While many Tanzanians, especially in tourist areas, speak English, knowing a few Swahili phrases can go a long way in smoothing your travels and giving you entrée into the culture. While the language may seem daunting at first, its structure is regular and pronunciation is straightforward, and it shouldn’t take long to master greetings, numbers (useful for negotiating with market vendors and taxi drivers) and other basics. Greetings in particular are essential, and any efforts you make will be greatly appreciated.
Tanzania is the best place in East Africa to learn Swahili. Schools (many of which can arrange home stays) are listed below. Also see the Kiswahili Home Page (www.glcom.com/cyberswahili/swahili.htm) and the Kiswahili Resource Page (www.unb.ca/web/civil/dccchair/dmm/swahili.html). Another contact is Riverside Campsite in Iringa.
ELCT Language & Orientation School (www.studyswahili.com; Lutheran Junior Seminary, Morogoro)
Institute of Swahili & Foreign Languages (024-223 0724, 223 3337; email@example.com; PO Box 882, Zanzibar, attn: Department of Swahili for Foreigners; Vuga Rd, Zanzibar Town) Also see www.glcom.com/hassan/takiluki.html
University of Dar es Salaam (022-241 0757; www.udsm.ac.tz/kiswahilicourses.html)
Teach English abroad with an i-to-i TEFL Course
If you’ve ever thought about living and working abroad, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.