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Combination project: Animal and nature conservation in Zanzibar

Praktikum und Volunteering möglich
Marine turtles, Red Colobus Monkeys, reptiles, environmental education for children... at a National Park rain forest and a tropical paradise beach - our animal and nature combination project includes all of this!
Join 10 different projects of animal and nature protection and get to know various aspects of Zanzibar!
The World Unite! animal and nature conservation program in Zanzibar is a combination of volunteering activities at two locations under professional guidance. It is ideal for everyone of any age who loves animals and nature, and who wishes to become active in the conservation of the island's unique fauna and flora.

Project details


The Project Activities

(Click on an activity to read more and to see pictures!)
You can join the conservation of endangered marine turtles in Nungwi and in Jozani.
The marine turtle conservation project in Nungwi is an established conservation project under the direction of a local initiative. Marine turtles are looked after and raised in a large natural lagoon and at several smaller pools, which have been found with injuries. Furthermore eggs are collected at beaches where due to human pressure the hatching or survival of the hatchlings is at risk. The eggs are incubated inside the protected area of the sanctuary and the young turtles are released to the ocean once they reach a certain size. The main tasks of volunteers at the marine turtle sanctuary include nursing and treating injured sea turtles, collecting food and feeding the turtles, cleaning the lagoon and pools, and guiding visitors using foreign languages.
In Jozani, just next to the National Park entrance, a local farmers' cooperative is keeping marine turtles in a large pool. The empoverished farmers are trying to generate funds from tourists who pay an admission fee to see see the marine turtles. The funds are used to compensate members of the cooperative whose fruits have been lost to Red Colobus Monkeys (please see details about the conflict between farmers and Red Colobus Monkeys below). The construction of the pool was financed by United Nations as an alternative source of income for deprived farmers. Unfortunately the way the marine turtles are kept and the visitor experience for tourists paying to see the turtles, are not implemented in an ideal way. Nobody of the farmers' cooperative has any professional knowledge neither about keeping and conserving marine turtles, nor about running a tourism attraction. From January 2018, we are starting our cooperation with this project. With the help of our volunteers, we do not only want to improve the way the marine turtles are kept and the learning experience for visitors, but we want to introduce a comprehensive scientific approach to the project. It is our plan to initiate a knowledge transfer between the marine turtle conservation project in Nungwi and the project in Jozani.
Locations: Nungwi and Jozani
Even though the endemic Red Colobus Monkeys are an endangered and protected species, they are killed by farmers, as the monkeys are taking fruits from their farms. The farmers see the monkeys as a threat to their livelihood. Under the direction of biology teacher Mohammed, volunteers are experimenting in cooperation with a local farmers' cooperative in various techniques to keep the monkeys away from the farms. These techniques includes setting up scarecrows made from recycling materials, planting hedges that the monkeys don't like, and planting alternative food sources for the monkeys. Volunteers are creating a "Monkeys' Paradise" away from the farms. Also other species of monkeys such as Blue Sykes Monkeys and Bushbabies (Galagos) are regularly showing up at this project.
Location: Jozani
Biology teacher Mohammed has been running the little zoo "Zala Park" in the village of Muungoni for 20 years. The zoo's several enclosures mostly host local reptiles such as snakes, lizards, tortoises and chamaeleons. Even these animals impose no danger to humans, they are often killed by the rural population out of superstition. Local school classes are visiting the small zoo for free and it is Mohammed's aim to provide a scientific approach to the animals to the children in order to bust superstitious beliefs. The project is financed through tourists visiting the park. Volunteers are guiding tourists in foreign languages, they work in the improvement of the park, feed and look after the animals, and they communicate environmental topics to school children who are visiting the park.
Location: Jozani
Local school classes are not only visiting Zala Park, but they are also visiting the World Unite! Forest Camp where they can learn about solar energy, compost toilets, recycling, and keyhole gardening. Volunteers are carrying out environmental workshops with the children in a playful way. Furthermore, volunteers are teaching biology and environmental protection at the village kindergarten and primary school of Muungoni. Also at our Nungwi recycling project, we regularly do activities with local school children.
Locations: Jozani and Nungwi
The Muungoni Community Tourism Initiative is a group of citizens from Muungoni Village who are offering various excursions and activities such as kayak tours through the mangroves, bicycle tours, hikes and village tours to tourists. The group is also running two tourist accommodation in the forest and inside the mangroves of Muungoni. Half of the group's profits are used for community projects. For instance, the operations of the kindergarten and primary school of Muunongi, and the construction of wells are financed through this money. Volunteers are teaching English and service skills to members of the initiative (e.g. communication skills with foreign tourists, and improvements to the offers and service levels). They furthermore assist with the preparation and operations of activities, tours and tourist's overnight stays.
We are also arranging tourism internships under professional supervision for students of tourism, service management, economic geography and others, with the Muungoni Community Initiative, in the development of the Jozani Turtle Centre as a tourist attraction, and with the Zanzibar Butterfly Centre.
Location: Jozani
Permaculture is a holistic concept of sustainable and resource-optimized land usage. World Unite! has sponsored the participation of several citizens from Muungoni to a permaculture training. They are now applying permaculture farming techniques on their own land. Also on the plot of the forest camp there are keyhole gardens where fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are cultivated. A keyhole garden is a circular raised garden with a keyhole-shaped indentation on one side. The indentation allows gardeners to add composting materials to provide nutrients for the plants, allowing the cultivation of plants that otherwise won't grow in Zanzibar, such as lettuces, bellpeppers and certain herbs. You can also help at the Kilimo Hai organic mushroom farm where oyster mushrooms are grown. As a volunteer you can assist with the cultivation of vegetables and fruits in these gardens, and you can learn about the permaculture principles.
Location: Jozani
Under the guidance of our team member Lisa we do several types of recycling und upcycling of plastic materials. This includes the production of ubuntublox as a construction material for walls. Ubuntublox are made from strongly compressed soft plastics such as plastic bags and foils, and are replacing concrete blocks. Another example is the use of bottle cutters to make strings for weaving mats, curtains etc from the plastic of bottles. Volunteers are working on the creative design of useful and decorative objects from waste materials.
Location: Nungwi
Even though Zanzibar is surrounded by paradise beaches and turquise blue warm ocean water, only few people in Zanzibar know how to swim. Unfortunately, tragic accidents frequently occur, which could be avoided if more people had at least basic swimming skills. Volunteers are teaching swimming to children in the mangrove area of Muungoni.
Location: Jozani
The kindergarten and the primary school of Muungoni are run by the village community and financed only through revenues generated by the Muungoni Community Tourism initiative, and through donations. You can teach English and other subjects at the kindergarten or village school, either completely on your own, or supporting a local teacher.
Location: Jozani
Occasionally, volunteers can support various charitable activities in the village. This includes restauration and construction works at the community school, the building of wells and water supplies, or helping the village community with the preparation for celebrations and special occasions.
Location: Jozani

The Locations & the Shuttle

You will join volunteering activities at 2 locations. Every Wednesday, a shuttle will connect the two locations, allowing you to change from one location to the other. The two locations are firstly, the region around Jozani Forest National Park, which is characterised by dense tropical rainforest, vast mangrove areas, and small traditional villages, and secondly the tourist beach destination Nungwi on the northern tip of Zanzibar.
Jozani Forst Gegend
Around Jozani Forest National Park, the volunteering activities are guided by biology teacher Mohammed. There is a weekly work plan which includes a variety of activities that you can join with a group of volunteers. If you prefer to focus on certain specific activities only, it is also possible to spend more time or full time on one or just a few selected activities only. It is possible to decide this on location.
You can decide whether you want to stay at the World Unite! Forest Camp or with a local host family in Muungoni. All volunteering activities are located within a 3 km radius from the accommodation, reachable by bicycle, which is provided tp you at no further cost.
The Jozani Forest area boasts several tropical coastal habitats and is a paradise for nature lovers. The little villages around the area have barely changed over the last hundreds of years, as they have remained largely uninfluenced by tourism. They give visitors the opportunity to become part of a village community and to get to know traditional life of Zanzibar.
text beachIn Nungwi, you will volunteer with the marine turtle conservation project of the Mnarani Natural Aquarium, and you will join creative recycling activities under the guidance of our team member Lisa and the local staff of the marine turtle sanctuary. You will stay at the bungalow of the marine turtle project directly at one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches of Zanzibar. Nungwi is a main tourism destination in Zanzibar where you will find many hotels, restaurants, bars, and tourism offers.
Every Wednesday you can use our shuttle at no extra cost to move between the two locations (Jozania Forest and Nungwi). We recommend you to start your stay in Jozani and to stay there for more time. Good combinations are for instance 2 weeks Jozani + 1 week Nungwi, or 2 months Jozani and 1 month Nungwi. However, it is also possible to stay just at one location for the whole duration of your stay.
Arrival into this project should also be on a Wednesday. The introduction to the project work will then be with a small group of volunteers on the following Thursday. You can also arrive to Zanzibar on any other day of the week, but in this case we would charge an extra of 60 EUR for the additional logistic support.
Info Box
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Locations: Jozani Forest Region and Nungwi, Zanzibar
Availability: throughout the year, arrival EVERY WEDNESDAY (see details above)
Minimum duration: 1 week
Maximum duration: 12 months
Language requirements: English
Other languages of advantage: Swahili
Accommodation: In Jozani: World Unite! Forest Camp or Host family; In Nungwi: Bungalow of Marine Turtle sanctuary
infoboxheader02 3 en
Supervision possible: Yes
Qualification Supervisor: Biologist, Teacher, MA Tourismus Management
Minimum Qualification Intern:
no formal qualification required
Further project contribution: No
Volunteering possible: Yes
Expected Qualification Volunteer: None
Further project contribution: No
We expect:
Professional work attitude, "the right attitude"



The Accommodation

In Jozani, you will stay at the World Unite! Forest Camp or with a host family in the village of Muungoni. In Nungwi you will stay at the bungalow of the marine turtle sanctuary directly at the beach.
NEW! World Unite! Forest Camp
-  Images very soon!! -
Just next to Jozani Forest National Park in southern Zanzibar you will find our World Unite! Forest Camp on a natural forest ground. It is the exclusive accommodation only for the participants of our Animal and Nature Conservation combination project in Zanzibar.
There are three comfortable safari tents (6 m x 3 m x 3.50 m high), which are shared by a maximum of 6 participants, each featuring 3 bunk beds with mosquito nets. The tents are on platforms and covered by a solid wooden thatched roof, protecting the tents from rain and sun. The tents have large windows with mosquito netting, allowing wind to come in for an enjoyable temperature inside the tent. Each tent has lockable cabinet compartments for every participant. A solid building hosting a toilet and a separate shower with cold and hot water is attached to and accessible from inside every tent. In front of each tent you can sit on a wooden verandah deck and enjoy the tropical forest atmosphere.
Just next to the tents there is a large terrace, serving as communal space, covered by a large sail that provides protection from sun and rain. It is a space for everyone to relax, work, and enjoy the meals. The kitchen is next to the terrace, catering for three meals per day. There is a drinking water outlet at the kitchen where participants can refill their bottles with filtered drinking water at no extra cost.
The tropical garden of the World Unite! Forest Camp has a lawn for sunbathing and a refreshing small pool.
In the garden there are also several fruit trees and the Keyhole Gardens where we grow vegetables, lettuces, herbs and spices in a resource-saving way for your meals.
Ecological aspects were of great importance when building the World Unite! Forest Camp. All illumination and the mobile phone chargers we provide are solar-powered. The hot water of the showers comes from solar water heaters. We use high-tech compost toilets that remove 90% of the humidity from the excrements. The remaining material is a dry and odorless substrate that is used as a fertilizer for the garden. Local and renewable construction materials have been used as far as possible. The greywater from the showers is filtered through several layers of gravel and flowing into a small biotope, which is planted with yams and reed, where the water infiltrates or evaporates. You can find creative recycled artefacts all around the camp, such as lampsheds and curtains made from recycled plastic bottles by World Unite! volunteers.
The camp has two watchmen, providing 24 hours security.
We try to separate the bed occupancy by gender, however we cannot guarantee this, depending on varying booking numbers of males and females.
Host families in Muungoni
If you want to immerse even deeper into the traditional culture and life of Zanzibar's rural population, you can live with a host family in Muungoni. The families are chosen by the Muungoni Community Tourism Initiative. Not all families are experienced in hosting foreign guests and they often only have very basic English language skills. However, they are extremely friendly and will integrate you just like their own family members into the village community.
You will have your own room. 2-3 participants of the same sex, booking together, can also share a room at the same host family. For cultural reasons, participants of opposite sex cannot share a room with a host family.
You have to be prepared for the most simple living conditions. The rooms generally only have very basic furnishing which is not always well maintained. The construction materials are also often very basic and not in a very good condition. Not all families have access to electricity, so that illumination at night has to be done using oil lamps. There are usually only pit latrines. Showers have to be taken making use of a bucket. Such living conditions are the reality for the vast majority of Zanzibar's population and staying with a host family of such standard in Muungoni will give you the most intensive insights into the „real“ Zanzibar life. Your rent payment will contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the host families.
Bungalow of the Marine Turtle Sanctuary in Nungwi
The bungalow of the marine turtle sanctuary is located directly at one of Zanzibar's most beautiful beaches. The rooms are bright and modern and all have private bathrooms with a shower, handwash basin and toilet. They are furnished in a functional way, including beds and shelves.
You can choose between dorm room accommodation (2 bunk beds per room, a total of 4 occupants), twin rooms (2 single beds) and single rooms (all subject to availability).
Meals are served on a roofed terrace directly at the beach.

The Meals

At all accommodation you will get three meals per day: Breackfast, lunch and dinner.
At the Forest Camp and the Marine Turtle bungalow, meals are a mix of Zanzibar and Western dishes. The breakfast might be Chapati (wheat flatbread) with honey or jam, fruits, and coffee/tea, or Urojo (Zanzibar potato-mango soup). Lunch and dinner might be rice with fish and vegetables in coconut sauce, Pilau Rice (Zanzibar spice rice), Spaghetti Bolognese, Ugali (corn porridge) with beans and mchicha (amaranth vegetables). You will find the daily meal plan written on a board.
It is possible to get vegetarian dishes, but vegan meals are difficult to implement.
If you stay in Muungoni with a host family, there will most likely be purely Zanzibar food without any western influences.
The fresh ingredients of the meals served at the World Unite! Forest Camp are primarily sourced from the camp's own garden and the permaculture gardens run by the Community Tourism Initiative's members, and hence cultivated using organic local farming.
At the World Unite! Forest Camp you will get drinking water at no extra cost. We are filtering groundwater to drinking water, making use of a modern multilevel filtering system. You can bring your own water bottle and refill it as per your convenience, or you can buy a high quality Forest Camp drinking bottle at the camp.



I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
450 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 750 EUR 850 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR 700 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • Arrangement of your Residence Permit, Work Permit or similar permit and other official permits (if required), but not the official government fees for it/them (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ) on arrival and departure to/from Nungwi/Muungoni
  • Pick-up and Transfers within Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) (if required) and assistance with connecting travel via ferry or flight from DAR to ZNZ (but not flight/ferry tickets) and back
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Zanzibar
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • 50 USD Contribution to your project
  • Local SIM Card with 10.000 TSH air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university
  • 15% Discount for Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Excursions and Watersports Activities offered by "Budget Safari Tanzania"

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Zanzibar (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa, Residence Permit, Work Permit (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
All rates in US-Dollar!
Convert Currency
 Any duration
(7-180 Days)
In Nungwi
Bungalow at Marine Turtle Sanctuary on Full Board*
Bed at 4-share dorm room
20 EUR/Day
Bed at twin room
25 EUR/Day
Single room 40 EUR/Day
In Jozani / Muungoni
World Unite! Forest Camp (form tent) or Host Family of Simple Standard
(single or twin room) on Full Board*
Per Person
20 EUR/Day
* Full board = Breakfast, lunch, dinner (not incl. industrially bottled beverages)
For incomplete months you will pay the exact amount proportionally per day.
In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.

Overview of other costs:

  • If meals are not included: around 130-220 USD/Month for self-catering (eating out at affordable yet good restaurants and/or cooking by yourself; you are much more flexible in this way compared to if we would serve food at your accommodation)
  • Official Permits: For placement duration of up to 90 days: Visa 250 USD (for most nationals; to buy on arrival at the airport in Tanzania) + Work Permit 200 USD (we arrange through Zanzibar Labour Office); For placement of 91-180 days: twice the costs as in case of up to 90 days
  • Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month


How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package.
The payment modalities for rent and possible further costs (e.g. internship supervision fees, as stated in info box of the respective project description) depend on your host country and placement. We will inform you beforehand. In many cases these costs are paid on site, but for some countries and placements they need to be paid partially or fully in advance.

Getting there


Getting To Zanzibar

zanzibar map web2
Some airlines fly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland directly or with an intermediate stop at Zanzibar (ZNZ). Remember to book your flight and share with us your flight details. From Zanzibar airport, we will pick you up and bring you to your accommodation in Zanzibar.
If the flights to Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) are much cheaper, you can also fly there. From Dar-es-Salaam, you can travel to Zanzibar by a connecting flight or take the ferry. The ferry costs 35 USD and takes about 2 hours. We will take you in this case, from the airport to the seaport. In Zanzibar, you will be picked up at the ferry terminal and taken to your accommodation. A connecting flight from DAR to ZNZ only takes 20 minutes and costs 50-80 USD
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