from 774€

Excellent 4.8rating (43)

Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicine

690€ per week  ·  1 - 4 weeks  ·  Age 20 - 50+

  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate


  • 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

Especially suitable

Age 20+

About the program

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

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 ...

About the program

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. 

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. 

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 
  • In the week there can be outreach clinics in different parts of the island

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 ...

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. 

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. ..

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  



Minimum Age: 20 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 years old on the program start date.

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

What's Included

Services by Volunteer Int. Adventures

The cost of the project includes shared volunteer 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. 

2024 prices
1 week £770
2 weeks £1250
3 weeks £1680
4 weeks £2150

We require an additional deposit of £300 for this project on completing your initial booking as space is very limited and we expect all veterinary student and professionals to be 100% committed to taking part in this serious project

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 in a separate volunteer cottage with the other staff members close to the clinic and the animals housing. The volunteer cottage also is home to some of the rescued dogs as it is fenced off. 

 The project can accommodate singles, married couples and groups of friends.

The volunteer cottage is shared accommodation and normally takes a maximum of 4 volunteers. It has got a terrace outside, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room with sofas and a tv and a kitchen.  Each bedroom has single beds, its own bathroom with a shower, basin. and toilet, a fan and mosquito nets.

The kitchen has a stove, fridge/freezer, kettle and all the essentials for preparing meals. 

Project staff wash volunteers’ clothes either by hand or by machine. We suggest you purchase a prepaid local 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

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Food & Beverages

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. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE


If you are intending to volunteer in Tanzania you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Tanzania. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Starting days are Sundays and departure days are Saturdays. This project runs throughout the year. Please book early for the popular months of June, July and August

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week (min. stay) 774€
2 weeks 1,331€
3 weeks 1,876€
4 weeks (max. stay) 2,420€
Average fees 690€/week

Program fees

690€ per week 1 - 4 weeks Age 20 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



1 - 4 weeks

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.

Meet your host

Volunteer Int. Adventures

Excellent 4.8 rating (43 reviews)


Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by


About the project

We are a small, personal, hands-on volunteer organisation with 15 years experience of working with volunteers in conservation and humanitarian projects on the ground.

Meet your host

Volunteer International Adventures is dedicated to youth and animal projects, which are areas of great passion for us. We recognize the need for assistance from international volunteers in developing countries and have witnessed the transformative impact of their hands-on involvement on communities and conservation efforts.

Our core priorities are as follows:

1. Culture and Cultural Sensitivity:

We encourage our volunteers to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are volunteering in, understanding that volunteering differs significantly from being a tourist. By working closely with local communities and project partners, our volunteers gain profound insights into the challenges faced by the country. We actively support and facilitate opportunities for volunteers to engage in various activities, interact with locals, and educate themselves about the nation's history, no matter how difficult it may be. Cultural sensitivity is paramount, and we ensure that our approach is collaborative rather than imposing our own ideas. We welcome suggestions and creative ideas from our volunteers, as they often prove to be feasible and enrich the communities we serve.

2. Fulfilling Volunteer Experiences:

We strive to ensure that all our volunteers leave with a sense of accomplishment. Whether it is helping a child grasp mathematics, teaching cricket to school children, providing sewing classes to uplift youth, participating in wildlife conservation efforts such as satellite collaring African wild dogs or rhino relocation, collecting data on great white shark populations, treating sick indigenous wildlife, assisting with animal sterilization in disadvantaged communities, instilling a love for reading in children, or teaching marimba classes—the list is diverse and extensive. We want our volunteers to develop a deep connection with the country they are assisting and forge lifelong friendships that can serve as future ambassadors for their respective nations.

3. Ethical Projects:

We strictly oppose trophy hunting and the breeding of lions for commercial gain. Our wildlife and animal projects take place in free-roaming reserves, registered rehabilitation centers, or sanctuaries where the animals are non-releasable due to injuries, human habituation, or being non-indigenous to the area. We support local and ethical animal sanctuaries and reserves, which our volunteers can visit during their free time. When working with children in teaching, care, or youth development projects, we require a recent paper copy of a background check (CRB check) from volunteers' countries of origin. This precaution ensures the safety and well-being of the children we serve, who often come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds and have been let down by adults in the past. We prioritize the protection of innocent animals and children who cannot advocate for themselves.

4. Responsible and Sustainable Approach:

We take pride in implementing responsible and sustainable projects that involve local community members, ensuring the continuity of operations even when volunteer numbers are low. While some projects rely heavily on volunteer support due to limited funds, we strive to strike a balance by involving sufficient local participation.

5. Cost Effectiveness:

Having collaborated with volunteers on projects for nearly 15 years, we recognize that volunteering can come at a significant cost. Therefore, we are committed to making volunteering more accessible, reasonable, and inclusive. Our projects encompass various extras, and we maintain affordability by keeping costs low and encouraging increased hands-on assistance. We offer negotiable family, friends, and group discounts, as volunteering together enables us to further reduce expenses. Loyalty is rewarded, and returning volunteers receive special recognition in our projects. Additionally, our costs include donations to our projects, contributing to their sustainability and impact.

6. Safety:

The safety of our volunteers is of paramount importance. We thoroughly vet and assess all our projects, ensuring adequate safety measures are in place. While certain areas may be off-limits due to potential risks, it is important to note that complete safety guarantees are impossible in any location. We have established channels for reporting incidents and maintain close relationships with in-country support on the ground. Furthermore, we possess liability insurance and require all participants to have personal travel insurance. To provide comprehensive support, we arrange airport collections and drop-offs, ensuring our volunteers are assisted throughout their entire journey. We pride ourselves on delivering a personal touch and remain available 24/7 to address any emergencies.

Please remember to arrange your comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking your trip, as it is an essential aspect of ensuring your well-being and peace of mind.

We sincerely appreciate your interest in Volunteer International Adventures and our commitment to making a positive impact through responsible volunteering. Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

43 reviews · rating4.8

Natalie Rauss rating5

2023 at Vervet Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

To describe the last 2 weeks in words would not cover the half of all the fantastic and amazing experience, neither the warm and friendly hosting of Steve, Carol and Jess, nor my feelings and love for the work with the baby vervet monkeys. The insights and experinces I gained during my stay were ...
Stevie Hoesel rating5

2023 at Social Work and Youth Development

My experience with the Social Work, Education & Youth Development project with Sharon and Rustin was life-changing. It was meant just to be a stop on a year-long participatory research project. I planned to commit to a month with this organization and ended up extending twice. Needless to say, my ...
This was one of the best experiences of my life. Ingot to meet amazing people from around the world. The staff from the program were exceptional. I couldn’t have asked for better people to take care of me while I was there. And getting to be out on the whale and sharks boats was incredible. ...
I had the most amazing time with a wonderful group of fellow volunteers and wildlife monitors. The monitors were full of knowledge and happy to share. With their help I added 70 new birds to my life list. I saw so many species of Wildlife I had never thought I would see in the wild. Gareth and ...
Karine Thiebaud rating5

2023 at Vervet Monkey Rescue & Rehabilitation

If you are ready to live a LIFETIME experience, just go ahead, this project is for you ! Carol and Steve are the sweetest and most friendly people you can meet. Always ready to help you, todly dévote to animal rights and to vervet monkeys more specificaly, they’ll learn you everything they know ...
Solenne RAULET rating4.6

2023 at Big Cat Sanctuary on a Wildlife Reserve

I would 100% recommend this sanctuary with its values and actions respecting animal welfare and protection. Lauren, Keegan and Lionel make sure to make your stay unique in an educational and caring way. If you are already a big cat fan, you will fall in love all over again with these beauties of ...


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