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Zanzibar Butterfly Center

Praktikum und Volunteering möglich
Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC), the largest free-flight aviary for butterflies in Africa, is a project of sustainable tourism in Zanzibar. Since butterflies only live for a short time, the free-flight aviary constantly need new butterflies. These are bred by the villagers of Pete and sold at the center. Revenue is generated through the entrance fees for the tourists. Volunteering and Internships are possible here both in the fields of biology/ecology and tourism/marketing.

Project Details

The Zanzibar Butterfly Centre (ZBC) is a tourist attraction in Zanzibar. Approximately 400-600 butterflies live in a richly vegetated aviary, about 30 x 20 m tall. The butterflies are all native to Zanzibar. It is a project of sustainable tourism, because the revenue generated from entrance fees give the local population in the vicinity of the butterfly center an alternative and environmentally friendly source of income, contributing to poverty alleviation in the region of Pete. Since the butterflies only live for a few weeks, the center has constant need for new butterflies and these are reared by the villagers and then sold to the center. Regularly, the villagers are accompanied by a biologist specialised in butterfly breeding and trained in other environmental issues. In addition to the free-flight aviary, tourists and the local population are also shown an interactive exhibition about the life of butterflies.
ZBC works closely with the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, Jozani Environmental Convervation Association (JECA) and Pete Development Association (PDA).
The following volunteering/internships are possible in Zanzibar Butterfly Centre:

Students or graduates from the field of biology/ecology can act as ecological consultants in the village of Pete. They teach and guide the locals not only in the rearing of the butterflies, but also in other areas of ecological farming. The minimum duration for this activity is 3 months. This insert is possible as an internship under qualified supervision.

Students of tourism, PR/marketing, public relations, etc. can support the Center in public relations and marketing. Here, the goal is to attract tourists to the Centre. Tour operators can be contacted in order to convince them to incorporate a visit to ZBC in their itineraries. Volunteers are expected to stay for a minimum of three months.

Info Box
Location: Jozani, Zanzibar
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 3 Months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Langauges Of Advantage: Swahili
House, Host Family in Muungoni
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Biologist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: None
infoboxheader03 2
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

More Info


Read more:

  • Photo Gallery Excursion at Jozani Forest, Butterfly Centre, ZALA Park, MOTO/DADA on Facebook.



Accommodation in Mungooni

In Mungooni, we offer accommodation with a host family, in a house of simple standards.


House and Host Families in Mungooni

Accommodation in Mungooni is usually in a small house of simple traditional standards, on the grounds of the Zala Park. This has a bedroom, bathroom and a lounge. The bedroom has 2 beds with mosquito nets; the windows are equipped with mosquito nets and metal bars for protection. The bathroom has a flush toilet and a cold shower with running water. The lounge has a table, book shelves, chairs, and a view of the park. The house, like most houses in Mungooni, do not have electricity; it is possible to charge phones, laptops, etc. in the house in the neighborhood, belonging to Park Head Mohammed, where there is electricity. The food is cooked by a neighbor's wife, Mariam and brought you; there is Zanzibarian food like chapati, rice, beans, spinach, fish, Pilau, etc. You can also learn how to prepare these dishes from Mariam. There are always many children and neighbors outside and around the house, as is common in Africa; so, you need not have any anxiety about not finding connections with people. You will soon find yourself part of the village community! There are employees and security guards from Zala Park, watching over the household day and night. If we have two participants of the same sex, you share a room; we would inform you of this in advance.
If required, we can also organize accommodations of simple standards with host families in the village of Mungooni. Please be aware that there are only simple standards in the village; the houses usually have no electricity or running water. Water must be fetched by bucket from a well. For participants who are looking for an experience of rural Africa, Mungooni is a perfect place.



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 20 USD/Day
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
20 USD/Day 20 USD/Day
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




Muungoni is a village in the south of the island, where there is no tourism except for the few visitors to the "Zanzibar Land Animal Park" by teacher Mohammed; this is probably because this is away from white sandy beaches and large mangrove areas of the coast. Most residents of Muungoni are fishermen or farmers and little has changed in their lives over the past hundreds of years. Here, you can still get to know a part of original rural Zanzibar. By being accommodated in the village, you are in the middle of their living and will be warmly integrated in the village society. The mangrove areas are the largest of Zanzibar and part of the Jozani Forest Chwaka Bay National Park; they are of priceless ecological value.
The village lies on the road connecting the capital, Zanzibar Town, and the tourist beaches of the south-east coast (Paje, Jambiani, Michamvi) and the West Coast (Kizimkazi). Due to the excellent connection by the public transport system of Zanzibar, the area is 40 minutes by Daladala from the city and 25 minutes to Paje.
Please watch the video, "Faces of Muungoni", which was created by our volunteer, Iris from Hamburg:

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.
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