OG & The MATCH International Women’s Fund present…

Tanzania & Kenya

Going the Distance for Equality

in support of

Arrows MASTER sm

Apply before September 1 to secure your spot!

Program Description

Sponsored by The MATCH International Women’s Fund and The Equality Fund, Operation Groundswell’s Tanzania & Kenya: Going the Distance for Equality takes participants to East Africa for a 14-day adventure bridging two of the region’s most iconic landscapes and visiting local groups who are changing the landscape for women and girls. After arrival, we’ll take a peek “behind the bright pink gate” of the Resource Centre for Women and Girls just outside Nairobi. Inspired by their extraordinary work, we’ll head south into Tanzania and the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After a little orientation, participants will mount their bikes and challenge themselves to a 350km bike ride east to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Our routes passes through traditional Masai and Chagga territory as well as a variety Tanzania’s most abundant biospheres and captivating landscapes from the plains beneath Mt. Kilimanjaro to the mountains of Usambara and, finally, the white sands of Zanzibar island. Along the way we’ll also visit some of East Africa’s most vibrant cities from the enterprising outposts of Moshi and Arusha, to the metropolis of Dar es Salaam and ancient Stone Town.

What better way is there to challenge ourselves, support women’s rights and inspire each other to carry on fighting for a more equitable and just world?

Program Basics

Program Sponsor

Program Dates

March 2020

Program Deposit + Minimum Sponsorship

[currency_amount cad=”$500+$10,000 CAD”]

Learn More

Approximate Airfare

$1200-$1800 CAD

Program Highlights

  • Go “behind the bright pink gate” to visit with the founder of Resource Centre for Women and Girls in Kenya.
  • Cycle in the shadow of Africa’s giant, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and stay with the Jane Goodall Foundation in local Maasai and Chagga communities.
  • Visit a monkey filled forest and follow a Tanzanian coffee bean from seed to shelf with the change making women at Femme and Rau in Moshi.
  • Explore the back alleys and famous bazaars of one of the world’s oldest trading posts in Stone Town. Then, dip your toes in the Indian Ocean and sail on a dhow around the amazing island of Zanzibar.

Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experiences with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.


We’ll begin our East African adventure in Nairobi, Kenya. Upon arrivals, you’ll be met right outside Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by your intrepid team of Program Leaders who will accompany you into the city, help you get settled and show you around this bustling metropolis.

Orientation & The MATCH Fund Partners

After a big breakfast, we’ll do a little orientation and acclimatize ourselves to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the region before travelling to nearby Machakos where we’ll spend the day with one of The MATCH Fund’s incredible local partners. The Resource Center for Women and Girls (RCWG) works with young rural and rural-urban girls and women from all parts of Kenya, teaching everything from sex-ed to self esteem.

Karibu Tanzania

Next, we’ll hop aboard a bus and travel south across the border and into Tanzania. By mid-afternoon, we should arrive in Moshi, a small but vibrant city that sits in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Recently, it’s become a popular base for would-be climbers of Africa’s tallest peak but it’s also bubbling with entrepreneurialism and social innovation. So, we’ll wander the streets and get to know each other better. We’ll get a little intro to Tanzanian culture, eat chapatti, and maybe even take a quick Swahili lesson in preparation for the journey ahead.

Test Leg: Moshi and around

Day 4 is a big day! It’s the first day of our challenge. After a hearty breakfast, we’ll meet our friends and fearless bike  aficionados from Kili Bike Adventures. After we acquainted and get a little intro to our bikes, we’ll embark on a test ride. On the outskirts of Moshi is the Rau Forest Reserve. So, here in the forest, we’ll stretch our legs and enjoy a shaded ride along tree lined roads, through local villages, and across rice paddies. We’ll get to know the local flora and fauna including its resident Colobus monkeys.

Leg 1: Same to Gonja

Distance: 66km

Now that we’ve checked our bikes and stretched our legs, we’ll journey east to the town of Same and the onramp to our spice road challenge.  The first leg will take us 66km along the edge of Mkomazi National Park Ndungu or Gonja. At days end we’ll settle into our lodge and celebrate over dinner overlooking the Pare and Usamabara Mountains.

Leg 2: Ndungu to Mtae

Distance: 73km

The next day, we’ll tackle the second leg of our challenge. We’ll set off and ride east from Gonja passing Maasai bomas, irrigation dams and a number of small villages. After taking lunch at the edge of the plain, we’ll huff and puff and propel ourselves up and over the ridge that makes the beginning of the Usambara Mountains.  This will be a difficult ascent but the panoramic views from the top make the toil well worth it. From there we’ll traverse some rolling hills and pass through a number of small communities before arriving at our lodge overlooking the Pare Mountains, Mkomazi National Park and Kilimanjaro.

Leg 3: Mtae to Lusoto

Distance: 58km

Much of Tanzania’s produce is grown in the Usambara Mountains, and our ride on Day 7 will offer up idyllic conditions as we navigate the rolling hills and fields from Mtae to Lushoto. At days end we’ll descend into the city of Lushoto at the heart of the Usambaras, and settle into a quaint country lodge.

Break day in Lushoto

Today, we’ll a well-deserved day off the bikes! We’ll reflect on our journey so far and rest up for what’s ahead.

Leg 4: Lushoto to Mazumbai Forest

Distance: 70km

And we’re off again, riding through the highland deciduous forests and past tea plantations. We’ll make a little stop for a cuppa at a local tea factory and then complete the 4th leg at community rest house in Mazumbai forest.

Leg 5: Mazumbai Forest to Denmark to Amani

Distance: 60km

Our fifth leg we’ll take us from the Western mountains to the Eastern Usambaras and the Amani Nature Reserve. The 60km route along dirt and lightly paves roads will take us through tea plantations to some Tanga’s less visited communities and past what is sometimes referred to as Tanzania’s Galapagos.  We’ll spend the night at the Amani rest house enjoying chai and delicious local fare prepared by our friends.

Leg 6: Amani to Pagani

Distance: 70km

The sixth and final leg of our challenge, we’ll descend and exit the Usambaras towards the coast and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Our backdrop will slowly change from the giant pines and deciduous trees of the highlands to sisal plantations and grassy plains. Finally, we’ll follow the lines of palms and coconut groves to the sandy shores and our finishing line in Pangani.

Pagani to Zanzibar

An early boat transfer takes us to Nungwi at the north end of Zanzibar Island (also called Unguja). Zanzibar is known as the ‘Spice Island’ for its cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. The boat trip takes about 2 hours. Nungwi is a vibrant fishing village loved by its many visitors. Our hotel overlooks the sea to the distant island of Tumbatu and its lighthouse. The beautiful white coral and seashell beach is the perfect place to watch an incredible sunset.


We’ll complete our journey in Zanzibar’s historic capital, Stone Town. Here we can play in the narrow alleyways and famous bazaars. We can explore the islands African, Indian and middle eastern influences while celebrating our adventure with ‘disorientation’. A staple of every Groundswell challenge, this is our opportunity to kickback, relax and reflect. Against a beautiful backdrop and in the company of good friends, we can break bread, commemorate our achievement, and talk about ways to carry-on fighting for equality.

Departures – Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam

On our last day, we’ll enjoy a big breakfast at our lodge before boarding the fast ferry and heading across the Indian Ocean to Dar, one of East Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities. We can take a little tour of the city centre, get our last fix of chapati and chai and then make our way to Julius Neyrere International Airport where we’ll day a fond farewell.







Approx. 400km


Scroll below for more program details

How Groundswell Challenges Work

Register with OG

Submitting an application is the first step on the way to an unforgettable experience. We will review your submission and then reach out with next steps. Don’t worry, you won’t be asked to commit to anything until you’re ready.

Fundraise for The MATCH Fund

Once you’re a part of the team, you’ll pay a deposit and then get fundraising on a personal fundraising page. Your fundraising goal for The MATCH Fund is $10,000. When you hit that target, the rest of your program fee is covered.

Get Ready for Adventure!

With our support, you’ll gear up and get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Start training on that bicycle and daydreaming of an East African sunset over the Usambara mountains. Tanzania awaits!

Learn More ↓


Every participant is required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $500, to secure their place on the program. These funds are used to begin making commitments on your behalf.


Then, we’ll set you up with a personal fundraising page that you can share with friends and family to help you reach your goal.


Every participant is then required to contribute a minimum of $10,000  to the charity sponsor. These funds are collected using Operation Groundswell’s fundraising platform.

The goal is to have completed:

  • 50% of your fundraising goal 90 days before program
  • 75% of your fundraising goal 60 days before program
  • 100% of your fundraising goal 30 days before program

When you have hit the minimum fundraising goal, the charity sponsor will pay any remaining program fees on your behalf.  The cost of the program to the charity sponsor will be between $X,XXX-$X,XXX CAD, and they keep everything else.

100% of every dollar that your fundraise above the minimum fundraising goal goes to the Charity sponsor.

What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary that will help you explore the region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it


We immerse ourselves locally.

This is not a budget backpacker’s trip nor is it a five-star jet-setter’s cruise. We will be sleeping in clean, comfortable locally-run hotels and guesthouses that reflect our sustainable travel ethos. There is a mix of private and shared rooms and bathrooms but Operation Groundswell can accommodate special requests for a nominal fee. In addition the hotels and guesthouses, we may have the opportunity to stay with local families along the way. Here you’ll find amenities are basic and Western comforts should not be assumed but there is simply no better way to build relationships and share cultures. Wherever we are, our hosts will help us feel right at home.

Meet Some of Our Program Leaders

Claire grew up travelling. From riding horses in the Egyptian desert at age 9 to sailing between Indonesian islands at 12, being on the road was the only way to roll! She’s lived in a mountain village in Costa Rica, camped her way across Europe, went scuba diving in Thailand, and has spent a lifetime of moments getting lost in the chaos of India. She believes in the power of travel to expand us, to humble us, to change us forever – and wants to spread that passion with a worldwide community of ethical backpackers!

Ana was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and has since travelled whenever possible in pursuit of her passion for education, development, and nature! She has worked as an English teacher in public and private schools in Costa Rica, and volunteered in Quijingue, Bahia (Brazil) on community development projects. After completing her Masters in Translation, she worked with Peace Corps, Costa Rica until returning to the world of NGOs as a Program Coordinator in Riobamba, Ecuador. Now, she’s super excited to be part of the OG family and looking forward to establishing new partnerships, working with and training awesome program leaders, and designing more amazing programs in South America!

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