In 2022, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc). 

Lake Victoria, Tanzania

Camp Mainsprings is an 80-acre campus located in Kitongo on Lake Victoria, about 60 kilometers away from Mwanza, Tanzania. Thirty six acres are restored agroforests and polyculture gardens. Situated near the equator, Mainsprings has a tropical climate, with two distinct rain seasons; November through December and March into May.  

Before Mainsprings began implementing its 36 acre Permaculture farm, the soil and land was a mixture of coarse sandy soils and rock which resulted in poor crop yields. But in just 9 years, what was once barren lakeside land now has a 30 foot canopy food forest and lush green gardens in rich black soil filled with life and biomass. Planted berms and swales used for water management have created beautiful and diverse tree rows that can be viewed across the campus.  Along with a rise in trees and crop yields, birds, bees and wildlife numbers also increased significantly with the restored ecosystem.  After seeing this great transformation and improvement in sustainability of food production, Mainsprings is actively engaging people and organizations throughout East Africa in restorative agriculture practices. 

We hope to be a worldwide example of the benefits that alternative agriculture practices can provide.  

Achievements to date

Camp Mainsprings has restored roughly 36 hectares [TP1]  of land by planting over 3,486 trees, and harvests over 40,000 kg of produce annually from the farm.  Mainsprings has had 44 campers attend and complete its Permaculture Design Courses since it began offering the course in 2018.

What to expect at Camp Mainsprings

You can expect beautiful campgrounds with a breathtaking view of Lake Victoria located meters away from a restaurant and lodge that provides restrooms, showers and any food or refreshment needs. Buffet style meals and tents are provided during scheduled courses, such as the International Permaculture Design Course that lasts 10-14 days on campus. During these courses you can expect to participate in extensive Permaculture training activities such as developing whole acres of land, while learning from experts in the field. Group discussions are held every evening around a campfire to share and reflect on the day’s activities. 

Who is needed

Volunteers who would be beneficial to Camp Mainsprings would be expert regenerative agriculture trainers, skilled construction workers and engineers, and any individual wanting to become part of our restoration movement.

Other opportunities for campers at Mainsprings

Nature hikes, volunteer opportunities at the Mainsprings school and campus.

Cost to stay at the camp

EUR10 per night, including tented accommodation, washrooms, and breakfast. Does not include lunch or dinner, or any course fees. Volunteer work on the farm is included for all campers. Other high-end accommodations available for an additional fee.

Opportunities for Campers

Campers are welcome to Camp Mainsprings at anytime to take part in the everyday activities of the camp. Please apply to join via the interest form below.

Vision and Socio-economic context

Camp Mainsprings aims to be the leading restoration agriculture camp in East Africa, providing thousands of individuals and organizations with educational opportunities to learn the skills needed to transform degraded farm lands into soil-rich, sustainable food forests-ultimately helping to alleviate rural poverty while regenerating the environment across the region. 

Mainsprings isn’t just home to the farm and wildlife, but also to 48 vulnerable or orphaned girls who live and attend the Primary and Secondary school alongside 400 other students. These children, and the staff who supervise and care for them, are not part of the ERC camp, however they do share parts of the campus and infrastructure. The Permaculture farm that Mainsprings has created helps to provide over 1,100 meals per day for everyone on the campus. Also on campus is a small health clinic that is run by a Mainsprings doctor and nurse team that treats over 3,000 patients per year. These other programs work in conjunction with Mainsprings’ mission of alleviating extreme rural poverty. 

established camp

Established camp

Organising Partners

Advanced camping
Advanced sanitation
Electricity (solar)
Cellphone network
Habitat creation
Children’s play facilities
Basic kitchen
Learning centre
Small Healthcare Clinic with a doctor and nurse on campus



Restoration Activities

Water retention
Tree planting
Soil restoration
Regenerative entrepreneurialism
Food growing
Erosion prevention
Community building
Restoration of livelihoods
Restoration holidays

Latest News from the Camp

Camp contact form

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What you must do to ensure your own safety at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.

Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.

Contact us:

Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020

Joppelaan 77
7215 AD Joppe
The Netherlands

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