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.
Join spay and neuter campaigns and help vaccinate animals on the island
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.
KEY VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
Dog walking and grooming
Maintenance of clinic and kennels
Building enrichment for the cattery
Spays and castrates
Emergency call outs
Routine house visits
Busy Saturday "open clinics"
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. The clinic has two round buildings (called ‘rondavels’) which are the local style of building on Zanzibar. Each has two single beds and an en-suite bathroom. There is also a larger house which has two bedrooms and shared bathrooms. Rooms are same sex unless you are coming with a partner. All rooms have mosquito nets, bedding and towels. 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 run regularly from the end of our drive and cost 500Tsh (20 pence) 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 supermarkets. 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:
All airport collection and returns
24 hour support on every project and at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff
OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:
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.
"The island was beyond beautiful, it was really rewarding work and Charles was a great host. I loved going around the island treating animals and also the Saturday clinic where we saw goats, donkeys cows and dogs. It was busy and varied and taught me a lot. I made awesome friends, both with other volunteers and the animals. The rescue cats will forever hold a place in my heart! I "heart" Smudge, I wish I could have taken him home!"
"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 definitely helped me work through cases without expensive tests. Best EMS ever"
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.