Dolphin Conservation in Zanzibar

Kizimkazi is a small fishing village located in the Menai Bay Conservation Area (MBCA) south-west of Zanzibar. Menai Bay is home to a number of famous sea life, including different species of birds, fish, dolphins (including bottlenose dolphins and humpback dolphins). There are also two species of whales during whale season of June to November. The dolphins, particularly the friendly bottlenose dolphins which are present during the whole year, have become a major tourist attraction. Tourists go out in fishing boats to see these dolphins, and often jump into the water to swim with them. Though friendly, the dolphins can sometimes be surrounded by up to 20 boats chasing after them, and this can cause them stress, particularly when they are feeding or nursing. The main focus of the project will be to monitor the dolphins and human-dolphin interaction. 

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What to Expect?

Volunteers will be involved with the following activities on this project:

  • Monitoring the dolphins for various research purposes (i.e. behavior, feeding, daily habits, reaction to humans, numbers, photos of dolphin pods); 
  • Monitoring tourist numbers (to get daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal figures);
  • Monitoring tourist-dolphin interaction;
  • Research and monitoring of whales during whale season (June to September);
  • Research and monitoring of other specific types of fish;
  • Research on women coastal activities such as bivalve collection, coconut husk burying and rope making and seaweed farming.
  • Monitoring of curio collection and sea cucumber collection
  • Assisting research students with their research;
  • Teaching English and other potential languages to the local tour guides;
  • Help develop and maintain a local resource centre in Kizimkazi with information on dolphins, whales, sharks and other types of fish; the local marine eco-system and local marine conservation. This resource centre is for tourists, schools around the island, locals and future volunteers.
  • Working with the Menai Bay Conservation Area office on various marine conservation and research projects.
The information collected will feed into research, surveys and studies conducted by the academic and research institutions in Zanzibar. Our main project partners include the Kizimkazi Dolphin Tourism Association (KIDOTOA) and the Institute for Marine Science. This research is badly needed and some work has been done already but due to lack of resources and personnel there is still a lot to be done. Research to date has also usually been carried out on an ad hoc basis, and the project aims to provide consistency and continuity to this research.
Sample Day:
6.00: Depart project base in Jambiani
6.30-8.30: Early morning boat rides to monitor tourist activities, with particular emphasis on human-dolphin interaction
8.30-9.30: Breakfast in Kizimkazi
9.30 – 12.00: Depending on tides and seasons, you will undertake a range of activities, including monitoring other species of fish, assisting research students and scholars with their specific research, teaching English to local tour guides, working with other volunteers and locals to develop and maintain a local resource centre for information on dolphins, the marine eco-system and marine conservation, and other research and monitoring activities.
12.00-14:00: Lunch break
14.00-15.30: Data entry and analysis
15.30-17.00: Boat ride to monitor the dolphins, i.e. behavior, feeding, daily habits, reaction to humans, numbers, family groups, types of dolphin, photos of dolphin pods.
17.00: Return to Jambiani
18.30: Dinner
  • Program ID: # 2427
  • duration:
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
  • location:
    Zanzibar Kizimkazi
    6° 26' 2.5296" S, 39° 27' 41.4612" E
  • Fitness level:
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    Zanzibar (ZNZ)
  • Costs From:
    $1500 to $3000
    Over $3000
  • Program Type:
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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