Volunteer for Medical Care in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar, Tanzania Health & Medicine



With Tanzania’s healthcare system facing many challenges and often proving too expensive for countless natives, many people are being deprived of a normal livelihood. Through this medical project, you will be able to help residents in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar who are desperately in need of valid healthcare. As a volunteer, you will offer an additional pair of hands to local medical staff, with your level of hands-on involvement dependent on your expertise.

One thing with this project is that if you’re lucky, you won’t be short of things to do and it is not for the faint of heart. Past volunteers have changed dressings, assisted with surgery and even delivered babies, so be ready to experience a few life-altering moments. Though you will be supervised, you will get your fair bit of independence and flexibility to ensure your transitions is as seamless as possible in new environs.

Considering Zanzibar’s diversity, as well as the type of tasks you will be asked to contribute your time and effort to, open-mindedness and a desire to take the initiative is key. You will learn about how healthcare in Tanzania works while assisting in two hospitals and partaking in various facets, being a doctor, nurse, midwife or physiotherapist.

You will have a firsthand look at Africa and understand why their struggles with healthcare are so widely publicized. Be a part of this great initiative and ensure Mama Africa’s offspring are treated with adequate care and love.


In a country that is 95% Muslim and filled with vast cultural differences, your ability to adjust and make friends will be key to helping you get through this project. Zanzibar, while offering tropical beauty for you to feast your eyes on, is filled with problems in healthcare that are ugly in contrast. You are essential to every medical process receiving a boost, so residents’ lives are restored, and new lives can be welcomed to world seamlessly. You will be more prepared for your future in medicine and life. Get started now!

Field conditions

Your project lasts at least one week and can start or finish your project at any given time. Depending on weather and seasonal changes, you will work Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time with weekends off at leisure.

Depending on your level of experience and comfort, you can assist in a variety of areas. These include the maternity ward, general wards, eye clinic, dental department, gynecology, and theatre for surgeries, physiotherapy, the First Aid department, laboratory, research labs, X-ray rooms and more.

In your first few days in Zanzibar, you will be exposed to various facets of the hospital and figure out what you’re best at if you haven’t already. So be sure to ask all necessary questions to make sure you are doing something you feel wholly comfortable with, under supervision of course.

Arrival and orientation

You will arrive in Zanzibar either by flying in from various international airports, including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya and Kilimanjaro International Airport. As a more riveting means of travel, you could travel to Zanzibar by ferry, getting a 40-minute ride to the island where you get to see Tanzanian beauty all around. At either the airport or ferry terminus, a Khaya coordinator will welcome you, show you around and take you to your accommodations while educating you on the area.

From there, you will be given an outline of rules and regulations to follow while getting to know the local staff. Furthermore, you will be given two hours worth of Swahili lessons, so you can mingle with locals who aren’t too comfortable speaking English. Plus, you will be shown how to use one of the local taxis, known as dala dalas, and get a free tour of Stone Town during that first week. You will get to take in some great sights and sounds of Zanzibar while soaking in the atmosphere and sun – there’s plenty sun here – along the way. Sounds refreshing, doesn’t it?

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

Your accommodations are in Kiungani, near Stone Town; all within range of the airport. You will be staying with your coordinator and other volunteers in a house that can accommodate up to eight volunteers. It includes a dining room area, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms. Chances are you will be sharing a room with one or multiple volunteers, so put on your friendliest face and be the best roommate you can be. This house also has a garden to add further ambiance as well as a gate and secure wall to ensure you are safe whenever you’re there.

You will realize very quickly that you won’t be enjoying the same luxuries you enjoy at home as power cuts are frequent while showers don’t have hot water. But, when you consider the hot weather you will be greeted with daily, showering with cold water will feel normal as time goes on. Mosquito nets are also provided to keep out those pesky insects from biting while bed sheets are also on offer, though you are advised to carry your own towels.

Three meals per day will be provided, including local ingredients and a variety of food options, including chicken, seafood, chipsi mayai (a French fries omelette) and pancakes. Plus, if you’re vegan, some vegetarian options are available for your consumption. For breakfast, you can have tea or coffee to go with toast topped with jam or peanut butter (or both for you PB&J lovers). Fruit is also provided for your first meal of the day. Meanwhile, lunch and dinner will be cooked so you can have a hot meal as you get home from a day’s work.

As an alternative, there are food stalls on the main road providing fresh juice and Mandazi, a type of local doughnut. Furthermore, a pair of bars can be found within 20 minutes of your accommodations providing you with high-speed internet and a supermarket as well.


Volunteers will be staying in a volunteer house.


from $410 USDper week

from $410 USDper week


What’s included

  • First day introduction at your project

  • Guidance and supervision during your stay

  • All meals included

  • Accommodations: shared rooms

  • Personal collection upon arrival from the airport or harbour of stone town

What’s not included

  • Any tours and outings you like to take

  • Compulsory donation of 100 usd per week of volunteering

  • Volunteering permit of 200 usd (after arrival)

  • Visa of 50 usd (upon arrival)

  • Transport on the island with local taxis, bicycle or private transport

  • Own drinks, mineral water and luxury items

  • Insurance

  • Airfare

Start dates

Volunteers have the option to start or finish their project at any given time. The minimum duration of the project is 1 week.

Established in 2005, Khaya Volunteer Projects offers unique and affordable volunteer and gap year projects in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zanzibar. Khaya projects run the gamut of volunteer interests with project areas including Children; Communities; Sports Development; Healthcare; Wildlife and Conservation; and Education projects. A common thread running through all Khaya projects is a commitment to ethical volunteering. They work to ensure that your volunteering efforts and your financial contributions are used in the best way possible. In alignment with that goal, Khaya, with its base and several offices in Africa, can and does assist its local partners and projects in Southern and Eastern Africa with keeping the focus on responsible and ethical volunteering.

Their mission is simple but resonant:

“...we provide volunteering opportunities for international travellers that are both unique and as affordable as possible with high standards of service and facilities. Needless to say, we also prioritise our selected volunteer projects’ needs in ways that benefit both project and you, the volunteer.”

Honest pricing, crystal clear information, timely communication, and great service are all hallmarks of how they run a successful organization. True to the meaning of “Khaya” in several African languages, Khaya Volunteers makes sure its volunteers feel secure, well informed, and that they belong to the project to which they commit. Khaya believes that if you join on of their volunteering projects, you’ll have an African experience you’ll never forget.

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