Viva Tanzania

Animal Rescue Advocate

Arusha, Tanzania show on map

Support an small local animal shelter and give homeless dogs a chance.

The Project

In September 2016 the Tanzanian Ismael and Tizia of Viva Tanzania founded the small animal shelter in Mianzini, the area in Arusha where they both live. Ismael started caring for dogs when he found a female dog, who was giving birth to four puppies in the middle of night during rain unsheltered on a pumpkin field and couldn't stand it any more. He built a small house and fed the five dogs.

Rahel, Tizia's volunteer found a female dog and her litter of eight puppies on a banana field close to the kinderga

rten where she worked. She and Tizia wanted to help and got in touch with „Mbwa wa Africa“, the big animal shelter in Arusha, which was completely crowded at that time. Through the animal shelter they got in touch with Ismael and this is how everything started: With the help of donations and dedicated people they fenced a piece of land at his fathers banana field and built a bigger shelter for the additional nine dogs. One day before the relocation was about to happen Rahel and Tizia visited the dogs on the banana field and saw that overnight someone tried to kill them. Two were missing, one dead and one seriously injured, who also died later one. Both didn't hesitated and brought the remaining four dogs to the volunteer hostel. Unfortunately they were not able to catch the mother dog. During October and November 2016 Ismael had his first Viva Tanzania volunteer. The two volunteers Svenja and Marcy played an important roll in the completion and improvement of the shelter as well as the Facebook and web page. Nevertheless, the animal shelter does not have regular donors yet and therefore big problems to provide adequately for the dogs and to convey them.

The new shelter is now located just 3 walking minutes away from the volunteer's accomodation.

Your Work

On the one hand you can help in the shelter itself, socializing the dogs, playing with and caring for them. Some dogs need medication, which can be handed out by you. Moreover you can help with preparing the food and feeding the dogs and puppies. Sometimes you will take one or two dogs out for a walk together with Ismael or you go check on needy animals in the surrounding neighbourhood. The number of dogs at the shelter at one time varies, so that some days can be busier than others. Some of the days you are able to maintaining the kennels or to fix some small things or go visit the local vet.

Ismaels future plan is to enlarge the shelter or to move the shelter to a greener place outside the city. Therefore he is currently running a fundraiser to buy a bigger land. So, on the other hand you can update the website and Facebook page and help to raise funds. Everyone can be active where he or she can helps best. Proposals, suggestions and new ideas are always welcomed. Your daily routine and work place will be flexible daily. Since the shelter is close to the Volunteer's House you are able to plan your days individually in agreement with Ismael.


Since you will work with (former) street dogs, it is necessary that you are vaccinated against rabies.

Typical day

A typical day starts at 9:00 am at the shelter. You can check with Ismael what's up for the day: 

- Which dog needs which medicine?
- Checking all dogs for ticks, flees, lice and other injuries
- Cleaning the shelter
- Playing with the dogs
- Educating and training the dogs
- Walking the dogs

Lunch you will have together with Ismael or you return to the Volunteer House.
In the afternoon you can work on the facebook page and website or you can return to the shelter to help preparing dog food.
Moreover it is always good if you are interested in writeing proposals to raise funds, design flyers, write newsletter and so on.

Part of your work is also to visit our former street dogs and check how they are doing in their new homes, take dogs to the veterinary for medical care as well as sterilization and castration, rescue pregnant, lactating and injured dogs from the street and much more.

Free-time activities

We offer a wide range of activities at affordable rates like:
1. Hiking/Walking tours to waterfalls, through forests and around a lake.
2. Swimming in paradise like hot springs with a glimps at the Mount Kilimanjaro.
3. Cultural Tours to Maasai Markets and the possibility to visit different ethnicities.
4. Coffee Plantation Tours to learn about the process from the bean to the finished product.
5. Safari in the Nationalparks of the Northern Circuit (Arusha NP, Lake Manyara NP, Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Conservation Area). 6. Climbing of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro.
7. FREE town tour for all our volunteers!

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 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)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
CV and Picture of the volunteer
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for


Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Viva Tanzania cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Viva Tanzania.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Viva Tanzania (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Viva Tanzania

All pre-arrival support, two airport transfers, orientation tour in Arusha, being taken to the project on the first day, donation to the animal shelter directly, 24/7 in-country support, accommodation in a dorm, breakfast , lunch and dinner will be provided at the volunteer's house nearby the project.

Airport Pickup at Kilimanjaro International Airport

In your program fee the pick up and drop off from/to the airport/bus station are inculded. Martin, the founder of Viva Tanzania, or Philbert, our friendly staff member, will be at the airport/bus stand with our "Viva Tanzania"-Pick-up-sign, just in time when you plane or bus arrives. And after your volunteer experience - when it's time to say good bye - we will take you to the airport/bus stand for the farewell.


The volunteer's has different 4-bed dorms; each contain comfortable beds & shelves to store belongings. As storage space is limited, please keep your luggage limited, too. Accommodation in a single room is possible (extra charge). The housel is located 25 walking minutes from the city center. Although the house is close to the busy town the house is surrounded by a green environment. In the garden there are different fruits. Bella and Ava, our dogs are part of the family and are staying outside of the house. The house is equipped with hot water showers and the possibility to use the kitchen throughout the day.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

Breakfast will contain tea and coffee, bread, margarine, honey, jam, peanut butter, as well as fruits and vegetables. Dinner will be international as we cook Tanzanian as well as Western Food. Don‘t worry if you are vegetarian (like Tizia), vegan or have any allergy, we can cope with everything. The house is also equipped with a fridge and shelves to store your own groceries.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Kilimanjaro. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
9 weeks
17 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Arusha/Tanzania between 2 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Viva Tanzania will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Tanzania.
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 {} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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