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Sustainability in Zanzibar - Waste, Agriculture, Environmental Education

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Volunteering and Internships are possible with our partner Sustainable East Africa in waste management, waste reduction and recycling, resource optimisation, environmental education and awareness-raising, and sustainability in agriculture.
 

Project Details

 
Since August of 2012, Nell Hamilton from England, who holds a MSc degree in Tropical Marine Ecology, has been part of our Zanzibar team. Nell had worked in projects in Belize, China and England, and as a university teaching assistant in Canada, before coming to Zanzibar in 2010 as Community Outreach Coordinator for the renowned Chumbe Island Coral Park and as project coordinator for the EU-financed environmental education program of ReCoMap (Regional Coastal Management Plan). In 2011, Nell started her own program "Sustainable East Africa" in Zanzibar. World Unite! and Sustainable East Africa are now partners, whereby World Unite! contributes to the funding of the projects and finds volunteers and interns, and Nell carries out sustainable projects that allow for qualified volunteering and internship options. Recently joined by Rebecca Maguire, an arts and cultural industries facilitator, SEA is involved with several Zanzibar partner projects.
 
Nell and Rebecca are particularly experienced in the work with local communities. Members of local communities often contact her, expressing their wish for an improvement of their living situation, asking for support and practical solutions. This often results in Sustainable East Africa pilot projects that, when proven successful, get transferred to and multiplied at other communities.
 
Below, we give an overview of Sustainable East Africa's current projects. Interns and volunteers will work from the World Unite!/Sustainable East Africa office in Zanzibar Town. Often it is possible to participate in several projects within Sustainable East Africa, transferring the learning outcomes from one project to another. Sustainable East Africa adds new projects and opportunities all the time, so if you are interested in volunteering, please fill in the questionnaire and Nell and Rebecca will let you know of the latest suitable opportunities that match your interests and skills.
 
 
Vikokotoni Group environmental awareness and clean-up activities
 
Vikokotoni is a quarter of Zanzibar town, located between the Darajani bus stand and Michenzani, and is characterised by dense housing, small locally owned shops and stalls, and narrow streets. The area, just outside the core zone of the Zanzibar Municipal Authority, has no house-to-house or business garbage collection service, and until recently, its narrow pedestrian alleys and streets were extremely dirty and littered with rubbish.
 
In July 2012, SEA arranged a major "Stone Town Community Clean-Up", where local and foreign volunteer helpers cleaned large parts of Zanzibar Town off severe rubbish. This gave the impetus and encouragement to a local group called "Manispaa Vikokotoni Jamii" to take action in their quarter, removing the rubbish from the streets of their quarter every morning from 6 to 8. In just a few weeks the group managed to completely transform the narrow streets of their neighbourhood from being ugly, dirty and insanitary, to being clean. The group also separates recyclable materials such as glass, plastics and metals, achieving revenues through the materials' sales.
 
SEA assisted the Vikokotoni Group with a crowd funding campaign, towards the purchase of a vehicle to help extend the reach of the street cleaning, and with the building of public toilets for the market area.
In 2016 a group of volunteers helped to analyse the waste collected in the area. Its findings will help to understand the composition for potential sales of recycled materials and an upcoming composting project. In the same year, the group also dug a new drainage channel which has the aim to avoid or at least to reduce the flooding of the busy streets of the Vikokotoni area during the rainy seasons.
 
Current activities and future plans include the on-going development of the composting, the urban farming of vegetables, and the development of environmentally friendly income streams.
 
Volunteers at this project can work with Nell and Rebecca in the creation of environmental education materials so that the 45 NGO members can learn about ways to improve waste management and environmental protection in their community, how to motivate Vikokotoni residents to be cooperative, and to get to know innovative and cost-effective techniques such building compost heaps and keyhole gardens (see below), manufacturing bio-briquettes from waste paper and cardboard, and other solutions identified with the community.
 
The idea is to use the educational materials and techniques for further town and village communities throughout Zanzibar. There will also be more general environmental education teaching materials to produce and pilot in local schools such as Learning for Life (see below).
 
Working with the Vikokotoni group is a fantastic opportunity for suitably motivated volunteers to be part of a team of Zanzibaris committed to making a positive difference in their community, and to produce learning tools that will be used in the future by countless similar groups and therefore have a lasting, sustainable impact making Zanzibar’s environment cleaner and healthier for everyone.
 
 
Creative Festival of Water, Matemwe
 
In partnership with the Zanzibar Cultural Arts Centre, local schools and Panga Chumvi Beach Resort, SEA have been organising the annual Creative Festival of Water in the coastal village of Matemwe, Zanzibar, which takes place every year at the end of March (around the UN World Water Day). Watch a video about it!
 
Volunteers with an interest in issues around water or Arts Management can get involved in a wide range of activities from school projects in the visual and performing arts, to planning environmental workshops, to advertising and promotion, to organising the festival and helping on the day.
 
Info Box
General
Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar
Availability: All year
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
Accommodation:
Shared Accommodation, Host Family, Hotel
Internship
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Marine Ecologist (MSc)
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies or experience
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, one time additional contribution of 50 USD
Volunteering
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant knowledge/skills
Further Contribution To Project: Yes, one time additional contribution of 50 USD
Expectations:
Motivation, Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?
 

More Info

 

Nell has compiled a "Skills and interests questionnaire" which serves to collect information from you allowing for better planning of your volunteer stay or internship. Please download it here Download Here (.doc, 153kb), and mail it to us at(Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!).

To prepare for your time with Sustainable East Africa, we also recommend you to watch the episodes of the Kenyan television series "Shamba Shape-Up":http://www.shambashapeup.com/all-episodes.

The Vikokotoni group appears briefly in our general video about Zanzibar in the tab "Zanzibar".

Accommodation

 

Accommodation in Zanzibar Town

 
In Zanzibar Town, there are accommodation options of various standards:
 
mostpopular transparent
Most popular! - This is the preference of most of our participants. You share an apartment with other participants (where you can choose between 4-share dorm room, twin/double room, and single room) or live in a house of middle standards with a host family.

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Comfort+ - For those with a need for comfort: Accommodation at a hotel or at a house of higher standards with host family.

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Adventurer - For simplest and cheapest deals: Homestays of simple standards.

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Shared Accommodation:

Shared Accommodation in Zanzibar Town
 
There are several World Unite! shared accommodations throughout the city of Zanzibar Town - we choose them according to availability and proximity to your placement site. These are houses or apartments that are shared by our participants. All apartments are of comparable standard. We currently have such shared accommodations in the districts Shangani, Malindi, Baghani, Kigwajuni, Migombani and Mombasa.
 
Here are some examples of shared accommodation options:
 
World Unite! House in Zanzibar Town
 
 
The house is located in Zanzibar Town at a preferred residential area at walking distance to a beach. You can even see the blue ocean from the upper floor! The building has two floors, each with its own entrance, kitchen, toilets, bathrooms and shared living rooms. Furthermore, there is a large garden.
 
You can choose between 4-share dorm, twin/double room and single room (subject to availability). The 4-share dorm rooms are self-contained. The twin/double and single rooms share toilet and bathroom with other residents. All bed/rooms have mosquito nets, a wardrobe or chest of drawers, and a fan. Bed linen is provided; you have to bring your own towels however. The bathrooms have western flush toilets and cold showers, which is anyway more refreshing for the temperatures of Zanzibar. The kitchens are shared with other residents and have an electric or gas hob and a basic set of kitchen utensils that you need for cooking and eating.
 
There are communal living rooms with sofas and a dining table on each floor. The house also features a shared washing machine. The windows are barred for security reasons and at night, a night porter is on duty at the house. There are several small shops and supermarkets in the area, as well as restaurants.
 
Apartment in Stone Town
 
The apartment is located on the first floor of a historic building in the Baghani Area of Stone Town. It has four fully furnished bedrooms, suitable for single and double occupancy. In the kitchen, there is a gas and electric stove, refrigerator and functional kitchen equipment. There are two bathrooms with cold shower and western toilets. Bed linen is provided; you have to bring your own towels however. Each room has a ceiling fan and mosquito nets. There are plenty of restaurant options in Stone Town.
 

Host Families:

Rooms of middle standards with Host Families
 
Staying with a host family provides you with the opportunity to get a more intensive insight into the Tanzanian culture and society. We work with many host families in the city of Moshi. For boarding of middle standards, families are of the upper middle class of Tanzania. Their houses are of quality construction, equipment and furnishing for most of our participants. Often the houses have two bathrooms (which are also tiled), one for parents and one for the children and you. The shower is often cold, since a water heater consumes too much power. There is usually a western toilet in the house. There is Tanzanian and Western food like toast with jam, omelette and tea for breakfast; Meat/fish with vegetables and rice/ugali and chapati for dinner and to drink, tea, boiled water or homemade fruit juice. Vegetarian dishes are available on request. There is a fridge; food is usually cooked on gas. Most such families have one or two domestic workers who cook, clean and wash clothes by hand. Often, in the living room you'll find decorative curtains and doilies, stereo, television and an older laptop. The family also often, has a motorcycle or a thirty year old used Japanese car. Most of these things are, however, saved up over many years and the family still has financial difficulties to finance a college education for their children and use the car only for absolutely necessary journeys.

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Hotel Accommodation and Accommodation of High Standards with Host Family:

Al Minar Hotel
 
Al Minar is a tastefully in Arabic and African style designed hotel with 22 rooms, located in a historic building at a central location of Stone Town, the historic part of Zanzibar Town, at walking distance to the Old Fort and the Forodhani Gardens. The rooms are all equipped with AC, minibar, traditional Zanzibari beds and tasteful furniture, free wifi, coffee and tea making facilities and a flat TV. From the large rooftop terrace you have a good view over the old town. The hotel is professionally managed and has attentive and friendly staff.
 
Accommodation of High Standards with Host Family
 
Staying with a host family provides you with the opportunity to get a more intensive insight into the Tanzanian culture and society. The food is usually very generous and cooked by maids who serve this for you and the family. Our participants have always been extremely pleased with boarding with host mother Rahma, who runs a catering company. Often, there are also drivers, nannies, gardeners and security guards as domestic staff who live in a separate house on the property. Such families usually have a power generator that is turned on in case of frequent power outages. Older children are often in boarding schools abroad like Malaysia, Emirates and England and you live in their nursery. Younger children are often at home and want to play with you.

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Host Family of simple standards

Accommodation of Simple Standards with Host Family
 
For accommodations of simple standards, we cooperate with the NGO "ZASO"(Zanzibar AIDS and Orphans Support), with whom we also carry out the program "Social Reality Tour". Some employees of ZASO, who are social workers or teachers, and belong to the middle class of Zanzibar, offer the accommodation to our participants with their families. The rents of our participants contribute to an improvement in the average income of the families.
 
Simple standard here, means that the house is built simply. The floors are mostly of bare concrete, the roof is of corrugated iron with no ceiling; there is often only an Arab Squat toilet (but with flush) and we shower with a bucket or a simple water pipe. The furniture is minimalistic and purely functional. In the living room, there are some slightly more representative pieces of furniture made of Chinese wood. The family usually has an old, used fridge; a radio and an old tube television are also often present. Your room has a bed with a mattress and mosquito net and probably some hangers on the wall and a small shelf or the like. The houses have electricity. Food is usually cooked outdoors over an open fire or gas cooker. The food is usually without options - for breakfast, there is tea with chapati; for lunch, ugali or rice with beans and vegetables, for dinner, the same. Meat is only taken for special occasions, and if so, in small quantities. The families usually consist of mother, father and some children; many more children from the neighborhood visit the house and are around the house. As transportation, the family has bicycles and sometimes, a motorcycle. Income from the rent you pay are often the only way for the family to finance the education of their children.
 
The families from ZASO are particularly hospitable to World Unite participants; however, please note that some are conservative Muslims, who do not have as much experience in dealing with Western foreigners. Please conduct yourself accordingly. Female and male participants can only share a room if they are married.

Rate

 

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 en
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
  • 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 (except for electives/internships at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital)
  • 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 environmental conservation programs in Nungwi and Jozani also include:
 
  • Our own World Unite! full-time program instructors
  • In Jozani/Muungoni: Once per week half-day cultural activity in Muungoni Village
  • In Jozani/Muungoni: Use of a Mountain Bike

 

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:
All rates in US-Dollar.
Convert Currency
 All durations of stay
(1-365 Days)
Shared House/Apartment or Hotel  
mostpopular2
Shared House/Apartment
1 Person
(Single Room)
10 USD/Day
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
7 USD/Day
4-share dorm room p.p. 4.50 USD/Day
comfortplus3
Hotel Accommodation "Al Minar" incl. Breakfast
1 Person
(Single Room)
80 USD/Night
(min. 7 Nights)
1990 USD/month
(in case of 1 full month or longer*)
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
50 USD/Night
(min. 7 Nights)
1390 USD/month
(in case of 1 full month or longer*)
     
Host Family
   
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Host Family of middle standard on full board
1 Person
(Single Room)
18 USD/Day
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
18 USD/Day
comfortplus3
Host family of upper standard on full board
1 Person
(Single Room)
24 USD/Day
2 Personen p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
24 USD/Day
adventurer3
Host family of simple standard on full board
1 Person
(Single Room)
12 USD/Day
2 Personen p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
12 USD/Day
 
*You pay incomplete months (exceeding the first month) 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. Only for placements at public hospitals of up to 90 days: Visa 50 USD (for EU Citizens, Australians, New Zealand Citizens; 100 USD for US and Canadian Citizens) + Exemption Certificate 100 USD (no further permits needed)
  • 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.
 

Extras

 

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 - 10 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
 
 

Zanzibar

 

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. Also featured are Suma and Josh, our coordinators in Zanzibar (Please note that Suma has unfortunately left our team and has emigrated to Australia. Our support team in Zanzibar now consists of Josh, Monique, Abdi, Gabriel, Lisa, Mohammed and Ludivine).
 


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.
 

Our coordinators in Zanzibar

 
Our coordinators in Zanzibar are Josh from England, Monique from Germany, Abdi from Zanzibar and Gabriel from Tanzania. They are active all over the island. Furthermore, we have Lisa from Germany who is guiding our environmental activities and supporting our participants in Nungwi, and we have Mohammed from Zanzibar and Ludivine from Switzerland who are with our participants in the Jozani Forest area.
 

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 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. 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.

FAQs

 

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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