Volunteer to protect coral reefs around Mafia Island, Tanzania.


Tanzania Marine Conservation and Diving

: Frontier

Where: Utende, Mafia Island, Tanzania

Focus: Coral reef surveying

When: All year round | Project starts 1st and 3rd Monday of every month (alternative dates available at 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.

NGO Internships: Available for min. 2 month stay

Cost: The cost gets cheaper the longer you stay:

1 week from GBP 885

2 weeks from GBP 1,095

6 weeks from GBP 1,945

20 weeks from GBP 3,895

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Help to preserve Tanzania’s marine and coastal biodiversity.
  • Gather vital information to enable the sustainable management of natural resources in the region and the protection of the marine wildlife.
  • Learn to survey the health of coral reefs by recording coral and algal cover, coral bleaching, fish populations, invertebrates and other intertidal creatures.
  • Record observations on the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a wide range of marine life.
  • Explore and survey mangrove forests and seagrass areas.
  • Conduct surveys on the migrating whale shark population (November to January).
  • Be lucky and spot migrating humpbacks.
  • Conduct awareness raising activities with tourists visiting Mafia Island.
  • Study the impact of destructive fishing methods, the expanding curio trade and over harvesting of marine life.
  • Work alongside locals and gain an insight into the Swahili culture.

Scuba Diving

Dive Training
: All volunteers must be at least PADI Advanced Open Water (or equivalent) to take part in the surveys. Full training is provided in-country for an additional fee.

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

Divemaster Internship: Available for an extra GDP 600. for a min. 3 month stay.

Equipment: All dive equipment included.

Fun dives: Recreational dives and speciality dives available at extra cost.

The Base

: 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 dive site and stay in a ‘satellite camp’, usually a mosquito net pitched on a beach.

Sleeping: Beds constructed from wooden poles.

Food: 3 meals a day from Monday to Friday and 2 meals on a Sunday, all cooked over a charcoal stove. Volunteers share the cooking duties on a rotational basis.

Support: 24-hour in-country volunteer 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 at extra fee.


The next step: Visit Frontier for more information and to book.
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