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. Whether you are an animal lover wanting to assist with caring for the inpatients, or a vet or student wanting to help and learn from the busy caseload, all are welcome.



  • Work on the stunning island of Zanzibar

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

  • Project tailored to your knowledge and skills, from those wanting to help care for street dogs, to vets wanting to improve their surgery skills

  • 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 you don't need any past experience to volunteer. No animal is turned away and patients include donkeys, cows, goats, dogs, cats and birds. As an charitable, self funded 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 accepts up to 6 volunteers at a time.The clinic is the only one on the island and consists of a surgery room, consult room, kennels, cattery and also 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

  • Treating all the animals presented to the clinic

  • Busy Saturday clinics


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.


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. Please come prepaired to join in with all aspects of the work, and do not expect your days to be solely based around surgery. 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. 

Those without prior veterinary training will be educated and trained in the following jobs and will then be able to assist the clinic each day by:

  • Changing bandages

  • Providing medication to animals on long term treatment

  • Bathing animals suffering with parasite or skin problems

  • Assisting the team with cleaning kennels

  • Nursing sick animals under the vet's guidance

  • Gain a knowledge of fluid therapy and anaesthetic monitoring

Those studying veterinary nursing or medicine will work alongside our experienced vet and learn academic and clinical skills as they do the following:  

Participate in supervised surgery with the vet 

Help spay and castrate animals

Develop skills in wound care and management

Scrub into soft tissue surgeries

Develop clinical confidence by participating in consultations

Understand how to diagnose, manage and treat tick and mosquito bourne diseases

Learn to triage emergency cases


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 three 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  with single beds.

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. If  you want your own room, this can be arranged at an additional cost of  around 30 US dollars a night. The house has a shared living room/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.


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

2 weeks £ 608

3 weeks £ 812

4 weeks £ 1116

5 weeks £ 1220

6 weeks £ 1374

7 weeks £ 1528

8 weeks £ 1682

9 weeks £1836

10 weeks £ 1990

11 weeks £ 2114

12 weeks £ 1298


This project starts every Sunday the year. Volunteers arrive and depart on Sunday. You will be picked up from either Zanzibar airport or Zanzibar ferry port. Some travellers also to fly to Dar-Es-Salaam Airport,  which is situated on the mainland, then get a taxi to the ferry port and  a ferry over to Zanzibar on the Sunday, being collected by our team  from the ferry port instead. This takes quite a bit longer, although is  sometimes cheaper. We can help you arrange either option once you choose  to attend this project.

Want to hear more? Leave your info and we’ll get back to you.

Image by Maurits Bausenhart
Project Photos