Dolphin & Marine Conservation Volunteering in Zanzibar

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Protect Dolphins During Human Interactions and Boat Tours

Ditch the ordinary and embark on an exciting journey to an enchanting tropical island, where you’ll dive headfirst into the captivating world of marine conservation. Join us as a Zanzibar dolphin volunteer and become a guardian of the delicate balance of the local marine ecosystem, protecting it from the harmful effects of human activities. Enjoy daily boat journeys and snorkelling through the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean whilst carrying out dolphin research: tracking dolphin movements, behaviours, and interactions during dolphin tours.

This volunteer experience in Zanzibar is not just about making a difference for dolphins and the ocean; it’s also about personal growth and professional development. You’ll gain valuable experience in marine research, conservation practices, and cross-cultural communication.

Project Highlights

  • Ethically swim with and monitor bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat and study the impact of tourism on their behaviour all year round.
  • Snorkel in beautiful coral reefs whilst collecting vital data on coral bleaching.
  • Experience the annual migration of humpback whales that visit Zanzibar from June, lasting as long as until November.
  • Get your PADI Open Water Scuba certification on the weekends.
  • Share your knowledge with enthusiastic conservation club students and inspire them to look after their environment and surroundings.

Quick Facts


Abeid Amani Karume International Airport

Specific Start Dates

10 days - 12 weeks

Impact: Marine Conservation

$2,970 – $7,200


Picture yourself amidst the turquoise waters and endless white-sand beaches of this East African gem. Our base in Zanzibar is located in the heart of Jambiani, a picturesque fishing village on the island’s southeastern coast. We’re all about embracing island life, and each week we spend an evening with a local family so you get to taste the real Zanzibar; just imagine incredible homemade dishes after a day of volunteering with dolphins!

On the weekends, you can try your hand at kitesurfing, scuba diving and snorkelling on the coral reefs that are teeming with marine life, sea fishing or just a leisurely boat trip on one of the local Dhow boats which dot the horizon each evening.


Your home away from home while volunteering in Zanzibar is a gated and secure volunteer house that has all the amenities you’ll need like beautiful shared communal spaces and a pool! Embrace the communal spirit as you share dorm-style accommodations with fellow volunteers. Each room accommodates 4-6 individuals, ensuring a lively and enriching atmosphere. Rest assured, daily housekeeping ensures your comfort and well-being.

We have our very own local chef that will prepare 3 fresh meals for you during the week. With advance notice, we can accommodate food allergies or specific dietary requirements, as island living means it can be tricky to cater for certain needs.

There is free Wi-Fi available at the accommodation to keep family and friends up to date. The connection can however be slow and unreliable at times so volunteers must be flexible and patient with this.

Zanzibar has a tropical climate and is hot all year round, with two distinctive rainy seasons: one more intense, known as the “long rains”, from March to May, with the peak in April, and the other less intense, known as the “short rains”, between mid-October and December.
April and May are the wettest months, with frequent short thunderstorms.

The warmest time of year is from December to March, during which the maximum temperature hovers around 32°C (90°F) and the humidity is high, although the sea breeze tempers the heat a little. You can expect highs 38 °C (100 °F) at this time of year. May to August is cooler (but still hot!), with highs around 29°C (84°F).

Participant Requirements


Our minimum age for this dolphin volunteer project is 16 years of age. Parental consent is required before arrival for those aged 16 and 17. We can also accept 15 years of age if travelling with a parent, but other adult companions it will need to be discussed ahead of time.

To travel to Africa, many people are required to obtain a visa either upon entry to the relevant country or beforehand. Please note different countries require different passport validity periods.

But don’t panic, our Journey Team will help direct you and answer your questions during our Pre-departure process.

Project Impact Areas


Become a champion for these magnificent creatures and join our mission to protect their well-being by ensuring responsible dolphin tourism practices in Zanzibar. Daily boat trips will whisk you away to the heart of Zanzibar’s vibrant marine ecosystem, where you’ll witness dolphins in their natural habitat and contribute to valuable research and conservation efforts. This is your chance to make a real difference in dolphin conservation while experiencing the magic of these playful creatures firsthand.


Armed with snorkels and a keen eye for detail, you’ll embark on underwater expeditions to gather vital data on coral reef health. Monitor the progression of coral bleaching, identifying areas where the resilient reefs are fighting back and areas where the damage is more severe. Your observations will provide invaluable insights into the resilience of these ecosystems and the effectiveness of conservation efforts.


Engage with eager students at after-school clubs, captivating them with interactive lessons that emphasize the importance of environmental conservation. Empower them to become responsible stewards of their natural heritage, ensuring a brighter future for the island they call home. This is your chance to not only share your knowledge, but also inspire the next generation of environmental champions.

dolphin monitoring in Zanzibar

On-the-ground Project Support



A friendly face from our Base Team will be ready to meet you at the airport and drive you to our Volunteer Accommodation. Just look out for the African Impact sign!



On arrival you’ll have a comprehensive induction to prepare you for project work, the local culture, people and wildlife; and of course, how to stay safe!



24/7 support: Our base teams are on hand every day to make sure you have the most amazing and memorable time in Africa.

Program Experience

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Recommended weekend activities in Zanzibar



For an unforgettable experience volunteering in Zanzibar, indulge in the Safari Blue Tour, a full-day escapade that will transport you into the heart of Zanzibar’s natural beauty. Sail through the turquoise waters on a traditional Dhow or Ngalawa boat, snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of a secluded lagoon. These day trips are reason enough to make Zanzibar your destination choice!



If you’ve ever dreamt of riding a horse across the most picture-perfect beaches you could imagine, then Zanzibar offers you just that. Imagine the feeling of the sand beneath the horse’s hooves and the breathtaking scenery unfolding before you. Whether you opt for an invigorating early morning ride or a full-day adventure, exploring Zanzibar on horseback is an unforgettable way to experience the island’s unique beauty.

diving in mozambique



Whether you’re a seasoned diver seeking new experiences or a curious novice ready to embark on your underwater journey, Zanzibar provides an ideal setting to explore the depths of the ocean. Enrol in a PADI Open Water course and gain the skills and knowledge to navigate the beautiful Indian Ocean! You’ll also return home with an incredible skill for all your future travel adventures.

Project Dates & Rates

When would you like to volunteer?

Give us an idea of your travel plans, you can also say ‘I’m not sure yet.’ We’ll take it from there.

How long would you like to volunteer?

This is the place to select your preferred duration(s). The African Impact team recommend at least 4 weeks for a truly memorable experience!

10 days $2970
2 weeks $3200
3 weeks $3600
4 weeks $4000
5 weeks $4400
6 weeks $4800
7 weeks $5200
8 weeks $5600
9 weeks $6000
10 weeks $6400
11 weeks $6800
12 weeks $7200

Personal Information

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By opting in to SMS and WhatsApp communication, you give consent to receive text messages from African Impact that will assist in booking your placement. You can opt-out at any time by texting STOP.
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Project Fee Includes:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Airport transfers
  • All project related transport during your stay
  • All activities and entrance fees as per the workshop itinerary

Project Fee Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts, and souvenirs
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund

Zanzibar Dolphin Volunteering FAQs

Will I get to see dolphins in their natural habitat?

Absolutely! Daily boat trips are a central part of the Zanzibar dolphin volunteer experience, offering you the incredible opportunity to observe dolphins in their natural environment. You’ll learn about their behaviour, contribute to vital research, and witness the beauty of these majestic creatures firsthand.

While our program requires basic swimming skills, diving certifications are not mandatory. Many programs offer training and guidance to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe in the water. And if you are keen to learn, we couldn’t recommend more starting your PADI Diving training in Zanzibar!

When you volunteer with dolphins, your contribution will go far beyond just the physical tasks. By participating in data collection, raising awareness, and promoting responsible tourism practices, you’ll play a vital role in protecting Zanzibar’s delicate marine ecosystem for generations to come. Your passion and enthusiasm can inspire others and contribute to a lasting positive impact.

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