Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicine

Volunteer Int. Adventures
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Coordinator | Sharon
Coordinator | Sharon
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Volunteer with veterinary doctors and animal rescuers on this east African paradise and help with the welfare of the lives of domestic animals, livestock and even the occasional monkey and bird.
Experience a unique project on the spice island of Zanzibar assisting with animal care, veterinary medicine treatment, community upliftment and education on animal husbandry.
Best for those studying veterinary medicine, tech and nursing students qualified veterinary professionals that would like to experience the challenges of animal rescue and treatment in Africa.
Educate the community on animal rights and help tackle the stray animal population- sterilization is key here. Don’t worry if you have no training or experience, you will be shown how to assist
Visit turtle sanctuaries, see endangered Red Colobus Monkeys at Jozani National Park, visit Prison island, explore stone town and take in the magnificent beaches in your free time in this paradise
Experience a project like no other on the island of Zanzibar assisting with animal care, veterinary medicine treatment, community upliftment and education This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 20+

This project was started by a devoted animal lover, Anna, more than 10 years ago, after witnessing the mistreatment of working donkeys. Over time it has evolved to not only a sanctuary for donkeys and other animals, but also animal rescue and veterinary treatment too and is one of few that give medical treatment to animals in Zanzibar. Over the years the project has used its very limited resources to help all and any animals in need including the Zanzibarian livestock, cows, donkeys and goats, and the occasional monkey or bird

The project is based in the countryside just a ½ an hour’s drive outside beautiful Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, on the tropical East African island of Zanzibar. The clinic is a hub of activity for local animals requiring treatment, surgery, vaccination, and medical care. No animal is turned away and patients include dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, goats, cows, monkeys, and occasionally, birds.

The project’s aims are to:

• Establish care, support, and animal protection services to suffering animals in Zanzibar and Pemba.

• Educate the community on animal rights

• Tackle the stray animal population- sterilisation is key here

• To stop animal overloading, beating, mishandling and animal cruelty especially with working animals like donkeys.

• Provide education and awareness to local communities and encouraging the active participation of the community in the process of self-empowerment with animal husbandry skills.

The clinic accepts up to 4 volunteers at a time normally and you do need to be qualified or studying some form of veterinary medicine, in good physical health, have a love of animals and to be able to adapt to change as each day is never the same with the lifestyle far more laidback than in the UK, Europe and the USA. Please remember there are cultural differences too which you will need to adapt to.

Only basic medical equipment is available in Zanzibar, which means the work environment can be challenging. More gets done with less and as much as it can be difficult sometimes it is also immensely rewarding to treat an animal or save its life with almost no means.

The workload varies throughout the week and the year but generally the vet is busy spaying, castrating, responding to emergency and house calls as well as attending to animals brought directly to the clinic. Please be aware that house calls often mean a lot of time driving around the island in the clinic’s car with the veterinary doctor, but this is the perfect time to take in the wondrous sights and sounds of Zanzibar and take in your surroundings

Vets and vet students are encouraged to take part in all aspects of diagnostics, medical care, treatment, and surgery. Nurses and nursing students can participate in all nursing duties carried out at the clinic. Non-medical volunteers are welcome to help with animal care and rehabilitation.

On Saturday mornings there is an open community clinic where the local people bring their cows, goats, and dogs for free dip-washing and free rabies vaccinations. The vet also attends to any animal brought in for medical treatment; be it cows, goats, dogs, cats or the occasional chicken or rabbit. Often over 50 animals pass through the clinic on any given Saturday so things can get very busy. This has been stopped in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but should be functioning again in 2021

You will be shown how to assist and participate at the clinic and during house calls. There is enough to do around and everything is as important and helpful

Your volunteer duties may include a combination of animal husbandry and veterinary work depending on your skills and studies:

Animal Husbandry Work

  • Maintenance & cleaning of kennels, cattery, stables and paddocks
  • Dog walking and grooming
  • Donkey grooming

Veterinary Work

  • Sterilisations, vaccinations and surgeries
  • House-calls around the island
  • Treatment of animals brought to the clinic
  • Saturday open Clinic for the local community which should be operational again in 2021

Volunteer Duties:

  • Changing bandages, bathing animals, providing medication
  • Bathing animals suffering from parasite or skin problems
  • Feeding cats, dogs, horses and donkeys
  • Nursing sick animals with the Vet’s guidance

Those studying Veterinary Medicine or Nursing will work alongside the Veterinary doctor and learn academic and clinical skills:

  • Participate in supervised surgery Help spay and castrate animals
  • Develop skills in wound care and management Learn to splint/cast and manage broken legs
  • Scrub in to soft tissue surgeries
  • Develop clinical confidence by participating in consultations
  • Learn how to diagnose diseases without laboratory test facilities
  • Learn to triage emergency cases

Mondays to Fridays is the time for treatments at the clinic and house calls

Saturdays have the open Community Clinic in the morning and afternoons are free for your own enjoyment

Sundays are free days

If you have any specific skills, studies, or qualifications that you feel could be of extra help, please let us know

Typical day

The work of animal welfare and veterinary medicine is very dependent on the animals that need treatment and of course emergencies situations so very hard to predict

The normal schedule is Monday to Friday you will be starting around 8.30am at the clinic after breakfast. You will then break for lunch around 1pm and after lunch, resume your daily duties till roughly 4.30pm. Often you will be required to also attend house calls with the veterinary doctor on duty and other volunteers to various areas across the island. Your volunteer duties will be dependent on the need at the time but there is also lots to be done

On Saturdays there is a clinic for the local community which is roughly from 8am to 2pm. If the community clinic is particularly busy that Saturday, you may be asked to assist a little later. The community clinic was closed during the Covid-19 pandemic due to social distancing regulations in 2020 but will be resuming now in 2021 

Sundays are off days for you to explore this beautiful island paradise


Free-time activities

Stone Town is about ½ an hour’s drive away and there are many daladalas (local buses) that can transport you there at a very reasonable fee. Stone Town has an amazing cultural heritage so there are lots of shops, markets, and tours to experience but don’t get lost in the many winding alleyways. It is also a great place to experience sunsets from the harbour or have a meal at one of the many restaurants overlooking the city.

Stone Town is also a great place to take a tour to nearby Prison Island where you can see the endangered Aldabra Giant tortoises. Another interesting tour is to visit the turtles at Mnarani Marine Turtles Conservation Pond in Nungwi on the north-east side of the island. 

If nature is more your thing, then a visit to Jozani National Park to try and see the endangered Red Colobus Monkey is a must

There are also plenty of tours offering snorkelling and sandbank visits with the locals and we particularly enjoyed snorkelling at the Blue Lagoon area which is just off the famous The Rock restaurant

A visit to the south-eastern area of the island is a great way to see smaller towns like Jambiani and do some local spice and fabric shopping or try your hand at kite surfing in the bigger town of Paje

If wildlife, nature, beaches, and culture interest you, Zanzibar is the ideal location to volunteer in and well known for the friendly Swahili local Zanzibarians  

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
Veterinary medicine or nursing at University or college level
Required Documents
CV and cover letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Anyone with veterinary medicine skills or training- whether studying or qualified- is very much welcome
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:30 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures
The cost of the project includes accommodation,  airport collections and drop-offs from Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar,  local transport while doing house calls, donations towards veterinary medicine supplies, pre-departure support, in-country staff and 24- emergency help. 
Airport Pickup at Zanzibar International Airport
You will need to arrive at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar where you will be met and transported to your accommodation. On completion of your project, you will be collected and returned to the airport

The project is situated in the spice farm rural area. You will stay onsite with the other staff members close to the clinic and the animals housing. The project can accommodate singles, couples and groups of friends.

The volunteer house is shared accommodation and normally takes a maximum of 4 volunteers. It has got a terrace, bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room with a tv and a kitchen.  

Project staff wash volunteers’ clothes either by hand or by machine. We suggest you purchase a 3g sim card on arrival at the airport as there is no Wi-Fi but the 3G signal is good, but don’t worry as if you do not get the chance to purchase one, it can be arranged for you

Bedroom (Double) Dorm Room
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Zanzibar International Airport (ZNZ) in Zanzibar. We assist you to find cheap flights to Tanzania.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Tanzania provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Tanzania you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Tanzania.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Starting days are Monday to Friday throughout the year

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$546 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Volunteer Int. Adventures will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Volunteer Int. Adventures during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicine

Experience a project like no other on the island of Zanzibar assisting with animal care, veterinary medicine treatment, community upliftment and education


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