Tanzania is a spectacular country, home to Africa's highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as vast nature reserves, a beautiful coastline and bustling cities. To get the most out of a trip to the nation, you should volunteer as part of your travels.
There are a host of options if you want to work abroad while discovering all Tanzania has to offer and, in fact, helping out in local communities is the best way to get a real understanding of daily life in the nation. By getting involved in voluntary work, you'll be presented with a unique opportunity to get to know more about the culture of this vibrant country. So, what exactly can you do if you decide to volunteer in Tanzania?
One of the most popular options for people heading off on a gap year is to teach English - and as the language is so widely spoken around the world, it's a useful tool for many people to have, particularly if they want to work in the tourism industry.
As you would expect, there are numerous opportunities to teach children of all ages, from kids just starting primary school to those with a better grasp of the subject at a secondary level. Generally, you'll be working as a teaching assistant alongside a fully-qualified teacher, helping the children get up to speed with the language.
You won't only be participating in English lessons, though, as there is the chance to get involved in sports coaching and other extra-curricular activities like arts and crafts, dance and music. You can even assist in science, maths or geography lessons if you have a passion for a particular subject, allowing you to get as much out of the experience as the children do!
Due to the poverty in many African nations, as well as the devastating effect HIV and Aids has on local communities, there are many young children who don't have parents to look after them during the day. To help ensure these little ones get the best possible start in life, you can volunteer at one of the childcare centres in Tanzania, where you'll play games with the kids and help prepare them for primary school.
Children as young as six months old will be coming to these centres, and as resources are often scarce in the nation, any help you can offer will be much appreciated. With that in mind, it's worth packing exercise books, colouring pencils, reading books, craft materials and other stationery as these things can be hard to come by in the country's more remote regions.
There is also the option to go out into the wider communities once the kindergarten finishes for the day to work with local women's groups, for example, giving you a unique insight into the Masai culture - something you certainly won't get on a week-long safari!
You can get involved with projects being run by local people, or simply chat to the adults as they go about their work, something that's sure to be appreciated as it will give them the opportunity to practice and improve their English.
Playing sports with local children once they finish school for the day is another option if you're feeling active - and a great way for them to practice their English in an informal setting.
There are a host of ways in which you can help on a gap year in Tanzania, while the country is home to some stunning natural landscapes and vibrant cities that are well worth exploring as part of your travels.