Karibu to FWP Tanzania! Thank you for considering volunteering with us. Here you will find essential information about volunteering with us. 

The accommodation you stay in will depend on where you are volunteering. In Kitenden, accommodation is included in your package. If you are in Arusha, you have a range of accommodation options to choose from, depending on how independent you would like to be, how long you are staying and how much you wish to spend on accommodation. Chat with us about your options and we can get your accommodation sorted ahead of your arrival. We can arrange to rent a whole house for you, find you share accommodation, or you can stay with a local family.

If you are staying with a local family or in Kitenden, breakfast and dinner will be included with your accommodation, served at scheduled times. Your meals will include a variety of local dishes, such as pilau, beans, vegetables, chapati, and rice. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. A typical breakfast is fruit, bread and toast, mandazi (Tanzanian ‘donut’), or chapati.
If you are cooking for yourself, you will find the purchase of food staples very affordable. The choice may be narrower than you are used to, but you will be surprised at what you can purchase in Arusha. Tropical fruit is in abundance at most Tanzanian markets and extremely affordable, including bananas, avocadoes, mangoes and pineapples.
You can also eat out for relatively cheaply. Meals at cheaper, local restaurants will cost between TSH3,000 – TSH8,000, while meals at more expensive restaurants will cost TSH15,000 to TSH20,000.

FWP requires people participating in its program for longer than a few weeks to obtain a ‘volunteer’ visa. The Tanzanian Government requires volunteers to have a visa; you cannot volunteer simply on a tourist visa. A volunteer visa costs $200 for 90 days, however the cost might vary depending on which Tanzanian Embassy or Consulate you access (some people have purchased theirs for less, and the costs of visas can change). To obtain such a visa, you will require a letter of introduction from FWP. If you are unable to apply for the visa before you arrive you will need to purchase a Tanzanian Tourist Visa ($50 USD or $100 USD for people from the US or Ireland who require a multiple entry visa) at the airport or border (Namanga) and then apply for the volunteer visa in-country. Please contact us for advice.

Travel Insurance
We request that all volunteers purchase travel insurance prior to your departure so that you are protected. You are exposing your body to a new environment, new foods and different sanitation levels and you can never know how your body will react. Insurance will allow you to receive medical attention at the best medical facilities in the region without having to worry about the cost, or to be evacuated to better medical facilities if needed. Travel insurance also often covers instances of theft and baggage loss. Please check the terms of conditions of your travel insurance to ensure that volunteering is not excluded. There are many companies that will cover people who volunteer, but some do not.
For those who want to travel or volunteer outside of main towns, we also suggest signing up to the AMREF Flying Doctors Service (www.amref.org), they can evacuate volunteers to Nairobi in a modern, well equip air ambulance.

Vaccinations / Medications
There are particular vaccinations and antimalarial medications recommended by the World Health Organisation for Tanzania. Please chat with a medical professional about what you might need, allowing plenty of time for vaccinations. You may also want to chat with a local doctor on arrival who is familiar with local conditions. Malaria exposure varies significantly across Tanzania.
PLEASE NOTE: At the point of entry into Tanzania you may be required to show your yellow fever vaccination certificate. You may be denied entry or required to pay for and receive the vaccination at the point of entry into Tanzania if you do not have a yellow fever vaccination certificate on you.

What happens on arrival?
The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport located between Arusha and Moshi, Tanzania. You can also arrive in Arusha by bus from Nairobi or Dar es Salaam. Please chat with us about your options and we can assist with any bookings you need for buses etc. When you arrive at the airport or bus/train station (if coming from Nairobi or Dar es Salaam), you will be greeted by the FWP volunteer coordinator who will check you into accommodation in Arusha ahead of your in-country orientation.

In-country orientation
Volunteers who are new to Tanzania participate in an in-country orientation in Arusha for a few days prior to commencing their volunteer placement. During this time, our Volunteer Coordinator will show you how to get around Arusha, get your mobile/cell phone organised, where to access internet, go shopping, local medical centres and hospitals etc.

You cannot purchase Tanzanian Shillings (TSH) overseas, so the best currency to carry is US dollars. Please make sure that the dollars you carry were printed no later than 2006. Any currency older than this will not be accepted. Credit and debit cards are not generally accepted in shops. Previous volunteers have found the easiest way to access money while in Arusha is to use the ATM terminals. You will need an ATM or travel card that has VISA access (although there are a couple of ATMs with MasterCard and Cirrus access). There are, of course, fees associated with ATM transactions – please check with your bank. It is also advisable to notify your bank of foreign travel so they do not suspend your card for unusual activity. Money can also be sent to Arusha via Western Union if needed.

How to communicate with friends and family back home?
There are several communication options available during your stay in Arusha. You can purchase a basic cell phone for about $30 USD and buy phone credit to text home, or you can bring an unlocked phone to use. In-country, you can purchase prepaid credit. One of the easiest and most reliable ways to communicate, including regular calls, text messages, photos or pre-recorded messages is through the app WhatsAPP. Communication through WhatsAPP is free so long as you have access to the internet. There are numerous cafes in Arusha with wireless and you can also purchase mobile data for when you can’t access wireless. Of course, be prepared for a slower connection in Tanzania, and for your connections to drop out.

Summer is from January to March, it is usually breezy in the mornings and very hot in the afternoons. The evenings are usually cooler making nights comfortable for sleeping. Winter (if you can call it that!) is from June – August, with much cooler evenings with temperatures dropping to 7 degrees celsius.

The primary rain season is mid March to late May. Short rains appear again in November (however it normally rains at night therefore doesn`t make a huge impact). Arusha tends to be a lot wetter than Maasai villages. 

Transport will vary depending on where you are volunteering. Arusha is a bustling town, where you can use taxis or dalla-dallas (semi-public transport) to get around, or you may be able to catch a ride with our Project Manager. In Kitenden, there is more limited local transport – you can get a motor-bike taxi or take local transport to nearby towns. You are able to safely walk around both Arusha and the villages during the day, however walking should be avoided in the evening after 7pm, especially in Arusha

Dress Code
You need to be culturally sensitive when it comes to clothing. What you are used to wearing at home may not be ok here. During the week when you are working, modest, clean and conservative dress is required. Clothing must be modest and not transparent!

  • Shoulders should be covered (no tank tops / vests)
  • No tight clothing (i.e. leggings - unless worn with a skirt / dress)
  • No low cut tops
  • No tops that expose the midriff / stomach area
  •  Skirts / Shorts must be close to knee length

Please remember that Tanzania is a conservative country in many ways and dressing in an appropriate and modest way will grant you greater respect and cause you less hassle and unwanted attention

What items should I pack?

  • Camera
  • Unblocked mobile phone
  •  Sleeping bag & travel pillow
  •  Insect repellents with at least 30% DEET
  •  General medicine (headache, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, malaria pills)
  •  Flash light with spare batteries
  •  Electricity adapter/converter
  •  Laptop (We can help you purchase a modem)
  •  Footwear (for work and travel)
  •  Seasonal clothes – steer towards slightly conservative, as the local people are not used to too much skin being bared. Avoid shorts, skirts or dresses that are shorter than just above the knee, and tops that bare your stomach.
  •  Hand disinfectant and cleansing wipes
  •  First-aid kit
  •  Towel
  •  Ear plugs
  •  Sun-block, hat and sunglasses

Can I volunteer with a friend?
You will make so many friends once you volunteer, you will not feel lonely. But volunteering with a friend is always a lot of fun, and we support joint volunteer applications. If you volunteer with a friend or partner, you will also get a discount on your volunteer fees.

Volunteer Terms and Conditions / Code of Conduct
FWP is first and foremost a not-for-profit and our strong relationships with the community are vital to what we do. As such, we have expectations that you will behave professionally at all times while volunteering with us. We have developed a volunteer Terms and Conditions, Code of Conduct and a Child Protection Policy to support this - you can view these here.