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:

  • 1 week from GBP 595
  • 2 weeks from GBP 750
  • 6 weeks from GBP 1,315
  • 20 weeks from GBP 2,965

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.
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