Celebrating Successful Avocado Trees!

Africa Bridge staff have successfully conducted avocado harvesting monitoring visits at at both the Masoko and Mpombo wards. The purpose of the visits were to see how many Co-op members harvested avocados this year, and the amount of avocados harvested. It was found that co-op members in both wards had seen a very successful avocado harvest season. In the Masoko Ward 86 co-op members harvested a total of 68,477 lbs of avocados, and a 101 co-op members harvested a total 94,652 lbs of avocados in Mpombo Ward.

Both wards are reaping the benefits of their successful harvest by selling their avocados to the KUUZA Company and LIMA Company. Both companies service people in the Rungwe and Njombe regions. From harvesting and selling avocados, both wards combined earned a total income of 88,792,776 Tanzanian shillings, which equals $38,927.13 US dollars. This goes to show the incredible opportunities for co-op members to generate sustainable income just from an avocado tree. Avocado trees provide a delicious treat, a social capital booster, and an income!













Feeling inspired? Enjoy the amazing benefits of avocados with this quick and tasty recipe for five-minute avocado toast from Gimme Delicious!




Healthy 5 Minute Avocado Toast


  • 1 avocado peeled and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 slices whole grain bread or bread of choice
  • 2 eggs fried, scrambled, or poached, optional


  1. Toast 2 slices of whole grain in a toaster until golden and crispy.
  2. In a small bowl combine and mash the avocado, cilantro, lime, and salt + pepper to taste. Spread half of the mixture on each slice of toasted bread.
  3. Top with fried, scrambled, or poached egg if desired.


Top 10 Things to do in Dar es Salaam

Coco Beach from migrationology.com.
Coco Beach from migrationology.com.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital, is a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches, many sights and delicious culinary options. The city is also the economic, cultural and political center of Tanzania with a population of about 4.3 million and still growing! Dar es Salaam also serves as a major hub for travelers and trade in East African. So, if you are lucky enough to spend some time in this exciting city, here is our recommendation of the top 10 things you should definitely do!

  1. Explore Coco Beach and Tanzania’s other beautiful beaches. Bring a good book and enjoy some quality beach time with stunning views and a swim in the Indian ocean.
  2. Get up early and experience the exciting auctioning at the Fish Market.
  3. Visit the National Museum and get a glimpse in to Tanzania’s heritage and culture through its engaging exhibits.
  4. Take a trip to Zanzibar, with stone city, ruins, the old fort, beautiful beaches and delicious food, it’s well worth the short ferry ride!
  5. Haggle at Kariakoo Market, one of the largest in the city, it offers some of the best bargains and authentic Tanzanian styles. 
  6. Check out the Village Museum and gain great cultural insight into various traditional ways of life around Tanzania.
  7. Wander down to the city harbor and watch the hustle and bustle of the boats coming in and out! 
  8. Try the local cuisine. There are way too many delicious restaurants to suggest just one, but you should definitely have some traditional ugali (dish of maize flour) with beef stew or veggies.
  9. Do your souvenir shopping at Mwenge Carvers’ Village, it’s a great place to find handcrafted souvenirs of all types!
  10. Spruce up your wardrobe by shopping at Uhuru Street, here you can find beautiful vibrant kanga’s to add a local flare to your closet.
Dar es Salaam from www.skyscrapercity.com
Dar es Salaam from http://www.skyscrapercity.com

Thanks for reading our blog and supporting Africa Bridge! This blog is particularly appropriate to wrap up my time here as the Africa Bridge social media intern for the last year and a half, as I’ll be heading off to pursue new adventures in Dar es Salaam. I’d like to thank the Africa Bridge family and all its supporters for a rich, meaningful and memorable experience during my time here! I look forward to continuing following you work from Tanzania!



Ngorongoro Crater: The Eighth Wonder of the World

Map from faysafaris.com
Map from faysafaris.com

In northern Tanzania, just west of Arusha you will find the beautiful Ngorongoro Crater. An estimated 2.5 million years ago, the old volcano collapsed to form this crater. Today, it is the largest unbroken caldera in the world and home to about 3o,000 different animals, including a rare black rhino. Known for it’s breathtaking landscape and exciting wildlife viewings, the crater is often referred to as Africa’s Garden of Eden and the Eight Wonder of the World.

The astonishing landscape spreads 12  miles across and covers a total of 102 square miles, making it a spacious refuge for animals. It has become a protected part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.


Image from climbkili.com
Image from climbkili.com

The vegetation varies from lush greens, highland forests, abundant short grass to desert plants in other areas. Additionally, it has many rivers, swamps and bodies of water including Lake Magadi, which is the largest and sits right near the center of the crater. All these factors make this crater an ideal habitat for rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, elands, gazelles as well as lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, cheetahs and many other species.


Image from wildland.com
Image from wildland.com

I know visiting Ngorongoro Crater just made my budget list, and I’m not alone. An estimated 450,000 tourists visit the crater annually. Bill Clinton and Prince William are just a couple of high profile tourists having made the trip to see this spectacular natural beauty.


Thanks for reading our blog, and stay tuned to learn more about what Tanzania has to offer in the future.

5 Top Tanzanian Travel Tips

Cat in Tree 2_compressedWhen to Go

The best time to travel to Tanzania depends on the goals of your journey.  If you want to witness the great migration of exotic wildlife, then February through March is ideal – the migration of wildebeest and zebras are in full form as they seek out a temporary Serengeti home to give birth to their offspring. For park visiting, aim for Tanzania’s dry season (June through November), which affords the best opportunity to drive the park roads and experience the beauty that they offer. The rainy season hits northern Tanzania March through May, and May through November brings the rain to the southern and western regions of the country. Be sure to plan around these wet seasons as their overwhelming rains commonly wipe out roads and make travel impossible! If climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is your quest, the best times to conquer this feat fall from January through March or September through October. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can find the perfect season to launch your Tanzanian adventure!

Passport / Visas 

All travelers to Tanzania need a valid passport and visa for entry into the country. Visas can easily be obtained on the Embassy of Tanzania website. You can also get visas at Tanzanian airports and border crossings, but it’s encouraged to secure your visa prior to arrival. All visas for Tanzania tourists are valid for 6 months upon issue date, and all visitors should be prepared to show ‘proof of exiting’ within 3 months after entering the country (a departure airline ticket will usually suffice). Visa prices range from $60 for single entry of most nationalities up to $100 for tourists arriving from the United States. Multiple visa entries may be obtained at additional cost.

Health / Immunizations

It’s recommended to visit with your health care provider before traveling abroad and update all routine immunizations. Standard shots to consider before your Tanzanian trip include: measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), and the polio virus vaccine. Other vaccines strongly recommended are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies. If you’re concerned about mosquito exposure or contracting malaria, here are a few simple suggestions to help minimize exposure:

  • Consider antimalarial prescription drugs for a preventative option
  • Sleep in well-screened rooms or use bed netting treated with permethrin to limit your exposure to mosquitoes
  • Wear pants and long sleeve shirts
  • Apply insect repellant to ward off any unwanted mosquito bites
  • Stay indoors during peak mosquito hours (dawn and dusk)

Travel Insurance / Money / Fees

It’s imperative to have travel insurance and a ‘proof of insurance’ card. Emergency contact information is also necessary and both must be carried with you. The local currency is the Tanzanian Schilling, and the approximate exchange rate is $1 US = 1500 TNZ. Be sure to make your exchanges in Tanzania because this money cannot be converted back outside of the country. The cost of expenditures on the ground in Africa is surprisingly low and, as such, it is often best to exchange a modest amount of money upfront. As your trip nears its end, be mindful of unexpected travel fees when departing the country. All visitors leaving Tanzania are subject to an airport tax, and all bags are inspected and weighed at the airport. Extra weight will incur additional fees.

Zebras2_compressedBaggage / Clothing

Pack light! Greenhouse gas emissions from air travel are directly correlated to the amount of weight being loaded onto the aircraft, so the lighter the luggage, the lower the greenhouse emissions. Every bit of weight that’s eliminated from your luggage reduces emission pollution. Inter-Tanzanian airlines are even stricter on weight due to their smaller aircraft size. The laundry service is plentiful, so not only does packing light reduce your carbon footprint, it promotes the local economy.

Be sure to dress for function as opposed to style. If you’re going on Safari, wearing a dress and heels would be inappropriate and make for a difficult day – don’t do it! When on Safari try dressing in light, muted, natural tones that will aid in blending into the background. Avoid wearing loud colors; especially blue, as blue attracts insects. A good rule of thumb to follow when dressing for Africa: dress for summer during the day and a cool fall evening at night.


Your trip to Tanzania will be the journey of a lifetime! Take the time to appreciate all that this beautiful, diverse country has to offer. There is no other place like it on earth!

Wild Word Associations 2

Our friend Betsy recently traveled to Tanzania with a group of Africa Bridge volunteers. While pondering her travel adventures on the day of her departure, sitting in the airport, she thought a cool way to capture her experience would be through word association. As she said, her words just came tumbling out!

We’re excited and grateful that Betsy shared her impressions with us. Last week we shared with you a first installment of her poetry. And, without further ado, here’s part 2.

Besty’s Wild Word Associations 2

Performance in Bwilando


The First Dance— frenzied dance. The lion kill… wild eyes, stomping, contortions.

The Second Dance— men in white stomping, wearing shorts, red and white knee socks, neck adornments, ties around necks and heads. Intense eyes looking directly at us, intense eyes to the sky, huge smiles. Drums beating, beating, beating… whistles and kazoos.

Children singing swaying, gently stepping, rhythmic kicking, always moving.

Bold and energized, soft and peaceful, proud, connected, ebony, happy white smiles, bright eyes, engaged, short hair, torn sweater, tattered pants, shoes too big.


Girls from Mapambamo Primary School


Hand-made mud brick houses, thatched roof, corrugated metal roof, window frames with no glass, one room, dirt, children with runny noses, mud dried skin. Amazed at the sight of us, some run, some approach.

And then: Jambo, habari, smiles and waves. We shake hands.

Heat, red soil, miles of tea bushes, bananas, game, avocados,  huts, roads with craters the size of the Grand Canyon. Bump, slam, laugh, cramp, hold on for dear life, “eat my dust” takes on new meaning, green and brown, close calls, no accidents…

Miracles of brightly colored women walking carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders… bikes pushed up hill, shoeless. Are we viewed with suspicion?… But we wave and smile, and waves and smiles come back to us.


Final Thoughts:

Others so kindly and gracefully looking after us
Domes with tears our last night, peaceful, grateful
A gift to have been able to be here
Ready for home
Sad to be leaving
Will there be a next time?
Sure hope so…..

Wild Word Associations 1

Our friend Betsy is one of those intrepid travelers who’ve embarked from the U.S. to Tanzania, to learn about all about rural village life and AB’s work. Her last day on the way to the airport, Betsy was inspired by a wonderful tumble of wild words– words that really encapsulate her experience. Betsy was gracious enough to share it with us.


Woman with Head Scarf

Betsy’s Wild Word Associations

Colors: brilliant colors & patterns of women’s clothing, men in bright polyester shirts.

Sounds: gourd kazoos, whistles, drums big and small, tongues waggling, the vowels and “mmmm” sounds of Swahili. Children singing beautiful rhythemic a-capella harmonies: Oye! Oye! Oye!

Textures: dust, dust, dust. Fine cotton, grimy cotton, concrete, mud bricks.

Tastes: cooked spinach, pumpkin leaves cooked with onion tomato and coconut milk; tough roasted chicken, meat cooked in tomato sauce with vegetables, chipati, fried plaintains, fingerling bananas, watermelon, mango, steamed rice, boiled potatoes, white yams, fresh honey, sodas, hot sweet fresh milk , tanzanian tea, passion fruit.

And of course, there are the smells… sweat, and spices. What a place.


Volunteer Impressions: Introducing Oliver Muggli

Alnas- age 13

If you haven’t heard yet, we currently have an amazing group of volunteers in Tanzania helping out Africa Bridge. And, they have been truly great about sharing their experiences with the rest of us. Oliver Muggli is one of these– a high school student who’s been part of Africa Bridge since he was nine. We’re lucky to have his eyes, ears and heart there to bring us back his impressions.

Oliver, Africa Bridge’s youngest board member, told us this story.

“At around sunset on Thursday, we were the house of Aluna, a 13 year old girl that we were fortunate to shadow for a day. We had just gone all the way down a path – felt very long – rather dangerous with steep cutoffs, downgrades, tree branches, roots blocking a thin path. And Noel (AB Tanzanian Staff) was yelling ‘Pole, Pole!’ the whole way down. After, we arrived at the bottom, we saw five little kids laughing at us for having made the trek.

It was an idyllic setting with a cow feeding, just beautiful. Then four of the girls put their large buckets on their heads and started effortlessly walking up the hill we had just come down.

Once we were back at Aluna’s house, Vik, another volunteer, asked if the girls could sing us a song, which they did. It was so natural, sweet, and wonderful to hear these four girls singing. So unembarrassed and so free. Their voices were so innocent and pure, and we had just witnessed them do something so impressive, that I don’t think I could do.”


Stay tuned for more awesome stories!




10 Fun Facts about Tanzania

Check out these 10 fun facts about Tanzania:
Giraffe at Mikumi National Park by Jim Lewis
  1. Tanzania is just a little bit more than twice the size of California.
  2. Over 120 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Most of these are Bantu languages, a category of over 535 languages and dialects that are spoken throughout Africa.
  3. Mpingo trees (a.k.a. Africa blackwood trees, commonly seen in Tanzania) are the most expensive hardwood tree in the world.
  4. The world’s earliest human skull was found in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
  5. Tanzania has the largest concentration of wildlife animals per square kilometer, with more than 4 million wild animals and representatives of 430 species and subspecies.
  6. Once upon a time, the ancestors of the wild elephants that live in Tanzania today didn’t roam on the land, they swam in the water! Dugongs were sea cows that lived in Tanzania in sheltered waters 55 million years ago. They grew about 3.5 meters in length and lived to be about 70 years old.
  7. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania. At 19,341 feet above sea level, it is the largest mountain in Africa.
  8. Tanzania shares it national anthem with South Africa and Zimbabwe. It’s titled “Mungu Ibariki Afrika” (God Bless Africa) and was composed by Enock Sontonga.
  9. Tanzania is divided into 26 regions (mikoa), 21 on the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar Island and 2 on Pemba Island. These are further divided into 99 districts (wilaya)! That’s a lot of parts and pieces to divide a socialist country into. The stacks of paper must be huge.
  10. Tanzania is the home of the coconut crab. This crab, the largest crab in the world (and reportedly one of the most delicious), can be found on Chumbe Island of Zanzibar.

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Sunset at Mikumi National Park by Jim Lewis