Marine Conservation & Dolphin Research



Adventure from £0.00 (Excluding flights)

Situated just off the Tanzanian coast in East Africa, Zanzibar is a fascinating archipelago with a deeply embedded history, an intriguing blend of cultures and stunningly beautiful beaches and sea life.

Renowned for its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, it is also home to many historical monuments, Chumbe Island Marine Reserve and Jozani Forest, where the indigenous Red Colobus Monkey can be found. The south coast offers you the chance to swim with dolphins in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

Zanzibar Town, known by its old name of Stone Town (declared a world heritage site by UNESCO), is the capital of the archipelago. With a unique mix of Indian, Arab, and African mainland influences, its mesmerising culture permeates the main islands. The old Stone Town, with its narrow alleys winding amongst bustling markets and mosques, boasts amazingly crafted large wooden doors, which can be admired for hours.

Jambiani and Kizimkazi, where you will spend most of your time as a volunteer, are small villages located on the southern part of Zanzibar’s beautiful and quiet east coast. About an hour’s drive from Stone Town, Jambiani is a long village stretched along the coastline, with stunning white sandy beaches where it will seem like you can walk forever.  Just half an hour’s drive from Jambiani, towards the south-West of Zanzibar, you can discover the peaceful village of Kizimkazi. Here you will find communities operating at a leisurely pace in the sunny tropical climate.

You will witness incredible sunrises and enjoy the warm waters, but more importantly gain a deep insight into life on the island and an array of experiences you will treasure for a long time.


Kizimkazi is a small fishing village located in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA) south-west of Zanzibar. Menai Bay is home to a number of iconic marine species, hosting an array of birds, fish and mammals, including dolphins (bottlenose and humpback). There are also humpback whales during the months of June to October.

The dolphins, particularly the friendly bottlenose dolphins which are present throughout the year, have become a major tourist attraction. Tourists view these dolphins from fishing boats, and often jump into the water to swim with them. Though friendly, the dolphins can sometimes be surrounded by up to 20 boats chasing after them, and this can cause them stress, particularly when they are feeding or nursing.

The main focus of this marine conservation project will be to monitor the dolphins and human-dolphin interaction.



- Monitoring the dolphins for various research purposes (i.e. behaviour, feeding, daily habits, reaction to humans, numbers, photos of dolphin pods)
- Monitoring tourist numbers (to get daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal figures)
- Monitoring tourist-dolphin interaction
- Observation of whales during whale season (June to October)
- Providing research data for the Institute of Marine Science in Stone Town
- Marine Conservation Club with kids from the local high school.
- Helping to develop an area to raise awareness about dolphins, whales, sharks and other types of fish; the local marine ecosystem and local marine conservation.
- Fishing Activity Monitoring where we record the daily catch from the main fishing boats coming in. We look at prices, area, method, and size to try determine ways to improve the impact on the bay.
- Spreading guidelines and creating a network of information available to tourists and hotels, as well as local operators and guides.
- Piloting boat operator workshops aimed at increasing economic benefit to the community and more sustainable practices.   
- Tourist, boat operator and hotel questionnaires
- Creating awareness through pamplets and guidelines for tourists, hotels and operators.

The information collected will feed into research, surveys and studies conducted by the academic and research institutions in Zanzibar. Our main project partner Dr. Narriman who works with the Zanzibar Institute of Marine Science heads our project and we also work closely with the Kizimkazi Dolphin Tourism Association (KIDOTOA). This research is urgently required - some work has been done already but due to lack of resources and personnel there is still a lot to be done. Research to date has also usually been carried out on an ad hoc basis, and the project aims to provide consistency and continuity to this research.

The duties carried out by volunteers will contribute greatly to work across various marine conservation initiatives in Zanzibar. For example, monitoring human-dolphin interaction is important as it will inform Government policies on how best to regulate this type of activity to ensure dolphins do not become stressed, which could potentially lead to lower numbers of dolphins in the future in this part of the world.

Our Zanzibar research partner is responsible for overseeing and utilizing the data collection and analysis. Our partner has been doing a lot of work on sustainable dolphin tourism in the area in collaboration with other universities. They also facilitated the opening of a local NGO known as the Kizimkazi Dolphin Tourism Association whose aim is also to ensure sustainable dolphin tourism.

The rest of your time as a volunteer will be spent getting involved in helping the local community, doing things like beach cleans, coral reef surveys, painting etc., and in supporting local community groups such as local tour guides and youth initiatives. 


You will be staying at our volunteer house in Jambiani village which is just a short walk away from the beach.  It is a great place to soak up the sun, have a swim, read a book, or enjoy some beach games.  Sunrises across the Indian Ocean are amazing!

Volunteers will sleep in shared same-gender basic and comfortable rooms in our volunteer house alongside the local village. Expect to share with 2 or 3 other volunteers.  Each room is en-suite, and is equipped with shelves, bunk beds, mosquito nets and fans. Housekeeping is done on a regular basis and bedding is provided. 

Adventure includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Three meals a day (Exception of 1 night a week on a Wednesday evening at a local restaurant which costs between USD7 – USD15)
  • 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
  • Tea, coffee and filtered water
  • Orientation program
  • Project Fee: this entails financing that goes directly back into the project that you are involved with.

Doesn't include

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Non-project activities
  • Alcohol. Please note this is not allowed during day time activities
  • Laundry
  • Visas
  • E-mail/Internet and telephone calls



Making a booking

If you want to reserve your place on a trip we ask you to place a deposit of £0 to secure your place. Should you wish to discuss your trip with us, please either email or call 0203 394 0050.



Monday 10th Apr 2017 - Monday 24th Apr 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 24th Apr 2017 - Monday 8th May 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 8th May 2017 - Monday 22nd May 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 22nd May 2017 - Monday 5th Jun 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 14th Aug 2017 - Sunday 27th Aug 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 28th Aug 2017 - Sunday 10th Sep 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 11th Sep 2017 - Sunday 24th Sep 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 25th Sep 2017 - Sunday 8th Oct 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 9th Oct 2017 - Sunday 22nd Oct 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 23rd Oct 2017 - Sunday 5th Nov 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 6th Nov 2017 - Sunday 19th Nov 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 20th Nov 2017 - Sunday 3rd Dec 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 4th Dec 2017 - Sunday 17th Dec 2017 £1,167.00
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Monday 4th Jun 2018 - Monday 18th Jun 2018 £1,199.00
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Monday 5th Nov 2018 - Monday 19th Nov 2018 £1,199.00
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Or contact us to tailor make this trip