September 15 – 22, 2018
Join Dandelion Chocolate and our hosts from Kokoa Kamili for a week exploring Tanzania while learning how cacao is grown and processed, for both fun and education!
This trip is most like our regular sourcing trips, you’ll be joining Greg D, our Chocolate Sourcerer, to visit Kokoa Kamili, in Mbingu, Tanzania. While in Tanzania you’ll get to see and learn about fermenting, drying cacao in Tanzania. You may even get to try a bean from their many experimental batches in their continual quest to increase the quality of their beans. While Mbingu, the site of Kokoa Kamili’s fermentary, is more than a day’s travel by car from Dar Es Salaam (our starting point), the drive will be broken up with stops along the way for lunch and allowing us to go on a Safari. One of the highlights of this trip is that you really step off the beaten path and will get to see a part of the country that most tourists never make it to.
Wondering if this trip is right for you? We recommend Tanzania for the seasoned traveler who is looking to see what a Cacao Sourcing trip is really like. The first time we visited Mbingu there was electricity for 2 hours at night, now the electricity seems to be relatively regular, but you never know and we want our guests to be prepared for a few hiccups. We’ll be spending the night in a few locations, but in Mbingu we’ll be staying at the Guest House run by the local convent. This is our only option and is comfortable but rustic. This trip is for someone looking for a bit more adventure than the typical chocolate trip… we won’t be walking far distances, but might find ourselves riding in the back of a truck to get to a cacao farm on poor roads or riding bicycles to visit the market or strolling the grounds of the Sister’s where we’ll be staying.
Dandelion Chocolate in conjunction with Kokoa Kamili leads the trip to the middle of Tanzania with a combination of chocolate makers, chocolate enthusiasts, and chocolate researchers and others who just love to learn where their food comes from! The goal of this trip is to give a thorough understanding of how cacao is grown in Tanzania, an overview of fermentation and drying, and an appreciation for the culture of the farmers and fermenters in Tanzania as well as the effort of transporting beans accross the world. Oh and did I mention we might get to see an elephant in its natural habitat (on safari, not in Mbingu)!
This is the planned agenda which is subject to change but gives you a sense as to what you’ll be doing. All of the scheduled activities are optional but it is highly recommended that you stay with the group. Tanzania is relatively safe, but we will be far outside of the typical tourist area so figuring out transportation and interpretation if you go off on your own could be quite challenging. That said, the Sister’s have a large property with cacao farms that you could explore.
Day 1 – Arrival
We’ll arrive at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam where you’ll get your tourist visa and be greeted to be brought to our accomodations for the night. We’ll spend our first night in Dar Es Salaam to manage jet lag and ensure everyone arrives.
Day 2 – Driving Part 1
After eating breakfast at the hotel we’ll get an early start for our drive. We’ll stop for lunch (quite likely a delicious burger…) while driving through the beautiful countryside of Tanzania. We’ll continue on to our hotel near the edge of Mikumi National Park. This evening we’ll be staying at the Tan-Swiss Lodge which has a nice lounge/bar area, pool, Wi-Fi, air conditioning and is generally quite comfortable.
Day 3 – Safari and Driving Part 2
We’ll head off early to Mikumi National Game Park where we’ll switch to more rugged vehicles to take us around the park for a chance to see elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, and perhaps a lion (its pretty rare but we saw them both times we’ve visited), during the morning hours. Even if you are not an animal lover its beautiful to see the animals in their natural environment amid the savannah with mountains in the distance and baobab trees dotting the tall grasses. After the safari we’ll finish our long drive to Mbingu where we’ll settle in at the Convent.
Day 4 – Kokoa Kamili Fermentary and Drying
Visit the heart of Kokoa Kamili’s operations where you’ll see how they purchase, ferment, and dry their beans. You’ll get to meet some of their staff and taste some cacao.
Day 5 – Kokoa Kamili Farmer Visit
Today we’ll cycle out to a farm to meet some of the farmers growing beans for Kokoa Kamili (if you can’t bicycle don’t worry a vehicle will be heading out too that can give you a ride).
Day 6 – Mbingu Exploration
Depending on the state of the road we’ll either drive to the dam where we can hike up to a swimming hole. Cross your fingers that the hydroelectric generator is fixed by the time we visit since the Sister’s used to have electricity full time when it was operational. Or if the swimming hole is inaccessible we’ll find another fun activity or hike to do instead.
Day 7 – Drive Or Fly back
Most of our sixth day will be spent traveling back to Dar Es Salaam via plane. We’ll drive to Ifakara where we’ll check out a local market and you can stock up on fabric or grains. Some of us will hop on an airplane to skip the 15 hour drive.
Day 8 – Departure
On the last day we’ll depart from Dar Es Salaam full of memories of bumpy roads, laughter with new friends, and of course cacao. Or decide to extend your trip and we can direct you to some places to explore in Dar Es Salaam or head on to Zanzibar or Mafia to enjoy the beaches.
We will be staying at a few different locations. Two nights in a hotel in Dar Es Salaam after Arrival and before Departure, one night at Tan-Swiss Lodge near Mikumi National Park, and the remaining evenings at the Sisters of Mbingu Guest House. Mbingu is a tiny village without electricity. The Sister’s has a generator that they run each evening for 2 hours, but this means they do not have a steady supply of hot water. They will provide you with a bucket of boiling hot water each evening that you can use for a hot shower. You’ll likely be eating rice and beans and veggies with hot sauce for many of your meals.
Single or Double Occupancy
Most of our trip costs are made up with transportation this time around. As such, sharing lodging does not decrease the price. If you wish to share a room with another guest let us know and we’ll try to accommodate you. Please note that for this trip we only have a shared bed option for double occupancy.
$TBD – We’re finalizing a few details since this will be the first time we bring guests with us to Tanzania. If you would like to be informed when we start accepting reservations, please email us at email@example.com.
Guests are responsible for getting to/from Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam where they will be greeted and transferred to the evening’s lodging (airfare to/from Dar Es Salaam is not included). The above rates include local ground transfers, accommodations, all meals starting with dinner on arrival night and ending with breakfast on departure day (including alcoholic beverages), and all group sponsored activities, all taxes, and service charges (gratuity is included).
We ask for a 25% deposit in order to guarantee your space, the remainder will be due 60 days before the trip. Cancelations in full up to this point. Cancelations less than 60 days prior to the trip, but more than 45 days, will receive a refund less the 25% deposit. Cancelations less than 45 days from the trip will receive no refund.
Dandelion Chocolate is not responsible for lost room nights due to travel delays, road conditions, weather, flooding, or illness. Once you have reserved, we will contact you to share packing lists and background information to help you prepare as well as to arrange additional details (dietary restrictions and any special requests).
Please note that we need a minimum of 6 guests to host this trip. If you reserve a space, we will let you know when we reach the minimum guests. If the minimum number of guests has not been met by 2 months prior to the trip we may elect to cancel the trip.
If you have any additional questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily discuss it in more detail with you! We will also be hosting open office hours throughout the year for you to ask any questions in person.