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 $320 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
Who is this program suited to?
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
”The experience has been really amazing, much better than what I was expecting. I have learned and lived things that I will keep for life. I wish I could stay longer, I really don't want to go, but you always need to have something to come back…. I fell in love with this city and the people in it. Really one of the best decisions that I have made.”
Read reviews from Medical volunteers in ArushaSee more reviews
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 either accommodated in a volunteer house or a homestay with a host family. Volunteers can expect to share a room with 1 to 8 other volunteers of the same gender and volunteer houses can accommodate up to 30 volunteers at a time. Volunteers in homestays can expect to be living with at least four other volunteers. The volunteer house and homestays have running water and electricity but it is important to note that there are often power outages which affect availability of hot water and power.
Bedding is provided, however you will need to bring your own towel and toiletries. It is also recommended to bring a sleeping bag for cooler months and weekends away.
In the volunteer house, there is a cook who prepares meals for the volunteers and there is a security guard. 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 purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Tanzania. The local team can assist you with purchasing a SIM card during your program orientation. You can also access WiFi from cafes and restaurants in Arusha.
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 $35 per person, per night, meals included, subject to availability.
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.
Tanzanian cuisine varies across the country, 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 Tanzania include rice, ugali (maize porridge), chapatti and coconut milk.
Volunteers are served three meals per day. Breakfasts generally consist of chai (tea), toast, fruit and mandazzi (deep fried dough). A typical lunch can include meat and vegetables with rice and fruit, while dinner usually sees traditional food, such as ugali and chapatti accompany the meat and vegetables.
Meals are served at the accommodation, however a packed lunch can be provided upon request if your placement is due to finish after lunch time.
Bottled water is readily available in Tanzania and volunteers should budget approximately $5 per week for 2 liters a day.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be 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||$320 Equivalent to $46/day|
|2 weeks||$490 Equivalent to $35/day|
|3 weeks||$715 Equivalent to $35/day|
|4 weeks||$905 Equivalent to $33/day|
|5 weeks||$1,105 Equivalent to $32/day|
|6 weeks||$1,305 Equivalent to $32/day|
|8 weeks||$1,720 Equivalent to $31/day|
|10 weeks||$2,150 Equivalent to $31/day|
|12 weeks||$2,580 Equivalent to $31/day|
|16 weeks||$3,440 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
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Tanzania generally find US$50-75 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:
Take a midnight hike up the “Mountain of God”, canoe on a bright turquoise crater lake, 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 Lake Chala, Ol Doinyo Lengai “Mountain of God”, 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 six 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
Check out the widget below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Tanzania, based on your country of residence.
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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
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.