Frequently Asked Questions
About Arusha, Tanzania
If you want to travel to Arusha Tanzania here are some tips that we recommend you follow. Arusha is located under the shadow of Mount Meru (4565 meters) and 60 km from Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa, 5895 meters). Arusha is also surrounded by some of the most well known National Parks of Africa, like Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. Arusha's location and nearby natural wonders makes it one of the fastest growing cities in Tanzania.
What are the volunteer fees?
To volunteer with M.A.D, the fees are $175 per week (1 week minimum). This includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner and orientation. Small project costs are provided with the fee as well as some transportation.
Fees do not cover airline tickets, travel insurance, resident permits, visas, volunteer visa and any optional day or weekend trips/safaris.
Is the Maisha Arts Development a nonprofit organization?
Yes it is! Unlike many of the volunteer abroad organizations you will find on the internet, Maisha Arts Development is a registered Tanzanian-based nonprofit organization and was registered under the Non Governmental ACT of 2002 and given a Certificate of Registration No 00NGO/0009214 which permits it to operate throughout Tanzania's mainland.
Why choosing to volunteer with us
We believe one of the best parts about choosing to volunteer with us is knowing that all of the money you spend on your volunteer project/fees here in Tanzania stays in Tanzania to provide financial support for local community projects and people.
What documentation do I need to travel/live or volunteer in Tanzania?
Firstly, you need a passport with a minimum of 6 months of validity since your arrival.
A tourist visa can be purchased on arrival at each airport (Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam), for $50 ($100 for Americans) and is valid for 90 days. When you arrive you will only pick up the tourist visa which allows you to access to the country. If you want to volunteer in Tanzania its necessary to have visa for volunteering which is USD $200 and is also valid for 90 days. The volunteer visa will be managed by us for you once you're already in Arusha at Maisha Arts Hostel.
What medical precautions do I need for coming to Tanzania?
Consult with your doctor or travel health center at least three weeks to one month in advance of your departure to examine the medical measures and precations you should take. Here are the vaccines you will be advised to get:
- Yellow Fever
- Typhoid Fever
- Hepatitis A and B.
What insurance do I need for coming to Tanzania?
Medical and Travel Insurance must be purchased. Flying Doctors is a very popular option for East Africa. All details of your insurance must be provided to Maisha Arts Development.
How do I arrive in Arusha?
Fly to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK) with transfer on arrival.
Fly to Nairobi Airport (NBO). The journey from Nairobi Airport to Arusha is approximately 6 hours in duration via bus shuttle. Depending on the arrival of your flight, you can complete the journey to Arusha on the same day, or spend a night in Dar es Salaam or Nairobi and travel the next day. Shuttle costs and accomodation in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi are at your own expense.
We do not you recommend travelling from Dar es Salam to Arusha by road transport due to the minimum 12 hours duration. The best option for travel from Dar es Salam is to fly to Arusha (ARK). Flight companies such as Precision Airlines or Fast Jet are local airlines with reasonable prices flights.
What currency is used in Tanzania?
Our currency is Tanzanian Shillings (Tshs).
You can find money exchange houses (Bureau de Change) in the center of Arusha.
US Dollar notes are most widely accepted, with dates from 2006 onwards.
Will I be able to use my debit/credit card in Arusha?
Credit and debit cards are not generally accepted in shops. Previous volunteers have found the easiest way to access money while in Arusha is to use the ATM terminals. You will need an ATM card that is VISA access (although there are a couple of ATMs with Master Card and Cirrus access). Remember that there are fees associated with this.
What language is spoken in Tanzania?
In Tanzania, Swahili is the national language and a large number of people in differnt areas are able to converse in English.
Will I be able to use my mobile phone?
You can buy a SIM card with a Tanzanian number for your unlocked phone. Local phone companies (Airtel, Halotel) offer cheap rates on pre-paid call, sms and data. You can also buy a mobile phone locally for around 50,000 tshs.
What precautions should I take?
It is recommended to drink sealed bottled water and eat food that is cooked well. It is recommended that you bring some clothing e.g. long sleeved shirts and long pants to protect yourselves from the bites of mosquitoes. Although Arusha is not a high risk area for malaria, for your protection it is recommended to take malaria tablets, as well as to prevent mosquito bites by using sprays with a high content of DDT (30%).
Don't forget to pack a sweater because it can get quite cold at times, as well as clothes appropriate to culture of this East African country.
Transfer and transport rates
From Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) - $50 - $65
From Arusha Airport (ARK) - $25
From Arusha Bus Stand - $10