Q1. Where would I fly into and which airlines will get me there?
The two closest International airports to Arusha are:
1. Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta Airport (in Kenya) - Pretty much most Australians fly directly into Nairobi and then get the shuttle bus down to us. We can book this shuttle bus for you (see next section).
2. Mt Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania (1 hr from our school) - KLM Airways flies directly into Kilimanjaro Airport, whereas people coming from Australia have to fly to Kilimanjaro Airport via Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam (and the stopover can be approx 6 hours so be careful if your agent suggests this route). We can either organise a taxi or a shuttle bus to pick you up from Kilimanjaro Airport to bring you to the school if you need.
For details about flights out of your country, please speak to your travel agent.
Q2. How do I get to the school once I have landed in Africa?
From Nairobi, the shuttle bus for Arusha takes about 5 hours - there are 2 shuttles per day (leaving at 7:30am and 2pm). If you get in at Nairobi airport before 7am or 1pm on any day of the week, we can organise the shuttle bus to collect you from the arrivals gate at the airport. If you get in at other times during the day then you can catch a taxi into the city and hang around till the afternoon bus at 2pm. It leaves from the Kenyan Comfort Hotel in downtown Nairobi. If you are too late to catch the 1-2pm bus then we recommend that you stay the night in Nairobi at The Kenya Comfort Hotel (at the junction of Muindi Mbingu & Monrovia Streets, opposite Jeevanjee Gardens)…just next to where the bus departs from each day. We can book and arrange the shuttle and Kenya Comfort Hotel bookings if requested.
Q3. What visas will I need?
Assuming you will fly into Nairobi, you will need visas for both Kenya and Tanzania payable in USD only (always bring big denominations of US cash as $1, $5, $10, $20 notes get bad exchange rates). For VISAS however, small notes are OK as officials often have problems getting change.
It is relatively easy to obtain a 3 month Tanzanian tourist visa at the Kenya/Tanzania border. This takes about 5 minutes. It will cost you US$50 - $100 (this varies depending on your country of residence). There is usually a piece of paper on the wall in their office with all the prices of the different nationalities. If asked, say you are a tourist-don’t say anything about volunteering.
If you are coming straight to the school, that is, if you will be crossing the border within 24 hours of arriving in Nairobi, then you will be eligible for a Transit Visa costing US$20 for 2 days. (normal Kenyan entry Visas costs US$50). You can obtain this transit Visa at Nairobi airport at the immigration desk before you collect your bags.
Mt Kilimanjaro Airport:
Most people need a Tanzania Visa which costs around US$50 - $100. There is usually a piece of paper on the wall at the airport immigration desk which has all the prices of the different nationalities. You can easily get the visa at the airport.
NOTE: Make sure to check that your US$ are dated after 2006.
Q4. How do I book a safari?
If you are planning a safari during your stay in Tanzania you can check out the Go on Safari page in our Visit Us section, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and the team at Safaris-R-Us will help you plan a safari that fits your itinerary.
Q5. Can I volunteer at St Jude's short term?
Unfortunately we don’t offer short term volunteer programs – with high local unemployment, we only give long term, high skilled jobs that we cannot locally fill to westerners. We are sure you will agree that this is a good thing sustainability wise. During your visit to St Jude’s you will be welcome to participate in non-academic classes (i.e. PE, Art, Music & Computers) and interact directly with the students. This is an opportunity to see a real African school and enjoy eating traditional African lunches with the staff and students or enjoy a football game with the children in PE. There may also be other opportunities to help out depending on what is happening at the school at the time of your visit.
Q6. What currency is used in Tanzania?
It is advisable that you bring USD notes (big denominations) ensuring they are of good quality and no notes dated earlier than 2006. An ATM card (Cirrus, Plus, Visa & Mastercard) is also advisable. Make sure that you have a pin number on your credit card as there are few “swipe” machines here (and their commission is high). You can bring credit cards, but not many places accept them – only fairly expensive stores or hotels. Do not bring travellers cheques if you can help it, as you get bad rates for them.
Q7. What health issues do I need to be aware of?
Check with your doctor before leaving home about recommended vaccinations are what anti malarial drugs are available and learn as much as you can about them before opting for a particular one. Keep in mind that Lariam and Doxycycline are not 100% guaranteed to keep you safe from malaria. Thousands of Westerners visit Africa every year so don’t get worried. If you keep your common sense and wash your hands regularly (as you should anywhere in the world) then you will have a wonderful time here.
Q8. Do I need to notify the school of anything?
Please notify us if you have any medical conditions that we may need to be aware of in case of an emergency.
Q9. What will the accommodation be like?
St Jude’s has clean/basic, single, double and twin rooms with private shower and western toilet facilities in our shared volunteer and visitor accommodation.
There are also a number of great hotels in town, only minutes away from the school, and we are happy to recommend one to you.
Q10. When should I visit?
To maximize your visit to St Jude's we highly encourage you to arrange your visit during weekdays. Over the weekend staffing is limited and there are no students on campus.
Q11. Can I stay overnightt?
St Jude's welcomes overnight visitors, however, accommodation is only available for visitors who follow and participate in a school based itinerary.