-in and adjusting to your hiking boots. We expect you to prepare adequately so you can keep up physically and participate in all of your group’s activities. Please follow our guidelines as you prepare for your program.
Groups typically take multiple breaks throughout the day while hiking—for water, snacks, lunch, to adjust packs, etc. During some days on Kilimanjaro you might arrive into camp in the afternoon and take an additional hike to acclimate to the altitude.
Trips involving service work require a positive attitude and willingness to work hard as a volunteer. You should arrive eager to participate in a variety of service projects. You and your group might do chores or play soccer with local students, or read with and teach elementary school students. The projects your group work on will depend upon the availability of service opportunities and the needs of the local community.
International travel requires planning and preparation. You must have a valid passport and the necessary visas, travel vaccinations and travel medications. We will provide additional instructions regarding international travel preparation once we have placed you on a program. More information is also available in the FAQs.
Families are responsible for arranging flights to and from the designated airport during a specified window (please do not purchase flights until you have received an email confirming our review of your health forms and school reference). Overland staff will be at the airport to welcome you at the start of your trip and to assist with your departure. You may also be dropped off and picked up at the airport. If you are flying to and from your trip, we will have you call home upon arrival and before departure. We will provide more specific travel information once we have placed you on a program.
Overland programs are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behaviour. Overland expects all students to contribute to an enthusiastic, positive group. We expect you to be helpful and supportive of your trip mates and leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. You will have the opportunity to send letters and receive mail at designated mail stops, which are shared in the spring.
All trips have a range of challenges. You should come prepared and recognize that some days will be more difficult, more challenging and longer—in terms of hours hiking or volunteering—than others. Changes occur due to a wide range of variables beyond the control of you, your group or your leaders. Service projects can change at a moment’s notice due to weather or the varying needs of local communities. You, or someone in your group, might develop blisters while hiking, or encounter another issue that could delay your group.
Arriving ready for a challenge—and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group—will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland program.
Our admissions team carefully evaluates every application, always looking for healthy, active kids who are ready and eager for the opportunities we have to offer. Our goal is to put together great groups; groups where nice kids can thrive in a warm, welcoming and caring environment.
Overland groups are limited to 12 students. When building our groups, we pay attention to age, grade, gender ratio and the mix of hometowns and schools. We encourage students to come on their own. Travelling with one friend, however, is permitted (we do not accept groups of three or more). We will allow no more than two friend pairs per group, and these slots will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Admissions at Overland is selective, based upon our thorough review of the Admissions Review Forms, and, as a result, we are not open to the general public (instead, we work hard to make admissions decisions that are right for our applicants and for our programs).
Apply online using a credit card for the $800usd deposit. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are submitted (we do not hold spots over the phone).
We recommend applying as soon as you are ready. We receive applications throughout the fall; many programs fill as early as January, and others will have space available in the spring. We encourage families to apply even if the first-choice trip is not available as we frequently open additional sections of certain programs.
Applying to Overland is a two-step process. During the first step, Placement, we determine whether or not there is space available after receiving your child’s application. During the second step, Admissions Review, we carefully review each applicant’s Admissions Review Forms to determine whether or not they qualify for admission in our sole judgment and discretion.
When we receive your child’s application, if the first trip choice is available, you will receive a phone call and an email containing a link to our Overland Family Portal and Admissions Review Forms. We will process your deposit to hold your child’s place in the program pending a favourable Admissions Review. If the first choice is not available, we will call you to confirm the second choice is acceptable. If neither the first nor second trip choice is available, we will call you to discuss options. For those students placed on our waitlist, we will notify you when a spot becomes available.
After the first step, Placement, we will send you our Admissions Review Forms; these include:
Our Admissions Review begins when we receive your completed forms. The goal of this review is to determine whether your child meets Overland’s admission standards. We seek to admit students who demonstrate the personal qualities and experience necessary to succeed on an Overland trip. While Overland is always supportive and nurturing, an Overland trip is unlike a traditional camp in that our small groups—12 students and 2 leaders—travel, live and work as a group, making all of their own meals, helping each other and cooperating in ways big and small, and they do all of this far from home. Every student must be able to thrive in an environment that places equal emphasis on:
Your completed Admissions Review Forms guide our review. We focus on three main areas:
Once we receive your Admissions Review Forms, we will begin the Admissions Review process. If our decision is to admit your son or daughter, we will send you an email confirming your child’s admission. If we decide to not admit your son or daughter, we will send you an email with our decision and we will make a full refund of any payments you have made to Overland.