Over the years, we have coordinated homestay families from several villages near Arusha and supported them to open their homes and hearts to students. We educate the families about the requirements for hosting foreign students, namely having clean drinking water available, healthy meals, and providing a safe, clean room and bathing facilities. Throughout the duration of the homestay, we continue to monitor each household to ensure that both the family and student are enjoying their time together and learning from each other. We always have a dedicated staff member on duty 24 hours a day in case of any emergency at the homestay. The testimonials and photos from students tell the full story of how life changing the experience is for them!
The Klub Afriko Hotel was renovated completely in 2014 but we have always provided the same high-level service for our students. They love all the amenities but also the relaxed atmosphere of the Jazz Lounge on the premises. Students get a good feel for how a typical Tanzanian village operates, as they stroll through the small streets and pathways around Klub Afriko. Lots of greetings from everyone!
The hotel now boasts 8 ensuite double (or triple) rooms in the new facility, as well as three other separate charming bungalows on the property. The entire hotel has electricity and hot water all the time. Our chef prepares all meals with a different daily menu and fresh local ingredients.
Klub Afriko has several large and smaller comfortable spaces for conducting classes and holding meetings. You have the space to yourselves and can spread out with your materials. We provide delicious lunch and dinner buffets as needed, with a great mix of Tanzanian and continental dishes.
Many of our staff members have been enlisted as guides to help students find their way around Arusha. Over time, we have developed a whole cadre of English speaking guides who love to take small or large groups out for walks. There are great hikes around Arusha and walks through villages, seeing how different cultural groups live and develop their livelihoods. Our guides can take groups on half-day or full day walks, and we can provide transport as needed.
While out on safaris or the educational excursions that the Program Directors have designed, our staff can also be employed as interpreters – not just from kiMaasai or kiswahili to English, but also explaining the cultural norms and behaviors that students are seeing first hand. Our guides value their role as teacher or facilitator: they don’t just give the answers, they try to encourage students to reflect on what they are observing and come up with ideas to explain how or why people are doing what they are doing.
Here’s where we shine! We love taking students out to the bush, out to the wilderness, and out to rural communities and immerse them in their surroundings. Most of our guides have been with us for at least 5 years, several for more then 15 years – and they really understand how to make a safari an educational experience. We have trained them on how to engage students in observing wildlife, not just taking their pictures. The driver/guides have fun, asking the students questions about wildlife ecology, explaining the behaviors they see, and stimulating discussions out on a game drive. But more than that, the drivers have a lot of experience with the requirements for conducting study projects, e.g. driving circuits so students can collect data on population dynamics, finding ideal locations for bird counts and identification, sitting quietly near a hippo pool while students study their complex behaviors!
Klub Afriko is well known in Arusha as a student hangout. The relaxed atmosphere is welcoming to neighbors from the village, and everyone can get to know each other and enjoy a game of pool or sit out under the shade tree and share stories. The compound is safe and manned by security guards, especially at night, and so students and guests feel comfortable and well taken care of.