The main focus of this marine conservation project is to monitor the dolphins and human-dolphin interaction. The information collected by volunteers during their placement will feed into research, surveys and studies conducted by the academic and research institutions in Zanzibar and will contribute greatly to the marine conservation efforts in Zanzibar. For example, monitoring human-dolphin interaction is important as it will inform government policies on how best to regulate tourist and fishing activities to ensure that the dolphins do not become too stressed, which could potentially lead to lower numbers of dolphins in the future in this part of the world.
What's not Included
This project takes place in Zanzibar, just off the Tanzanian coast of East Africa. Zanzibar is renowned for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters. It is also home to many historical monuments, the Chumbe Island Marine Reserve, and Jozani Forest, where the indigenous Red-colobus monkey can be found. The south coast offers you the chance to swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Jambiani and Kizimkazi, where you will spend most of your time as a volunteer, are small villages located on the southern part of Zanzibar’s beautiful and quiet east coast. About an hour’s drive from Stone Town, Jambiani is a village that stretches along the coastline, bordered by expansive white sand beaches. Kizimkazi is a small fishing village located in the Menai Bay Conservation Area of south-west Zanzibar. Here you will find communities operating at a leisurely pace amidst the sunny, tropical climate. Menai Bay is also home to a number of iconic marine species, including bottlenose and humpback dolphins (there are also humpack whales from June to October).
Your activities may include:
- Monitoring the dolphins for various research purposes (i.e. behaviour, feeding, daily habits, reaction to humans)
- Monitoring tourist numbers (to get daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal figures)
- Monitoring tourist-dolphin interaction
- Research and monitoring of whales during whale season (June to October)
- Providing research data for local marine science institutions
- Raising awareness about dolphins, whales, sharks and other types of fish, the local marine ecosystem, and local marine conservation.
A typical day: An exact daily schedule is difficult to outline as activities depend on tides and seasons, however, most days begin with departing the volunteer base at 6:00 am, followed by early morning boat rides to monitor tourist activities and human-dolphin interactions from 6:30 to 8:30 am. You'll have an hour break for breakfast at 8:30 am and then undertake a range of research and ocean activities, including monitoring dolphins and other species of fish, fishing activity, and data entry and analysis until 12:00 pm. From 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm you'll have a lunch break, followed by data analysis or teaching English to local fisherman, boat drivers and tour guides. At 6:00 pm, you'll return to Jambiani for dinner. You will have Saturdays and Sundays off to do any tourist activities or to rest from your week of volunteering.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Minimum age 17
- Must be able to swim
- Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
- Police clearance form
During your stay you will have the opportunity to enjoy some incredible attractions in the surrounding areas such as Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, the famous Serengeti National Park, the unique Ngorongoro Crater, and the mighty Kilimanjaro! Zanzibar and Tanzania offer a variety of tours and safari options, which are perfect for a weekend getaway or a pre/post project safari. Most activities are priced all-inclusive providing transport, transfers, accommodation, guide and driver, park entry fees, etc. The project coordinators in Zanzibar will be happy to assist you in exploring these options:
- Incredible snorkeling and scuba diving off Zanzibar island
- Jozani Forest
- Swimming with dolphins at Kizimkazi
- Stone Town City Tour
- Spice Tour
- Tour of Prison Island