Camera Michael Schmertzler

Welcome to East Africa

Travel to NOLS East Africa to explore Tanzania’s famed wilderness landscapes and rich cultural history. Hike through renowned wilderness areas ranging from Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Crater to the Great Rift Valley and Oldoinyo Lengai, an active volcano. Trek across the lowland savannah where the Maasai people herd cows alongside zebra and giraffes or bushwhack through the rainforest to Kilimanjaro’s summit—an experience as grand as its name. You’ll have the rare opportunity to experience Tanzania as a loololan, a traveler who carries a heavy bag, rather than a tourist. For part of your course, your group will have the privilege of hiking with a Maasai liaison and learning firsthand about local culture, ecology, and history. On courses with a homestay, you’ll participate in your host family’s day-to-day life, which may include going to school with the children, helping with daily tasks, and performing service projects. Most of the local food will probably be new to you and you’ll learn to cook some dishes, like ugali, the staple corn meal, and uji, porridge made from millet and sorghum. The NOLS East Africa experience is not easy—but it is fulfilling and by the end, you won’t want to say goodbye.

Courses in East Africa

About East Africa

Information about this location

P.O. Box 15259 Arusha
Tanzania, United Republic of

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At the first camp site in Tanzania, I was so taken by the silhouette of the thorn acacia trees outlined by the setting sun that I found myself sketching them in the dark with just a dim light behind me.

It was hard to believe that I hadn’t made any travel sketches in over 15 years, since I was still in university. I have visited many places since then, but I rushed from one place to another, never letting myself step back and enjoy the moment. My daily life had been running at the same breakneck pace. I longed for a respite.

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Credit: Michael Schmertzler