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Rainforest and Coastal Conservation in Zanzibar

Rainforest and Coastal Conservation in Zanzibar

Protect the planet & preserve nature
Start dates
Programs start every Wednesday
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 6 hours a day
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Semi-permanent tent in the rainforest
Program fees
From AU$892 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who love the outdoors and want to be involved in a variety of conservation activities. You’ll be passionate about the environment and ready to get your hands dirty.

Project details

Thrilled at the thought of doing Rainforest and Coastal Conservation volunteering in Zanzibar? International Volunteer HQ’s Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to explore the Jozani Forest. It’s the largest tract of native bush on the island and is famously home to the endangered Red Colobus Monkey which is found only in Zanzibar. Volunteers will gain conservation experience by supporting local initiatives that aim to protect and preserve the natural environment and its wildlife through a range of conservation and sustainability activities and community education programs.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

The Jozani Forest is the largest area of indigenous rainforest on the island of Zanzibar. It’s home to a host of rare and unusual species of wildlife and a few which are found nowhere else in the world, including the endangered Red Colobus Monkey.

As a Rainforest and Coastal Conservation volunteer you’ll work with the local community assisting in conservation and environmental education efforts through a range of activities. Volunteers will be involved in tasks such as:

  • Helping at a small reptile sanctuary
  • Working at a farm co-op which grows fruits and vegetables
  • Upcycling of waste materials
  • Mangrove tree planting
  • Replanting fruit trees in the forest as a source of food for the Red Colobus Monkey
  • Small construction and renovation projects
  • Teaching environmental conservation education in local schools

In addition to the above activities, July-September volunteers of 2024 will also get the opportunity to get involved in Megaptera novaeangliae research, following the migration routes of the Humpback whales in Tanzania and Zanzibar! The project utilizes various methods such as systematic observations via boat, photo identification, and acoustic recordings. The collection of data aims to gather information on population structure, connectivity, population size, distribution, migration patterns, habitat use, and reproductive ecology.

Please note that due to limited capacity on the boat, we can only guarantee that each volunteer can join this activity on the boat once during their program participation.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Rainforest and Coastal Conservation volunteering in Jozani with IVHQ?

As a Rainforest and Coastal Conservation volunteer in Zanzibar you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Assisting with local initiatives to support conservation efforts
  • Protect endangered wildlife in their natural habitat
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining a wide range of conservation volunteer experience
  • Learning about wildlife conservation and preservation
  • Exploring Zanzibar and its amazing rainforest

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • VVolunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

Not sure which program to join?

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Shannon Du Plessis
20 Dec 2023

This program is so rewarding in so many ways. I met wonderful people, immersed myself in the culture , worked hard yet still had fun and relaxed, ate more than I should and laughed. This was a stunning experience that I would recommend to any traveler of any age. Humbling and fulfilling in the best way.

Lillian Novotny
19 Sep 2023

It is definitely a commitment that should not be taken lightly, however I would definitely recommend this experience to all who are willing to participate as it was one of the most insightful and wondrous things to be able to live through. There was at times a wide variety of volunteers in regards to ages, though it was most common to have individuals between the ages of 16 and 21, so very child friendly! The volunteers came from all over the globe and the intermixing of cultures was a very fun thing to experience and everyone compared local cultures back home to the fullest extent.

Erik Nordstrom
04 Sep 2023

I feel like I have grown as a person through experiencing a completely new culture and helping/interacting with people from a completely different walk of life. I would give the advice to be curious and open-minded when joining a program like this.

Neeve Rufenacht
14 Jun 2023

I received very helpful and clear preparation resources from IVHQ as well as friendly responses via email and over the phone. Experiencing the local way of life and the culture had the biggest impact on me during my volunteering trip. The way in which everything is utilised, including tree leaves for houses, food, and other purposes, as well as worn-down or broken items that were repaired or repurposed, which others would typically throw them out. Preparation and research may be needed, but in the end you will have gained a lot of diverse knowledge and a good experience out of volunteering abroad. One of the best parts about it is meeting others from different countries and their backgrounds.

Ethan Chisholm
26 Apr 2023

It is hard to pick just one favourite moment from the volunteer experience because everything impacted me in some way! The guidance and preparation resources I received from IVHQ were very helpful and my emails were responded to quickly. The children and the amazing local team had the biggest impact on me along with meeting other people volunteering abroad. What I would say to someone still hesitant about volunteering abroad is, to just go for it - you won't regret it!

Adriano Tinetto
08 Dec 2022

The biggest impact on me was to be thankful of the small things. Totally do it it’s worth it !!!


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit


Volunteer Abroad in Zanzibar with IVHQ


The Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project is based in Jozani which is located in the southeast of the island, close to the picturesque Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park.

Arrival and orientation

Volunteers need to arrive in Zanzibar on their start date and their orientation will take place the following day.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) in Zanzibar. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Wednesday night before your Thursday program orientation.

If you are travelling in Tanzania prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Zanzibar on your start date.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at the volunteer accommodation. Orientation begins on the Thursday morning after your chosen start date. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Zanzibar – an introduction to Zanzibar, Zanzibar customs, rules and expectations, language lessons (Kiunguja), safety, travel opportunities in Zanzibar, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and the local team you will be working with.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On the first day of the volunteering placement, you will be escorted to the project by our local staff and introduced to the staff at the placement you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical day would be as follows:

8:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Volunteers travel to their placements
1:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch at the volunteer accommodation
2:00 - 5:30 PM Volunteers resume work for the afternoon
9:00 PM Dinner at the accommodation


Volunteers have free time on the weekends and are able to make the most of the gorgeous beaches, explore Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town or other towns, shop for souvenirs, or enjoy a range of adventure and outdoor activities including snorkeling, diving, swimming, wildlife viewing and fishing. If you’re staying for a while you may also like to fly back to mainland Tanzania or other parts of Africa where you can go on safari or otherwise explore.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on the Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project in Zanzibar stay at a forest camp in semi-permanent tents. Volunteers can expect to share a tent with up to​ 5 other volunteers of the same gender. Forest Camp living is basic but comfortable with compost toilets, solar-heated showers and filtered drinking water.

Bedding is​ ​provided, however you will need​ ​to bring​ ​your own towel and toiletries. It is​ ​also​ ​recommended to bring​ ​a​ sleeping bag for weekends away​. There is a cook who​ ​​prepares meals for the​ ​volunteers and the local​ ​​team​​ are also available on a daily basis​ during the week for support and via phone over the weekend.​

If you would like to keep connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and the local team will provide you with a local SIM card at your orientation. The local team will provide more information on how to top up your SIM at the orientation.

If you would like to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date, or wish to spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you for US$30 (approximately AU$47) per person, per night, on the Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project. Meals are included, and extra nights are subject to availability. There is an additional surcharge attached when volunteers need airport pick-up earlier than their Wednesday start date.

If you would like to arrange extra nights of accommodation, just make a note in your application or contact your IVHQ Program Manager who will be happy to assist you.


Zanzibar’s cuisine varies across the island, owing to the difference in produce inland and along the coast. The immigration of Khoja Indians has resulted in local dishes influenced by Indian cuisine. Staple foods in Zanzibar include rice, ugali (maize porridge), chapati and coconut milk.

Volunteers are served three meals per day. Breakfast usually consists of a hot Zanzibari spice tea, instant coffee, chapati, mandazi (deep fried dough), toast with jam, and fruit.

Lunch and dinner typically consist of plain or pilau rice (which is traditionally cooked in Zanzibar with cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves), chapati, legumes such as beans, pasta, and french fries with meat or vegetables (typically carrot, sweet potatoes, peas, or okra) typically cooked in a coconut sauce that contains some herbs and spices. Meals are 70% vegetarian and 30% meat/fish based, and the meal plan and the procurement of the food products take into account sustainable practises and healthy nutrition. Please note, meals can vary depending on seasonality.

Please note that while the local team can cater for vegetarians, they are not able to cater to other special dietary requirements or requests, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home and there is the need to be flexible or prepared to supplement the food provided. If supplementing food, volunteers must note that the kitchen is not available for volunteer use.

At the Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project accommodation, volunteers will have access to filtered water and we recommend volunteers bring their own reusable water bottle. Bottled water is also readily available in Zanzibar and volunteers should budget approximately $5 per week for this (2 liters per day).


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately AU$519) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $565 Equivalent to $81/day
2 weeks $750 Equivalent to $54/day
3 weeks $935 Equivalent to $45/day
4 weeks $1,120 Equivalent to $40/day
5 weeks $1,305 Equivalent to $37/day
6 weeks $1,490 Equivalent to $35/day
8 weeks $1,860 Equivalent to $33/day
10 weeks $2,195 Equivalent to $31/day
12 weeks $2,495 Equivalent to $30/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$519) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Volunteers ​staying for 5 weeks or more ​will need to budget US$400​ to ​obtain a work permit.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Zanzibar generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit Zanzibar

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Dodoma
Population 58 million
Languages Swahili and English
Currency Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone UTC+03:00

Weather and climate

Zanzibar follows very similar weather patterns to that of mainland Tanzania but is always a little more humid and warm weather should be expected all year round. The island’s rainy season runs from March through May when humidity is high and afternoon downpours are common. The dry season occurs from June through October and rain is infrequent. During November and December there’s another short rainy season followed by a short dry season across January and February.

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