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Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Dec 2, 2020

Nungwi is home to some of Zanzibar’s finest beaches. With white coral sand that seems to glow day and night, it is a popular tourist destination. As a Turtle Conservation volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to get involved in helping boost wild turtle populations and assist with treating and releasing injured turtles. This project is perfect for anyone who is passionate about conservation and wildlife and enjoys spending time beside the ocean.

Turtle Conservation in Zanzibar with IVHQ

Volunteers are based at the Nungwi Marine Turtle Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a long established conservation program where injured marine turtles are treated and looked after at a natural lagoon. The turtles are released several times per year and the project also breeds turtle eggs at a safe location until the baby turtles hatch. Young turtles are kept at various pools and at the lagoon. They are released into the ocean once they reach a size that guarantees a higher chance of survival in the wild. Volunteers will be involved in tasks such as cleaning the turtles, lagoon and pools, collecting seaweed and feeding the turtles, medically treating injured and sick turtles (under supervision of local staff) and guiding tourists visiting the lagoon.

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Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $610 for 1 week
  • Based on Nungwi beach on the northern end of the island of Zanzibar

  • Accommodation in a volunteer bungalow by the beach

  • Help with cleaning, feeding, and caring for injured turtles

  • Suited to conservation and animal-loving volunteers

  • Volunteer for up to 6 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Zanzibar at a glance
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Between 5 and 10 volunteers start in Zanzibar each month

  • Opportunity to explore Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, relax on pristine white sand beaches, or go on a safari in your free time

This IVHQ volunteer program is based on the island of Zanzibar, or Unguja in Swahili, located off the coast of Tanzania in Eastern Africa. Volunteer placements are located on Nungwi beach and Jozani. As this project is based in Zanzibar, volunteers will need to fly into Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) (if traveling to the program by air).

Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to ​12​ weeks.

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 traveling 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 – Introduction to Zanzibar, Zanzibar Customs, Rules and Expectations, Language Lessons (Kiunguja) Safety, Travel Opportunities in Zanzibar, 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.

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 project you will be working with.

Weekdays: A typical day would be as follows:

8.00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.

8.30 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.

1.00 - 2.00 PM Lunch at volunteer accommodation.

2.00PM - 5.30 PM Volunteers resume work for afternoon.

7.00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Please note, this schedule will vary depending on the project you are volunteering on. For example on the Turtle Conservation project volunteers begin work at 8am returning to the accommodation for breakfast at 9.

Volunteers in Zanzibar are either accommodated at a forest camp in semi-permanent tents or in a volunteer beachside bungalow, depending on which project you are taking part on. Volunteers can expect to share with 1 to​ 5 other volunteers of the same gender and the accommodations can host between 18 at the camp and 32 volunteers in the bungalow at one time. Forest Camp living is basic but comfortable with compost toilets, solar heated showers and filtered drinking water.

In both locations 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. For volunteers in the Turtle Conservation project you can also access WiFi at local cafes and restaurants.

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$19 per person, per night, on the Rainforest and Coastal Conservation project and US$29 per person, per night on the Turtle Conservation project. Meals are included, and extra nights are 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.

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, lunch and dinner). Breakfast usually consists of a hot Zanzibari spice tea, instant coffee, chapati, mandazi (deep fried dough), toast with jam, and fruit.

Lunch and dinner are usually plain white rice or pilau rice (which in Zanzibar includes cardamom, cinnamon and cloves), pasta, french fries or ugali with meat or vegetables (usually carrot, potatoes, peas, ocra) typically cooked in a coconut sauce that contains some herbs and spices.

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).

Zanzibar

Duration Program Fee $USD
1 week $540
2 weeks $725
3 weeks $910
4 weeks $1,095
5 weeks $1,280
6 weeks $1,465
8 weeks $1,835
10 weeks $2,170
12 weeks $2,470
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours.
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Zanzibar generally find US$50-75 to be sufficient for weekly expenses.
  • Volunteers ​staying for 2 weeks or more ​will need to budget US$200​ to ​obtain a work permit.

Zanzibar: Turtle Conservation Project

Duration Program Fee $USD
1 week $610
2 weeks $865
3 weeks $1,120
4 weeks $1,375
5 weeks $1,630
6 weeks $1,885
8 weeks $2,395
10 weeks $2,870
12 weeks $3,310
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
    Registration Fee
    What it covers
    • Most affordable program fees
    • Expert support from a program specialist
    • Full MyIVHQ account access
    • Online volunteer training
    • Comprehensive preparation tools
    • IVHQ alumni rewards
    Program Fee
    What it covers
    • 24/7 in-country support
    • Airport pick-up
    • Program orientation
    • Volunteer placement
    • Accommodation
    • Meals
    Capital Zanzibar City
    Population 1.3 million
    Languages Swahili, Arabic 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, with warm weather all year round, but is always more humid. The rainy season runs from March through May with afternoon downpours being common. The average daily temperature at this time of year is 30°C - 35°C (86°F - 95°F). The dry season occurs from June through October and rainfall is quite uncommon. Temperatures can vary greatly depending on location in Zanzibar, but the weather is typically fine and sunny. During November and December there’s another short rainy season followed by a short dry season across January and February.

    Volunteers who are under 18 years old will be required to provide IVHQ with parental/guardian consent and two character reference letters in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Zanzibar.

    Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

    How to get started

    Pick a destination + project and apply for free
    Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
    Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
    Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!