This project was started 1993 by a community based NGO to help to protect the sea turtles that prior this time were hunted by local fishermen and regularly eaten by locals. It seems that some are still eager to hunt and eat turtle meat and eggs thus constant efforts in conservation and awareness are needed. This project is setting an example how conservation can become a livelihood project and help the local community to increase their income.
Project hosts Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbills (Eretmochelys imbricata) in natural sea water pool and tiled swimming pools. Turtles are brought in by
local fishermen who have accidentally caught them in their fishing nets. Turtles in this natural aquarium are one main tourist attraction in the area and many tourists visit the project during the day. Project collects an admission fees that are the main source of finances of the project. Tourists are given a tour of the aquarium and information about sea turtles and conservation efforts.
In the aquarium also few other animals are hosted for educational purposes; land tortoises, monitor lizard and a small crocodiles. It also hosts few abandoned cats and kittens.
The beach in Nungwi used to be a turtle nesting beach, but tourism development has made the beach so busy, that very rarely turtles are seen to come ashore here anymore. Turtles have moved to nest on more quiet beaches of Tumbatu and Mnemba Islands. During the nesting season, project staff is sometimes called to check the turtle tracks and nests on these beaches.
The main aim of the project is to protect the sea turtles and raise awareness on sea turtle conservation to local people and tourists.
Project has started to collect basic data for research, but it is not primary activity of the project.
Project accepts volunteers year round. Minimum age is 18 years old. Younger volunteers may participate with a parent. Please inform us about any possible health restrictions or dietary requirements in advance.
Typical day in the project starts 7:30 am with cleaning activities. Team sweeps the aquarium area and cleans turtle pools, tanks and juvenile turtles. After the cleaning activities volunteers can have their breakfast prepared for them.
If the tide is low in the morning and there is need for more food for the turtles, the team will go out and collect sea weed for the turtles.
During the day volunteers and staff are mainly doing tours for the tourists. Time can also be used for studying turtle knowledge andmarine conservation africa
discussing with the team. Lunch is served about 1pm. Later in the afternoon, volunteers will help to feed the juvenile turtles. There may be additional activities depending on the project situation and season.
Team will organize a beach cleaning about once a week and may also visit the nesting beaches of Tumbatu.
Evening meal is at 7pm. You are expected to work 5 days a week and you can have 2 days off.
Volunteers can also help to support the community by teaching English at the local kindergarten, organize adult language lessons and themselves learn Swahili or local crafts. Nungwi is known for its well -crafted wooden boats, dhows, and we can arrange a course in dhow- building for extra cost.
Project accommodation is in 1-2 people rooms. All rooms have bathroom with cold water showers. Mosquito nets and bed linen are provided. There is electricity available for most of the day, but sometimes there are scheduled power cuts. These can happen also during the evening, so do carry your flashlight with you during the evenings.
This project offers 3 meals a day and due this the project cost is different from our other projects. Please confirm the project fee from our pricelist.
Life in the project
marine conservation zanzibarLife here is very relaxed and sometimes even slow paced. Team is happy to chat with you about everything and share their knowledge about local life. They are friendly people who will not necessarily demand you to do your tasks, but you are expected to do your part anyway. It is good to tell the team when you plan to have your days off, if you will not join dinner or if you need to go somewhere during the afternoon.
For safety reasons you should always tell the team where you are going and when to expect you back. During nights it is not safe to walk around by yourself, so do ask someone from the team to accompany you. They are happy to do so.
People in Nungwi as all in Zanzibar are mainly Muslim. Please respect this and wear conservative clothing while in the project and walking through the village. During
Ramadan it is fairly quiet everywhere, please respect the locals and don't eat or drink while walking through the village during day time. Restaurants and bars on the beach will continue serving food and drinks also during the day.
Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean. The northern tip of Zanzibar is at 5.72 degrees south and 39.30 degrees east, with the southernmost point at 6.48
degrees south and 39.51 degrees east.
The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel, which at its narrowest point is 36.5 km across.
The island is about 85 km long and 39 km wide, with an area of 1,464 km2 (565 sq mi). It is mainly low lying, with its highest point being 120 meters.
The project is located in Nungwi, the northern tip of Zanzibar. Project is right on the beach in a fairly touristy area with many hotels and beach bars. The village of Nungwi is a bit
inland from the beach, but only few minutes walk away from the project location.
The heat of summer (Dec-Mar) is seasonally often cooled by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm all year round. Winter time (Jun-Aug) is typically a bit cooler period, but still the average temperature is +25
marine conservation afrticadegrees Celsius. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.
Short rains can occur in November but are usually short showers which do not last long. The long rains normally occur in April and May although it typically doesn't rain every day during that time. Long rains coincide with turtle nesting period and this is the time when aquarium may receive turtle hatchlings from fishermen.
You have few options on how to reach the project. We offer a transportation package to ensure your safe travel to the project site. Especially ferry accidents are quite frequent and it is important to choose the ferry company wisely.
If you arrive early morning to Zanzibar, you can go to the project same day with the shared transportation (8am or 1pm) included in the package price. If you arrive later in the day, you can choose to go to the project the same day with taxi and additional cost, or stay one night in our volunteer accommodation and go to the project next day.
Your return is also included in the packaged price in a shared car (9 am) or you can choose to take a taxi with additional cost. Then again you have same options for travel packages to the airport or to Dar es Salaam. These travel packages are separate cost from the project fee. Please let us know your flight details and which travel package you would prefer.
Safety and health
You should consult your doctor about required vaccinations and anti-malaria drugs. Mosquitoes are not so bad problem in Nungwi, where there is quite a bit of breeze, but malaria is still present in Zanzibar as well.
Yellow fever vaccination is a card of proof is needed when arriving to Zanzibar and anti-malaria medications are recommended. At the project location, there are no reliable doctor services and in case of medical need, you should contact the Stone Town team and arrange a visit to a doctor or hospital there.
Although Tanzania and Zanzibar are relatively safe areas in Africa, volunteers should be aware of few common safety issues. It is not safe to walk around by yourself during night time. Robberies are quite common and you should avoid carrying large amounts of money with you. It is also good to ensure that you keep your handbag closed and be aware of possibilities of someone crabbing your bag from drive-by moped or car.
It is better to reserve enough cash rather than pay with the credit card. Especially in Nungwi there are not many places that accept credit cards. If you take money out of ATM or go exchange money, please have someone to go with you.
marine conservation tanzaniaBoth in Stone Town and in Nungwi there are so called beach boys that are often petty criminals, so it is advised to decline their offers to guide you. Only registered tour guides are allowed to guide tourists in Zanzibar. If you walk in the Stone Town with a local man, you can be stopped by tourist police and questioned about your relationship with the person. If they decide that the
local man is acting as your guide, you may have to pay a fine. Registered tour guides will have a permission badge.
You should also be aware that HIV/Aids rates are fairly high in Tanzania.
During the past year there have been some demonstrations and violent political outbreaks in Zanzibar. It is best to avoid gathering crowds and listen to the advice of the local team.
What to bring with you
• Comfortable summer clothing (shorts, T-shirts, bathing suit), for women shorts and skirts that come below the knees and shirts that cover the shoulders.
• Cotton sweater (long sleeve)
• Long pants (trousers)
• Flip flops
• Day bag or small back bag
• Sun cream
• Insect repellent
• Sun hat or cap
• Alarm clock/mobile phone
• Flask/ water bottle of high quality plastic or metal
• Personal toiletry items
• Basic medicine and personal belongings
• Cash money for personal shopping and drinks. US dollars are needed for the travel packages and trips, while in Nungwi you need Tanzanian shillings. Zanzibar is a bit more expensive than mainland; 1000TSH for soft drink, 2000-6000TSH for juice and shakes, 3000-4500TSH for a beer, meals 8000-15000TSH, 20-50USD per trip. Local organization is happy to tell you more about the trips in Zanzibar.