Enjoy a whirlwind adventure taking in the best of this seductive East African destination, that with its vast, dynamic animal populations and complex cultural expressions combines ancient and modern Africa in a spectacular fusion.
Check out our Camp Tour video!
Experience an idyllic setting living on the Frontier conservation camp by the beach, located in the Mafia Island Marine Park just south of Zanzibar. Here you will find a picturesque idyll, with communal bandas surrounded by coconut palms and moments from a stunning beach overlooking the pristine tropical reef.
You will have the chance to scuba dive in crystalline waters, and dive with your fellow volunteers in the heavenly waters of the Indian Ocean that fringes the coastline, spotting a dazzling array of spectacular and fascinating creatures including minute tropical reef fish, turtles and rays which glide silently through the sunlit waters.
As well as all this, help teachers in a small school in a local village on glorious Mafia Island. Here you will absorb the real Tanzania as you become a part of local life. This fulfilling phase of the project will see you become truly involved with the lives of those who live in small Tanzanian villages; you will find the people to be cheerful and welcoming despite the deprivation that blights their day to day lives. If you are joining during the school holidays you can help with community outreach education, giving language coaching to local community members or assisting in one to one coaching.
Complete this unforgettable experience by appreciating the majesty of raw nature as you learn to survey native wildlife such as birds, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, insects and bats. You may even be lucky enough to spot a bushbaby or a blue monkey. As you develop an eclectic range of surveying & monitoring techniques and how to work with local communities you will be helping to conserve the remaining habitat and the animals it supports and also to ensure that local communities are closely involved in conservation activities.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This is a specimen itinerary for a 3 week project and the order and duration of the project components is subject to change. The 6, 9 and 12 week project option will mean more time on each project component.
The 2 week project option allows you to take part in your choice of 2 projects from those listed above, each for 1 week.
Day 1-2: Arrival & Orientation
Arrive in the bustling port city of Dar es Salaam, where you will be met by a local private driver (extra cost applies £40/$60). Spend a day getting oriented, try out some basic Swahili, and explore the city's museums, markets, and nightspots!
Travel by internal flight down to Mafia Island (about 40 minutes from Dar es Salaam). Enjoy this breathtaking flight soaring above the stunning sight of the tropical atolls that thrive in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. Once you have arrived, you will be met at Mafia's small airport and escorted to the Frontier marine conservation camp.
Week 1: Diving at Marine Camp (TZM)
You will have the chance to complete PADI dive qualifications (extra cost applies) at one of the world's most spectacular dive sites in Tanzania's first marine park. As you explore the emerald depths of the crystal waters here, you will see a host of marine wildlife, including amazing coral reefs, colourful reef fish, endangered turtles, rays, dolphins and possibly even the enigmatic whale sharks! Read our past volunteers' accounts of their whale shark encounters in our volunteer diaries!
Week 2: Help teach in a local school (TZT)
Remaining on the marine camp, you will be introduced to your teaching project where you begin your programme helping the teachers in the under resourced local school. You will help teach English and organise a range of activities for the students, under the guidance of the staff there. The teaching is based on Mafia Island – the most beautiful of Tanzania's Spice Islands, where tranquil white-sand beaches, friendly villages, and world class scuba diving sites combine to make this a true tropical paradise. If you are joining during the school holidays you will be offered the alternative program of teaching in the community.
Week 3: Wildlife Conservation (TZF)
The final stage of your project, assisting on the programme of wildlife research that is taking place, and exploring the natural beauty and plethora of biodiversity that inhabits the area. As part of your training on this valuable and exciting project you will have the opportunity to encounter a number of interesting amphibians, birds and small mammals. You might also be interviewing local villagers or teaching at local education days about the conservation value of the species found on Mafia Island.
Day 20-21: Travel
Return to Dar es Salaam for any last minute souvenir shopping and sightseeing before you fly home.
- mafia island, Arusha Region, Tanzania
Duration:Less than 3 months
Time commitment:A lot (10+ hours/week)
Times of day:Mornings Afternoons
Days of week:Weekdays
Extra details:Fee required
International volunteer options:International volunteers welcome