Tanzania

Frontier

Having worked on a number of different frontier projects and camps I can honestly say that the Mafia Island Marine project is easily my favourite. Right from the start when flying over from Dar Es Salaam to Mafia I was stunned by the incredible scenery. The camp itself is picturesque; comprising of lots of woven huts scattered among the palm trees. The location of camp is also ideal, directly 5 minutes either way of the beach and the local village where you can by fresh fruits, milk, freshly made fish, samosas or doughnuts or stop off at one of the local bars for some drinks or food.
As far as the diving goes its some of the best I’ve done in my life. The marine programme aims to train its volunteers up to recognise certain families and species of commercial fish, invertebrates and different coral morphologies with the aim to survey the reefs of mafia. We then compile data about the effects of commercial fishing. During my stay Frontier also hosted a number of “environmental days” where we spread awareness about our conservation efforts to the local villagers and their children. Even if there was no scientific work here, however, I would still have been enchanted by Mafia’s marine habitats. The coral topography of the reefs we dive and survey here is stunning. I have been utterly spoilt by some of the marine life I have seen here too.

When we are not diving or engaged in lectures you can chose what to do with your free time. There is plenty of opportunity to either head down to the beach, head out snorkelling, pop into the village or hang out with everyone back on camp. In the recent months on our days off we have organised loads of activities such as rice picking, learning how to tie-dye, renting motorbikes to ride around the island or going off on trip to snorkel with whalesharks or humpbacks. Mafia is the only place in the entire world where whalesharks actually school, and I was gutted when I learnt that my time out here didn’t coincide with the whale shark season. However, instead I was lucky enough to snorkel with about 7 humback whales, 4 of which were mothers and their calves. That has to be one of the most invcredible experiences of my life so far.

It’s an exceptional project. I would recommend it to anyone interested. I have has an incredible time.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 14, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I had an amazing time in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania where I went to do two weeks voluntary work in a very poor and run down orphanage. The children were wonderful, eager to learn but at the same time highly excitable. It was a really rewarding experience teaching the children English, sports and songs.

The volunteer house, run by Art in Tanzania, was very basic but adequate, the food supplied was also basic but certainly meets the needs. I would like to say that the Team Leaders there were all very supportive but one in particular stood out and who I believe goes above and beyond, and that is, Will Codsi. He was an amazing source of support not only on all the projects but personally as well. If you had any problems at all he was there to help you through and ensure you had a safe and satisfying experience. His knowledge of Tanzania is thorough and I really enjoyed the orientation trip with him. Thanks Will for being you!

I would recommend this experience to anyone, I am older than the usual volunteers who are predominantly University students on a gap year, but that did not matter, I have made so many new friends, including some Masai Tribe members and have some wonderful memories.

I would do it all again without a doubt!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 14, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
7

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

Very good program. People on place very friendly and very supportive. Country representative, Deogracias Peter goes way beyond to help volunteers. I am very happy that I used this program. I recommend it! Thank you!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Aug 12, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I celebrated my 16th birthday within a few days of arriving on Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania. I absolutely love scuba diving and decided to spend 5 months on the Island with Frontier. It was the first time I had left home for such a long time, but time went very quickly and all to soon I was touching down back at Heathrow.

When I first landed on Mafia, I was instantly hit by the primitiveness of camp, but in just a few days I felt right at home! You will surprise yourself with how easily you can adjust. Camp is based just outside the village of Utende, there are two bars where you can get cool drinks, and several food shops where you can get things like egg and chips, doughnuts and sweets. You will gradually pick up words of Swahili too!

The food on camp is basic but good, bread for breakfast (bring some nutella!), beans and rice for lunch, and either pumpkin, cabbage or spinach and rice for dinner. For celebrations we had goat or fish. I went deep sea fishing once and brought ‘home’ a huge fish that we cooked and all enjoyed.

In my time on Mafia, I learnt how to survey the marine life on the local reefs. The reefs are full of spectacular life, we saw several rare species whilst I was there. The list of species you see is endless but my highlights were being close enough to film a whaleshark, watching a school of hundreds of pike handle barracuda swim past, and seeing the turtles.

We did two dives most days, going out on our boat, which is moored just a short walk from camp. My favourite dives were the drift dives, where we allowed the current to take us really fast through the bay, swimming alongside the fish. The night dives were amazing too – squid, hunting octopus, and bioluminescence.

The other great thing about Mafia is the people you meet – the staff of Frontier – all amazing, your companions from all over the world – so funny and interesting and the locals – the tall Masai lads whom you share a laugh with in the evenings.

This was a life changing experience that I will never forget and in fact I am going back…. I am home educated and this experience topped up my fantastic life!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 31, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Original Volunteers

I was volunteering in Tanzania with OV last year. This is my first time to Africa and volunteering overseas and I decide to go with OV because of good reviews from the website and stories from my friends. Before arrival, OV emailed the information pack and contact details, which I found very useful and informative for volunteers. I arrived at Dar airport at a very early morning and there was a guy, waiting there to pick me up and send me to bus station for a bus to Iringa. I received the same warm service upon leaving Tanzania. Although there were not many projects available at that time due to school holiday and it was about end of the year, I spent most of my time at a street children protection center, Fisch. Other project running at that time includes conservation project, HIV clinic, teaching orphanage kids and school construction. Due to my background in computing, I mostly help in building the database for street kids for the organization to keep track of the children in the town. I also took sometime to teach Physics to a boy whom travelled miles away from his village to learn at Fisch. Perhaps my most memorable memories are cooking and eating locusts and going on a safari trip to Ruaha Natonal Park. The help of the volunteer coordinators and people at Fisch are incredible. They help me to organize the teaching materials for the kids, getting a mobile sim card and even walk with me around town several times as a translator. It was a rather short trip, about 2 weeks and I even cancel my initial plan to go to Zanzibar and I was in Iringa for my entire trip. Overall, I would recommend volunteering at Tanzania and for first timer abroad volunteer; OV is definitely the perfect organization to go with.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 29, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
9

Frontier

I spent a month in Tanzania on Mafia Island as part of the Marine Conservation team. Positives of the trip were the group of people I spent my time there with. Everyone was extremely friendly, welcoming and helpful around camp, and made it a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable experience. The diving and conservation itself was also very decent. That said, the negatives of the project did somewhat impact my time there - the lack of decent kit for diving meant that one of my weeks went without a single dive, and I was aware that many of those new to diving were struggling due to the lack of resources. The lack of support from the head office for the field projects seemed a common problem. For that reason it seemed a lot of money for something that was relatively poorly coordinated. Having said that, the staff in Tanzania in particular did all they could to rectify the problems and made up for the lack of support they were given, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience overall. I would absolutely recommend the project to anyone interested in travelling/conservation, but would urge the company to coordinate with their field staff more effectively!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 12, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
5
Value:
6

Frontier

Staff was mostly great and very helpful, although sometimes important things such as camp duty or cleanliness were not taken too seriously. Infrastructures were good but could be better, but I guess that is due to low funds. I have had a great time and learned a lot but I still feel like I have paid too much for what I got. Training was great and Mafia Island is beautiful, however volunteers like me had too much free time during the days so I got bored regularly. The average age was between 19-20 years old and that was a bit too low for me, since the purpose of my trip here was to gain science and conservation backgrounds sometimes I had the feeling that people didnt have the same mentality as me (a few of them were more interested in going to the bar rather then taking it seriously).

Despite all the not-so-good things, it has been an overall great experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 11, 2013
Overall:
5
Support:
4
Value:
4

Frontier

I have had an incredible time in Tanzania so far. The in country staff have been really attentive and have done everything they can to make sure that we have as good a time as we can. I was part of the terrestrial programme so that involved going out into the island everyday and conducting surveys to find out what we can about the wildlife on the island. I have immensely enjoyed this and learnt a lot. Do not expect to find 'big' animals as we are mostly dealing with birds, amphibians, small mammals, butterflies etc but they are equally just as amazing and it teaches you to appreciate everything.
I am also doing my BTEC advanced certificate as part of the programme which has been a great opportunity in which I have been able to conduct research on the Seychelles Flying Foxes on the island. The BTEC is great as one gets to come away from the project with something to say that you 'officially' know how to conduct scientific surveys (put that on your CV!) so it makes it more than just a 'volunteer holiday'.
I highly recommend it but say be prepared for very basic living and keep involved!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 9, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Global Crossroad

Aside from the volunteer packet emailed to me after my program acceptance, I received little response via email about questions I had while preparing for my trip. The lack of communication prior to my trip made me a little uncertain about what to expect but once I landed in Tanzania everything went flawless. I could not have asked for a better trip. I always loved coming back to the house which felt like home. There was never a meal I didn't like.
Deo was extremely involved. In between organizing projects for volunteers, he spent time hanging out with us and even let the volunteers be a part of setting up new projects he was coordinating.
I was assigned to volunteer at Upendo but enjoyed the flexibility to get involved with several of the projects. I was able to make my own schedule and form personal relationships with the children at Msamaria.
Mohan was in Tanzania for part of my trip and he was great to work with. It is comforting to know someone so giving and down to earth is in charge.
I have been back from my trip for two weeks now and there hasn't been a single day I haven't missed Moshi. I strongly recommend Global Crossroad to anyone interested in Studying/Volunteering Abroad. My trip was certainly one I will never forget and it changed my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 9, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I visited Tanzania for two months in September of 2012 and can honestly say it was the time of my life. I met some wonderful people and experienced some really incredible things, both through the projects and the day trips that we went out on. My highlights included working with Mote, an inspirational man running the FISCH project for street children in Iringa, and also visiting the Ipamba baby orphanage. The experiences really hit home and were very emotional but hugely rewarding! We also got to experience some real Tanzanian culture- we stayed in an African village for a week, tasted Konyagi (incredibly strong vodka esque drink!) and even tried goat. If you get a chance, you should definitely visit Mamas kitchen, located just inside the market and serving local food (ugali and beans is a must try for a taste of the culture) at very low prices! We all went out as individuals or pairs, but came home great friends and are still in touch now! It truly was an amazing experience, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat - and several of my friends already have!
Original Volunteers were very helpful in the run up to the trip, and though the project was fairly new at the time we got to experience a lot of different projects, which we could choose to visit as often as we wanted. I had a great time and for the price it was fab. We also found out that the volunteer permit purchased at the start of the trip can be used to help get discounts on things such as the ferry to Zanzibar- so win win!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Tanzania
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
6
Value:
10

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