Tanzania Dive, Teach & Wildlife Adventure

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1. In Brief

Enjoy a whirlwind adventure taking in the best of this seductive East African destination, that with its vast, dynamic animal populations and complex cultural expressions combines ancient and modern Africa in a spectacular fusion. 

Check out our Camp Tour video! 

Experience an idyllic setting living on the Frontier conservation camp by the beach, located in the Mafia Island Marine Park just south of Zanzibar. Here you will find a picturesque idyll, with communal bandas surrounded by coconut palms and moments from a stunning beach overlooking the pristine tropical reef.

You will have the chance to scuba dive in crystalline waters, and dive with your fellow volunteers in the heavenly waters of the Indian Ocean that fringes the coastline, spotting a dazzling array of spectacular and fascinating creatures including minute tropical reef fish, turtles and rays which glide silently through the sunlit waters.

As well as all this, help teachers in a small school in a local village on glorious Mafia Island. Here you will absorb the real Tanzania as you become a part of local life. This fulfilling phase of the project will see you become truly involved with the lives of those who live in small Tanzanian villages; you will find the people to be cheerful and welcoming despite the deprivation that blights their day to day lives. If you are joining during the school holidays you can help with community outreach education, giving language coaching to local community members or assisting in one to one coaching.

Complete this unforgettable experience by appreciating the majesty of raw nature as you learn to survey native wildlife such as birds, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, insects and bats. You may even be lucky enough to spot a bushbaby or a blue monkey.  As you develop an eclectic range of surveying & monitoring techniques and how to work with local communities you will be helping to conserve the remaining habitat and the animals it supports and also to ensure that local communities are closely involved in conservation activities.




  • Help to monitor & conserve rare African wildlife
  • Scuba dive
  • Make lifelong friends as you help with teaching in the community


Location Tanzania
Activities Helping to teach excited and lively local kids and community members
Assemble innovative & effective lesson plans
Explore the local forests and learn to survey small mammals, vegetation and amphibeans
PADI Scuba Diving training from the idyllic beach camp (extra cost applies)
Explore the mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Swim and snorkel on the reefs of Mafia Island to study the various marine life living on coral reefs
Transport Airport pick-up on Mafia Island & transfer to camp 
Short flight to Mafia Island (extra cost applies about £100/$160)
Accommodation Communal camp near to the beach with the possibility of a forest satellite camp


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)
In-country Airport pick up from Mafia Island airport
Transfer to camp on Mafia Island
Project orientation and training
Camp site accommodation
3 meals per day provided on project sites, 6 days per week. 2 meals provided on Sunday
Project equipment & camp diving equipment
24-hour international HQ back-up 
In-country emergency support
Dive training courses available PADI Open Water $760, PADI Advanced Open Water $627
FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, BCDs, Regs and weights
Discounted advanced dive courses: PADI Emergency First Response ($190), PADI Rescue Diver ($570), & PADI Divemaster qualifications ($1,140)


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

2. The project


Sample Itinerary

This is a specimen itinerary for a 3 week project and the order and duration of the project components is subject to change. The 6, 9 and 12 week project option will mean more time on each project component.

The 2 week project option allows you to take part in your choice of 2 projects from those listed above, each for 1 week.

Day 1-2: Arrival & Orientation

Arrive in the bustling port city of Dar es Salaam, where you will be met by a local private driver (extra cost applies $76/$60). Spend a day getting oriented, try out some basic Swahili, and explore the city's museums, markets, and nightspots!

Travel by internal flight down to Mafia Island  (about 40 minutes from Dar es Salaam). Enjoy this breathtaking flight soaring above the stunning sight of the tropical atolls that thrive in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. Once you have arrived, you will be met at Mafia's small airport and escorted to the Frontier marine conservation camp. 

Week 1: Diving at Marine Camp (TZM)

You will have the chance to complete PADI dive qualifications (extra cost applies) at one of the world's most spectacular dive sites in Tanzania's first marine park. As you explore the emerald depths of the crystal waters here, you will see a host of marine wildlife, including amazing coral reefs, colourful reef fish, endangered turtles, rays, dolphins and possibly even the enigmatic whale sharks!  Read our past volunteers' accounts of their whale shark encounters in our volunteer diaries!

Week 2: Help teach in a local school  (TZT)

Remaining on the marine camp, you will be introduced to your teaching project where you begin your programme helping the teachers in the under resourced local school. You will help teach English and organise a range of activities for the students, under the guidance of the staff there. The teaching is based on Mafia Island – the most beautiful of Tanzania's Spice Islands, where tranquil white-sand beaches, friendly villages, and world class scuba diving sites combine to make this a true tropical paradise. If you are joining during the school holidays you will be offered the alternative program of teaching in the community.

Week 3: Wildlife Conservation (TZF)

The final stage of your project, assisting on the programme of wildlife research that is taking place, and exploring the natural beauty and plethora of biodiversity that inhabits the area. As part of your training on this valuable and exciting project you will have the opportunity to encounter a number of interesting amphibians, birds and small mammals. You might also be interviewing local villagers or teaching at local education days about the conservation value of the species found on Mafia Island.

Day 20-21: Travel

Return to Dar es Salaam for any last minute souvenir shopping and sightseeing before you fly home.

3. What to expect


We can arrange an airport pick up for you at Dar es Salaam Airport and a local private driver will escort you to a local hostel where you can spend your first night relaxing and recovering from your journey, these costs are extra and you can pay $76/$60 directly.

The following day you will return to the airport in time for your internal flight on the eight seater light aircraft to Mafia Island, please ensure you book your flight well in advance. Once on Mafia Island you will be met by Frontier staff, at the airport on Mafia and transferred by vehicle to the marine conservation project camp site at Utende. We can provide you with detailed instructions on how to reach the Mafia Island camp if travelling independently.

It is possible to reach Mafia by ferry but sailing times can be very unpredictable, the journey might be rough and it can be tricky with no knowledge of Swahili. If you choose to travel by road and ferry you need to transfer to the port town of Nyamasati, 90 km south of Dar from where you can catch the ferry (approximately a 6-hour trip) to the town of Kilindoni on the western side of Mafia Island. Once on the island you will be met by the Frontier marine field staff, either at the small harbour town of Kilondoni or at the airport on Mafia and transferred by boat or vehicle to the project camp site.


Your accommodation on the project will be on communal camp on the edge of the village of Utende on the east coast of Mafia Island or possibly a forest satellite camp. You will be staying in communal bandas; huts made from makuti (woven palm leaves), poles and mud, sleeping on beds constructed from wooden poles, your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over an open charcoal stove: so prepare for the basic, unencumbered lifestyle!


Camp food is simple and nutritious and consists largely of rice, beans and vegetables, all of which are purchased locally in order to help support the local economy. Daily variations include pumpkin, cabbage, spinach, sweet potato and even the occasional pasta dish! Luxuries such as chocolate, biscuits, peanut butter and drinking chocolate can be bought in nearby Kilindoni so make sure you stock up before heading to camp! Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking, so get your cookbooks out now and start practising!

4. The reviews

TZD Update Week Four  | 5 May 2017
I have arrived at Mafia from Savannah camp after an amazing flight in a small twelve seater plane...

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My Tanzanian Adventure  | 10 Feb 2017
Tanzanian Adventure has been the best and hardest weeks of my life so far!! The first half of my ...

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Teaching on an Island Paradise  | 18 Jul 2016
The journey to Mafia camp was an interesting, breath taking and wacky experience! The plane w...

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  The last couple of weeks have been amazing; I’ve held a snake and a scorpion but...

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The Tanzania Dive, Teach & Wildlife project has not only been informative but also hilarious!...

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Week 3 on Tanzania Teaching and Diving  | 26 Apr 2011
The teachers and divers had to do some last minute improvisation at the Environmental Education d...

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5. Gallery

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6. Extras


The Frontier-Tanzania camp is fun and in your spare time you'll have opportunities to swim and snorkel, play football against the unbeatable local side or try out beach volleyball. Alternatively you may enjoy a traditional Saturday night themed camp party, play poker, chess or backgammon or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of sailing and snorkelling you may prefer to relax with a drink and sway in the camp hammock, or sit and chat to your new friends, under a sky lit up by millions of stars.

Tanzania offers a massive range of adventure and cultural activities for you to enjoy after your Frontier project. Visit game reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and forest reserves. Experience a traditional African safari and game drive, visit the exotic island of Zanzibar, climb Kilimanjaro, snorkel or learn to scuba dive by taking a PADI dive course. We encourage you to book these extra activities direct with local providers thereby making more of a contribution to the local economy. Frontier are also able to provide additional dive courses (extra cost applies) from the project site.

dive courses run monthly commencing on the first monday of the month

  • Single Day Dive $48
  • Double Dive $95
  • 4-dive package $190
  • 10-dive package $380


  • Discover Scuba Diving $76
  • Open Water Dive Course $760
  • Advanced Open Water $627
  • Medic First Aid $190
  • Rescue Diver $570
  • Dive Master $1,140

*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in dive courses

rental equipment (prices per day) subject to availability

  • Jacket/BCD $10
  • Regs $10
  • Wetsuit $10
  • Mask/Snorkel $6
  • Fins $6

Modern conveniences

Mafia Island

  • Boat rental
  • Fishing
  • Hostels / hotels
  • Internet available at local bars
  • Post office
  • Souvenir shops
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants

Kilindoni - 20-30 minute Tuk Tuk ride away at own cost

  • Grocery Stores
  • Medical clinic
  • Phone shops
  • Traditional markets

Dar es Salaam - 45 minute flight at own cost

  • 24 hour supermarkets
  • Banks / ATMs; National Microfinance Bank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, National Bank of Commerce, Stanbic
  • Bars / clubs
  • Bureau de Change
  • Cinema
  • Dentist/li>
  • Department store
  • Hairdresser
  • Hospital
  • Hostels / hotels
  • International Embassies and Consulates
  • Internet cafes
  • Local style restaurants
  • Mobile phone shops
  • Pay phones
  • Pharmacy
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

7. Dates and Costs


1 week $1,545

2 weeks $1,845

3 weeks $2,095

6 weeks $3,145

9 weeks $3,745

12 weeks $4,495

Extra Diving Week $445

Extra non-diving week $345


First and third Monday of the month. 

Alternative dates available on request.

School Holidays 2017


3rd April 2017 - 15th April 2017

26th May 2017 - 25th June 2017 

During school holidays a modified program will run with one to one coaching, educational workshops and extracurricular activities.

Please be aware that these dates may be subject to change at short notice.

Please note there will also be a number of public holidays and unannounced holidays throughout the year.


2 weeks +

The 2 week project option allows you to take part in your choice of 2 projects from those listed above, each for 1 week.


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt
  • UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)


  • Airport pick up at Dar Es Salaam airport and first night hostel accommodation extra cost applies $53/$44
  • Airport pick up on Mafia Island and transfer to the Frontier camp
  • Project orientation
  • Camp accommodation
  • 2 or 3 meals a day on camp
  • Project equipment & camp diving equipment
  • 24-hour in-country & international HQ emergency support & back-up
  • Lodge style up grades available on Mafia Island
  • PADI Dive courses available at extra cost


Nearest airport(s): Dar es Salaam (DAR), Mafia Island (MFA)



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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