Outdoor Pursuits

Plains, Peaks, Rides, Reefs & Mindfulness

UWCEA is committed to building on the legacy created by International School Moshi (ISM) and to continuing and developing ISM’s successful 50 year history of running Outdoor Pursuits (OP) opportunities for students.

Our mission is to inclusively offer outdoor education as an integral part of UWC East Africa’s educational model. We are working towards becoming a world reference in terms of outdoor education, bridging the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge, skills and inquiry through experiential learning.

The Outdoor Pursuits at UWC East Africa is a joint operation connecting the two campuses of the school. Students can sign up to trips of five different outdoor programmes: Peaks, Plains, Reefs, Rides and Mindfulness. Please consult the Programmes Catalogues to know more about each trip: locations, summaries, itineraries, fitness requirements, minimal outdoor experience requirements. 

In total, there are between 25 and 30 trips per year and we can count an average of 30 students per trip.
Click here to view the calendar of the trips for this school year.


Purpose: To offer hikes in mostly flat terrain, the main focus being to learn about the ecology of the wildlife and landscapes, and about traditional lifestyles of certain local communities, like the Maasai people.

To introduce students to conservation methods and projects in different locations, with various organisations and communities.

The students carry only their water, snacks and personal effects during the hikes. Most of the equipment will be carried to the campsite.

Students are encouraged to bring cameras to work on their photography skills, binoculars to develop their eye, bird or wildlife books to learn to identify, notebooks, phones if they have ecology-related apps, or anything that can contribute to their experience and learning.

Everyone contributes to setting camp, cooking, washing dishes, and any camping-related chores

Read the OP Plains Catalogue

View the OP Plains Packing List


Purpose: To reach the various summits of northern Tanzania, progressing through the categories for those students who intend to tackle bigger mountaineering challenges. While there is no technical climbing involved (e.g. using ropes), some hikes are steep and require appropriate preparation.

The students will learn to hike through hostile environments, managing their own equipment adequately under the supervision of experienced local guides and school staff. Mountains are microclimates: the trips will sometimes involve rain, hot sun, cold temperatures (even snow!), and altitude; some summits reach up to 3000 to 5,895 metres above sea level (MASL). 

To complete a trip, students have to carry their bag and equipment to the summit. Since we hike in groups, the virtues of patience and teamwork are necessary. We stay together and hike together!

Everyone contributes to setting camp, cooking, washing dishes, and any camping-related chores.

Read the OP Peaks Catalogue

View the OP Peaks Packing List


Purpose: Cross-country style bike excursions in remote areas. We are looking for locations populated by wildlife and offering outstanding views of the diverse Tanzanian landscapes. We avoid main roads as much as possible for safety reasons.

Students learn the fundamentals of group excursions in order to maximise safety and fun; signals, techniques, road safety, going uphill and downhill, etc. They will also learn the basics of mechanics in order to fix their own bikes when needed (flat tyres, brake cable breaking, gear adjustment, etc.).

The students carry only their water, snacks and personal effects during the excursion. Most of the equipment will be carried in a vehicle to the campsite.

Everyone contributes to setting camp, cooking, washing dishes, and any camping-related chores.

Read the OP Rides Catalogue

View the OP Rides Packing List


Purpose: In this programme, there are three core areas: developing swimming/snorkeling/diving skills; contributing to coral regeneration; practising coral monitoring (maintenance and collection of data).

The students develop sufficient water-related skills to eventually contribute to the Coral Reefs Regeneration Project in Tanga, in collaboration with Fish Eagle Point.

Water is an additional factor to consider when going on Reefs trips. The students are required to demonstrate their swimming ability prior to the trip (see fitness requirements).

The Reefs trips are weather dependent, and the activities are tide dependent. Schedules are adjusted continuously, so students are encouraged to show adaptability.

In groups, students rotate between various activities like mangroves and coral reefs snorkeling excursions, beach clean-ups, kayaking and paddle boarding, recreational dives, service dives, and more.

Everyone contributes to setting camp, cooking, washing dishes, and any camping-related chores.

Read the OP Reefs Catalogue

View the OP Reefs Packing List


While we offer mostly Outdoor Pursuits, this one suggests an “Indoor” Pursuit. These trips involve no exertion of any kind.

Purpose: To intentionally disconnect to better (re)connect with our Self.

To promote holistic well-being through retreats in natural environments by engaging in or being introduced to simple contemplative practices, and tools that will be available to the participants even after the retreats.

The retreats include the following contemplative practices: fundamentals of breath work; guided relaxation and meditation; the state of yoga; mindful activities (walking, eating, etc.); creative artwork; journaling; practices of silence, stillness, solitude; and more…

Everyone contributes to setting camp, cooking, washing dishes, and any camping-related chores.

Read the OP Mindfulness Catalogue

View the OP Mindfulness Packing List

Our OP store has most items for hire for our expeditions. However students who are determined to progress well through the levels may wish to purchase their own equipment.

Please ensure that you read our OP Policies and frequently-asked questions here.

Meet the Team

Olivier Emond – Experiential Learning Coordinator

Joining our school in 2016, Mr Oli is an enthusiastic and experienced trip leader who, over the years, took students from 30m underwater to 5,895m above sea level. He has no preference between hiking up a mountain, walking through plains populated by wildlife, snorkeling or diving in the Indian Ocean, riding his bike cross-country style, or going out in a natural environment for mindfulness retreats. As long as we are out somewhere to learn and collect memories, he is happy!

Contact me on olivieremond@uwcea.org

Isaac Foya – OP Coordinator, Moshi Campus

Considered a pillar in outdoor education at UWC East Africa, joining the school over 20 years ago, Mr Isaac is a professional guide whose reputation precedes him. He is a leading member of our OP programmes, and he knows how to combine tradition and innovation. His knowledge of the remote areas of Tanzania is unique, but also has experience like no other. Mr Isaac has stopped counting his Mount Kilimanjaro climbs after the 100th time. No need to say that you are in good hands if you are on a Peaks trip with him!

Isack Igenge – OP Coordinator, Arusha Campus

Ultramarathon, mountain climbs, extended bicycle excursions, Mr Isack has a distinct experience both in Tanzania and in the United States. His toughness and endurance is an asset on any trip. Co-founder of the school’s Plains programme, student of a Master in African Wildlife and Ecology, Isack will challenge you any day in a birdwatching contest or in mammal identification. 

Salimu Ismail – Assistant OP Coordinator, Moshi Campus

Composure, stability, strength… Mr Salimu has shown over the last 12 years how invaluable his presence is on OP trips. His joie-de-vivre is contagious, reassuring both students and staff even in the most challenging moments. Usually recognised as an experienced mountain guide, Salimu does not go unnoticed on Reefs trips where he does not hesitate to show off his best outdoor culinary skills. One can learn from him through character or in the camping kitchen!