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Volunteer In Zanzibar

Off the coast of East Africa, out of the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, rise a group of paradise islands collectively known as Zanzibar. Their pristine, pearly white beaches, year-round tropical climate, vibrant corals surrounded by waters of clear turquoise green, verdant jungles teeming with endemic wildlife species, have garnered the islands a reputation as ‘heaven on earth.’

The base for volunteering work is located on the main Zanzibar island, Unguja, sometimes simply referred to as ‘Zanzibar’. Here, in the small fishing village of Jambiani, volunteers can get involved in education and community empowerment initiatives as well as dolphin and other marine conservation research. Zanzibar volunteer opportunities include teaching English and conducting ocean conservation research.

As the Zanzibar tourism industry grows, the people of the islands are afforded increased employment opportunities in the tourism sector. With influences from Tanzania, Oman, and France, the main languages spoken in Zanzibar are Swahili, Arabic, and French. Many local employers require that local staff are comfortable with English and have the intercultural communication skills needed to work well with international visitors. Volunteers can assist with increasing the employability of local persons by supporting English language learning in the community of Jambiani on Zanzibar’s main Unguja island.

Much of the Zanzibar tourism sector relies on its abundance of marine life. Visitors come from all over the world to snorkel in its waters, spotting endangered sea turtles and dolphins among the coral reefs. Volunteers can work with the Institute of marine Science Zanzibar to study the effects of human visitors on dolphins, assisting with greater protection of these creative and clever creatures, depending on the results of the research. This project is an excellent opportunity to volunteer ethically with dolphins.

In their free time, volunteers in Zanzibar can explore the rest of Unguja island, hiking through Jozani Forest where they can spot the endangered red colobus monkey, native only to the islands of Zanzibar, or wander through historic Stone town dining on fresh seafood dishes flavoured with the multitude of spices the islands are known for. Volunteers can also go island hopping to some of the other islands in the archipelago, go on recreational dives or snorkels amongst the corals, or take a traditional Dhow boat cruise to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

Download our program brochures

Our Programs in Zanzibar