Magical Zanzibar, floating off the coast of gap year favourite Tanzania, is on everyone’s lips as the hottest travel destination of 2010. But while some people only see the beautiful white-sand beaches, and not much beyond, travellers taking part in volunteer travel specialists i-to-i’s brand new ‘Work with Disadvantaged Children on Zanzibar’ trip are totally immersed in Zanzibar’s rich culture as they volunteer at a project caring for abandoned kids. Plus, there’s still plenty of time for those beaches!
Based in the heart of the bustling UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town, this fantastic volunteer abroad project helps kids who have either been abandoned by their parents, or have been rescued from a life on the streets. The centre provides a warm, friendly atmosphere where these children receive the care and education they need to get the best possible start in life.
As the number of kids at the centre increases, however, they need enthusiastic volunteers to help out, to ensure the children get all the love and attention they deserve. Travellers get stuck in coming up with games, stories and activities to keep the kids entertained, and can even try their hands at a spot of teaching. Due to the tourism boom on Zanzibar, English teachers are in high demand, so the kids at the project are always keen to practise their English with fluent speakers.
As travellers only volunteer in mornings, afternoons, or evenings each day, there’s plenty of time to explore Stone Town’s warren of alleys, with their bazaars bursting with colour and the scent of exotic fruits and spices. For those worn-out after keeping track of excitable kids, there are also white sandy beaches a-plenty to laze on and warm turquoise waters to float in. Or, for gap year travellers who are feeling a little more active, there are accessible coral reefs teeming with marine life just waiting to be explored.
During their time on the island, i-to-i volunteers share rooms in a beautiful, bright hostel right in the centre of Stone Town, complete with a balcony to relax on and watch the world go by. Breakfast is laid on by the hostel staff each morning, while travellers find lunch and dinner themselves. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops near the hostel all with great food at rock-bottom prices, or they can head down to the food market overlooking the beach to find something to cook in the hostel’s kitchen. Plus, i-to-i travellers have the help of an expert in-country coordinator who can recommend the best places to go for kebabs, chapattis and curry. They also enjoy free airport pick-up in Dar es Salaam and help with the ferry transfer across to Zanzibar.
The whole incredible experience costs just £799 for 2 weeks (excl flights), but those who are seduced by Zanzibar’s charms can volunteer abroad there for up to 8 weeks at a cost of £175 for each additional week. Plus, those who act fast and book before 30th January can save a massive 12% off the cost of their trip. Those wanting more information about any of i-to-i’s trips to Tanzania should visit http://www.i-to-i.com/tanzania/ or call one of their expert travel advisors on 0800 093 1505.
Honor Baldry – Volunteering abroad, a gap year, a career break or just a holiday with a difference. Whatever you’re thinking of doing, i-to-i can help you make it a reality!