Volunteer to survey coral reefs and teach English on Mafia Island, Tanzania.


Tanzania Beach Conservation

: Frontier

Where: Utende, Mafia Island, Tanzania

Focus: Survey coral reefs, teach English and engage in community education.

When: All year round | Project starts first and third Monday of every month (alternative start dates on request).

Duration: 1-20 weeks | Min. 4 week stay recommended in order to get involved in all that the project has to offer.

Suitability: Over 18s. Group bookings available.

Cost: The cost goes down the longer you stay – available here

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Help to preserve Tanzania’s marine and coastal biodiversity.
  • Gather vital information to enable the sustainable management of Mafia Island’s natural resources and the protection of marine life.
  • Locate and map coral reefs and study the various corals.
  • Learn to identify fish, and commercially important invertebrate species.
  • Become an experienced and competent snorkeler by conducting marine life surveys.
  • Learn to survey the health of coral reefs by snorkelling to record coral and algal cover, coral bleaching, fish populations, invertebrates and other intertidal marine life.
  • Record observations on the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of different marine life.
  • Conduct surveys on the transient whale shark population (November – January).
  • Swim with dolphins, rays and turtles and possibly spot migrating humpback whales.
  • Teach English to local people to improve their employment prospects in the Marine Park.
  • Conduct awareness raising activities with tourists visiting Mafia Island.
  • Take part in environmental education days in the local schools and community groups and help discover the effects of global warming on coral reefs.
  • Learn about the activities of the traditional fishermen, as well as discovering and reporting which marine organisms are being sustainably harvested and which are being dangerously depleted
  • Study also the impact of destructive fishing methods, and the expanding curio trade.
  • Work alongside locals and gain an insight into the Swahili culture.

Scuba Diving

Dive Training: Volunteers have the option of learning to dive, or taking a dive course.

PADI Certifications: Open Water, Advanced Open Water, EFR, Rescue, Divemaster.

Divemaster Internship: Available for a min. 3 month stay.

The Base

Accommodation: Volunteers stay at Frontier’s simple beach camp made up of communal bandas, huts made from makuti (woven palm leaves), poles and mud. Shower with a jug or a bucket of water. Occasionally, volunteers travel to a remote survey site and stay in a ‘satellite camp’, usually a mosquito net pitched on a beach.

Sleeping: Shared rooms. beds constructed from wooden poles.

Food: 3 healthy meals a day, cooked over a charcoal stove. Volunteers share the cooking duties on a rotational basis.

Support: 24-hour in-country support; International HQ emergency support and back-up; UK residential briefing weekend available.

Transport: Airport pick up and first night hostel accommodation in Dar es Salaam can be arranged for an extra fee.

The next step

Visit Frontier for more information and to book. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.


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