Medical Volunteering in Tanzania - Arusha
Want to be a Medical volunteer in Tanzania? International Volunteer HQ’s Medical project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to help improve access to healthcare for low-income communities in Arusha. Volunteers gain medical experience by shadowing local professionals at either a clinic or hospital and may also be able to take part in medical outreach campaigns in local villages.
- Programs start on the 1st and 15th of every month
- Affordable fees from $345 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Help provide and take healthcare to the people who need it the most
See Tanzania’s stunning landscapes and unmatched wildlife
Stay near Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s biggest mountain
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
In many poor communities in Tanzania, healthcare is not easily accessible or affordable. The Medical volunteer project aims to change that by placing volunteers in medical clinics that serve vulnerable people.
As a Medical volunteer you’ll work in either a local clinic or hospital, shadowing local medical professionals and assisting with daily duties. Local regulations and language barriers mean volunteers are unable to perform independent tasks; however, you can observe healthcare in action in a developing country and help where permitted. Your placement will be determined by your previous experience and training.
You may also be able to take part in Medical Outreach campaigns twice a week. Campaigns take place in local villages, delivering basic medical care where it’s not often available. These campaigns are fully arranged and funded by volunteers, and you’re welcome to reach out to your Program Manager for more information about these.
Why do Medical volunteering in Arusha with IVHQ?
As a healthcare volunteer in Tanzania you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving access to healthcare for low-income communities
- Learning about a medical system in a developing country
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining medical experience
- Immersing yourself in Tanzanian culture
- Discovering Africa’s incredible wildlife
- To join the Medical project in Tanzania you will need to be in your third or subsequent year of medical or nursing school, or a qualified professional. CNAs, paramedics and fully qualified EMTs are also be eligible to take part.
- Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
- All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Tanzania photo gallery
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
Read reviews from Medical volunteers in Arusha
”The local team helped me throughout the two-week journey, making sure everything was perfect and above all that I felt safe inside and outside the facility. The volunteer house was always clean and was located in a very quiet neighbourhood. The rooms were always kept tidy and the bathrooms kept clean. The food cooked by the house mamas was always delicious a...nd plentiful, thanks to this I was able to appreciate local food every day. I have significantly improved my medical knowledge, my skills in meeting new people but above all seeing and learning about other realities has helped me to get to know myself better. Initially I was very nervous about having to leave alone for another continent, but once I got there it was all downhill, both thanks to the people I met and thanks to the professional local people. It's an experience that I will definitely do again because I think it helped me a lot in dealing with everyday life and at the same time in my own small way I managed to help people who really need it. I would suggest to a hesitant person to find courage in themselves and throw themselves into this beautiful experience because it would be the best gift a person could give to themselves.” read more
Read reviews from Medical volunteers in Arusha
The IVHQ Tanzania volunteer program is based in Arusha, a small city often used as the base of many safari trips into the Serengeti and other national parks. It’s also near Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. Tanzania as a whole is known for its seemingly boundless areas of wilderness where African animals roam, sometimes migrating in vast groups across the plains; and also being the country where the oldest human skull and even older fossils of human ancestors were found.
Despite its many attractions, communities in many parts of Tanzania still lack access to the basic necessities of life. Volunteer projects based in rural and urban areas around Arusha and nearby help to provide better access to healthcare, education and childcare.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the 1st and 15th of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Arusha on the day before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK) in Arusha. 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 in Arusha. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Tanzania prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Arusha on the day before your program orientation. Orientation is hosted by our local team at one of the volunteer houses in Arusha. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. If your start date falls on a weekend or a public holiday, your orientation will begin on the Monday or day following the public holiday. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Tanzania – an introduction to Tanzania, Tanzanian customs, rules and expectations, language lessons (Kiswahili), safety, travel opportunities in Tanzania, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
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 project you will be working with.
Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day would be as follows:
|7:30 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.|
|8:00 AM||Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.|
|2:00 - 5:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home for lunch at their accommodation, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.|
|8:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay|
Tanzania is a wildlife lover’s dream. In your free time you can venture out on a safari and see Africa’s Big 5 - lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhino - as well as the mind-blowing number of other species that call Tanzania home.
In Arusha itself you can find great markets, take a few days to hike up the nearby Mt Meru, or learn about the Maasai and Meru tribes of the area. You can also take take a short flight down to Zanzibar for a weekend of sun and sandy beaches or save some time before or after your program to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers in Tanzania are accommodated in dorm-style volunteer houses or homestays located in Sakina, Arusha. In the volunteer houses, volunteers can expect to share a room with one to ten other volunteers of the same gender; however, the majority of rooms accommodate 4-6 people.
Currently, there are two homestays available, located next to each other. One homestay can accommodate up to 10 volunteers, and the other can accommodate up to 6, with rooms also being separated by gender. Typically, rooms can fit a maximum of 4 people.
Living conditions are basic, but the volunteer houses and homestays have running water and electricity. It’s important to note that there are often power outages, which can affect the availability of hot water and electricity. There are cooks who prepare meals for the volunteers, and each volunteer house has a security guard.
Please be aware that private room upgrades are not available in Tanzania.
If you would like to stay connected during your stay, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Tanzania. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card and data during your program orientation. Additionally, you can access WiFi at cafes and restaurants in Arusha.
If you wish to arrive a day earlier than your recommended arrival date or spend a few extra nights after finishing your program, we can arrange extra nights of accommodation for you at $35 (approximately $35) per person per night, including meals, subject to availability. You will be able to book extra nights via your profile after you register.
Tanzanian cuisine varies across the country due to differences in produce found inland and along the coast. The immigration of Khoja Indians has influenced local dishes with Indian flavors. Staple foods in Tanzania include rice, ugali (maize porridge), chapatti, and beans. Please keep in mind that rice and beans are significant components of meals in Tanzania, so you can expect to be served these quite often.
Volunteers are provided with three meals a day at the volunteer houses and homestays. Breakfast typically consists of eggs served with pancakes, mandazzi (deep-fried dough balls), or cake, along with plenty of fresh fruit, bread, and a selection of jams and other spreads for toast.
Lunch and dinner usually feature a traditional meat dish (chicken or beef) alongside a vegetable dish, beans, lentils, or cooked vegetables served with rice, pasta, chips, or chapatti.
Meals are served at the accommodations, but lunch boxes with fruits and sandwiches can be provided upon request if your placement is scheduled to finish after lunchtime.
Bottled water is readily available in Tanzania, and volunteers should budget approximately $5 per week for 2 liters a day. Filtered water is also available at the accommodations, and you can choose between purchasing bottled water or using the free filtered water provided in the houses.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please inform us so that the local team can make arrangements for you. They can provide vegetarian meals and options that are dairy and gluten-free; however, please note that vegan, halal, and kosher options are not available. Keep in mind that your eating experience may differ from what you’re accustomed to at home. The local team will do their best to accommodate your needs and ensure volunteers are well taken care of, but it’s essential for volunteers to remain flexible.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||$345 Equivalent to $49/day|
|2 weeks||$515 Equivalent to $37/day|
|3 weeks||$740 Equivalent to $35/day|
|4 weeks||$930 Equivalent to $33/day|
|5 weeks||$1,130 Equivalent to $32/day|
|6 weeks||$1,330 Equivalent to $32/day|
|8 weeks||$1,745 Equivalent to $31/day|
|10 weeks||$2,175 Equivalent to $31/day|
|12 weeks||$2,605 Equivalent to $31/day|
|16 weeks||$3,465 Equivalent to $31/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized 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
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Independent volunteers under the age of 18 will have an additional cost of US$80 per week added to their program fee to cover extra logistical support provided by the local team.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Tanzania generally find US$75-100 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Go off the beaten track with wildly exhilarating Tanzania adventures
From game drives with lion, elephant and rhino to climbing the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and visiting Africa’s ancient tribes - Tanzania offers some of the most awe-inspiring travel opportunities on the planet.
We believe that no volunteer adventure would be complete without experiencing these wonders. That’s why we offer safaris, guided hikes and other tours, exclusively available to IVHQ volunteers as affordable add-ons.
Here are just a few of the Tanzania add-ons we offer:
Get up close to flamingoes or visit the ancient Maasai tribe - perfect for your #IVHQweekends! We offer a range of Maasai Village Tours, as well as trips to Moshi and Bushmen/Eyasi.
We offer a range of incredible safari tours and game drives to suit every schedule and budget across Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks. Safari tours range from one to four days.
Tick something truly epic off your bucket list by climbing Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and also known as the “Mountain of Greatness”. Guided hiking tours range from five to seven days.
How to book IVHQ’s recommended add-ons:
When you apply for an IVHQ volunteer program, make a note of which tours and add-ons you’re interested in on your application form so we can check availability and prices for you.
Once you’ve paid your registration fee, your Program Manager will be able to book your place on the tour(s) you have chosen and help you organize your trip.
See our Tanzania Tours and Recommended Add-ons page for more awesome volunteer travel options in Tanzania.
Check what's required to visit Tanzania
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.
Essential country information
|Languages||Swahili and English|
|Currency||Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)|
Weather and climate
Tanzania is hot throughout the year and is humid on the coast and dry on the central plateau. The heavy rains last from March to June and can make unsealed road travel difficult. The hot, dry weather in January and February attracts the most tourists. The best time to visit the Serengeti is from January to March, when the grazers are calving and there are plenty of lions around. Or witness the wildebeest migration to and from Kenya, which occurs at the onset of the dry season and again with the first rains, usually around the beginning of June and mid-November.