Dolphin Research and Conservation in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Dolphin Research and Conservation in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Price From: 2,495


Operator: GVI - Global Vision International

Price From:  2,495

Ideal Age Range: 19 to 30, 31 to 50

Fitness Needs: Moderately Fit

Program duration: 2 weeks

Dolphins are a popular tourist attraction in Zanzibar, however, there are minimal regulations in place and few conservation initiatives, which places the species at risk. On this program, you will assist with monitoring dolphin numbers, behaviour, feeding patterns, evaluating their reaction to humans and analysing tourist-dolphin interaction, as well as running workshops to promote marine conservation in the area. This data is shared with academic partners and the local government for further sustainable impact.

Things to look forward to:

  • Grow your employability in the marine conservation industry;
  • Monitor and research dolphin behaviour;
  • Survey the impact of tourism on dolphin behaviour that helps to promote eco-tourism around Zanzibar;
  • Run workshops with local boat and tour operators educating them on ethical dolphin tourism;
  • Snorkel in Zanzibar’s beautiful coral reefs, while also possibly collecting data on coral bleaching;
  • Grow your own career network by meeting fellow participants from all over there world.



What to Expect

Menai Bay is well known for its dolphin population, as well as being home to a wide array of fish species. On this program, participants will assist with research, as well as setting guidelines and creating a network of information available to tourists, hotels, operators and guides, in order to protect local marine life in the area. People with an interest in a career in marine conservation are able to gain practical skills in the field from participating on this program, while participating on impactful day-to-day initiatives on the ground. 

Your involvement on this program with further promote your employability, as you will be assisting with running a Marine Conservation Club, which teaches young people in the community about environmental issues facing the region, as well as promoting the United Nations SDG goals. 

Together with the Institute of Marine Science Zanzibar, participants may assist with monitoring how human-dolphin interaction affects the way the dolphins live and behave. A typical day on the program could also involve data entering, working to create materials for ethical awareness, presenting your work to various local partners or even taking part in Kiswahili lessons. The program workshops have been given the go ahead by the local government. Promoting sustainable dolphin tourism in the area by empowering the local community goes a long way towards protecting the species. 

Zanzibar is a world-renowned destination spanning across a series of islands on the Indian Ocean. It boasts some of the most extraordinary beach landscapes in the world. The marine dolphin research program, in particular, is based in the fishing village of Kizimkazi, where you will spend most of your days. The community hosts a diverse range of cultures, and in Zanzibar you are exposed to quite a difference experience in comparison to mainland Tanzania. Jambiani is a stunning, safe beach location where you will have the opportunity to explore village life. While on a stroll around Jambiani, you will constantly hear the phrase Karibu (‘you are welcome’), which sums-up the island way of living in a nutshell.

Housing for our programs in Zanzibar is provided directly on base in Jambiana, right on the beach. Your accommodation comes in the form of en-suite rooms with a balcony overlooking the sea, providing a truly unique island experience. Hot water, towels, pillows and bedding are provided as are shelves to store your personal items.

In-house chefs on base provide three delicious meals a day throughout the week. Most types of dietary needs are catered for, but please indicate your requirements prior to departure. Drinking water, as well as amenities such as tea and coffee, are available on base, with soft drinks being provided for purchase too.

You will be able to purchase a local SIM card when you arrive in Zanzibar, but it is important to make sure your phone is unlocked to allow foreign SIM cards before you arrive. Discuss this with your mobile operator a few weeks prior to your departure to make sure you are prepared. The volunteer house does have wifi available.

All airport transfers are included. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the volunteer house in Jambiani from the local airport. Be mindful that any additional travels outside of your project work are at your own expense.

Jambiani has a tropical climate. Summers tend to be much rainier than in the winter, so ensure that you pack accordingly, depending on when you will be travelling for your program. Temperatures are fairly high year-round, in the region of 29 to 32 degrees celsius. Due to its proximity to Equator, Zanzibar is warm throughout the year and has equal day and nights (12-hours each), like most of the East African countries.


Country Fast Facts

Country Fast Facts


Flag Flag_of_Tanzania.svg (1)
Continent: Africa
Official Language(s) Swahili, English
Capital: Dodoma
Population 51,820,000 (2014 estimate)
Climate(s) Equatorial, Monsoon, Tropical Savanna, Warm Desert, Warm Semi-arid, Humid subtropical, Temperate Oceanic, Temperate Mediterranean
Major Airport(s): Dar es Salaam (DAR), Kilimanjaro (JRO), Zanzibar (ZNZ)
Economic Driver(s): Agriculture, Mining, Energy, Trade

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