• Please select what you would like to do, where and for how long!

Marine Turtle Sanctuary Zanzibar

Volunteering möglich
In Nungwi, at the northern tip of Zanzibar, on one of the most beautiful beaches on the island paradise, volunteers have the opportunity to raise endangered sea turtles and learn everything about the unique animals at the marine turtle conservation station. Tip: Please watch our video about this project in the tab "More info"!

Project Details

All species of sea turtles are endangered. The main threats include pollution and interventions into the natural habitats of the turtles like coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and beaches where the turtles lay their eggs. Other threats include accidental fishing and poaching of turtles and their eggs for human consumption and animals such as foxes, dogs, hogs and iguanas.
Five of the world's seven species of sea turtles can be found in Tanzania: Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), which are both critically endangered, as well as Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead Sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), which are all endangered.
Sea turtles have a long life and it takes them long to reach adulthood. This makes them particularly vulnerable to human intervention during all phases of their life. The condition of sea turtle populations in the Indian Ocean was recorded for the first time in the mid 70's. Following research has shown that population sizes have constantly decreased. Around 85% of all sea turtle deaths are caused by human intervention such as poaching for turtle meat, eggs, shelves and fins, or as bycatch.
In Tanzania, poaching for sea turtle meat and eggs is common. Construction activity and the use of coasts and beaches for tourism generally does not taking sea turtle territories into consideration. Actuators and trawling nets for fishing are deadly traps for sea turtles. In 2001, Tanzania signed the Conservation and Management Plan (CMP) as appendix to the “Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA)" and obliged itself to implement the activities which are specified in the CMP. As a result, the “National Turtle Conservation Committee“ (TTCC) was founded, under which the "Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Aquarium" in Nungwi, at the northernmost tip of Zanzibar, operates as a sanctuary.
Here, sea turtles are raised in a large natural lagoon and in several smaller pools. These turtles are either rescued with injuries or hatched from eggs which have been collected from beaches, where due to human pressure, their survival is at risk. The eggs are incubated inside the protected area of the sanctuary and the young turtles are hatched and released to the open sea once they reach a certain size.
The Mnarani Marine Turtles Aquarium in Nungwi can be visited by tourists and the revenue through entry fees is used to fund the conservation program.
Volunteers can assist at the sea turtle sanctuary. The main work will be to clean the sea turtle lagoon and pools, to prepare food and feed the young turtles, and doing guided tours for visitors (also in foreign languages if possible). No previous knowledge is required; anything you need to know will be told to you. Short time stays are possible. For volunteers who want to stay for a longer time and have knowledge in biology/zoology, it is possible to participate in scientific field trips to collect data about sea turtle populations and to collect eggs and young sea turtles from places where they are at risk.
Accommodation will be in a guest house which belongs to the sea turtle sanctuary, located at one of the most beautiful beaches of Zanzibar. The rent depends on the duration of stay and food is provided.
Info Box
Location: Nungwi, Zanzibar
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: German, Italian, and other languages
Accommodation: Complete boarding at Bungalow at the Conservation Station
Supervision Possible: No
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

More Info


Watch this video about the marine turtle sanctuary made by our participant Daniel:


This is another video, presenting the marine turtle sanctuary:


Comments of participants

“For 7 weeks, I worked as a volunteer in Mnarani Aquarium in Nungwi. This wonderful, informative time, I will never forget. The Mnarani Aquarium is a sanctuary for sick, very small, or other sea turtles that are accidentally caught by fishermen. The station is self-supporting and tourists are guided through the aquarium daily. From the first day I was welcomed warmly into the community. Thanks to the helpful literature from Suleiman, and the support of all dedicated employees, I already knew after the first week enough about the sea turtles to take guided tours in English, German and Italian. Daily tasks such as beach cleaning, freeing algae from turtles, feeding and caring, weighing, measuring and picking seaweed as food for green turtles, are done jointly by all employees. If too many turtles are brought by fishermen, or when there are several hatchlings, a new enclosure is built immediately. Each volunteer can commit oneself also to doing other projects than the sea turtle project. We were able to teach English, for example, to the children and teachers at a nearby nursery school in Nungwi. All these varied works in various fields made my stay very entertaining and exciting." Christine, Switzerland
Where can you spend a better holiday than at the crystal blue ocean with recently hatched turtles? I can't think of any other place, that’s why I decided to go for four weeks to the marine turtle conservation pond in Nungwi, Zanzibar. The welcome was pleasant; my room was clean and had everything I needed. The three meals a day were served directly at the beach restaurant and very often they tried to cook European style. Even more delicious was the freshly caught fish which was shared between everyone from one big plate in the evenings. I really started to love fish there!
The work was also very interesting, every morning the sand inside the aquarium was cleaned, the water of the small turtle pools was changed and medicine was given to the injured turtles into their eyes or skin. If necessary, I collected some seaweed which was the food for the big turtles, and I cleaned their carapaces. It is unbelievable how strong they are!
Also there was enough time to do some tours all over Zanzibar. Snorkeling trips or bicycle tours through small villages are just examples.
The four weeks passed too quickly. When I was back home I realized how much I miss that way of life, the warm welcome from everyone and the wonderful paradise-like nature. A visit to Zanzibar is absolutely worth it! Ulrike, Germany



Accommodation in Nungwi

In Nungwi, there is a room in the bungalow of the marine turtle conservation station and at Umoja Centre. Both are default options in "Most Popular!


Shared Accommodation:

Bungalow at Marine Sea Turtle Conservation Center
The fantastic thing about this accommodation is the location - right on the northern tip of Zanzibar in one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. But the bungalow itself is also attractive - the rooms are spacious and relatively modern and have a private bathroom. Full boarding is included (except industrial bottled drinks) and food is served directly on the beach, on the covered terrace.
Accommodation in Umoja Centre
The Umoja education center in the village of Nungwi features simple cabins that are rustic African for volunteers/interns. There is a central shower room, western toilets and a functionally equipped communal kitchen.



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
300 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
250 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 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)
  • Arrangements for your Residence 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 and Residence 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
 Short-time stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time stay
(32-365 Days)
(You pay proportionally per day)
In Nungwi
Bungalow at Marine Turtle Sanctuary on Full Board
1 Person
(Single Room)
20 USD/Day 450 USD/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
20 USD/Day 450 USD/Month
Banda at Umoja Centre
per Person 16 USD/Day 200 USD/Month
In Muungoni
Host Family of Simple Standard
on Full Board
1 Person
(Single Room)
16 USD/Day 450 USD/Month
2 Personen p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
16 USD/Day 450 USD/Month
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:

  • Visa 50 USD for EU Citizens, Australians, New Zealand Citizens; 100 USD for US and Canadian Citizens. For most nationals it is possible to buy it on arrival at the airport in Tanzania, please ask us if in doubt
  • Residence Permit (required in Tanzania for volunteering and internships) in case of duration of stay of up to 90 days: 200 USD; duration of stay 91-180 days: 400 USD; duration of stay 181-365 days: 550 USD.
  • If meals are not included: around 130-220 USD/Month (estimate)
  • 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 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. 3 months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package and for the first month of rent.
Rent from the 2nd month, possible further contributions to the NGO or for internship supervision (see info box of the respective project description), and costs for visa and possibly further official permits you pay directly at your destination. There are ATMs. 



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Safaris, Kilimanjaro Climbs, Day Trips, Watersports

budgetsafaribannerAs "Budget Safari Tanzania" we are arranging cost-effective yet high-quality safaris, Kilimanjaro climbs, excursions, and watersports activities in Tanzania and Zanzibar. You will group with other World Unite! participants and further travellers.
As a World Unite! participant, you get a 15% discount on all offers of Budget Safari Tanzania. We will share a Discount Code with you that you can use with the online booking of your safari, Kilimanjaro climb, excursion or watersports activity.

Learning Swahili in Sansibar!

Swahili TeacherIt is always helpful to know Swahili while doing your project here. Swahili is a relatively easy language for participants and some start to follow it within the first few lessons. You can choose the intensity of the lesson. We would, however, recommend a maximum of ten hours per week. The lessons are conducted individually; in some cases, 2-3 participants with similar levels of knowledge may be given combined lessons. The number of participants does not affect the cost of the lessons.
The cost for Swahili lessons: 1 Student - 9 EUR
Please check "Language Training Required" in the registration form, specifying the desired duration (minimum 20 hours).

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
Travel Health Insurance




Nungwi is a village on the northern tip of Zanzibar and one of the places where the beach tourism began, about 20 years ago. The difference between low tide and high tide here, is the lowest of all Zanzibar, which makes the beaches of Nungwi and Kendwa especially popular with tourists. There are luxury hotel facilities and small, local backpacker accommodations and especially during the season, tourist "Nightlife" with several bars along the beach. There are also several diving and water sports centers. The turtle conservation station at the lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction. The snorkeling and sunset cruises on a dhow, the traditional sailing ships of the Indian Ocean, which are built in Nungwi on the beach, are also popular. Since especially during the season many tourists walk through the village, many residents of Nungwi try to benefit from it through small shops for tourists, selling products and offering their services for tours.

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



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from the airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Zanzibar is a relatively small island, and you can use public transport during the weekends to travel throughout the island; such as to the beaches of the north and east. In Moshi and Zanzibar, we ourselves often offer day trips, such as to Kilimanjaro or the national parks, for which you can join other volunteers and interns when you travel there. We share these trips with you in our monthly subscriber list and you can book them. Participants often organize on-site travel together. In Moshi and Zanzibar, you can stay at the same low rates as our Zanzibar or Moshi participants in accommodations provided by us. If you plan to travel during your volunteering/internship period, you should seek permission in advance. We recommend that you plan your travel after your volunteering/internship. For this, you can also stay longer in your accommodation at affordable rates.
Is it safe to travel in Zanzibar alone as a single female traveller?
Approximately 80% of our participants are female and many of them, only about 20 years old. Not a single instance of a serious security breach has occurred. Our coordinator will advise you on how you should conduct yourself in order to avoid problems - your dressing style, valuables, and in dealing with local men. Our preparation materials elaborate on this matter. If you follow these basic rules that apply equally to many other places, the risk in Zanzibar is not great.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Zanzibar?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Zanzibar, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so. Zanzibar Town is a small town, where you walk around quite a bit. In addition, there are well-known places such as the Forodhani Gardens, where you actually meet other participants. If you are in a different place (Nungwi, Mungooni, etc.), the probability is higher that there are more participants from us. You can access these places relatively quickly by public transport from Zanzibar Town, if you want to meet other participants of your country over the weekend. We also have regular meetings with all participants and you will get a list of participants who are in the country, with their contact information. You need not be concerned that you are "alone" in Zanzibar, nor must you stay away from the locals because you spend all your time with other foreign participants.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info-PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where do I live?
Please find details in the tab "Accommodation".
Can I choose my accommodation?
We give you choices (Most popular!, Comfort +, Adventurer) and you can tell us if you prefer a shared accommodation or homestay; we will then seek an accommodation for you. We organise accommodation, taking into consideration the distance from your work site. However, since Zanzibar is not a very big town, is relatively easy to reach locations in other parts of the city by public transport ("Daladala") or by bike.
How free or bound am I in my accommodation with the host family?
With the host family, you can have your freedom, and do not need to join them during meal times or have any other obligations. If you will return late in the evening, you need to let them know in advance, so that they can unlock the doors for you (which are locked at night for security reasons). Bringing home casual acquaintances is taboo. They look to integrate our participants into their family life, but you can determine to what extent you want to be part of it.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
In Tanzania, Internet is accessed via the mobile phone networks. With smartphones, you can use the Internet. For laptops, there are USB modem sticks for about 10 EUR. There are no flat rates; you use data packets, depending on your needs. You might consume 2 GB of data in a week, which costs about 4.50 EUR. In the centers of cities (Moshi Town, Dar-es-Salaam, Mwanza, Zanzibar Town, Karatu, etc.), the connection is good, the speed is satisfactory and sufficient for Skype phone calls. In the suburbs and in the country, there is connection, but usually almost impossible or very slow and unreliable. We will provide you information on the use of mobile Internet in Tanzania.
How can I do my laundry?
In general, laundry is washed by hand in Tanzania. You can ask your landlord or host family if they have someone who can wash your clothes. Usually, someone offers that to you for a small fee. Please ask your local supervisor, what the appropriate thing to do is.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Host families are familiar with participants who are vegetarians and prepare appropriate food. In some restaurants in Zanzibar Town, there are vegetarian options. In the market, there are a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Special dietary needs (e.g. Vegan, allergies to certain foods) can be specified to the host families.
What language skills do I need?
You should be able to make yourself understood in English. The national language of Tanzania is Swahili, but knowledge of English is widespread, especially among people who have a better education or work in tourism. In everyday life, there is usually no problem to be able to communicate in English; if you should come across someone who can not speak English, you can almost immediately find someone who offers to translate in English. If you are in a social project for a longer duration, you will have to deal with people who have little or no education. For this, it is useful to acquire at least a basic knowledge of Swahili before your arrival through any book (or audio CD). You can also take basic Swahili lessons while on site. We also have vocabulary lists with useful words that can help you.
FacebookDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiPinterest
Pin It

Our Partners

  • partners03.jpg
  • partners04.jpg
  • partners05.jpg
  • partners06.jpg
  • partners07.jpg
  • partners08.jpg
  • partners09.jpg


Auslandspraktika Internships Abroad

A wide selection of internships in many countries.

Volunteering Volunteering

Charitable placements worldwide.

World Learner World Learner

Learn your host country's knowledge.

Aktivreisen Active Travel

Your alternative holidays.

Academix Academix

Dissertations, intercultural learning.

Work&Travel Working Holiday

Working Holiday in China and Japan.

Quick Poll!

How do you like our new website?

Great - 73.8%
Average - 12.5%
Not so much - 2.5%

Login Form