Tanzania

Frontier

I have just finished months with Frontier. Volunteering on their Tanzania Marine project. This was the first volunteering work i have taken part in and it was an amazing experience. Mafia Island, where the project is based is a beautiful area and the local people are extremely friendly and welcoming. It did not take long for me to feel at home. This was strongly due to the fact the staff at Frontier are very easy to talk and willing to help. I have met some really great people and will definitely be keeping in contact. Immersing yourself in the local culture and learning the language(at least to some extent) is very rewarding. I have learnt a lot in my two months and progressed personally, building confidence as well as learning new skills. The scuba diving here is stunning. The diversity in marine life is huge and being able to ID fish as you dive is extremely satisfying. A personal favourite experience was seeing a giant moray eel that was so monstrously huge i forgot to breath for a while. Other great experiences were watching the hatching of green turtles as well as witnessing a female turtle climb the beach at ngiht to lay her eggs.
The basic conditions on camp, while tough at times, didn't make my time on Mafia any less enjoyable and i will take a lot away from my time there.
I would recommend Frontier to anybody thinking of volunteering with them. Especially if its for the marine project!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jun 2, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

This journey started a year ago when I decided that I wanted to go to Africa and Volunteer. There was hours of research and planing done to make sure that I choose the program that fit me perfectly- and I did- ABV was just right from me. From the moment I signed up they made me feel at ease and even when I was abroad, they checked in on my occasionally, I couldn't have asked for a better program. They set me up at a great orphanage where I felt I could make an impact & a difference. My experience was both emotionally & physically challenging and each day I endured a new and different challenge. Would I change any of it? Not in a heart beat. Being there for those children and being able to enrich their lives for the 7 weeks I was with them was by far the most rewarding things I've done. Nothing can ever beat the sound of the children who speak little to no English chanting your name as you make the long trek up a hill to the orphanage and them meeting you with smiles once you reach the front door. The kids were amazing each in there own individual way and i will never be able to forget the the positive impact they had on me. I can not thank ABV enough for setting me up at such a great facility with such great welcoming staff and amazing children.
When I was in Arusha I heard the stories of other volunteers everything from how their host family treated them, what they ate, their living conditions, and the fees their programs charged them- by far what ABV set me up was the best out of all of them

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: May 17, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I just completed a two week volunteer abroad program via IFRE and had the pleasure of staying at Deo's in Moshi. A friend of mine and myself worked two weeks at a hospital in the area, and during that same time period we were able to join some other volunteers staying at Deo's house to go play with children at the local orphanage (which is about ~5 minute walk away). The experience has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had while volunteering abroad. From the beginning, Deo and the people he has helping him out at the house make you feel like you are right at home. The bedding is comfortable, the bathrooms are clean (with hot water), and anything you need they will make the effort to produce. Currently there are two individuals who help Deo out at the house, and they take the time to help cook up 3 meals a day, and clean up your rooms regularly. In the short period of time that we have been here, they have already become like family to us. It's convenient to walk into town, there are a few local corner-mart like places right next door, and a great little bar about two blocks over. Additionally it's on a main road that you can catch the public transportation at to be in town in about 5 minutes. Deo himself will stop by fairly regularly, and he has friends throughout town that can drive you wherever you need to be. He himself is a very sociable individual who is always happy to help you out. Kilimanjaro is literally visible from the yard, and if you have a few days in the area there are innumerable opportunities to partake in various activities. Don't hesitate to work in Moshi while staying at Deo's place. It will be an experience that will stick with you indefinitely.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Apr 13, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

It was over five weeks ago now that I arrived on Mafia Island to start the volunteering programme in Marine conservation, and I have had the time of my life. It feels like I’ve only been here days but at the same time I have enough memories to fill a lifetime.

The work is hard but satisfying and everything is an adventure, whether it’s teaching English to the primary school kids on Chole Island which lays the basis for them to go to secondary school and study further, or diving and surveying on the gorgeous coral reefs to collect data which will help to preserve and protect them. And that work is in an incredibly diverse environment which is like nowhere else in the world. I’ve seen dolphins, turtles, and huge reef rays – and a shark! I’ve been caught in a tropical thunderstorm out on the boat, and fallen asleep to the sounds of bush babies in the trees

The locals are friendly and accepting, this is the first time abroad I’ve felt completely free of the tourist bubble and integrated into the community. And if the volunteer lifestyle of living it rough and attempting to break through the language barrier ever gets too much, there’s a picture perfect beach lined with luxurious tourist lodges a couple of minutes walk from camp.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Mar 26, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I have taken part on the Frontier Marine Conservation project for 4 weeks. I am a divemaster and taken part in over 300 dives before coming on this project. I chose this as I felt I could use my prior diving experience to contribute to the conservation and learn more about the reefs that I love to dive and photograph.

My first impressions of the camp were although it is very very basic it does the job and is ok as everyone is very friendly and help each other out to make it run. Catie, the marine PI, gave me a tour of the camp and the surrounding area and village so I could get my bearings and immediately made me feel welcome and part of the team. Throughout my time on the project although she was always very busy with her work and admin of running of the project she was always very helpful, friendly and always interested in the photos i took and eager to ID any species that weren't immediately recognisable.

I was very excited about taking part on the marine project and learning more about the reefs and species that live on them. I can now identify many fish, inverts and coral species that although I recognize from my time diving I could never name. As well as the marine surveys I have also taken part in a beach cleanup of a turtle nesting beach and some mangrove and sea grass surveys.

The local area is very beautiful, the camp is well positioned close to the beach and the village. In the village everyone is very friendly and I have learned some basic Swahili during my time here so can say hello, ask how people are, and ask for items in the shops.

My favorite part of my time on Mafia has unsurprisingly been the diving. Its been made even better with my new understanding of the species and its very rewarding to be involved collecting valuable and useful data for the Marine Park. I will miss taking part in these surveys and not getting to dive everyday once I leave and wish I could have been here longer.

Program:
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Mar 25, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

Hi Catherine. Thanks for the review, and we're glad you had a great time!

Frontier

I spent ten weeks in Tanzania, on the island of Mafia just off the coast south of Zanzibar. Training to dive on Mafia was really thorough and well planned. The Dive Officer taught us over three weeks, covering both the open water and advanced PADI courses, and in this time I felt that everything I needed to start surveying was covered. The opportunity to survey and help in the collection of data for a scientific report was amazing and I had the chance to dive almost every day, in one of the best places to dive in the world. The dive sites on Mafia are amazingly varied and no two dives were quite the same, even when the visibility wasn’t great we would often see something huge (like Moray eels or huge Parrotfish) or something tiny and colourful (like a Nudibranch).
When not diving there were still many things to do and if you came up with ideas, the staff were more than happy to facilitate you in achieving this. The staff were knowledgeable and helpful and could answer almost any question on their speciality, or could point you in the right direction for finding out the answer for yourself.
The camp is located almost inside the village of Utende, just outside near the main road. This meant that we could easily explore the area and meet locals. The locals there were extremely helpful and, even through a language barrier, could understand and help you get what you needed.
Camp life was simple and easy going. I especially liked the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that time was allowed for extra activities, for example I asked if one of the Assistant Research Officers could teach me some statistics to help with University next year, and the next day it was timetabled in and we had an allotted time. The food was excellent and always satisfied even after a day of diving and carrying tanks to and from the boat. Even on a Sunday, when we cooked our on food, it was great to get involved and experiment with the ingredients we could get cheaply locally.
Overall my stay on Mafia was intensely enjoyable and I would recommend the project to anyone interested in diving and marine conservation. Just make sure you bring a good underwater camera if you are there for a while, the wildlife there is spectacular!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Mar 13, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

This past summer I spent two weeks in Tanzania with Global Leadership Adventures. I would highly recommend it to any high-school student in search of a life-changing summer.

As an inexperienced high-school student, Global Leadership Adventures helped me prepare for my upcoming adventure. From booking flights, to visas, to doctor forms they helped every step of the way, which was extremely helpful for my worried parents.
The whole experience was amazing.The in country staff were warm and friendly, and made me feel right at home from the minute our bus pulled in. I traveled with 30 other highschool students, most form the United States, one other from Canada like me, and two from England.
Our living arrangements were basic, but you don't really need much more then a bed and home cooked meals when your out volunteering and doing activities for most of the day.
The mornings we spent volunteering at the Himo-Korona Primary school. In groups of three or four we taught english to the students for a hour, played with them at recess, then planted fruit trees around the school. Despite their lack of resources all the students were smiling and grateful for the education that they had, which was eye-opening for me to see. It shows how much we take advantage of our education system here.
The second half of our day we would spend doing activities. These activities involved wandering the streets with a host family, dancing with a local dance crew, making batik art, hiking to a waterfall, or doing leadership activities in home base. On the weekend we visited the Ngorongoro Crater, which was absolutely spectacular for wildlife viewing. Anyone going to Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is a must because it is so densely packed with all kids of wildlife, and home to the big five.

Overall my experience with Global Leadership Adventures was one I won't soon forget. Like I said before, I would recommend this program to any high school student searching to broaden their mind, and create change in communities around the world, as well as in themself.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Mar 8, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Frontier

I spent two weeks on this project on Mafia Island. The staff were friendly and it was easy to settle in to camp life. The project is very basic, camp life is a no frills experience, but there are amenities in the village to buy to make life more comfortable if you wish to spend the money. The project itself is good- there is a nice balance between volunteering and rest time, and the project is worth while.
I have really enjoyed learning about different types of fish and the impact of different environmental changes. A particular highlight was the oil spill training.
It was a fun two weeks, but really the project needs you to be there for longer to make a significant impact on the environment and their research.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Mar 3, 2014
Overall:
7
Support:
7
Value:
7

Frontier

The Tanzania camp is based inside the Mafia Island Marine Park and Frontier works with the Mafia Island Marine Park staff to help conserve the biodiversity of the area. The camp is just a short walk from the beach and the local beach is very beautiful. Camp life is basic but the atmosphere is great and mastering the art of cooking bread on an open fire is a great achievement. The diving on the reefs in the Marine Park is amazing with great fish diversity and the fish are very big! I love seeing the nudibranchs (sea slugs) too of which there is a great diversity here. The Environmental Awareness days that invite the local children to camp to learn about local wildlife and how to protect it are great fun. The locals are very welcoming and Tanzanian culture is very interesting. We were recently invited to the retirement party of the Warden in Charge and had great food, lots of speeches in Swahili and got involved dancing around the room to celebrate the work of George Msumi. Snorkeling in the seagrass just off the shore is one of my favorite things to do and we often see stingrays and seahorses here. I recommend this project to anyone who wants to come out and enjoy fabulous diving whilst helping to conserve the environment.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Feb 24, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Service Corps

I spent four months volunteering with Global Service Corps in Tanzania during the fall of 2013. I participated in their Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security program during which time we traveled to numerous villages to lead organic agriculture community trainings. Each week presented amazing, unique experiences. The villages I traveled to and worked in were all villages that GSC had outstanding and lasting relationships with.

It was beyond rewarding to work with the GSC staff and villagers on innovative, yet simple projects that had huge impacts on lives of those we worked with. We built water efficient and nutrient rich organic gardens called keyhole gardens, grain storage containers and rainwater harvesting systems at the homes of voluntary participants. The work was hands on, challenging, and empowering. I learned so much about small scale organic agriculture practices and community development through education. The aim of the projects was not only to build something that served purpose in increasing their access to healthy food but also to educate individuals so they are able to build and care for these innovations on their own.

GSC embraces full immersion. Volunteers live with a Tanzanian family and develop close friendships with staff members and training participants. I walked away with phenomenal insight into Tanzanian culture and lifestyle. I even learned a good bit of Kiswahili! It was amazing to travel to villages so remote and work with community members in such mutually inspiring and positive ways.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Feb 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

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