This website is full of information for you so that you can make an informed choice. But there’s always a question that isn’t answered in the stories written on our website. Here are the most frequently asked questions. If you still have another question that isn’t answered below, please send us an e-mail using our contactform.
Once you have decided on the trip you want to do, you can get in touch with us through our contact form or chat option. Even if you are undecided in regards to which trip would suit you the most, our team is always ready to assist and guide you along the way.
Volunteer in Tanzania and Volunteer on Zanzibar have comfortable volunteer accommodation in Arusha and Zanzibar City. Bear in mind you are travelling to a third world country which has very different standards from what you’re used to. Both volunteer accommodations are provided with running (warm) water, electricity, spacious kitchen with fridges and storage space, lockable cupboards for your personal belongings, lodge gardens, recreation/dinner area, a shared TV and dvd player, a washing machine(terms apply) etc. You will be accommodated with maximum 4 persons in one bedroom. Have look at our travel information page for additional information and pictures.
On your first day in Tanzania, our team of local supervisors will take you on a city tour through Arusha Town for familiarisation.
During the city tour you will visit some local markets, purchase and register a local sim card, visit an ATM to withdraw money, you will also get an opportunity to buy some groceries. At the end of the afternoon you will return home (Volunteer Lodge) where you will have a briefing with your supervisor to get to know each other and explain to you how everything works in the volunteer program and the lodge – ask as many questions as you can. Once you have received your volunteer permit, which takes 2 working days to process, you can start at the project you applied for. Your supervisor will take and collect you from your project on your first day. Making sure you get a handle on the local transport system.
Most of your trips to town and your project will be covered by either Piki Piki’s and/or Dala Dala’s. A piki piki is a small motorbike not going faster than 50 KM/H, a dala dala is a shared minibus that does specific routes all around town. Both are relatively cheap forms of transportation depending on your destination. Be advised, always use all safety precautions when using public transport in Tanzania.
Our volunteer accommodation is not provided with Wi-Fi, however, on your first day after arrival you will be going on an orientation tour through town. One of the stops you will be making is at a telephone shop where you will purchase and register a local Simard and get connected with an internet bundle. A weekly bundle will cost you about $2,- .
In the northern hemisphere, May – August is the warmest time to enjoy the summer. We suggest people arrive early May or June. During winter, it is best to arrive in early November. The long raining season is from March to May, the short raining season in October/ November.
Your time is extremely valuable and certainly a vital part of making a difference within the community where you are placed however there are several other aspects to consider when volunteering internationally. Accommodation, food, airport and placement transfers, local wages and administration costs are the financial components, which make up your placement fee.
But instead of arranging your own accommodation and food, we at Volunteer in Tanzania, offer you a comfortable spot with like minded individuals in our volunteer program. Please have a look at what’s included in the price HERE
Because we are a small team locally based and offering placements exclusively in Tanzania. This means we do not have western administration and wage expenses (and no harbor view offices for our staff)
Your fees are spent on accommodation and associated placement costs such as food, laundry and local wages. Minimal administration costs also make up part of the program fees and these include the running and maintenance of the company vehicles, petrol, phone, Internet and next-to-nothing marketing costs.
While admin costs are a pain there are absolutely no organizations, businesses or companies out there that can survive without them. At least with Volunteer in Tanzania you can rest assured that all the admin costs are being spent right here in Tanzania and contributing to the struggling economy.
Yes. Tanzania is known for being one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. The Volunteer in Tanzania team will be right here alongside you offering support and ensuring your safety for the duration of your placement. That being said, as with all countries ridden with poverty and desperation, theft can be a common occurrence which is why we have included a comprehensive guide on safety around town, in the Volunteer Manual
The minimum age for volunteering work with us is 18 years old. There is no maximum age.
No. Most of our placements have been established with no specific skill set in mind so that no one is excluded the opportunity to volunteer. That being said, placements are very personal and not every placement suits everyone so be sure to read the placement particulars information sheets before making your final decision.
Please note that a teaching background or TEFL at the very least is required for Secondary school placements (only) as the levels of understanding are greater.
No, however with any placement you really get out what you put in, so while we do not require you to have the TEFL certificate it may be worth considering anyway.
Bear in mind that the language barrier will be a challenge on most placements so reducing any other challenges, like the basic fundamentals of teaching, will make your placement that little bit easier.
Before you arrive in Tanzania, every measure is taken to ensure that you are compatible with your placement and as much as possible, know what to expect, so we can be sure you will, not only like your placement, but LOVE it.
We completely understand that actually being in Tanzania, on placement often feels very different to how you imagined from the comfort of your home. If you are really struggling with your selected placement and we are unable to find a resolve that will see you enjoy the remainder of your program then we will assist you in finding something more suitable.
Yes. We can accommodate groups and couples or friends. Some placements have limited accommodation availability so please contact us to clarify before setting your heart on a specific placement.
This completely depends on the time of year, the placement and individual preference. For example, if you are volunteering during a quiet time, you may be the only volunteer on that particular placement. Just let us know your preference before you select a placement and we will try to accommodate your requests.
This is a tricky question as it really depends on how long you are looking to travel, how much you are looking to spend on any extra things you'd wish to do while you travel, whether you are planning on going shopping or whether you like to eat out or cook for yourself and so on. Our volunteer program includes food 2x a day, 5x a week and accommodation. Local meals are served at many restaurants and cost $1.00 - $5.00USD including a drink. The water at the accommodation is safe for drinking as its borehole water and not contaminated however a 1.5litre bottle of mineral water is USD $0.50. Volunteers should generally budget for $15USD per day to include all travel, meals, telephone and Internet costs.
Yes!! There are plenty of opportunities to see the local sights and travel to surrounding destinations during your trip. However, this all depends on the trip you are doing, the project schedule and your potential employer. Sometimes it can be difficult to travel for a long period of time in between because you are committed to working hours requested by your employer, but in your free time you can go exploring. There are plenty of exciting (3-4) day trips provided on the pin-board in your volunteer accommodation. Your supervisor on the ground will be happy to advise you in regards to any arrangements on the best places to visit and how to get there.
For both Zanzibar and Arusha the visa process works different:
A Visa and a Work Permit for Tanzania
o A Visa is what will get you across the border into Tanzania and you need one simply to ‘be” in the country. You can get these from the airport at any border as you arrive and they cost: US $50,- for US nationals (or US $100,- for non-US nationals). This is a Tourist Visa. A Tourist Visa gives you permission to be in Tanzania, but you are NOT allowed to legally work or volunteer on it. So you also need a “Permit” in order to volunteer.
o A Permit gives you permission to work in Tanzania (and volunteering is considered “work” by immigration rules here). You can basically only volunteer short term (less than 3 months), or long term (more than 3 months).
A Visa and a Work Permit and Ministry of Labour for Zanzibar
There are two different documents you need when wanting to volunteer on Zanzibar, a Visa and a Permit.
• A visa is what will get you across the border into Tanzania and you need one simply to “be” in the country. You can get these from the airport at any border as you arrive and they cost: USD $ 50 – or USD $ 100 for US citizens. (Its officially called a Tourist Visa)
A Tourist Visa gives you permission to be on Zanzibar, but you are NOT allowed to legally work/volunteer on it. So you also need a Permit in order to volunteer.
• You need to get a Volunteer Permit. This will cost you: USD $ 200 for 3 months. Are you staying between than 3 and 6 months it costs you $400,-, staying longer than 6 months the volunteer permit costs $800.00
• The laws of Zanzibar requires every foreigner who is working on Zanzibar to have a work permit from the Ministry of Labour. Your supervisor will file your application before your arrival, the work permit costs $220.00 and is valid for 3months. Please note this permit is only valid for the program you applied for.
Preventive vaccination is highly recommended however consult with your personal physician beforehand. A great place to check on recommended medication is the Centre of Disease Control.
Note that no vaccinations are required if you are travelling from the US, however if you are coming from an infected zone, certain vaccinations are required (example; if you are travelling from Kenya to Tanzania, the Tanzanian authorities will require a yellow fever certificate. Please check with the respective embassy/consulates as regulations often change.
Yes, we advise you when coming to Tanzania and Zanzibar to use Malaria preventive medication, however, the risk of getting Malaria is small.
A yellow fever certificate is required for certain areas. Please consult your nearest GP or travel clinic for more info. We exercise caution and medical safety on our projects and we advise you to take all precautions necessary to ensure you don’t get sick.
This includes frequent hand washing, applying mosquito-repellent, and being careful about what you eat and drink.
We recommend that volunteers travel with:
Paracetamol/Ibuprofen (also known as Tylenol/Advil)
- Hand sanitizers (a few small ones, keep one in your day pack, for example)
- Tropical antihistamine
- Tummy tablets (such as: anti-diarrhoea, anti-nausea) Tip: If you bring medication in your carry-on make sure it’s in its original packaging.
Medical emergencies are by no means a regular occurrence, but our project teams are equipped to deal with all situations and have strict protocols in place to do so. The Volunteer Coordinator for the project will ensure that you receive immediate medical assistance.
It is a requirement that all volunteers have the adequate travel insurance that includes emergency air evacuation and repatriation, in the event of a serious illness or accident. It is the volunteer's responsibility to ensure they have the appropriate level of cover with their chosen travel provider, which will differ depending on the activities involved in your volunteer project
We advise you to get to know some basic ins and outs about Tanzania before you come over here. Cultural differences, food, climate, clothing etc. You can never be a 100% prepared. Just give yourself some time to get used to the daily habits and don’t forget to also just enjoy the surroundings, historic monuments and all the beautiful traditionally dressed inhabitants.
English is all you need. On some of the programs where you can be placed, especially the ones where you volunteer with children, having a few words of the local language in your vocabulary will help you to better communicate with the children. But in regards to languages, we believe there's no better way of learning than travelling to a destination and giving it a go!
It is important for a volunteer to have a sense of HUMOR! Life here is not what you are used to! The electricity will go out, the water supply will cut off, you’ll have to take cold showers and use candles from time to time, service will be slow in restaurants, banks, supermarkets… Keep your head cool and use your sense of humor while still being respectful. Learn to handle difficult situations with patience, tolerance and a SMILE.
Toss out your expectations, embrace the differences. It’s not all going to fit the “standard”. Just roll with it and keep a light- approach to life. When something goes wrong, which it will, remember that a smile, a shake of your head and a laugh will take you a lot further than the angry, frustrated and shouting “white person in Africa act” will.