Tanzania – Dolphin and Marine Conservation

Free 3rd Week Grant – Get the 3rd week free when you sign up for two weeks or more. Limited grants available for start dates between August 2024 and November 2024. Schedule a call to apply.


Join this tropical island project and get involved with marine conservation, community work, and education focused on the local dolphin population!


Program Highlights:

  • Spend your days swimming with dolphins in their natural environment
  • Collect data on dolphin behavior and survey the impact of tourism
  • Your accommodation is right on the beach, so everyday you will be waking up to the sounds of the sea and ending your day with a beautiful beach sunset
  • Create materials for raising awareness for marine conservation
  • Enjoy a meal at a local village home once a week and a bonfire on the beach
  • Participate in a coral bleaching survey


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum 10 day commitment):

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ). You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your accommodation in Kizimkazi. Take the rest of the day to settle in and start enjoying your new island life.

Days 1-4, Tuesday-Friday: Spend your mornings monitoring dolphins or taking Kiswahili lessons and your afternoons swimming with the dolphins and surveying the coral reefs during snorkel trips. You will also take part in planning and running workshops on marine conservation and help train local tour operators to be more sustainable in their daily practices. Evenings are for relaxing and fun activities such as bonfires on the beach and game nights.

Days 5-6, Saturday-Sunday: Weekends are free for you to enjoy island life. You could even try your luck in the Jozani Forest and see if you can spot the red colobus monkeys, who are endemic to the island.

10 Day minimum duration:  For volunteers staying 10 days, you’ll, volunteer the 2nd week until Wednesday. Thursday is the departure day back to the airport for those staying the minimum duration.

Remaining weeks: For volunteers volunteering 2 weeks or more, the remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. (Check out “Travel Highlights” below for suggestions!) Departures are on Mondays for the following weeks.



Location icon Location of the Project: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Project length Project length: Minimum 10 days  – Maximum 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Monitoring and researching dolphins and whales

Age Age:  17-70

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 6 international volunteers

Important Note Important Note:  A Humanitarian Visa is required for participation on the program. Instructions to apply are provided with your program approval, the process is conducted online and takes about 10 days to process.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared accommodations in a volunteer house in Kizimkazi

Food Food: Three meals per day

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: All necessary training and introductions are provided upon arrival.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, Humanitarian Visa, travel health insurance, personal expenses

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 humpback whales from June to October).


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.


Some of your tasks may include:

  • Monitoring the dolphins for various research purposes (i.e. behavior, 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.
  • The rest of your time as a volunteer will be spent getting involved in helping the local community by doing things like beach cleans, planting trees, painting, and supporting local community groups.


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 6:30-8:30 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 12:00-2:00 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.

Holidays: Please note that Ramadan will affect the tasks and schedule. Please check the dates with your placement advisor. Dolphin monitoring will be at an earlier time than usual and volunteers will be involved in beach cleans, go on a village tour and have a cultural talk with community partners

Internet icon Internet: Internet facilities are available in town for a small fee.

Laundry icon Laundry: A weekly laundry service is available for an additional fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: You will stay in a volunteer house in the small fishing town of Kizimkazi just a few steps away from the beach. The rooms are dormitory-style and single-gender, with four-eight volunteers per room. Accommodations include mosquito nets, fans, bedding and housekeeping. The volunteer house is also equipped with a resource room where you can find and store project work and prepare lessons. *Please Note: There is no hot water for showering (most places in Zanzibar do not have hot water).

Food icon Food: Volunteers receive three meals a day. Breakfast usually consists of eggs, porridge, toast, fruit, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner include a mix of local and international food and are freshly prepared each day.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age of 17
  • Police clearance
  • Must be able to swim
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Humanitarian Visa application online

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

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?