The Journey to Africa is different from a typical tour. Though we will visit several game parks, our focus is not primarily on tourist attractions, but on experiencing the vitality and daily life of Africa from within. It is for those who want to get off the beaten track, become involved with local people, and connect with another view of the world.
- Participants must be able to climb at least two-flights of stairs and walk up to one mile.
- Accommodations will be simple, clean, and safe. This is not for those envisioning 4-star hotels.
- Ground travel within Kenya and Tanzania will be in a bus with African Passionists serving as our local guides.
- The Journey to Africa will be led by Fr. Joe Mitchell along with priests and brothers of the Passionist communities of Kenya and Tanzania.
- Registration is limited to 18 people. Preference is given to those who have previously participated in Earth & Spirit Center courses or programs.
COST FOR 19 DAYS: $2850
- Cost includes double-occupancy accommodations, meals, all ground transportation within Africa, services of local guides, stipend for Passionist communities, game park and all other entry fees.
- Cost does not include tips, alcoholic beverages, camera fees, any optional services, or expenses of personal nature such as laundry, telephones, etc.
- Cost does not include international airline travel.
- An initial deposit of $650 is due upon registration to reserve a place on the African Journey.
- 50% of payment balance ($1100) is due by February 1, 2020.
- Remaining balance payment ($1100) required by March 15, 2020.
- Each participant arranges and pays separately for their international air travel, flying into Nairobi, Kenya, and out of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
- Single entry tourist visas are required for entering both Kenya and Tanzania.
- Some immunization vaccinations are suggested. Consult your local travel clinic for advice.
- Before or by March 15, 2020 – 60% of full payment is refundable.
- After March 15, 2020 – 40% of full payment is refundable.
- After May 15, 2020 – No refund is possible unless your place can be filled by another person.
ITINERARY– July 15-August 2, 2020
Day 1 – Departure: July 15, 2020 – Depart your hometown for Nairobi.
Day 2 – Evening Arrival in Nairobi – Welcome to Africa! – “karibu” in Swahili, the native language. With a warm welcome and rousing reception you’ll be met at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transported to the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi for a restful night.
Day 3 – Introduction to Kenya – The Passionist retreat center, located in a tranquil area on the outskirts of Nairobi, offers an ideal place to have a leisurely morning relaxing and recovering from your travels. Later in the day we visit the renowned Elephant Orphanage, a local craft center, and a behind-the-scenes tour of a commercial rose farm.
Day 4 – Nairobi City – Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is a fascinating and eclectic blend of cultures and styles. Many United Nations offices are spread throughout the town and it is East Africa’s commercial hub. In the morning we have an opportunity to visit downtown Nairobi and the Kenyan National Museum. The afternoon takes us to the nearby Giraffe Center. Overnight at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi.
Day 5 – Kibera and Kenyan Culture – We will meet with grassroots leaders who work in Kibera – one of the largest slums in Africa, with an estimated population of a million people in one square mile – to hear their stories and meet the residents. More than half the residents are children under the age of twelve. A lecture on Kenyan culture and history fills out the afternoon. Overnight at the Passionist retreat center in Nairobi.
Day 6 – Travel to Tanzania – The easy drive today takes us south from Nairobi into Tanzania. On a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro looms large on the horizon. After crossing the international boarder, we soon arrive in Arusha, regarded as the gateway to the popular northern safari circuit. Situated below majestic Mount Meru, Arusha enjoys a mild climate year round. Overnight at the Passionist guest house in Arusha.
Day 7 – Maasai Culture – Today is an immersion into the fascinating culture of the Maasai tribe, an ancient culture still practicing their ancestral way of life. You will have an opportunity to meet and share a meal with our Maasai friends. There will also be an opportunity to explore and shop at the Maasai Market. Overnight at the Passionist guest house in Arusha.
Day 8 – Tanzanian Culture and Karatu – In the morning we learn about the history of Tanzania, the cradle of human evolution. After lunch we begin our excursion to Karatu, driving the through the vast dry expanse of the Rift Valley and up into the lush green fields on the southeast slope of the Ngorngoro Crater, about 7500 feet above sea level. Overnight at a guesthouse surrounded by a coffee plantation in the majestic hills outside of Karatu.
Day 9 – Ngorngoro Conservation Area – Today is a safari adventure in the world class Ngorongoro Crater, home to abundant wildlife and a photographic paradise. Making our way up the winding road to the crater rim, we’ll stop at the panoramic overlook for a breathtaking view of the largest volcanic caldera in the world. Then we descend into the crater for a full day of game viewing and a picnic lunch. Within the massive crater zebra and wildebeest often graze in large herds while lions lurk in the shadows. As the sun slips below the horizon, we return to the guesthouse in Karatu.
Day 10 – Tarangire National Park – The highlight today will be visiting Tarangire Game Park, known for its vast herds of elephants and prehistoric baobab trees. The summer dry season provides an awe-inspiring spectacle of wildlife. Impalas, wildebeest, zebra, giraffes and baboons inhabit the park, which is also known for its tree-climbing leopards. In the late afternoon we begin our drive south into the dramatic landscape of central Tanzania, stopping overnight at a guesthouse in Babati.
Day 11 – Kondoa Rock-Art Sites – Today’s sojourn takes us along the Rift Valley escarpment with a stop to explore the intriguing and enigmatic Kondoa Rock-Art, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most impressive collections of rock art on the African continent, some dating back around 7000 years. A side excursion brings us to the remote village of Itololo where we have lunch with the Passionist Community. In the afternoon we continue onto Dodoma where we overnight at the Passionist monastery.
Day 12 – Dodoma – Located in the heartland of Tanzania, Dodoma is the nation’s official political capital. Over 60 years ago, Passionists from Italy came as missionaries and began a commercial wine industry, planting vines around the monastery where we will reside. In the morning, soak up the tranquility of the vineyards and orchards before we head out on a tour of the city and visit the nearby Wagogo tribe village. Overnight at the Passionist monastery in Dodoma.
Day 13 – Mlowa and the Bush Country – We spend our day exploring the incredibly stark and stunning dry bush country in this area of Africa untouched by western influence. Our destination is Mlowa, where we get an authentic taste of rural life in a remote farming village rarely experienced by other visitors. Overnight at the Passionist monastery in Dodoma.
Day 14 – Drive from Dodoma to Dar es Salaam – The drive from Dodoma to Dar es Salaam takes us through the futile farmlands of central Tanzania – mangoes, pineapple, papaya, oranges, and bananas. Lunch is with the Passionist community in Morogoro. It’s an all-day trip crossing the Great Rift Valley, but we’ll arrive to a friendly welcome at the Passionist guesthouse in Dar es Salaam, which is within walking distance of the Indian Ocean.
Day 15 – Dar es Salaam – Dar is the largest city and the primary economic center in Tanzania. We’ll tour old town, which is set around a large harbor, and wander through the lively fish market. The afternoon offers an opportunity to take a 15 minute boat ride to the idyllic tropical island of Mbudya and chill out on the white sand beaches.
Day 16 – Zanzibar – Crossing the sparkling azure waters of the Indian Ocean, we take the early morning ferry to the iconic island of Zanzibar. We’ll stroll through the maze of narrow streets in historic Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, savor the sights and smells of Darajani Market, and relax in Forodhani Gardens overlooking the harbor. Overnight at the Welezo Center, just outside the city.
Day 17 – Zanzibar and return to Dar es Salaam – In the morning we visit a spice plantation. Zanzibar was a major trading hub for spices and thus a fusion of Arabic, Indian, European and African influences. Acknowledging the sinister history of slave trafficking, we pay our respects at the old slave chambers and Slave Memorial before taking the afternoon ferry back to Dar es Salaam. Overnight at the Passionist guesthouse in Dar es Salaam.
Day 18 – Evening Departure from Dar es Salaam – In the morning, set your own pace. It’s a day of leisure or optional activities. In the evening we gather for a festive meal to celebrate our African journey and later transported to the airport for your homebound flight.
Day 19 – Arrive home: August 2, 2020 – With a heart full of memories and connection to new friends, the Africa Journey may end, but it’s the beginning of your personal journey to carry your experience forward.
To register for the Journey to Africa, please contact Donna Manuel at the Earth & Spirit Center office by calling 502.452.2749 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All trips cancelled at this time due to COVID-19.