Volunteering in Zanzibar

Making a difference to Zanzibar’s marine wildlife

Why Volunteer in Zanzibar

Off the coast of Tanzania, lies one of Africa’s best-kept secrets, the tropical paradise of Zanzibar.

This magical island escape boasts stunning white beaches, lined with palm trees and waters of exceptional turquoise shades, providing the perfect idealistic location for water-based activities.

About Zanzibar

Zanzibar is home to world-class snorkelling and scuba diving, swimming with wild dolphins in ethical ways and marine-spotting opportunities. You will discover some of the world’s least visited coral reefs, with an array of spectacular and diverse water-life at your fingertips.

Take a trip to the hustle and bustle of Stone Town offering a hub of activity. Discover a lively trading town, with its markets selling spices, fresh fruit and fish, while holding the impressive title of a World Heritage Site.

Between the vibrant city life & tropical paradise, Zanzibar offers unique safari sites, exquisite marine life and beautiful sunsets. Soaked in Swahili history, the diversity of this incredible island will astonish you, beyond your wildest imagination.

Fun Facts

  • Zanzibar is popularly referred to as the ‘spice islands’
  • Zanzibar is the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city
  • Zanzibar has seen influences from British, Dutch, Egyptian, Portuguese, Arab & Phoenician, throughout various stages of history
  • The Zanzibar archipelago is a series of islands on the Indian Ocean. The island is situated around 16-31 miles from the mainland Republic of Tanzania.
  • Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of the Tanzania.
  • Nestled close to the Equator, Zanzibar is warm throughout the year and has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, like most of the East African countries.
  • Zanzibar is home to the nearly extinct Red Columbus Monkey, the Servaline Genet, and the Leopard.

Projects:  Despite its blissful beaches, unique architecture & exquisite flora & fauna, life for many locals is tough and the majority of people are living below the poverty line. Zanzibar offers a truly authentic volunteering experience and an insight into marine conservation, from an angle like no other.

Zanzibar Volunteer Destinations


Zanzibar Volunteer Projects

Marine Conservation

Discover the hype of Africa’s most exquisite destinations, the topical paradise of Zanzibar, as you work towards increasing tourism to support the country & carry out vital research on the dolphin population.

Location: Zanzibar

Duration: 2 – 12 Weeks

Highlights & Excursions

As a world-renowned tropical paradise and home to some of the world’s least visited coral reefs, your marine opportunities are endless.

But there is more to Zanzibar than just the incredible marine life and stunning beaches!

Beach Based activities

Sunrise and sunset exercise, yoga, jogging, football, volleyball, BBQ’s and more.

Stone Town

With its cultural heart, cobble alleyways and fascinating mix of African, Arabic and European influences; Stone Town is the heart of this enchanting and memorising island.

Island Tours

The Safari Blue Island Tour will take you snorkelling through the crystal clear waters, with a picnic lunch on the sandbanks.

Jozani Forest

Explore mangroves by canoe and search for rare Red Colobus monkeys.

Mainland Tanzania

The world famous Serengeti, is home to the extraordinary annual great migration of wildebeest. You could witness the “Greatest wildlife show on Earth,’ Tanzania is also home to the Ngorongoro Crater, the worlds largest unbroken caldera. For those who are in seek of a challenge, are you brave enough to tackle the almighty Mount Kilimanjaro?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zanzibar safe?

The island is very safe for tourists and internationals. The local authorities take the safety of visitors extremely seriously.

We encourage you to remain anywhere of your surroundings, as with anywhere in the world and to follow our safety tips to ensure your safety at all times, such as leaving your valuable in at your accommodation and showing respect for local traditions and culture.

Is there malaria in Zanzibar?

Zanzibar is NOT a malaria risk area. However, we cannot completely rule it out, especially if you are travelling through mainland Tanzania as well.

If you choose to be on the safe side, please make sure you bring an ample supply of anti-malarial tablets with you.

What is the currency in Zanzibar?

The official currency in Zanzibar is the Tanzanian Shilling (TZS.) You can use all major credit and debit cards in many of the resorts, bars and restaurants in Zanzibar, most of them charge a 5% transaction fee though.

Most shops, even in Stone Town, do not accept payments via debit or credit card. You can change USD into Tanzanian

Shillings at the airport, or in Stone Town. It tends to cost about $4 to withdraw money.

Which Electric Plugs are used in Zanzibar?

Generally, power sockets in Zanzibar are ‘Type G’ the square three pin style, found in the UK.

What is the main religion in Zanzibar?

The majority of people in Zanzibar are Muslim.

We strongly encourage you to respect their tradition culture by behaving and dressing modestly in public.

During the season of Ramadan, we encourage you to respect local people who fast during the day by not eating or drinking in public places. In the mainland, Christianity is the main religion.

What is the weather and climate in Zanzibar?

As Zanzibar is nestled just south of the equator, Zanzibar’s climate is very similar to that of Tanzania, although slightly more humid. Generally, the main raining season is between March-May, where afternoon tropical showers are very common and can be heavy.

During the rainy season, the humidity can be very night, with daily temperatures ranging between low to mid 30 degrees Celsius. The long dry season lasts throughout June-October, with temperatures varying depending on altitude and location, however, you can expect clear skies and sunny weather.

There is another short rainy season, between November- December, however, these rains are much lighter and less common, compared to the main rainy season. As for January-February, this is known as the short dry season, ahead of the rains beginning again at the start of March.

What is the official language in Zanzibar?

The official language in Zanzibar is English, alongside Swahili and Arabic.

How to get to Zanzibar?

There are many flight operators that fly directly to Zanzibar City, including:

  • Qatar Airways, from Doha
  • Mango Airways, from Johannesburg
  • Turkish Airlines, from Istanbul
  • Kenya Airways, from Nairobi
  • Ethiopian Airlines, from Addis Ababa

Know Before You Go

Visa Requirements

Packing List

Code of Conduct

Volunteering Safety Tips

  • Avoid travelling alone, especially at night.
  • Ensure that excessive amounts of cash are left in safe boxes, not lying around in plain sight.
  • Do not carry excessive amounts of cash on you
  • If you are taking a taxi anywhere, make sure you book it in advance through a trusted and reliable driver.
  • Avoid wandering down dark streets, even in large groups.
  • Be aware and alert at bars and ATMs. Do not leave your drink unattended at any time. If you drink has been left out of your sight, discard it. Be watchful at ATM’s and try not to withdraw large amounts of cash at one time.
  • Do not enter township areas without being accompanied by one of our local staff members.
  • Be wary of people who seem too friendly too fast.
  • Avoid leaving your personal items like bags or mobile phones unattended.
  • Do not share personal information with anyone under any circumstances.
  • Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home.
  • Be mindful of the culture and show respect from local customs. Zanzibar is conservative in their clothing, ensuring your shoulders and knees remain covered when you are out in the towns or public areas, especially in remote areas.
  • Public displays of affection are frowned upon
  • Bringing bottled water is highly recommended. Avoid drinking tap water wherever you can.

Zanzibar Vaccinations

Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.  

Our recommendations:

  • Tetanus: a recent tetanus injection is highly recommended

  • Hepatitis A&B: Recommended

  • Polio: recommended

  • Typhoid: Recommended

  • Malaria:  Zanzibar is NOT a malaria risk area. However, we cannot completely rule it out, especially if you are travelling through mainland Tanzania as well. If you choose to be on the safe side please make sure you bring an ample supply of anti-malarial tablets.

  • Yellow Fever: a Yellow Fever vaccination and the certificate are obligatory for Zanzibar. You WILL NOT be allowed to enter the country without it. The vaccine takes 10 days to take effect – ensure your vaccines are done at least 10 days prior to arrival.

    You will need an adequate supply of sunscreen cream for the hot African sun – SPF 30 and above. Also, please bring a hat and a water bottle with you, as you will be in the sun for a good portion of the day.

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