YuFei’s Volunteer Experience in Tanzania

Posted by: YuFei L

After I participated in the Dolphin and Marine Conservation project, I had enjoyed so much that I don’t know how to explain truly how much. I was there for two, and I loved my daily routine of recording dolphin data and snorkeling in order to do coral reef survey.

Every day we woke up at 6:00AM in a room 5 minutes away from the shore, had fresh fruits, juice, and breakfast, got on the boat, and that was the start of the day. We spent about 2 hours on the ocean looking for dolphins; once we found them, we recorded their behavior, the location, the number of tourists and their behavior. As a long-term project, this data will help build a complete base for the government to provide better care for them.

After the morning, we would sometimes go to the conservation club do some teaching, sometimes go further in the water to do coral reef bleaching surveys. The water was so clear that you could see the coral reef while you were still in the boat! One day we had recorded about 50 dolphins! I was lucky enough to go down in the water and swim with them; swimming with these large mammals is an experience that I will never forget.

Workings with marine projects require you being patient because these mammals are wild, shy animals, you might not be able to see them for a couple of days, but once you see them, it is worth your waiting time.

Working with Amin and Lisa who were my manager and collaborator was a good experience too; I had learned so much from them- the local language, fish types, and tradition. Being able to see this world from another perspective is very important no matter how old you are. Being able to sink into the local community was an unexpected surprise, personally, and I learned a lot from living like a local. Overall, I would definitely recommend this program; it is worth your money and time.