Nomad Trust

Investing in Communities & Conservation in Tanzania

The Nomad Trust was set up in 2007 in areas of Tanzania where we operate our safari camps. We have always strongly believed in our long term commitment and responsibility to the surrounding communities and environment, not only for tourism but also wildlife conservation. For more information on the Nomad Trust, please email me - Lali Heath - on

Pack for a Purpose

Wed, May 14, 2014

Piyaya School gets a boost from the Unicorn

Last month I took a trip to Loliondo.  March is one of my favourite times in this part of Tanzania - all lush open plains and dramatic stormy skies shot through with rays of warm sunshine.  The migration was in full spate, herds swarming around Nduara Loliondo, the plains dotted with the dark shapes of animals as far as the horizon.  We did enjoy the wildlife and the camp was looking lovely, but we'd also come to visit the Piyaya School which we've long supported through the Nomad Trust.

For those not familiar with Piyaya here's a little background: this school is tucked away in a remote village, 7 hours drive from Arusha and has around 850 pupils from the local Maasai villages.  Because many of them are far away, over 300 of the children are boarders.  There are just 7 classrooms and 10 teachers (which means over 100 kids to a classroom!).  The children's meals are subsidised by the WHO and also by the parents.  The Nomad Trust has supplied desks to the school but it's badly in need of beds, mattresses and mosquito nets, not to mention text books (they have almost none) and other equipment.

The Unicorn School in the UK has been a longterm supporter of the Piyaya School, often doing sponsored walks and sending out sports equipment and teaching aids.  They sent out a lovely big box of stuff recently and so we had great pleasure in taking it to the school and watching the excitement in the children's faces as they unpacked their footballs, netballs, team bibs, Atlas and teaching tools, all translated in Swahili (well done Unicorn!).

The children have so little but it's great seeing the eagerness they have to learn.  They are polite and attentive and very gracious.

The head teacher, Mrekea Mruti, does a fabulous job of keeping things ticking over with very few resources and his team of young teachers are motivated and energetic.  The Unicorn School also sent a small camera so that the teachers and children could record aspects of their lives to help communicate their needs further afield.

The Piyaya School currently has a desparate need for beds, mattresses and mosquito nets.  More than 200 boys share a dorm that should probably sleep half that number and most don't have a bed or even a mattress.  Many curl up on half a piece of dirty uncovered foam on the floor.  If you'd like to donate towards this project, it would be hugely appreciated.  Please email me on

Thank you for reading and once again, thank you to the parents, teachers and children at the Unicorn School for their ongoing support of Piyaya!

Fri, Dec 27, 2013

Mahale projects update

It's been a while since we did an update on our projects, for which we do apologise to those folk who have been supporting us and keeping in touch with developments.  Lali left us to start her own business a few months ago and is happy and doing well.  We've been adjusting to her absence and devolving our management of the projects to people who are based near the projects.  Some of these places are very remote and we've found that communication can be tricky.  Anyway, the great thing is that things are on-going and we've had some wonderful support during the last few months which I wanted to share.

At the Katumbi Primary School in Mahale, we've had a further generous donation of $1,000 from Stearn in the UK to complete a house for the teachers, which Nigel and Nicki Palmer had already raised nearly $10,000 to build.  The house is mostly built and just needed a few more metal sheets for the roof, some plastering and completion of the toilet.

The Stearn team have also raised $1000 for our "Meal-a-Day" project which will feed between 60-80 nursery school children for an entire year.  This incentivises children to attend school and get an early start on learning, improves their nutrition and also takes some of the burden off their families.  This really does change people's lives so thank you very much for this wonderful gesture.

The Palmers also very generously sponsor two scholarships for children from the Katumbi/Mahale area who are at school in Kigoma.  The last school report we had showed that Zuberi was doing particularly well with A's in Geography, English Language, Biology and Maths.  Mary has a little bit of work to do next year but is becoming stronger in Kiswahili, Biology, Commerce, Maths and General Knowledge.  We look forward to posting the end of year reports and an update from the children themselves soon.  A scholarship is an immensely impactful way to contribute to a young person's life and we're hugely grateful to Nigel & Nicki for all their ongoing enthusiasm and support.

We also have a further two students sponsored by the CANILF/Aldred scholarship.  Sango and Bill are at school in Kigoma and seem to be doing quite well.  Sango is mostly a "B" grade student and a bit of an all-rounder.  Bill's best subjects are History, Geography, Physics and Maths.  We'll be telling you a little more about them over this coming year.

And finally - Andy Roberts and the Sabio team have also donated 9 laptops to the Katumbi School.  This kind donation takes learning into the next league and we're very grateful for their generosity.

If you'd like to help a child in the Mahale area, please click here to find out about the projects we are currently raising support for.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013

Katumbi’s Teachers house

It was great to see the progress that has been made on the teachers house at Katumbi.  The house has 4 main rooms, a little central courtyard and then three rooms at the back for a loo, shower and kitchen.

  The village has nominated people to over see the building and it was brilliant to see that all three of them where there keeping a close eye on the project.  The main rooms are all almost completed and are being plastered at the moment.
When the house is finished 2 teachers will share it.  Having 2 extra teachers will make a huge difference to the school which currently has 750 kids and 5 teachers! 
The frame for the roof is up, and the doors and iron for the roof are all in the village store ready to go up.
The hole for the septic tank is dug, but the loo and piping has not been installed yet. 
Like most building projects, the house has unfortunately run slightly over budget, so Nomad Trust is currently fundraising for the remaining $850 short fall so that the house can be finished.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013

The Connect Group-SAGE charity group-500 GBP donation

The Nomad Trust, on behalf of Katumbi school in Mahale, made a bid for a 500 GBP donation towards books.  It was very exciting to hear that we were successful for our bid.  I was able to take the money to the school this past week when I went to visit Katumbi.  I look forward to seeing the books they buy, for a school with so little this donation will make a huge difference to the lives of the students.
Thank you to the SAGE group.

This was my last visit to Katumbi with the Nomad Trust, and I hope to be back soon as a visitor.  I will the school and the spirit of the amazing children that are there.

Thu, Jul 18, 2013

Unicorn School sponsored walk

A huge thank you to the Unicorn School in Abingdon, Oxford and to Mike Pickett for doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the school in Piaya.  They raised a huge GBP 1950!  Congratulations to everyone who took part and did such a fantastic job.

Thank you!


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