Turtle Conservation in Nungwi, Zanzibar

WHY we need you in Zanzibar

Turtles swimming

HOW can you help?

WHAT can you do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

Students during break time






  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required


Sea turtles, which have existed on our planet for millions of years, are facing extinction. The Sea Turtle Conservation Project aims to help sea turtles grow up in a safe environment and releases them into the ocean annually. However, the project is not profitable and requires support to continue. Participants can help by working alongside the 28 project staff and contributing financially through their stay.

The work begins with team collaboration every morning after breakfast. The tasks may vary, but the water in the basins must be exchanged daily, seaweed must be collected, and the sea turtles must be cleaned. Maintenance, measurements, and cleaning tasks are done on different days. Upon arrival, each participant will be introduced to the work and given a list of tasks during the welcome meeting. The project raises over 150 sea turtles per year, and there are around 30 larger turtles in the lagoon.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in various activities, including:

  • Exchanging water for basins and the Sea Turtle Hospital
  • Checking water quality
  • General cleaning
  • Collecting seaweed from the Indian Ocean
  • Filling tube feeders
  • Cleaning adult turtles
  • Treating hospital turtles
  • Cleaning the lagoon (removing leaves and plastic)
  • Measuring hatchlings
  • Measuring juveniles
  • Cleaning the beach
  • Inspecting nets
  • Maintaining juvenile nets

All participants will learn and perform all different tasks.


Nungwi is a picturesque village located on the northern tip of Zanzibar Island, off the coast of Tanzania. It is known for its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning coral reefs. The village is a popular tourist destination, offering a wide range of activities such as swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, and fishing.

Project Tasks

  • Survey the endangered turtles for initiative conservation efforts
  • Gain knowledge and awareness on the life cycle of sea turtles
  • Provide you with the opportunity to help return raised sea-turtles back into the ocean

Food & Accommodation

The accommodation site features a large cottage where rooms sleep 1-4 people on a single gender basis. There is no air con or hot water (although this won’t matter in the heat!). Additionally, there are other huts on the compound for work and toilets. The participants’ houses are located directly on the compound. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all included. No Wi-Fi, although local sim cards can easily be purchased nearby. You will can find a few small local stores that sell snacks, drinks and any basic supplies you might need during your stay. Nearby, there are ATM’s, banks, shops, a local pharmacy, etc. 

All meals will be provided at the guesthouse during your stay (3 on weekdays and 2 on weekends). Local meals that are typical of Zanzibari culture will be provided at the accommodation.



- Turtle Conservation

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $950
  • 2 Weeks - $1700
  • 3 Weeks $2550
  • 1 Month - $3400
  • 2 Months - $6800
  • 3 Months - $10,200
Vol house
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion


If you have a passion for wildlife and don’t mind getting stuck in and a bit of hard work then yes! This is a beautiful location to work in, and you will be outdoors and working alongside members of the local team and other volunteers from around the world. 

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day & 2 p/day at weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

At this location there is no mandatory orientation day offered.   

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees. If arriving on Saturday, there is a fee for the extra night.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ) on Saturday or Sunday between 6AM to 9PM.

If arriving outside of the pickup times, we charge an additional fee for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and an extra fee for a private transfer.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From the airport to the accommodation, it takes 15-30 minutes by car to Stone Town and around 1.5 hours to Nungwi.       

Week 1:

Sunday: Arrival & Transfer to Nungwi

Upon your arrival at Zanzibar Airport, our friendly team will be waiting to warmly welcome you. You’ll be transferred to our accommodation center in Stone town where you’ll meet your fellow participants. Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure as you receive a comprehensive briefing that sets the stage for the incredible experiences to come.

Monday: Orientation

Begin your day with a delightful breakfast, followed by an orientation session that sets the tone for your journey. Our team will introduce you to the program, offer vital information, and acquaint you with the Nungwi center.

You’ll receive guidance on the dos and don’ts, our code of conduct, and media consent guidelines, along with completing necessary documentation. Embrace the local culture with a basic history lesson & Swahili language lesson. After lunch, embark on a walking tour to familiarize yourself with nearby shops, ATMs, and other key locations.

After the orientation, you will transfer to Nugwi and check in to your accommodation. You will be staying at this accommodation for the duration of your program.

Tuesday to Friday: Conservation Efforts

From Tuesday to Friday, dive headfirst into meaningful conservation efforts. Work closely with our experienced local coordinators as you actively participate in a variety of tasks. Engage in the vital cleaning and maintenance of the turtle basins and hospital, ensuring a pristine environment for the turtles. Collect seaweed from the Indian Ocean, contributing to the ecological balance. Check water quality to guarantee the well-being of these magnificent creatures. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of sea turtles as you assist with hatching measurements, juvenile measurements, and nest inspections. Every action you take contributes to the preservation and protection of these majestic beings.

Saturday & Sunday: Free Time

Take a well-deserved break and explore the wonders of Zanzibar at your own pace. Wander along the sandy beaches, soak up the sun, or embark on a thrilling adventure to discover the natural beauty and cultural treasures of this remarkable island.

Week 2:

Monday to Friday: Conservation Efforts

In the second week, build upon the progress made in Week 1 and continue your conservation efforts. Dive deeper into the treatment of injured sea turtles, playing a crucial role in their recovery. Maintain the nests of the young turtles, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for their growth. Join hands in beach cleanups, contributing to the preservation of the pristine shoreline. As you participate in these activities, you’ll witness firsthand the impact of your dedication and the positive changes taking place.

Specific timings for each activity will be provided upon arrival, allowing for flexibility and adjustments to ensure a seamless and enriching program experience.

Please note that the schedule may vary to accommodate specific animal care needs, educational workshops, or other unforeseen circumstances. Our program is designed to offer a comprehensive and immersive experience, allowing you to actively participate in conservation efforts while gaining a deeper understanding of the critical role we play in safeguarding our wildlife. 

Here are some of the best things to do in Zanzibar…

Stone Town

Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its winding streets, historic buildings, and vibrant atmosphere. Visitors can explore the local markets, visit the old fort, and learn about Zanzibar’s fascinating history.

Relax on the beaches

Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with white sand, crystal clear water, and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Some of the best beaches include Nungwi, Kendwa, and Paje.

Go on a spice tour

Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island, and visitors can take a tour of the local spice farms to learn about the different spices grown on the island, including cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

Snorkel or dive in the coral reefs

Zanzibar’s coral reefs are home to a stunning array of marine life, including colourful fish, sea turtles, and dolphins. Visitors can go snorkelling or diving to explore these underwater wonders.

Visit the Jozani Forest

The Jozani Forest is a nature reserve known for its unique wildlife, including the rare red colobus monkey. Visitors can take a guided tour of the forest to learn about the local flora and fauna.

Go on a dhow cruise

Dhows are traditional sailing boats used for fishing and transportation in Zanzibar. Visitors can take a sunset cruise on a dhow to enjoy the beautiful scenery and watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Visit the Prison Island

Prison Island is a small island just off the coast of Zanzibar known for its giant tortoises and beautiful beaches. Visitors can take a boat tour to the island to see the tortoises up close and relax on the beach.

Explore the local markets

Zanzibar’s local markets are a colourful and lively place to explore, with vendors selling everything from spices and textiles to handmade crafts and souvenirs. Some of the best markets to visit include Darajani Market in Stone Town and Forodhani Night Market.

Visit the Old Slave Market

Zanzibar was once a major hub of the East African slave trade, and the Old Slave Market in Stone Town is a sombre reminder of this dark history. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the slave trade and its impact on Zanzibar.

Casual clothing: men and women should dress appropriately when away from the beach, i.e. always covering shoulders and legs below the knees. Beachwear (not too skimpy) on the beach is fine. 

For information on holidays and any programs affected, please see the following link: TZ – Holidays – Zanzibar  


Zanzibar is an archipelago located off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa. It consists of two main islands, Unguja and Pemba, as well as several smaller islands. It has a rich history and culture, shaped by centuries of trade and interaction with Arab, Indian, and European traders and settlers. The islands are known for their beautiful beaches, vibrant markets, and historic Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Zanzibar has a population of around 1.6 million people, with a diverse mix of ethnic and linguistic groups. Swahili is the official language, although English and Arabic are also widely spoken. Zanzibar has a predominantly Muslim population, with a rich tradition of Islamic scholarship and culture. The islands have also been home to a thriving arts and music scene, with influences from across Africa and the Middle East. Despite its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, Zanzibar faces a number of challenges, including poverty, environmental degradation, and limited access to basic services such as healthcare and education. 

Zanzibar has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: a wet season from March to May and a dry season from June to October. During the wet season, Zanzibar experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity, while the dry season is characterized by sunny and relatively cool weather. The average temperature in Zanzibar ranges from 25°C to 33°C throughout the year.

Zanzibar is located near the equator, which means that the islands receive strong sunlight year-round. The islands also experience occasional cyclones and tropical storms, particularly during the wet season. 

Zanzibar’s culture is a mix of African, Arab, and Indian influences, which is reflected in the local music, dance, architecture, and cuisine. The islands have a rich history of trade and commerce, with merchants from across the world visiting Zanzibar for its strategic location and abundant resources. As a result, Zanzibar has a diverse population of ethnic and linguistic groups, with Swahili as the official language. Islam is the predominant religion in Zanzibar, and the islands are home to many historic mosques and Islamic schools. 

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Weekends & Extra Tours

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