DOLPHIN RESEARCH & MARINE CONSERVATION
Participate in our dolphin and marine conservation initiatives while you discover the tropical paradise of Zanzibar! As a volunteer, you will contribute to the sustainability of dolphin tourism by monitoring human-dolphin interactions and promoting ethical dolphin tours to ensure these intelligent creatures are not stressed or harmed during encounters with people and boats.
Marine life has such an important economic value to the local communities of Zanzibar and by protecting it we can build for a more sustainable future for both wildlife and the people of Zanzibar. This is your chance to make a lasting impact on the survival of a fragile marine ecosystem while living footsteps from the warm India Ocean.
Zanzibar is a tropical paradise, an island just off the coast of Tanzania that is rich in culture, history, and also home to some of the most beautiful coastlines in Eastern Africa. When you think of crystal, turquoise oceans and endless white sandy beaches, Zanzibar is it. The bustling city of Stone Town is where you will fly into and the area itself is a hub of activity, with traders selling spices, fruits and fish caught fresh that day on every street corner, while also boasting the impressive title of a World Heritage Site. Just over an hour from Stone Town is the beautiful coastal village of Jambiani – your home during your stay in Zanzibar. Whether you are exploring the area or life beneath the waves, Zanzibar is the perfect location to ‘get off the grid’, while making long-lasting and sustainable change.
You will stay in a private beach house surrounded by white sandy beaches that has everything you need for a comfortable stay. You’ll be sharing an ensuite dorm room with other volunteers and we provide daily housekeeping for your comfort.
You will receive three fresh and delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community. Breakfast is typically fresh fruit, eggs and toast with a selection of toppings while lunch and dinner are a mixture of local and international cuisine. You can expect to eat anything from burgers, pizzas and pasta dishes to stews, fresh seafood and fragrant curries. Vegetarian options will always be available and we can cater to many other dietary requirements, please just let us know your requirements in advance. Once a week there is also the option to go to one of the preschool teachers’ or Kanga Ladies’ homes for dinner. It is a brilliant evening of eating a homemade meal together while sharing stories and laughs.
There is free WiFi available at the volunteer accommodation, but the connection is slow and volunteers often choose to use WiFi at nearby cafes or restaurants.
Jambiani, Zanzibar lies 9m above sea level and has a tropical climate. The summers are much rainier than the winters in Jambiani. The best time to visit Zanzibar is from January to March and June to December, when the temperature is warm and there is limited rainfall. The highest average temperature in Jambiani is 30°C in March and the lowest is 27°C in June. The water temperature is between 26°C and 31°C.
PROJECT IMPACT AREAS
Dolphins are intelligent and inquisitive marine mammals that are intrigued by their environment and enjoy human interaction. Too much interaction, or unwanted attention can cause them to become stressed and they may choose to seek out quieter waters if faced with too much activity, especially while feeding or nursing young. As a volunteer, you’ll go out to sea daily to search for pods of dolphins and collect valuable data. We work with the local government to monitor human-dolphin interactions, and research dolphin behaviour, abundance and distribution to help formulate ethical policies to regulate dolphin tourism for the benefit of both the dolphins and the communities that rely on them for income.
Warming waters are causing severe damage to coral reefs globally and Zanzibar is no exception. The phenomenon is known as coral bleaching. You’ll spend time snorkelling in the warm waters collecting vital data on coral reef health, including the progression or regression of coral bleaching on the surface area of the reef, as well as the identification of coral species, and monitoring of tourist activities.
CONSERVATION AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
Education is a vital part of conservation. You will help educate local school children the importance of their natural environment, how to look after it and how to sustainably utilize their marine resources in a fun and engaging manner at an after school club. Volunteers have also developed information boards about the local marine ecosystem and conservation, as well as holding workshops with local boat drivers to encourage eco-friendly dolphin tours.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Volunteer for Dolphin Research
Where can you volunteer with dolphins?
Zanzibar, often considered one of the best places to experience marine life in Africa, is the ideal place to begin your volunteer journey in dolphin conservation. Our Dolphin Research and Marine Conservation project is based in Jambiani, an idyllic coastal village rich in culture, history, and characteristically kind locals. Home to Jambiani beach, one of the finest white sand beaches in Zanzibar, this seaside community is the perfect backdrop for an impactful volunteer adventure in marine and dolphin conservation.
How does each volunteer help?
As a marine conservation volunteer, your days will be spent out on the stunning Indian Ocean conducting valuable research on local dolphin pods. Since marine life in Zanzibar regularly faces high volumes of tourism, your volunteer research will focus on understanding marine tourism's impacts on local dolphins' health, populations, and behaviour. This research is essential for informing dolphin conservation decisions, supporting vulnerable marine life, and building ethical policies around marine ecotourism. The more volunteers we have, the more research we can conduct, so every volunteer truly makes a difference!
What does volunteering involve?
You'll spend the majority of your days out in the heart of the stunning Indian Ocean, engaging in invaluable dolphin conservation research. However, the incredible experiences don't end there. Embarking on exciting research dives in vibrant coral reefs and joining together with locals to support community conservation education workshops, volunteering with us is the ultimate marine conservation adventure.
Dolphin Conservation Volunteer Tasks
Conservation volunteer tasks on our dolphin conservation project are highly varied and always sure to be an adventure! However, they often include the following: - Expeditions on the Indian Ocean to monitor dolphin-human interactions - Research dives to analyze and record the health of coral reefs - Running community workshops on marine conservation - Engaging with kids in conservation-related activities in after-school clubs
Zanzibar is the perfect location for incredible snorkeling experiences, swimming with the sea-life, boat rides, scuba diving, kitesurfing and dhow and ngalawa sailing.
Should you be staying a little longer, inland Tanzania offers some of the most popular safari sites in the world. Seeing the wildlife – and the sunsets! – in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater will take your breath away. And speaking of being breathless – for the fit, well-prepared and brave at heart, there is always Mount Kilimanjaro to climb!
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.