scenic photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B2NckdhJf_rJV0ZYZkt0X09ZanM
accommodation photos – https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B2NckdhJf_rJUHBUNXVzdG9oSU0
Name:United Republic of Tanzania
Currency:Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time zone:EAT (UTC +3)
Tanzania is a large country in Eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. Parts of the country are in Southern Africa and it is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and by the Indian Ocean to the east. It is home to Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, in its northeastern region and is considered the Safari capital of the world!
Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital city has been Dodoma, where the President’s Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital and its largest city, retains most government offices and is the country’s principal port and leading commercial centre.
Climate varies greatly within Tanzania. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20°C during cold and hot seasons respectively.
The rest of the country however has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20°C. The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31°C) while its coolest period occurs between May and August (15–20°C).
Tanzania has two major rainfall regimes: one is uni-modal (October–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, central, and western parts of the country, and the latter is found in the north from Lake Victoria extending east to the coast.
Tanzania’s large population is diverse, composed of several ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.
Christians and Muslims make up the large majorities, but 2% still practice Traditional African Religion.
Over 100 different languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. All four of Africa’s language families are spoken (Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, and Khoisan), but Swahili and English are its official languages, though Swahili is pushed officially as a unifying language, to the detriment of other minority languages, even English.
Although much of its roads are usually in poor condition, most transport in Tanzania is by road, 80% of its passenger traffic in fact. Rentals, Taxis, buses and mini buses (locally known as “dala dala”) account for the main methods of transportation.
Tanzania’s railways have a spotty safety record and it is not uncommon to have passengers experience frustration with slow journeys, frequent cancellations and delays, but if you have the time – it is a unique way to travel with amazing landscapes decorating the backdrop!
Tanzania has four international airports, along with over 100 small airports or landing strips; airport infrastructure tends to be in poor condition although there are reports of improvements in this area. Local airlines in Tanzania include Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Fastjet, Coastal Aviation, and ZanAir.
You will be staying in the district of Monduli located within the Arusha region, in northeastern Tanzania. The Monduli district is an extremely popular spot for tourists to learn how the local Maasai people live as well as observe the natural environment. Numerous attractions such as Lake Manyara, Mount Meru, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro can be found nearby and are the wonders of the region.
Accommodation & Food
About the Accommodation
You will be staying in our local program center or with a host family, to provide you with a degree of basic comfort. There may be western-style toilets, but the traditional squat-style flush toilet may also be what is in use. Sometimes water will need to be heated for showers and these may be bucket style. The accommodation is on a local school campus and there is lots of green space to enjoy. We have a big garden available where you can relax during the daytime, and during clear nights, you can even star gaze at the Milky Way from here! We suggest that all participants get a local SIM card and buy a bundle to maintain personal internet access.
Available Room Types
All meals included
Persons per room
Wifi in public areas
* 3 meals on weekdays, 2 on weekends
** Water, coffee and tea provided
*** Buckets and brushes available
**** Water may need to be heated in some cases
Meals are inspired by the local cuisine and consist of a lot of corn, rice, potatoes, and bananas. Beef, goat meat, beans, and a few green leafy vegetables will help to add nutrients to your daily meals.
There is a multitude of shops located within walking distance of the accommodation as well as small local restaurants, salons, pharmacy, an ATM and local markets). The hospital is also within walking distance and is well equipped.
There is a local “dala-dala” (minibus) area that can take you to Arusha, which is a major city in Tanzania where you can find numerous markets, shops, malls, restaurants, supermarkets and everything you might need within an hour.
Mandatory Orientation Day
On the Monday of your first week at this location, you will join our orientation day, to familiarize you with the surroundings as well as local culture. Your program will continue as usual from Tuesday onward throughout the rest of the week.
- Introduction meeting, House rules, Setting Expectations, Health and Safety Advice and handling of documents.
- Tanzanian Do’s and Don’ts, Culture introduction and country history and Intensive Swahili Language Lessons.
- Tour around the compound and local area; where to find local shops, and arrange a sim-card if necessary.
- Hike up the beautiful Monduli mountains
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Expanding over plains, forests, and savannas, Ngorongoro Conservation Area hosts Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera where incredible wildlife coexists with the Maasai. In here, you will be able to find wildlife… in a crater! A must when in Tanzania as it is one of the most emblematic locations of the continent.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is famous for its population of elephants and the symbolic Baobab tree. During the dry season, wild animals inhabit the park and you will be able to find zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, wildebeests and more! While not as common, you might be able to find a lion here as well if you are lucky!
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti is probably the most worldwide known National Park in the world. It is believed to hold the largest population of lions in the world! Aside from that, cheetahs, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, hippos live here. Make sure you allow yourself at least two days to visit and stay overnight in either a campsite or a lodge. Serengeti cannot be done in just one day as it is so huge!
Arusha National Park and Mount Meru
The home of Mount Meru, the second largest peak in Tanzania after Kilimanjaro. While it is not the best place to spot wildlife compared to Ngorongoro or Serengeti, it is still the home of many species including giraffes, warthogs, Cape buffaloes, lions, elephants, flamingos and more! However, the main attractions here are the landscapes that line the park to every side: to the west, you will find Meru Crater and the Jekukumia River. To the south, you will find Ngurdoto Crater and to the north.east, Momelia Lakes, which vary in color due to algae and are made even brighter by many different species of birds who love to have a swim in the water!
Lake Manyara National Park
During the wet season, pink flamingos brighten up the lake, which make it the go-to place for bird watchers. They do leave during the wet season, but Masai Lions, Leopards, hippos, giraffes, zebras, elephants, blue monkeys, gazelles and cheetahs can be found here year-round!
Moshi and Mount Kilimanjaro
Moshi is located about two and half hours away from Monduli and can be easily reached from Monduli by taking a “dala dala” to Arusha and then another one to Moshi from there.
Moshi is a sleepy town with a Western vibe as it is the starting point of the Mount Kilimanjaro climb! On a clear day, you can get excellent views of the highest mountain in Africa (tip: head over to Moshi Train Station for a top-notch view. This station is no longer in use for transportation purposes, but the locals have made the most out of it by placing some chairs and selling drinks and snacks with a view!).
Kikuletwa Hot Springs
A lesser-known but still amazing attraction located between Arusha and Moshi are Kikuletwa Hot Springs. The water isn’t actually hot, but its temperature is perfect for swimming and relaxing. It is known as an oasis as it is covered with jungle and the water here is so blue that you wouldn’t believe! It is a favorite go-to place for locals and expats alike and there is even a rope you can use to dive into the water with style.
Arusha is one of the main cities of Tanzania and is easy to reach from Monduli in less than an hour and a half. From here, most safari companies depart to many of the national parks surrounding it, so it is your go-to place for wildlife! In Arusha, you will be able to find a myriad of things to do – from Maasai markets selling crafts to bring back home, to cinemas, shopping malls, Western food, and more!
Hiking Around Monduli
Monduli is set amidst lush mountains that are a great opportunity for hiking off-the-beaten-path. There are numerous trails, one of which leads to a gorgeous waterfall. Speak to our coordinator to arrange, as the government needs to grant you permission (for a fee) to visit beyond certain spots in order to conserve the area.
Iringa and Ruaha National Park
Not that close by, but an interesting place nonetheless if you have the time after finishing our programs! Ruaha National Park is a much lesser visited place for wildlife, but its few visitors are never disappointed by its beauty! In fact, it is the largest National Park in Tanzania and boasts cheetahs, the second largest population of Leopards in Africa, buffalos, hippos, and more!
While a bit far, it is possible to fly to Zanzibar for a weekend from Arusha airstrip, a small airport that operates domestic flights and is not too far from our center! Zanzibar is known for its sandy white beaches and unique culture. While here, don’t miss Stone Town, a place that is emblematic for its mazes and spices (take a spice tour for sure!). Another must is a visit to Prison Island, where you can spot dolphins and marine life. Travel north or east of the island for some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world and enjoy the Indian Ocean at its best!
Fiji is an archipelago of 330 tropical islands. Fiji is one of the most developed Pacific Island economies however, a chronic lack in investment and under-employment pose obstacles to sustainable and equitable economic growth in Fiji.
A great disparity exists between the working class communities of Fiji and the multi-national owned tourism resorts which represent approx 25% of Fiji’s Gross domestic product. Sadly, much of the wealth generated from this sector does not filter down to the local communities.
IVI have a well established program in Fiji build by local Fijian’s with in depth understanding of the local needs. We have a have a variety of skilled and non skilled volunteering options for anyone seeking to live like a local far away from the trendy monotonous tourist resorts.
Location of Volunteer Programs
Nadi is the main tourist hub with lots of back-packers places and night life. It’s also well known for for Denerau Marina where many large 5 star resorts are and western style shopping. Denerau is the gateway to the Fiji islands, which is the most popular choice for most holiday goers’ to Fiji. We’ll likely take you here and show you around as part of the orientation or if you’re heading out to the remote island teaching placement.
Lautoka, located 20 min north of Nadi, is a lovely and safe working class harbour city with many areas to explore (eg. hiking trails, mud pools etc). You will be spending time in the working class areas where the genuine needs exist.
Suva, the largest city in Fiji is located in the southeast coast of the island of Viti Levu and is a harbor city built on a peninsula reaching out into the sea. As the commercial hub of Fiji it’s not as touristy as the Nadi area and therefore you’re able to observe the authentic fiji lifestyle.
Sigatoka is noted as the ‘adventure capital of Fiji’ and is located about 1 hour from Suva and 1 hour from Nadi. It is known for it’s incredibly beautiful coast line, tourist beaches and resorts and heaps of activities from 4 wheel drive tours, shark feeding, surfing, rivers & waterfalls, golf etc and is home to the famous Bega lagoon and bega fire walkers.
Accommodation & Meals
We have a dedicated and experienced team on the ground and a large network of host families and ground operators in various parts of the country. Accommodation and Meals are included for the duration of your volunteer program. 3 meals a day on weekdays and 2 meals a day on weekends will be provided for the duration of your placement. Food will be mainly western style cuisine with a Fijian and Indian influence.
IVI’s Fiji Placements are broken into 2 types being Home Stays or Volunteer Centers:
Our Home Stay placements are mainly located in Lautoka and Nadi and surrounding islands & villages. Home Stays are a beautiful and affordable way to experience the authentic way of life. We guarantee friendly, safe and comfortable surroundings where you’ll be supported as much or as little as you need. If you’re concerned about living in someone else’s house, don’t worry! There will be other volunteers there with you (normally around 2 – 4 p/house). Read below for more info.
Our Volunteer House placements are located in both Suva and Sigatoka. The Volunteer Houses are more social experiences and dedicated to those who want lots of social interaction with other volunteers.
Home Stays (Nadi, Lautoka & Islands)
Enjoy living like a Fiji local. You’ll have your own single room or twin share with another volunteer within private, clean and safe western style homes.
Each home stay varies but generally you’ll be with at least 2 – 4 other volunteers in the house. If you prefer a single room, please let us know in advance. We can cater to various needs. Our home stay families are awesome! So friendly, very relaxed and very well set-up for volunteer guests with separate living areas and comfortable amenities in western style houses. We’ve been working with our home stays for up to 20 years now so you can be assured it will be a great experience.
You will have a place to store your personal belongings, a private bathroom and toilet (where possible – not all placements include this), a fan and single mattress or double/queen if sharing with your partner.
Internet is usually not included with most volunteers purchasing a temporary 3G plan for their own device. We recommend digicel which has a shop at Nadi airport where you can pay FJD $7 per week which includes 7GB per week of data with unused data rolling over to each week, so it’s super cheap! Also digicel does free digicel to digicel messages and calls which is great for communicating with other volunteers when you’re out and about.
Meals are served at your home stay each day or at the project site. Our host families take great satisfaction in feeding you well! Fijian portions tend to be very generous and you’ll have a good variety of options if staying on the mainland. Typical meals are as follows:
Breakfast – Wheatbix, cornflakes, bread, butter, tea, coffee, milo etc. Volunteers can choose to have eggs if they wish.
Lunch – Volunteers to prepare their own sandwich. Tuna, cold meat, salad, eggs. Some prefer to take left over dinner from the night before for lunch.
Dinner – Cooked meal (eg. stews, soups, curries, fish, roast vegetables, taro, sweet potato, bread, rice etc. Our host families are also fantastic cooks and love cooking for you!
Volunteer Centers (Sigatoka & Suva)
Accommodation is in a dedicated house for volunteers with shared bedrooms of 3-6 persons per room (single gender rooms) and normally 1 bathroom per room.
Living with other volunteers in a dormitory-style house is heaps of fun and a great way to meet like minded travelers. The volunteer houses are in close proximity to a basic supermarkets, ATM, fresh fruit and vegetable stands, petrol stations and bus stop.
The houses can accommodate up to 20 volunteers at a time. The bathrooms are shared with western style toilets and hot showers. The accommodation is equipped with free Wi-Fi which volunteers are able to use, but please note the speeds can vary depending on how many volunteers are using it. You may be best to purchase a 3G plan 7GB for FJ$7 fro digicel. Laundry services are available for a small fee. Bed linen, fans and mosquito protection are all provided. We recommend volunteers bring their own towel. The rooms are lockable and there are also safety deposit boxes available.
For couples or those wanting more privacy, private rooms in the volunteer house are available for an additional US$150 per week, subject to availability.
Meals are served at the volunteer house 3 times per day during the week; breakfast and dinner only are served during the weekends. There is also filtered water available at the volunteer center. Bottled water is readily available in Fiji. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and tidy.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your volunteer in fiji placement, you will have the support and guidance of our dedicated IVI Fiji Managers, local ground operators and host families. They will provide you with competent assistance and in depth knowledge about Fiji. There goal is to ensure you’ve had an unforgettable experience. We will also provide you with a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that you can always reach a member of our ground operator team in the event of an emergency.
The Fijian people have a strong sense of their own culture and customs and highly developed sense of honor. The locals are generally very friendly and welcoming. Within Fijian villages, tribal alliances are still intact and money does not play a significant role in their daily lives. Visitors are not always accustomed to the slow work pace (they call it “Fiji time”). Do not worry too much about this, just go with the flow!
The Home Stay placements involve a simple and effective orientation which includes a tour of the local area and an overview of the project including any necessary permits, paperwork and logistics. In most cases you will have 1 to 2 days to ease your way into the culture and settle into your new surrounds before commencing in your designated program.
The Volunteer Center placements also have a 1 day orientation or you can choose to do a dedicated orientation week to get you familiar with the Fijian culture. Orientation is hosted in either Suva or Sigatoka depending on where you’ve chosen to stay. It begins on the first Monday morning of your volunteer program and includes an Introduction to Fiji, culture and customs, local excursions, cooking and art, rules and expectations, safety, introduction to the project and placement.
For home stay placements, arrival and departure airport transfers are included in the cost of your volunteer program for a pick-up from Nadi to the Nadi / Lautoka areas. Transportation to/from your home stay to the placement each day is generally your responsibility, however your home stay family will assist you and ensure you receive local rates for any costs involved. We’ll place you as close as possible to the placement to limit daily travel times. Expect between 5-30 min each way for a small local transport fee (approx $2 p/day). Travelling by bus in Fiji is an experience of it’s own! 🙂
For volunteer center placements, an arrival airport transfer from Nadi to Sigatoka or Suva is included for pick-ups on Sundays only. If arriving on other days, you’ll need to make your own way to the placement. If arriving on the Saturday, you’ll need to book an extra nights accommodation in advance at a cost of US$50 p/night including meals. Travel time by bus between Nadi and Suva is approx 3-4 hours, or 2 hours to Sigatoka. Local travel to the projects each day is included it the cost of the program fee.
Requirements & Expectations
You are welcome to come with a group, with a friend, with family or own your own. If you are coming on your own don’t worry you will meet plenty of like minded volunteers! IVI sends approx 20-50 volunteers to Fiji each month. Generally, volunteers must be 18 years of age, however we can cater to as young as 16 years old depending on the application. There is no upper age limit. Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular with many mature guests, some of retirement age looking to give back to developing communities.
Our programs are designed for proactive individuals with a mindset of supporting the less fortunate. The more you put in, the more you will get out. A high degree of patience and understanding is also necessary as it’s likely that conditions will be very different to your home country. Fijian’s are known for being very laid back!
It is important for the volunteers to realize that due to the nature of the Fijian culture (and developing country), things change very quickly and without much notice. Because of this it is very important for volunteers to be flexible and adaptable to their schedule.
Weekends & Extra Tours
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organize additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency.
Volunteers based in Nadi & Lautoka can choose from a wide variety of options with Nadi being the main tourist hub for Fiji and the Fijian Islands.
Volunteers based in Sigatoka can spend the weekends exploring Suva, visiting Colo-I-Suva or Mosquito Island and searching the craft and produce markets in Suva’s town centre. From Pacific Harbour you can organize activities, such as kayaking, white-water rafting, shark feeding, jet ski tours, zip lining and diving.
School Terms 2019
Holiday 22APR – 03MAY (2 weeks)Term 2 06MAY – 09AUG (14 weeks)
Holiday 12AUG – 23AUG (2 weeks)
Term 3 26AUG – 22NOV (14 weeks)
GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.
Some of our past volunteers have raised over $2000+! Why not give it a try? If you use the above link, our logo will be displayed in your profile to help us share our message through your social network community.
Volunteer in Fiji Program Fees
- Airport Transfers (Nadi)
- Food (Quality homestyle Fijian cuisine)
- Accommodation (Home stay – single room or Volunteer Centre – Dorm style)
- Training & Supervision as required
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
- Comprehensive project guide
- Discounted travel deals & flight layby options!
What’s Not Iincluded
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Airfares & Visa fees
- Tours, Souvenirs, Spending Money
- Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day
- Ferry transfers (unless specific in project outline)