Volunteer Programs in Tanzania with African Impact

Video and Photos

About

Tanzania is East Africa’s largest country and also one of its most diverse, consisting of famous landmarks, mountains and tropical stretches of coastline as well as countless native cultures, languages and customs. As well as this, the country has some of the best game viewing on the continent, and is home to some of the most famous areas for viewing Africa’s wildlife, including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

We have been working in Tanzania for over a decade, in the mainland town of Moshi and the tropical island of Zanzibar.

African Impact's Top Volunteer Programs in Tanzania

  • This 2-week volunteer expedition sees you enjoying culturally-immersive and eco-friendly activities in the Kilimanjaro Region and on the tropical island of Zanzibar.
  • Live the tropical island dream while teaching English, caring for children, promoting gender equality, developing the community center and assisting with local conservation initiatives
  • Assist with researching dolphins in their natural habitat, study the impacts of tourism on dolphin behavior and discover a new underwater world collecting data on coral reefs
  • Give back to those who are less fortunate in a rural town at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. You will teach English to young children and adults, as well as support members of the iconic Maasai tribe
  • Are you a keen diver with an interest in marine conservation? Or, perhaps you’d like to learn to scuba dive while volunteering to preserve and do research on dolphins in their natural environment?
  • Get ready to learn about the challenges facing girls in Tanzania and work as part of a team to ensure adolescent girls aged between 11 and 18 are empowered, educated and uplifted
  • Work with one of Africa’s most iconic tribes, whose members mostly have not had the opportunity to access education as a child

Questions & Answers

Reviews

86%
based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.2
  • Value 8.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Marieke
9/10

Amazing experience in Tanzania, Kilimajaro

I've been in Tanzania for five weeks (Kilimanjaro). Before I came, I didn't have a lot of expectations. It sounds a bit cliché, but I had the time of my life. You should be curious why I had the time of my life. First it is because of the different types of projects so I saw the African life trough different eyes (older people, children, adults). I had a lot of freedom which projects I wanted to do and also during the lessons you have a lot of freedom how to full in the lesson. For example: I had for 5 weeks the same classes and saw the progression of the students, what gave me a lot of motivation! Also, it was amazing because I had a lot of contact with the locals and learned a lot of them. I recommend Tanzania, Kilimanjaro also because of the possibilities to do during the weekend and discover the rest of the country. My highlights were: I've been on safari to the Seregeti and Ngrorogoro crater, did a homestay during the weekend at someone's house around Moshi, had diner with the locals and last but not least I climbed the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimajaro (...still have to do it next week;)). All together, I had a real African experience and enough reasons to come back!

How can this program be improved?
No comments
Response from African Impact

Hey Marieke,

Thank you for such an awesome review and sharing your experience. After seeing the videos from your homestay we can see how much fun you had and how much you learnt (especially about African cooking!). Best of luck in the future and we hope to see you soon!

The African Impact Team

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Zoe
8/10

An Amazing 2 Weeks!

My two weeks in Tanzania were short but sweet! Getting to volunteer on so many different projects was an unforgettable experience and one that I will treasure forever. Teaching English to adults was one of my favourite parts of the projects. The food at the house was absolutely excellent and the staff was extremely reliable and approachable. Learning about Tanzanian culture was a bonus! I would recommend this project to anyone looking for an unforgettable way to spend a few weeks!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Gabriela
8/10

Feeling useful

Well,
About this volunteering experience I wanted to focus on how I felt myself being useful and helpful to the world.
I worked on the Marine Conservation Project with dolphins, where we collected data for research everyday on hoe many dolphins there were and how many tourists and how the tourists were affecting their behaviour.
For me, as a Biologist, doing things that come with science and conservation is my passion and what I aime to do for life.
So, having this amazing experience allowed me to see what I really want for my future, specially when it comes to deciding the group of animals I want to work with: marine mammals and how feeling useful as a scientist is absolutely essencial for my well-being.

The contact with the locals and the boat drivers was something that made me to even love more the project. This close contact allows you to see how important it is to have the community working with you and to be able for the project to work. Besides that, you get to see how their life is and how they live, how is there culture, their food,...
For me, having this experience is essencial and I could find it all at this project.

But, I had some little disappointments when it comes to the high price that we pay and how I couldn't see this money being truly used: the food wasn't very good; one of the teaching projects was going to stop because they had no money for fuel.
For the amount of money we pay and the amount of people at the project it makes no sense, at my point of view, for this to happen.
We were told that to feed all the kids from the schools the project worked at, for 1 month, they spent only 200 dollars! Each one there was paying around 2100 dollars per week!
The maths don't match.

But, even with these problems, I would recommend it, specially because I see the project changing things and helping people. And because it allows you to have amazing experiences that you will never forget!

How can this program be improved?
With more transparence when it comes to costs;
A better explanation for how is the project and its daily basis.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Simon
3/10

Cute but unsustainable in Zanzibar

The teaching and community project in Jambiani, Zanzibar, promises amazing surroundings and a true impact on the local community. That is partly true, the site is beautiful and the locals are interesting and normally fantastic to interact with!

The African Impact organization on site have cute ideas for how to make an impact on the community. Cute, but not sustainable. This is a very good destination if you are an unexperienced teen and requires detailed schedules in advance which you don't need to plan yourself. When you feel that the possibility to take part has to be more important than the actual impact. Unfortunately, African Impact tweeks that picture a little.

I am a teacher, educated in environmental sustainable development and multiple times volunteer. My conclusion was unfortunately that none of the activities offered at the site today is actually sustainable. However good African Impact makes it all sound, it is not sustainable to fly in people from across the world to paint houses (when a local painter of course would have done a better job and get a job opportunity) or litter picking without continously involving the locals as part of a long term and well planned environmental project. There are even environmental activities that are called 'recycling', even though they don't actually involve any recycling. Neither is it sustainable to fly people in to teach subjects they are not educated to do. To teach English in an European school requires several years of university studies, but at African Impact in Zanzibar it is obviously considered a hobby. The locals in Jambiani deserves the same quality of education as everyone else and there is no reason to see their education as 'whoever, however'. A positive attitude and even good knowledge in English does not mean that you know how to teach it. As a volunteer project, which is a form of charity, the African Impact teaching and community project is to much Hakuna matata and not enough professionality. Charity is not to lure as many volunteers in as possible, it is to secure the quality by engaging people with the right skills or utilizing different skills for different parts of the project.

Above is simply my honest analysis of the project. If you think differently and believes this project is right for you, then make sure you ask African Impact for a detailed description of how your money will be used. Do that before you pay the deposit, since you have the right to know.

Response from African Impact

Dear Sherin,
Thank you very much for your feedback and we appreciate the points that you've raised, however we feel that we need to give further information regarding our activities and structure to give you some context.
You arrived during the Ramadan period where, based on consultation with our community partners, we adjust our program to accommodate the local people who are fasting. This was communicated to you prior to your arrival and as discussed at that time, our planning schedules do change over this period. It is important to be flexible, understanding and appreciative that our work is fully-dependent on the needs of the Jambiani community at that specific time, who were celebrating a very holy holiday.
During Ramadan, we do take part in more refurbishment and clean-up projects as requested by the community, but we do continue to run free informal English classes that are open to anyone in Zanzibar, as well as help with village needs as raised to us in the monthly local government meetings.
Our informal education classes in Jambiani are designed for people who cannot access formal education, to get them to a level where they can participate in standard educational options or obtain jobs in the tourism area, which forms the backbone of Zanzibar's economy. We also accept students who want to supplement their official education in our informal classes.
We do have a very set schedule for these classes because despite these classes being informal, we want them to be as sustainable and structured as possible for the students. We've worked with qualified teachers across our projects to design structures and curricula to ensure we cover the topics needed for future formal education or employment.
The programs are designed so that is easy to understand for both the student and the volunteer coming in to teach. This structure means that even though we have different volunteers coming through, there is a common learning experience for the student and a set curriculum for each class. We can therefore help our volunteers prepare for class each week during the preparation sessions and ensure they cover all the topics they need to during their time in the class.
If we were to allow people to come in every few weeks and teach what they want in class, unfortunately we feel that this would not be sustainable and not in line with our and the community's aims.
Since our project started, the majority of students who finish our higher classes have gone on to secure further education in Stone Town, the Jambiani Tourism Institute, or secured client facing roles in the tourism industry.
That being said, we do continually work to improve our education programs, and truly do value your feedback. We have been working hard to build a new education centre and look forward to some incredible achievements in 2017.
We have also made a number of changes on our Zanzibar project site to improve our program and invite you to take a read through the material available on our website that addresses important topics such as ‘Where Your Money Goes’ and our Responsible Volunteering Policy.
Thank you again for your feedback Sherin, we do want to ensure that while we not only serve the communities in need, we also ensure our volunteers have a positive experience and have certainly taken your feedback on-board.
The African Impact Team

Dear Simon,

Thank you very much for your feedback and we appreciate the points that you've raised, however we feel that we need to give further information regarding our activities and structure to give you some context.

Firstly, you arrived during the Ramadan period, where based on consultation with our community partners, we adjust our program to accommodate the local people who are fasting.
This was communicated to you prior to your arrival and as discussed at that time, our planning schedules do change over this period. It is important to be flexible, understanding and appreciative that our work is fully-dependent on the needs of the Jambiani community at that specific time, who were celebrating a very holy holiday.

During Ramadan, we do take part in more refurbishment and clean-up projects as requested by the community, but we do continue to run free informal English classes that are open to anyone in Zanzibar, as well as help with village needs as raised to us in the monthly local government meetings.

Our informal education classes in Jambiani are designed for people who cannot access formal education, to get them to a level where they can participate in standard educational options or obtain jobs in the tourism area, which forms the backbone of Zanzibar's economy. We also accept students who want to supplement their official education in our informal classes.

As you've mentioned, we do have a very set schedule for these classes because despite these classes being informal, we want them to be as sustainable and structured as possible for the students. We've worked with qualified teachers across our projects to design structures and curricula to ensure we cover the topics needed for future formal education or employment.

The programs are designed so that is easy to understand for both the student and the volunteer coming in to teach. This structure means that even though we have different volunteers coming through, there is a common learning experience for the student and a set curriculum for each class. We can therefore help our volunteers prepare for class each week during the preparation sessions and ensure they cover all the topics they need to during their time in the class.

If we were to allow people to come in every few weeks and teach what they want in class, we feel that this would not be sustainable and not in line with our and the community's aims.

Since our project started, the majority of students who finish our higher classes have gone on to secure further education in Stone Town, the Jambiani Tourism Institute, or secured client facing roles in the tourism industry. As you mentioned, the people of Jambiani deserve better education and what we're doing is trying to fill that gap so that they can gain access to formal education to help improve their livelihoods.

Secondly, the painting that took place during your time with us was at the request of the nursery school with which we work, who wanted us to help improve the children's working and learning environment. This was overseen by our local project manager, Dulla, who is significantly experienced in these activities. For larger work, including the building of our new Education Centre, we of course hire local skilled craftsmen.

Community buy-in is the key to our volunteer programs and without a need, or long-term sustainable plan, we do not operate. We are extremely proud of the relationship we have with the community of Jambiani and will continue to work closely with them for years to come.

Thank you again for your feedback Simon, we do want to ensure that while we not only serve the communities in need, we also ensure our volunteers have a positive experience and have certainly taken your feedback on-board.

The African Impact Team

No, I don't recommend this program
Default avatar
Michele
10/10

Time of your life

When I decided to make this trip to Africa, I had no idea what to expect. Where do I start!!! I did the education and community project. The African lmpact people are so friendly, with an amazing attitude and passion for what they do.The projects were great as it was equipping the community with the skills the require through everyday life. The Maasai are amazing people with the ergerness to learn English . They are so lovely and have such a generous spirit. And the wazee(elderly)!!!! I will miss them dearly. And the little ones!! They run to you calling you name the minute you walk through the school gates.

I got a good balance between work an play as Africa has loads to to in your down time. I did an amazing safari while I was there and when climbed the Kilimanjaro to base camp. All organised through AI and their counterparts. One of the highlights was actually getting my hair done by the Maasai guys while I was there. It was soo cool.

And the food!!!! Oh boy!!! That was amazing!!!!
Now words cannot express how good a month I had in Moshi with African Impact. The only way for you to find out Is to jump up and get yourself on this journey of a lifetime . I hope to get back again soon and hope to see you all there!!!!

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, based on my experience I say it was the best trip I've had and would not change a thing
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Eleni
10/10

A memory of a lifetime

I had contemplated on going to Africa to teach for quite a few years. Until one day I finally realized that it wasn't going to happen unless I got the ball rolling. That is when I found African Impact. The entire process could not have run more smoothly. It was stress free and I felt very comfortable with entrusting them with everything in regards to my trip.

Once I arrived to the lovely town of Moshi, from day one I was welcomed and felt right at home. The entire staff was amazing and everyone is just a big family. We eat together, hang out together after school gets out, go to town together, and on the weekends sometimes go on excursions with one another. I could not wait to go and meet the kids either! You literally fall in love with them immediately. You really do form special bonds with some of the children as well; which makes it even harder to leave them everyday when school is out!

I cannot wait for their to be a point in my life where I can go back to Moshi and see everyone again. I miss it everyday.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Shannon
10/10

Jambo Jambiani!

After spending the last 3 weeks in Jambiani, Zanzibar, I'm having a really tough time leaving. The days flew by with nursery school visits in the morning (where you played with the cutest of cute children and fed them porridge), adult English classes in the afternoon, and my favorite, Kanga ladies in the early evening. The people are warm, friendly, and so appreciative; it makes the experience that much more inviting. Well that and the abundance of activities on the island.
Though the island is conservative by nature, the project is the perfect combination of work and play... it's fun in the sun all weekend with snorkeling trips, scuba diving, dhow rides, scurfing, subwinging, sunset BBQs on private beaches, the list goes on... that's the magic of Zanzibar. This project is a MUST! Don't stay for anything less than three weeks, and enjoy every minute of it!

How can this program be improved?
More Swahili lessons so as to better immerse yourself in the community.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
gcheckland
10/10

Jambiani - The African Village That Stole My Heart

In just a few weeks I will be heading back to the volunteer project for the third time in just under 3 years!
African Impacts project here, boosts the community in so many ways, if it is not teaching adults their ABC's or teaching children how to swim, it is cleaning the beach to make the village more attractive to tourists, or visiting the local diploma course on a Friday night to try the students fusion cooking. There is always some way to help the community, and they always make you feel like you belong.

Toni and Dulla are inspirations, having to cope with up to 15 volunteers coming and going constantly, with injuries, homesick people or just people who do not want to leave!

I could not recommend a more successful project than this, and if you ask my family they will definitely tell you that I do not shut up about this project.

I just have to say asante sana African Impact for introducing me to a country that I will never forget.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Stephanie
9/10

Second home

It was the most wonderful experience in my life so far. I would recommend it to everyone! It feels great to help te people and te community. You really feel important. And the most wonderful thing is when your kids from nursery school scream your name (Teacher Stephanie!)when they see you in the village. They really do need our help. It is really amazing what African Impact is doing there. It felt like a second home to me and I would love to go back (if I find the money :)). I really have a hard time getting used to my life back home. Africa was/is wonderful!

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

About African Impact

African Impact pioneered responsible volunteer travel in Africa back in 2004 and have since grown into the largest provider of volunteer projects on the continent. Proudly African, they work hand-in-hand with local communities to establish, develop...