Zanzibar is a top travel destination in Africa. There are now nearly 500 hotels on the tropical island in the Indian Ocean, competing with the Maldives and Seychelles for affluent beach vacationers. International chains have pushed into the market and service quality has adapted to international standards. We organize hotel internships in many hotels of different standards and sizes in Zanzibar, of which we briefly introduce some on this site. With a hotel internship in Zanzibar you can learn a lot!
What are your main tasks?
As a hotel intern you work mostly in the areas of front office (reception, check-in/check-out, reservations), human resource planning and inventory management, food and beverage (restaurant and service), implementation of activities and excursions, guest relations, organizing events, marketing or product development. While at smaller premises with a maximum of 40 rooms (which still dominate in Zanzibar) one is more of a generalist and working in various areas, the larger hotels usually work more according to departments. You can tell us your special interests or internship requirements and we can see if they can be met.
How it works:
Without any obligation, you first e-mail us your CV/resume and a letter of motivation. We will then contact suitable hotels. Within a few days, we can usually suggest a specific hotel for your internship. Some hotels only take students of suitable subjects, while others also take high school graduates or participants from other disciplines. Some hotels also require a Skype call with you. The exact terms of your internship (for example, whether accommodation and/or food and/or pocket money are provided or not) vary from hotel to hotel, and we'll let you know these details as soon as we can suggest an internship to you. Only when you firmly agree to a hotel internship that we have suggested to you, it will become binding for you.
Hotels in Zanzibar
This lively lodge of mid price category is run by Mark, who is half German and half Italian. In 2010, he took over the idyllic property located partially on the beach and partially on a coral rock at the southernmost part of Jambiani and considerably improved it's standard. The lodge has 7 rooms, which are almost always fully booked. There is always plenty to do and you gain an insight into all areas of everyday business of the hotel, such as room checks, staff scheduling, purchasing of hotel supplies and materials, small tasks in the field of maintenance and guest services. In the evenings, there are often events on the beach. Mark is actively involved in a variety of charitable activities and NGOs and promotes sustainibility in tourism.
"World Unite arranged a 2 months' internship for me at a small hotel at the wonderful east coast of Zanzibar. To get first experiences about this type of work, this was very useful. The work atmosphere was kind of relaxed and it was a dream to be able to work where other people go on vacation. As I was living at a house in the village and most of my colleagues were locals, I could learn a lot about the local culture and I could make valuable experiences and good friends. I can recommend everyone to take a few months off and visit the world. I will surely do such an internship/volunteer travel again. I will always positively remember my summer in Zanzibar. Thanks for having given me this opportunity and warm regards, Lena"
This luxurious lodge is located on a secluded paradise beach in the south of Zanzibar, just half an hour from the city. There are 26 spacious bungalows and suites surrounded by beach and rainforest. The restaurant with tropical fresh food is beautifully situated on terraces on the beach. Wedding packages and various activities are offered here. The honeymoon suite is uniquely embedded in an old baobab tree. Interns should ideally come from July to January for 7 months and should study at a hotel school. The Lodge is one of a chain, which operates more hotels in Africa.
This 5-star resort in Nungwi is on a long white sand beach. It offers 100 deluxe spacious suites and villas in Arabic-African colonial style amidst a tropical garden, a 50-meter infinity pool, sports facilities, diving and water sports center, several restaurants (including sushi, seafood, meat, pizza/pasta) and bars, a spa and a convention center. Excursions and activities are organized. This hotel is part of a chain and very professional. Interns should stay at least for 3 months and be minimum of 23 years old.
This 5-star all-inclusive resort in Nungwi is one of the most modern and luxurious hotels in East Africa, built in the style of an African-Arabian palace. It has 104 rooms, 50 suites and 3 Beach Villas. There are 6 restaurants (including Italian, Indian, Asian, Zanzibari, Seafood), 3 bars, spa, conference facilities and various activities. The hotel is part of a chain and operates at the highest level? Interns should stay at least for 3 months and be minimum of 23 years old.
Belonging to an international chain, this 5-star resort located on the northwest coast has 120 rooms set in tropical gardens and Zanzibar's only golf course of international standards. The resort is located on a rock and has lounges, restaurant and bars to give guests a view of the Indian Ocean. There are several sports facilities, a spa, conference rooms, as well as horse riding and other activities and excursions. Hotel/Tourism Students should stay at least 3 months, high school graduates 6 months.
Belonging to an international chain, this 5-star resort on the south coast has 66 luxurious villas with private pool on the beach, which combine in a contemporary way African, Omani and European design. There are 2 restaurants serving Mediterranean and Oriental cuisine, a luxurious French "Haute Beauté" Spa and facilities for weddings and conferences. Interns should stay for 6 months. They should have a background in hotel management, and also have an interest in the social development of Zanzibar and participate in continuing education for Hotel staff by teaching about foreign languages, first aid and service skills.
This family-run hotel in the middle price category in Jambiani is especially popular among French and German tourists. The facility, with a total of 16 rooms in two buildings, a restaurant, swimming pool, gardens and beach access is decorated in African-Zanzibari style. The hotel is characterized by its particularly pleasant family atmosphere and low hierarchy; they maintain a good relationship with the population of the surrounding village, who are included in the offered excursions and leisure activities. Houses and buildings were constructed out of ecologically acceptable, locally available materials. The student/intern can actively participate in all areas of the hotel.
This 4 Star Hotel at the northern tip of Nungwi was, in the early 1990's one of the first hotels in Nungwi and has since been constantly expanding. It is run by a local, Nassor. The hotel has 37 rooms of different price categories and standards in attractively designed bungalows, including Honeymoon Cottages, in a large peaceful garden area near the village and the sea turtles station. The hotel also has a swimming pool, sauna, library and organizes activities such as sailing boat trips, fishing trips and snorkelling on coral reefs. Nassor supports several local NGOs and village initiatives in Nungwi. As an intern you can participate in all areas of the hotel.
This small luxury boutique hotel in oriental style has just 4 rooms in a large main building. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished, there is a large outdoor pool with views of the Indian Ocean. The garden is full of tropical plants with paths where there are comfortable chairs, sun loungers and hammocks. Guests can order food all day and eat everywhere on the property. The hotel is run by a German woman and her son who currently is developing another building for the hotel. They also operate a dhow, a traditional sailing ship, on which guests can have a ride and dinner. As an intern, you can take part in the activities on the dhow and on-site.
This 4-star resort in Michamvi has 20 rooms and suites, a large swimming pool and restaurant. Guests can snorkel in the sea, go canoeing, kayaking and take various boat trips. Interns should be there for 4-6 months. The hotel is involved in various social projects in the village - 38 young people receive free English lessons. Interns may also participate in these activities.
This 4 Star Beach Lodge Spa is located on a private bay on the west coast of Zanzibar and offers 13 bungalows, an apartment and a honeymoon suite; it is situated at the site where the monuments and renovated palace ruins have been integrated in the pools and Spa. The lodge is popular for weddings and honeymoons. There is a restaurant with Zanzibari Fusion Cuisine and regular events, including open-air cinema. Interns should stay for 3-6 months and be at least 22 years old. They participate in various activities that occur at a relatively small hotel.
This moderately priced Guest House in the village of Paje is located about 100 meters from the beach and numerous water sports facilities. It has 7 rooms with 2-4 beds and is aimed at couples, families and friends. The restaurant serves continental breakfast and a daily variety of dishes with local ingredients. The owner is from South America and also offers dishes from his home as ceviche. Interns should stay for 6-12 weeks. Experience in service is a plus, but not mandatory; experience as tour operator and experience in travelling abroad are of advantage.
This eco-lodge with 6 bungalows is on an otherwise undeveloped island that belongs to Pemba. Only local building materials were used; rain water is treated for showers and there are ultra-modern composting toilets; all electricity is solar generated. The restaurant serves only food that is prepared with local ingredients. Various activities in nature (e.g., watching birds, kayaking through the mangroves, snorkeling, sea turtle watching, etc.) are possible. Interns should have an interest in nature conservation and environmental protection, and can even guide nature-based activities on site and work with communities in sustainable tourism development.
This Dutch-run Guest House in Bwejuu is 50 meters from the beach and has 6 bungalows of average standard. An attempt is made to include the village population, for example, by offering activities to be explored. The restaurant serves breakfast and fish dishes, curries, pasta, burgers and vegetarian dishes. Interns should remain for at least 2 months and should be interested in sustainable tourism.
The Lodge Michamvi is probably the most luxurious private residence in Zanzibar. It has 6 villas, each were individually designed by renowned interior designers, and there is are community buildings with a conference room, gym, kitchen and wine cellar. The facility can only be rented in total and is aimed at celebrities and the super rich who are traveling in a small group. There are employees who offer services depending on the interests of the guests. The complex has a beach and three pools. The latest environmental technologies are used for rainwater storage and treatment, drinking water, solar energy, etc. All lighting, sound for the whole area are computer controlled. Interns work with the staff to fulfil every wish and should stay for 6 weeks to 6 months.
This hotel of medium price range in the south of Zanzibar has 19 rooms and bungalows on the beach, and a swimming pool. It also offers yoga and ayurvedic treatments. The restaurant specializes in fresh seafood dishes. Since both the operator and many guests come from Spain, trainees should have knowledge of Spanish and stay for at least 2 months. Work is 6 days a week for 8 hours.
This hotel of medium standard directly on the beach of Jambiani, has 9 rooms, a restaurant and a pool. Interns should stay for 2-6 months and speak two languages (including English) fluently. Preference is given to interns who want to be active in the fields of marketing, business and communication and already have some experience. The owner, an English engineer, likes to tinker with environmentally friendly technical solutions such as wind turbines for power generation.
Location: Various Locations in Zanzibar
Availability: All year, the rainy seasons - April, May, November - are less suitable
Minimum Duration: 2 months
Maximum Duration: 12 months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swahili, etc.
Either at the hotel or in the nearby village
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Hotel manager, Chef, etc.
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies or experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Compensation/Stipend: Yes, Accommodation and/or All meals and/or Pocket money
Volunteering Possible: No
Required Qualification For Volunteer: -
Further Contribution To Project: -
- Report and images of hotel intern Jonathan on Facebook
The accommodation will depend on the exact terms of your hotel. Either the hotel provides it - this might be on the grounds of the hotel along with staff, in a residential home, or outside the hotel, mostly in the nearest village. In cases where accommodation is not provided by the hotel, we organize it for you. We suggest a specific hotel, depending on your resume and desired time period and share the details with you. Please contact us! In case accommodation is not provided free of charge by the hotel, monthly accommodation costs of 250-350 usd apply.
I. World Unite! Service Package
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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
- Arrangements for 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
- 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
- Costs for 10 seedlings of indigenous trees that we plant on the slopes of Kilimanjaro
- 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
- 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
For internships with hotels and watersports centres in Zanzibar there are either no accommodation costs if accommodation is provided by the hotel or watersports centre, or there are accommodation costs that we will tell you when we suggest a specific hotel or watersports centre, if that hotel or watersports centre doesn't provide accommodation.
For all other projects at special locations in Zanzibar you will find the accommodation costs in the tab "Accommodation"
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 in Zanzibar: 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, credit card or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR / 250 USD 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.
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
As "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.
This is the Website of Budget Safari Tanzania.
Learning Swahili in Sansibar!
It is always helpful to know Swahili while doing your project here. Swahili is a relatively easy language to learn. With our one-to-one teacher, after a short time, most learners are able to do basic conversation. You can choose the intensity of the lesson. If you are volunteering or doing an internship, we recommend a maximum of ten hours per week.
The cost for Swahili lessons: 1 Student - 10 EUR
Groups of 2 or more people can join language lessons with an NGO at a rate which is a little cheaper per person!
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 liability and travel cancellation insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get an immediate booking confirmation.
Check out our video on Zanzibar Town!
This video shows a day in Zanzibar Town with the volunteers Sabrina and Uwe from Hamburg. They show their placements at the Cultural Arts Centre and Vikokotoni environmental group, their accommodation, visit their host family and explain various interesting aspects of their daily life in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar - Spice Island in the Indian Ocean
Zanzibar is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar is about 2 hours away from the Tanzanian mainland by boat or 20 minutes by plane. When you research “Zanzibar”, it usually means the main island of Unguja. Unguja was very rich in the past, because the island was a major trading port along the sea routes between Africa, Arabia, India, East Asia and Europe. This can be seen today in the mixing of cultures, the Arab- Islamic influence, but is relatively liberal in Zanzibar. Today, tourism is the main source of income of Zanzibar, besides the cultivation of spices and tropical fruits.
Stone Town, the historic core of Zanzibar Town is the only intact historic coastal trading town in East Africa. Within the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets full of small shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and hectic smaller places, it feels like one is in a dream of the "Thousand and One Nights”. Fantastically, there are also the heavenly white beaches and crystal clear waters with colorful coral reefs, which compete with the Caribbean or the Maldives in catering to wealthy tourists. Zanzibar Town, in addition to Stone Town have plenty of other neighborhoods like Kiembe Samaki, Mwanakwerekwe, Mbweni and others, in which many organizations have their offices and are active.
In addition, there are many villages along the beaches and in the interior of the island.
The biggest problem of the island is the overwhelming poverty of the population, whose only employment consists of cultivation and fishing for their own and thus, have no money, cannot afford education for their children, medical care, etc. A lack of education means that the following generations can hardly escape the vicious circle of poverty. Population growth, which is mainly due to immigration of people from mainland Tanzania, results in the exploitation of nature.
Things to do in Zanzibar
In Zanzibar, there is a wide range of excursions: day and half day trips include a visit to a spice plantation, the Jozani Forest National Park, the mangroves of Mungooni and Uzi, beach resorts such as Nungwi, Paje and Jambiani, a "Safari Blue”, sailing through the Menai Bay Conservation Area, Prison Island, the Island Chumbe Coral Park and a city tour of Stone Town, where there are lots of interesting souvenir shops, bars, cafes, regular concerts and even a handful of "clubs" and events.
In your spare time, you can also take music and dance lessons, yoga classes and interesting workshops by the Cultural Arts Centres participants in Zanzibar.
Many participants also travel to the mainland of Tanzania to do a safari or to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. You use our accommodation Moshi, Kilimanjaro at affordable prices to stay as a base for activities in northern Tanzania.
Getting To Zanzibar
Several airlines fly 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. We can arrange a transfer for you from the airport to the ferry for 30 EUR/35 USD. The ferry ticket costs 35 USD and the ferry 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.
If your placement is on Pemba Island, you can either take a daily flight from Zanzibar to Pemba, or you can take a ferry (Azam Marine), which however doesn't have daily departures. In Pemba you will be picked up from the airport or ferry port and brough to your accommodation.
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.