Zanzibar Vet Clinic


Sitting in the middle of a spice farm on the tropical island of Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania, is the Zanzibar Veterinary Clinic. This project is for vet and nurse students and graduates who want to support the charitable effort to care for dogs, cats and farm animals on the island,  and learn from the busy caseload.



  • Work on the stunning island of Zanzibar

  • Join a friendly team making a difference to animals in need

  • Project tailored to your knowledge and skills, we accept preclinical and clinical year students and vets. 

  • Learn from medical and surgical cases with a range of domestic and farm species

  • Spend weekends on the beach, snorkling with dolphins or exploring the jungle

  • Dive deep in to Zanzibar's culture, mingling with Masai people, as you help their animals

The clinic is a hub of activity for local animals requiring treatment and no animal is turned away. Patients include donkeys, cows, goats, dogs, cats and birds. As a charitable non-government organisation the clinic aims to:

  • Establish care, support and animal protection services

  • Tackle the stray animal population

  • To stop animal overloading, beating, mishandling and animal cruelty.

  • Provide education and awareness to local communities

The clinic has been on the same site since 2010 and in 2020 a new building was erected to be able to increase the capacity for treating animals and provide a more modern facility. The clinic is the only one on the island and consists of a surgery room, consult room, kennels, cattery and paddocks for large animals. On any day there may be numerous dogs, cats, cows and donkeys resident at the clinic. The care of these animals is just one of the jobs our volunteers assist with when they are not busy helping the vet with consults and surgery.

As well as working on site at the clinic, you will also travel around the island treating animals in their homes, both those who belong to clients, and those who are strays but living well on the beaches. Every Saturday the clinic is inundated with local livestock and a few pets during the busy 'open hours', so it is all hands on deck vaccinating, dipping, treating and helping the animals.



Husbandry Work


  • Kennel cleaning

  • Dog walking and grooming

  • Maintenance of clinic and kennels

  • Building enrichment for the cattery

Veterinary work

  • Spays and castrates

  • Vaccination programs

  • Emergency call outs

  • Routine house visits

  • Busy Saturday "open clinics"

  • Changing bandages

  • Providing medication to animals on long term treatment

  • Bathing animals suffering with parasite or skin problems

  • Gain a knowledge of fluid therapy and anaesthetic monitoring

  • Develop skills in wound care and management

  • Develop clinical confidence by participating in consultations

  • Understand how to diagnose, manage and treat tick and midge borne diseases

  • Learn to triage emergency cases


There is only basic medical equipment available on Zanzibar, so the style of work is often a very new experience for people coming from first world countries. Anaesthesia is done using injectable drugs and the monitoring equipment is basic. There is no xray or ultrasound machine. 


Please be aware that this is a busy clinic is a genuine working charity, with a varied annual schedule and workload. We love hosting volunteers, and you will gain a lot of experience with us, however this is not a student or surgery training course. Come prepared to join in with all aspects of the work, and do not expect your days to be solely based around surgery. All the members of this team are willing to dig in and get their hands dirty with all aspects of animal care and we ask our volunteers to adopt the same attitude. No one here is above grooming dirty dogs, picking up poo or cleaning kennels when it needs to be done. Whilst it will not be the focus of your stay, a can-do attitude is important when working as part of a small team for the good of the animals.

At the clinic the animals always come first, so you may work very long days if we are in the middle of a sterilisation drive, or spend many hours on the road when animals in need are far away. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the project, including medicine, animal rescue and inpatient care. As with all placements, the more you put in to your time with us, the more you will get out of it. 


The clinic is based on a spice farm, surrounded by local villages, close to the main road that heads from Stone Town to the North of the island. It takes 30 minutes by bus to get  to Stone Town. Volunteer accommodation is right next to the clinic, so  there is no commute to work apart from walking past a few palm trees and  grazing cows and donkeys.

There are a few accommodation options  that you may be placed in. The clinic has two round buildings (called ‘rondavels’) which are the local style of building on Zanzibar. Each rondavel has two single beds and an en-suite bathroom with hot running water and a toilet. There is also a larger house which has two bedrooms.

Regardless of where you stay, if we are busy you may share the room with another (same sex) volunteer unless otherwise  arranged. All rooms have mosquito nets, bedding and towels provided. The house has a bright shared living room and kitchen where volunteers can relax, cook and watch TV in the evenings.

You are responsible for buying and  preparing your own meals each day. Within walking distance from the  clinic there are a couple of small shops selling basic items (drinking  water, soda and basic food like fruit and bread. Local busses called  ‘Daladalas’ run very regularly from the end of our drive and cost 500Tsh  (around 20 pence) each way for the trip to Stone Town. Here it is very  easy to buy all the food you require including fresh sea food, meat and  vegetables in both open air markets and little supermarkets. We are also  happy to collect food for you if a member of staff is making a trip to  town whilst you are at work in the day. On night when you don’t feel  like cooking, why not treat yourself to dinner at a rooftop restaurant,  or a cocktail on the beach, as you live as a local on one of the most  beautiful islands in the world.


Zanzibar is the largest island in the  Zanzibar archipelago. Situated less than 50km from the coast of the  African country of Tanzania, it is renowned for its stunning white sandy  beaches, crystal blue waters home to dolphins, whales and a rich and  diverse marine life. The Island is safe for travel and slowly becoming a  more popular destination for all ages of travellers. The vet clinic is  located in the middle of a spice farm just 30 minute drive north from  the island’s capital, Stone Town. Stone Town is a UNESCO world heritage  site. It has a rich history of spice and silk trading which can be seen  in the architecture and buildings inspired by the Arabic and Portuguese  traders who used to use this island as a resting and trading point.

For most people, the quintessential image  of Stone Town is the huge wooden doors with large brass studs that  guard the entrance to many shops and houses. In the winding narrow  streets, little local shops sell spices, fruits, jewellery, rich fabrics  and clothes. There are many restaurants and bars, selling fresh local  produce and delicious meals. Our volunteers normally enjoy heading to  the roof top bars that overlook the harbour for sunset, or the beach  front bars where you can sip a cocktail with your toes in the sand.


2 weeks: £650

3 weeks: £850

4 weeks: £1050

Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:

  • Pre-departure assistance

  • All airport collection and returns 

  • All accommodation 

  • 24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff


  • Food

  • Visa

  • Medical and travel insurance

  • Flights to and from Zanzibar or Dar-Es-Salaam


This project starts every Sunday the year. Volunteers arrive and depart on Sunday. You will be picked up from Zanzibar airport. Alternative start dates can be accommodated with advance planning so please contact us if this may suit your plans. 


Don’t fear! We have FLEXIBOOKINGS in place for all our projects. If you book a trip with us and have paid for the trip (deposit or in full), we have protocols in place to ensure you don’t miss out. Our main aim is for you to be able to attend your project in a safe and convenient manner so the FLEXIBOOKING system allows free and unlimited date changes if Covid prevents you from attending your planned trip. In the case of the following problems, you can reschedule until the end of 2023 at no cost. N.B if the project price rises between years, we will ask you to make up the difference before travel.

A) Your home country cancels flights to the project location, or your government advises against “all but essential travel” to the destination due to Covid.

B) Destination country cancels flights or closes borders to your home country due to Covid.

C) If you get Covid before travel or have a positive PCR test before your flight, wherever possible we aim to reschedule your project free of charge. In a few instances, the project may request a repayment of the non-refundable deposit, for example Safari Vet Internship project, where there are a set number of volunteers are needed to run the course.

If you choose to cancel your trip for other reasons, refund value depends on the time left until your project start date. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.



We want you to join us in Zanzibar, to help the animals and have the adventure of a lifetime. Sound good? Just fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you right away.

Project Photos
Volunteer feedback

Felicity Brein

May 2022

"The island was beyond beautiful, it was really rewarding work and Charles was a great host. The rescue cats will forever hold a place in my heart! I "heart" Smudge, I wish I could have taken him home!"

Charlotte Ashfield

January 2022

"I really felt like I improved my surgical techniques with the practice and guidance of the team. It is different to work with so little diagnostic equipment available and definatley helped me work through cases without expensive tests"