Tanzania and Zanzibar
Tanzania & Zanzibar are located in East Africa, a little south of the equator. Tanzania is one of Africa's most interesting destinations - famous attractions of Tanzania are Mt. Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain of Africa, the Serengeti - one of the most important wildlife reserves of the world, the natural wonder Ngorongoro Crater, and the exotic tropical spice island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean.
The locations where we offer our options for volunteering and internships in Tanzania are Zanzibar Island, the Kilimanjaro region around Moshi, Tanzania's metropolis Dar-es-Salaam, and Serengeti/Lake Victoria.
The airports Zanzibar (ZNZ), Kilimanjaro (JRO) and Dar-es-Salaam (DAR) are well connected via direct flights from Europe (London, Frankfurt, Rome) or with a single transit stop on the way (Dubai, Nairobi, Addis Abbaba, Cairo).
Tanzania is a generally safe country. Even for single female travellers there is no particular risk if you consider some basic rules.
Languages spoken in Tanzania are Swahili and English.
Our team of coordinators in Zanzibar consists of Josh from England, Suma from Zanzibar and marine ecologist Nell from England; in Moshi there are Adelina, Themistocles and Gabriel; in Dar-es-Salaam (also for airport transfers) there are Arnold and Madaha.
Zanzibar is a tropical archipelago in the Indian Ocean which belongs to Tanzania. The ship from the mainland takes around 2 hours, by plane it is only around 20 minutes from the mainland. When referring to "Zanzibar", most people in fact mean the archipelago's main island Unguja. In the past, Unguja was a rich island, as it was a main trading location along the Indian Ocean sea routes between Africa, Arabia, India, East Asia and Europe. The blend of cultures can still be seen today, but the Arabian-islamic influence is clearly dominating. Today, islam in Zanzibar is considered relatively liberal. Tourism is Zanzibar's main source of income, but there is also farming of spices and tropical fruits.
Stone Town, the historic part of Zanzibar Town is the only intact historical coastal trading town of East Africa. Within the fascinating labyrinth of small lanes full of tiny stores, souvenir shops, restaurant, hotels and busy little squares, you will feel like within a dream of "1001 nights". Also the white paradise tropical beaches with crystal clear water and colourful coral reefs are fantastic; they are competing for financially strong tourists with beaches of the Caribbean or the Maldives.
The biggest problem of the island is poverty of large parts of the population whose sole occupancy is the farming or catching of their own food. Therefore they don't have any financial means allowing for higher education of their children or medical care. Due to the lack of education it is hard for them to escape the vicious circle of poverty. The growth of population which is mostly caused by immigration from the Tanzanian mainland has negative impact on the exploitation of nature. Because of the strong religious beliefs however HIV/AIDS and problems related to HIV/AIDS are not a predominating topic in Zanzibar.
Leisure activities in Zanzibar
In Zanzibar there is a large offer of leisure activities: Full-day or half-day excursions to discover a spice plantation, Jozani Forest National Park, beaches such as Nungwi, Paje and Jambiani, a "Safari Blue" sailing cruise through the Menai Bay Conservation Area, Prison Island, Chumbe Island Coral Park, a city tour through Stone Town where you can find numerous souvenir shops, bars, cafés, concerts and a handful of "clubs".
Moshi is a city in the North of Tanzania on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here, you will be in the middle of Africa and you will have to deal with people such as the Chagga or the Massai. The city has around 150,000 inhabitants, however like many African cities it appears to be much smaller. One reason is that large parts of the city are spread over a big area outside the actual city centre. Another reason is that the majority of the population doesn't have the financial means to buy lots of things, which has the result that there are much less shops in the city centre than for instance a Western city of comparable size would have.
The city is located at 813 m/2700 ft. above sea level. Throughout the year it has a climate which most Europeans and North Americans consider comfortable (compared to the humid heat you will find at the coastal area or on the islands). Moshi is starting point for almost all Kilimanjaro climbs, therefore there are many hotels, restaurants and small supermarkets targeted towards tourists. Moshi is also the starting point for many safaris to the Northern National Parks; Kilimanjaro International Airport is located some 40 km/25 miles south of Moshi.
HIV/AIDS is the biggest problem in the Moshi area. There are estimates that around 16% of the population are HIV positive. Problems related to this are the numerous orphans and street children that are due to the lack of money not looked after, as well as unattended people of old age. Further problems are related to poverty such as lacking access to education, health care and infrastructure.
Moshi is conveniently located as a starting point for safaris to all northern Tanzanian National Parks. Some of them you can visit on a weekend (Tarangire, Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara) or on a tour of several days (incl. Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area, Lake Eyasi, Lake Victoria, Lake Natron). Mount Kilimanjaro is rising high directly in front of your door - for a summit you will need physical strength and 5-7 days of time.
Many day trips are possible to do from Moshi such as visiting the Marangu waterfalls and the village of Marangu with coffee plantations, the Nyumba ya Mungu hydroelectric dam, Lake Chala, swimming at hot volcanic springs, or going hiking on the foothills of Kilimanjaro. In Moshi there are several cafés, restaurants, internet cafés, bars, discotheques and even an open air cinema with karaoke.
Dar-es-Salaam, typically just referred to as "Dar" is the former, but still inofficial capital of Tanzania. The 3 million metropolis is the country's economic, industrial and trading centre. Dar's port is one of the largest of East Africa. 35 km/25 miles offshore lies the island of Zanzibar, which can be reached easily by ferry from Dar. Dar International Airport (DAR) is the largest airport of Tanzania, bringing many tourists to Dar to connect to their safaris in Tanzania or beach holidays in Zanzibar.
The busy city needs a few days to become accessible to most people, however after a short time, most of our participants really enjoy "Bongo" town. Bongo means something like "clever", derived from the word "ubongo" which means "brain" in Swahili, describing the fact that if you want to survive in the third world metropolis you need some brains, which every "mshamba" (countryside person) should better know when thinking about moving to Dar-es-Salaam. Dar-Es-Salaam has an annual population growth of 10%, particularly from people moving from rural regions of Tanzania to the city, settling down at the city's sprawling suburbs. As in many developing countries, the migrants are looking for a better life in the city, a job with fixed salary, entertainment and "modern life". Despite of the city's extremely fast-paced economic development, not everyone can make it though.
Dar has a vivid nightlife which takes place at local bars and Bongo Flava Clubs (East-African Hip Hop) outside the city centre. Kigamboni and several offshore islands boast attractive beaches. Mikumi National Park, Selous Game Reserve with its mighty Rufiji River, and Saadani National Park can be reached within a few hours, just as art city Bagamoyo, and Zanzibar.
* Zenith Tours tourist map of Zanzibar (Click on it):
* Zenith Tours tourist video about Zanzibar: