Making a Difference in Africa, One Hand at a Time

Posted by Mary-Frances Walsh on 9/13/2013
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Africa, Travel

Africa amazes. Unspoiled wilderness… bountiful wildlife… up-close encounters with young lions, orphaned elephants and comical meerkats… walking safaris led by San Bushmen… tent lodges with jungle views and creature comforts… bathing hippos, graceful gazelles, lounging leopards… No wonder safari tours are among are most popular travel experiences.

Yet there’s another compelling aspect of Tauck’s African journeys – meeting locals whose life experiences are worlds away from our own, like… spinners and weavers in Nanyuki, whose colorful designs help to provide a means to provide their children with schooling… the Maasai warrior who personally welcomes you (peacefully) to the Masai Mara National Reserve… San villagers who share their traditions in music, medicine and marriage… the guides who make your open-top game drives informative, safe and wondrous… and the circle of red-clad Maasai dancers whose powerful jumps bring irrepressible joy to an evening’s celebration.

You may well find locals in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe as captivating as the lands that they call home. Many an individual act of kindness and giving-back, by Tauck guests and Tauck Directors who have experienced Africa first hand, will attest. The needs are deep and there are many ways to help.

Larry and Susanne Pickering

Some give individually. Some of our Tauck Directors take a personal interest in local schools and orphanages, informally helping with contributions of useful supplies. Some guests have contributed on their own to the costs of equipping local schools or other critical facilities.

Tauck travelers Larry and Susanne Pickering first traveled to Africa in 2010 on our Kenya & Tanzania – A Classic Safari. They were very moved by the children they met and the educational needs they witnessed during the trip. After their return home, they decided to make a difference for a Maasai community in Tanzania. They privately funded the construction of two classrooms, a badly needed office, furnishings and textbooks for a severely overcrowded local school – and negotiated a complicated approval process. In September 2012, the Pickerings returned to Africa on our Tanzania, Serengeti to Zanzibar trip and had the opportunity to visit the school and see the improvements made possible through their gifts. Tauck Director, Susan Wahlen, shared this touching photomontage of the ceremony held by the local community to express appreciation. 

For many years, Tauck has been proud to support and partner with Save the Rain, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, helping to end the African water crisis through simple and highly cost-effective methods of rain catchment. Tauck has provided grants to Save the Rain to help fund rain catchment systems and to increase awareness of the critical need for clean water among our guests. For more information, visit www.savetherain.org

We’re also proud supporters of the Tumaini Junior School in Tanzania, whose 2004 founders recognized the importance of providing a strong English-language foundation for primary-level students. This private day and boarding school, situated about 100 miles from Arusha, is another U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a remarkable record of student achievement. For more information, visit www.tanzania-schools.org

How we help the world matters. For more information on Tauck’s World of Giving, or for further guidance, please contact Roni Goldberg at rgoldberg@tauck.com

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