OG & The MATCH International Women’s Fund present…


The Spice Road

Arrows MASTER sm

Apply before September 1 to secure your spot!

Program Description

Sponsored by The MATCH International Women’s Fund, Operation Groundswell’s Eastern Tanzania on 2 Wheels Challenge takes participants to East Africa for a 12-day adventure bridging two of Tanzania’s most iconic landscapes. After arrivals and a brief stop in Nairobi to connect with Match partners in the region, we’ll head south into Tanzania and the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Then after a little orientation, participants will mount their two-wheeled chariots and challenge themselves to a 350km bike ride east to 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 The MATCH Fund and inspire each other to carry on fighting for a more equitable and just world.

Program Basics

Program Sponsor

Program Dates

March 2020

Program Fees + Community Contribution

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Approximate Airfare

Approx. $1200-$1800 CAD

Program Highlights

  • 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.

Orientation & The MATCH Fund Partners in Nairobi

We’ll begin our East African adventure in Nairobi, Kenya where we’ll get acclimatized to the sights and tastes of the region before meeting with one or two of The MATCH Fund’s incredible local partners.

Flight or Bus to Arusha + Bike Tour Orientation 

After a little team introduction we’ll take a bus south from Nairobi into northern Tanzania for our orientation in the city of Arusha.

Simba Farm Olpopongi Masai Village

After breakfast we drive to West Kilimanjaro to start our cycling. Heading north and westwards we ride through rolling hills with breathtaking views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Keep an eye out as there is a chance we will spot some wildlife during our ride. Tonight we will spend the night at Olpopongi Maasai-Village. This is a planned village and all the houses are built the traditional way with local and natural materials. By staying in this village we learn authentic Maasai life and culture without destroying the Maasai native homes, behaviors and environment. We’ll have a BBQ dinner and a campfire in the evening where Maasai ceremonies will be performed.

Olpopongi to Weru Weru – approx. 73km

The day’s route will take the group through the vast savannah land of the Maasai on dirt roads. Traditional huts along with the iconic red and blue tartan of Masaai will dot the landscape. Later the group will pass into the farmlands of the Chagga where households change from adobe to concrete while green coffee and yellow bananas increasingly colour the horizon.

Forest, Waterfall and Coffee loop – approx. 35km

Today we cycle through beautiful blue Jacaranda flowers as we head towards the town of Moshi. On the outskirts is the Rau Forest Reserve. We have a shaded cycle as we cross the forest and listen carefully for animal sounds.there’s a chance to spot Colobus monkeys with their long fluffy tails here. We come out to hidden green rice paddies which we will discover on foot. We change into our walking shoes as after a 2 hour transfer by vehicle we are at the foothills of Mt. Kilimajaro and ready to hike to the 93 m high, Materuni waterfalls. As we walk into the jungle, we pass many plants, such as lemongrass, coffee, eucalyptus, passion fruit, mango and banana. Keep an eye out for chameleons as they are often sighted here. We end our day with a full demonstration of how we get a cup of coffee from a raw bean, then we can of course enjoy a cuppa.

Weru Weru to Mkomazi National Park to Tanga

A day off the bikes and into the wildnerness of Tanzania. Our first stop is to Mweka Wildlife College, a leading center for African wildlife managers that has trained over 5,000 wildlife managers from 52 countries worldwide. It’s back in the car for a long transfer to Tanga via Mkomazi National Park. A picnic lunch in the park affords us lovely views. In the afternoon we’ll go on a game drive in the park and learn more about the successful conservation efforts of the park’s endangered black rhino and African wild dog. Tonight you’ll be able to enjoy the cool Indian Ocean breeze from our hotel.

Tanga to Pangani – approx. 69km

A historical day in that we learn about the beginnings of Tanga at the Urithi Museum and then cycle through the town of Pangani to see some of 200-year-old buildings. There are many reminders of the strong Arabic influence and later German and British colonial eras. Our cycle route is flat and on a mix of dirt and tarmac roads along the Indian Ocean coast. We can take a break and stop for a swim or you can wait until we reach our beach cottages.

Pangani to Saadani National Park – approx. 74km

Another flat ride today on dirt roads as we head south towards Saadani National Park. Our route will take us past many coastal villages and we will have the Indian Ocean on our left the entire ride. Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea and has four of the Big Five – East African lions, bush elephants, leopards and buffaloes. Our last 8 km are in the park so we will have our own game drive while cycling. We also overnight in the park so will get the chance to hear the wild animals at night.

Saadani National Park to Bagamoyo – approx. 59km

Rise early to catch a glimpse of the grazers having their breakfast in the park. We leave the wild animals behind and continue down the coast. Our destination is the historical town of Bagamoyo, the  former capital of German East Africa. Today it is known as a centre for dhow sailboat building. We’ll have a celebratory feast tonight at our oceanside resort and reflect back on Mt. Kilimanjaro as we look out onto the Indian Ocean.

Fly to Zanzibar for Disorientation 

A staple of every OG program, disorientation is an opportunity to debrief as a group. So, we’ll find a sandy shore on the island of Zanzibar, kickback, relax and reflect on our incredible journey. We’ll listen to the waves of the ocean and think about our impact and how we can do to bring it back home.

From here, we’ll say a fond farewell.






Approx. 400km


Scroll below for more program details

How Groundswell Challenges Work

There are three ways to fund your challenge


Deposit – $500

Balance – 100% of the remaining program fee

Minimum Sponsorship – $1000


Deposit – $500

Balance – 50% of the remaining program fee

Minimum Sponsorship – $5000


Deposit – $500

Balance – 0% of the remaining program fee

Minimum Sponsorship – $10,000

Learn More About These Options ↓

Operation Groundswell’s program fee is priced in Canadian dollars for all Canadian citizens and U.S. dollars for all other nationalities. Fees are collected in three parts:

  1. Every participant is required to pay a non-refundable deposit, to secure their place on the program. These funds are used to begin making commitments on your behalf.
  2. The second installment is a membership fee, which is used to support our organization as we prepare for your program and mobilize the greater OG community that you’ll soon be a part of!
  3. The third payment covers the remainder of your on-the-ground costs, and is held in trust for that purpose.

All participants are also required to make a contribution to the charity sponsor. These funds are collected using our fundraising platform, insert platform here.

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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