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Dolphin and Marine Conservation Assistant

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Agency | GoEco

Join this tropical island project in Zanzibar and get involved with marine conservation, community work, and education.

About the project

The main focus of this marine conservation project is to monitor the dolphins and human-dolphin interaction. The information collected by volunteers during their placement will feed into research, surveys and studies conducted by the academic and research institutions in Zanzibar and will contribute greatly to the marine conservation efforts in Zanzibar. For example, monitoring human-dolphin interaction is important as it will inform government policies on how best to regulate tourist and fishing activities to ensure that the dolphins do not become too stressed, which could potentially lead to lower numbers of dolphins in the future in this part of the world.

About the location

This project takes place in Zanzibar, just off the Tanzanian coast of East Africa. Zanzibar is renowned for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters. It is also home to many historical monuments, the Chumbe Island Marine Reserve, and Jozani Forest, where the indigenous Red-colobus monkey can be found. The south coast offers you the chance to swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Jambiani and Kizimkazi, where you will spend most of your time as a volunteer, are small villages located on the southern part of Zanzibar’s beautiful and quiet east coast. About an hour’s drive from Stone Town, Jambiani is a village that stretches along the coastline, bordered by expansive white sand beaches. Kizimkazi is a small fishing village located in the Menai Bay Conservation Area of south-west Zanzibar. Here you will find communities operating at a leisurely pace amidst the sunny, tropical climate. Menai Bay is also home to a number of iconic marine species, including bottlenose and humpback dolphins (there are also humpback whales from June to October).

Your volunteer tasks

Your activities may include:

  • Monitoring the dolphins for various research purposes (i.e. behavior, feeding, daily habits, reaction to humans)
  • Monitoring tourist numbers (to get daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal figures)
  • Monitoring tourist-dolphin interaction
  • Research and monitoring of whales during whale season (June to October)
  • Providing research data for local marine science institutions  
  • Raising awareness about dolphins, whales, sharks and other types of fish, the local marine ecosystem, and local marine conservation.
The rest of your time as a volunteer will be spent getting involved in helping the local community by doing things like beach cleans, planting trees, painting, and supporting local community groups.

Typical day

An exact daily schedule is difficult to outline as activities depend on tides and seasons, however, most days begin with departing the volunteer base at 6:00 am, followed by early morning boat rides to monitor tourist activities and human-dolphin interactions from 6:30 to 8:30 am. You'll have an hour break for breakfast at 8:30 am and then undertake a range of research and ocean activities, including monitoring dolphins and other species of fish, fishing activity, and data entry and analysis until 12:00 pm. From 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm you'll have a lunch break, followed by data analysis or teaching English to local fisherman, boat drivers and tour guides. At 6:00 pm, you'll return to Jambiani for dinner. You will have Saturdays and Sundays off to do any tourist activities or to rest from your week of volunteering.

Free-time activities

During your stay you will have the opportunity to enjoy some incredible attractions in the surrounding areas such as Mikumi National Park, Ruaha National Park, the famous Serengeti National Park, the unique Ngorongoro Crater, and the mighty Kilimanjaro!  Zanzibar and Tanzania offer a variety of tours and safari options, which are perfect for a weekend getaway or a pre/post project safari. Most activities are priced all-inclusive providing transport, transfers, accommodation, guide and driver, park entry fees, etc. The project coordinators in Zanzibar will be happy to assist you in exploring these options:

  • Incredible snorkeling and scuba diving off Zanzibar island
  • Jozani Forest
  • Stone Town City Tour
  • Spice Tour
  • Tour of Prison Island

Water Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Must be able to swim
Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if GoEco cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GoEco.
Services by GoEco
Included in the fees are the accommodation, the food in form of 3 meals per day, the support from our local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support, daily transportation between accommodations and project site and an airport transfer on arrival and departure day. 
Furthermore, a comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage is included. All necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival.

Airport Pickup at Zanzibar International Airport

Airport transfer is provided on arrival and departure day.


You will stay in a volunteer house in Jambiani village, just a short walk away from the beach. The rooms are dormatory-style and single-gender, with 3-4 volunteers per room. Accommodations include mosquito nets, fans, bedding and housekeeping. The volunteer house is also equipped with a resource room where you can find and store project work and prepare lessons. *Please Note: There is NO HOT WATER for showering (most places in Zanzibar do not have hot water). Weekly laundry service is provided for an additional fee. Internet facilities are available in town for a small fee.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Volunteers receive three meals a day. Breakfast usually consists of eggs, porridge, toast, fruit, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner include a mix of local and international food and are freshly prepared each day.

Internet Access
Sorry, no 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 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Zanzibar/Tanzania between 2 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco 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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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