We arrange internships at various watersport centres in Zanzibar. You can work as a diving instructor, surf instructor or kite-surf teacher; you can also introduce clients to the use of the equipment and safety aspects, in maintenance/handling of equipment, or in administration and sales. The exact conditions vary from centre to centre. Accommodation cannot always be provided - however, in such cases, in exchange for your effort, you can take free lessons in a discipline that is new to you or that you would like to master. Please send us your CV/resume and your preferred dates and we will get back to you on available options.
Examples of watersports internships
A watersports company runs two watersports centres in the north of Zanzibar. Both centres offer diving, fishing, snorkelling, dhow sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing and other watersport activities. The diving centres have PADI 5* accreditation and offer the complete range of diving courses from beginner's level to Open Water Scuba Instructor, for those who want to improve their skills.
One watersports centre is based at a luxury hotel, whereas the other one is located at a beach which is popular amongst younger and more budget-oriented tourists. Interns will work at both locations. Professional conduct is expected of participants at all times. Depending on your skills, you will be involved in sales, office administration, maintenance and inventory of equipment, as well as instructing in watersports activities. You will be working 6 days per week. Unfortunately, accommodation cannot be provided here, but the centre offers free diving lessons to volunteers/interns (from one PADI level to the next highest).
A hotel in Michamvi offers canoeing, kayaking and snorkelling at the nearby bay, free of charge to its guests. You will be in charge of the equipment administration, giving introductions to beginners and join groups to train them. Experience as a sports instructor, guest entertainer, etc. is of advantage. Accommodation and meals are provided and a stipend is paid.
A kite surf centre in Jambiani accepts interns who have experience in kite-surfing and who can instruct tourists. Accommodation and meals are provided.
Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a new trend for tourists at the coasts of Zanzibar. Here, you stand on a surf board, paddling along the coast or through the mangrove areas. A variety of trips are offered, such as "Sunset SUP", "Surf, SUP and Snorkelling", "Mangrove SUP" and even "SUP Yoga". While paddling through the mangroves, tourists are given explanations about the ecological importance of mangroves. A part of the revenue is used for mangrove conservation. The operator also has an aim to work closely with the local population, to make them benefit from this new form of tourism, and to raise their awareness on coastal conservation. SUP in Zanzibar is thus, an exciting sports activity, an interesting excursion and a contribution to the conservation of coastal zones, all in one.
Depending on their interests and skills, interns can participate in various ways: you can guide SUP tours, assist in planning and arranging activities, handle bookings, train local guides on environmental topics, develop new ideas on how local communities can get further involved in the revenues generated through SUP (tourism development), develop new activities and do marketing.
Previous knowledge is not a prerequisite, as SUP can be learned quickly. Accommodation and food cannot be provided, but in exchange for your efforts, you can get free surf lessons. This placement is not possible during the months of March, April, May and November (rainy seasons).
Location: Various beach resorts in Zanzibar
Availability: All year, except rainy seasons of April, May and November
Minimum Duration: 2 Months
Maximum Duration : 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swahili etc.
Hotel or nearby village
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Watersport Instructor
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: None
Offered to interns: Either free accommodation and/or free meals and/or free diving lessons
Volunteering Possible: No
Required Qualification For Volunteer: -
Further Contribution To Project: -
My name is Laura and I am from Switzerland. For 2 weeks I have been in Zanzibar (Tanzania) now and it really is a great island. During my stay, I'm doing an internship at a water sports center and the team is incredible. I work at the front desk, and also on the boat with the dive crew. The impressions and experiences are indescribable and I like it very much. Yesterday I dived for the first time and saw lots of fish and even turtles. Greetings from the beautiful island, Laura
Depending on the location of your internship and the exact internship conditions, there are different accommodation options, typically at nearby villages. The monthly accommodation costs are approximately 250-350 USD. We can tell you the exact amount, depending on your watersports internship.
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|
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(Rate per Person)
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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.