The Usambara Mountains, located in a lush corner of northeastern Tanzania, is among the most biodiverse areas in Africa with an exceptional assortment of flora and fauna. Part of the ancient Eastern Arc chain, the Usambaras are estimated to be at least 100 million years old and offer spectacular panoramas of Maasai lands below. On a clear day you can see distant Mount Kilimanjaro.
Cooler than much of the country, the fertile terraced mountain slopes are dotted with small villages and farms, where individual and families largely support themselves through subsistence farming of coffee, sisal, tea and cinchona. As the population in the region increases, there is less available arable land, and opportunities to find new sustainable livelihoods – especially for girls – are rare.
Joining our partner in the community, you will work collaboratively with girls to help them build healthier, safer, and more economically secure futures.
We begin our trip in Moshi to get our bearings and learn about Tanzania by visiting markets and by meeting with individuals engaged at sustainable initiatives. We then travel to stay near our project site in the village of Mtae, perched atop the Usambara Mountains. Beyond our project, CoDA has chosen unique experiences to enrich your adventure.
- Stay at Mambo ViewPoint, a unique eco-lodge and model for development with spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro
- Collaborate and share your creative skills to empower the girls of the Mtae community to develop food and sewn products.
- Visit the Shagayu rainforest, a primeval forest home to the Colobus Monkey and exotic bird species.
- Hike through cliffs and villages of the Usambara Mountains to experience how people live and work.
- Prepare and enjoy a traditional meal with Mamma at her home in the local village.
- End our stay with a two-day safari and full-day game drive in Mkomazi National Park, including a visit to their Rhino Sanctuary. This less-frequented park features over 400 species of birds and nearly 80 species of mammals, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, hartebeests, impala, gazelle, buffalo, and predators, such as lions, leopards and cheetahs.
Our project is a component of the Sisters Workshop, a vocational training program that helps girls (aged 14-19) who have lost the opportunity to continue their education, develop new skills to help them secure employment or start their own small-scale business. Working collaboratively, we will define relevant project objectives, share critical thinking skills and creative tools in two possible project areas. The first area relates to products, packaging and branding for locally made food products, while the second is the development of sewn products. CoDA will guide the process and along with the girls we will have a lot of fun while developing meaningful outcomes.
WHO IS THIS TRIP FOR?
An interdisciplinary approach yields the best travel experience and project results. We are looking for a minimum of 6 professional creatives with varied skills. Sewing, branding, product, packaging and graphic design skills are assets, but not required. On this trip we are also looking for participant with food product knowledge. Finally we are always looking for a professional photographer or filmmaker to join us to document the project.
This trip is also for those that prioritize a unique immersive experience over luxury. Travel in Tanzania can be long and dusty on poorly maintained roads. At times we will travel by motorcycle taxi. For most of this trip you will stay near our project site, in clean, shared accommodation.
Dates: October 22nd to November 4th, 2023, beginning and ending in Moshi, Tanzania. You must plan your travel to be in Moshi by early evening of October 22nd.
Cost: $4,250 CAD ($3,500 USD) based on double occupancy. Depending on numbers, single occupancy may be available for a supplement. Please enquire.
Itinerary: 3 nights in Moshi, 8 nights near our project site, and 2 night in Mkomazi National park on Safari. A detailed itinerary, including accommodation information and daily activities will be provided to participants.
Accommodation: On this trip we will be staying in shared accommodation including hotels, eco-lodge and tented safari camp. Consider traveling with your partner or a friend, as most accommodation suits two.
What’s Included: All accommodation, breakfasts, most dinners and lunches, ground transportation, and activities for 13 days/nights.
Additional Expenses: Your flight ($1000-1500), airport transfer ($40 USD), 3 dinners, travel insurance, and beverages.
Note: All prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated. Proof of travel insurance must be provided and it is recommended you visit a travel clinic before departure.
Sisterhood Land’s mission is to provide children with equal opportunities by providing quality education and skills training for youth from rural areas in the Usambara mountains, in north eastern Tanzania. Their Sisters Workshop project encourages small business opportunities for girls in the village of Mtae. Many girls in the region do not have the opportunity to write the primary school leaving exam, which means their schooling ends at about the grade 7 level.
The Sisters Workshop provides girls and young women a six-months vocational training course in tailoring – sewing, design, product marketing and distribution – which includes business basics to prepare them to run a small enterprise. Supporting oneself and contributing financially to their family postpones early marriage, reduces the likelihood of teenage pregnancy and increases the prospect for improved quality of life. With young women better prepared for work, they become better citizens, and more active members of the local community. Ultimately the goal is to start build a strong female society in Mtae.
I have recommended the trip to quite a few people already, it was a deep and meaningful way to travel, integrated into a community and sharing skills and enthusiasm.
There was joy in this work rhythm… Seeing the same faces everyday, having a routine, and making progress towards a common goal – it is a wonderful way to travel .
The whole experience was valuable, to see everyones qualities, expertise, enthusiasm, creativity. The way we worked as a team even though we just met was so so great.
This is an intimate travel experience where you will engage meaningfully with the community we will be working with. It’s also an opportunity to unplug, roll up your sleeves in a supportive and relaxing environment, to work and network with new people and learn or refresh design skills, all while making profound connections by sharing culture and ideas.
CoDA trips are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities made equally by those who participate. It is team travel for like-minded creatives who aspire to see and engage with the world in a meaningful way. The participants, (you!), shape the outcome. With only eight team members and two guides we are nimble and flexible.