Volunteer work

To go and work as a volunteer at the centre and orphanage in Matanana is an experience for life. Tanzania has a lot to offer – wonderful people, culture and grand nature.

As a volunteer you are expected to help with the daily chores five days a week, such as getting water, cooking, washing and more. The information is not cut in stone, so if you have ideas on how you want to help, they are welcome. Please contact us in advance if you want to participate in any project with fundraising and implementation on site in Matanana.

You can also help and care for the children who need stimulation, love and patience. Use your creativity to find fun activities such as soccer tournaments, theater, craft or simple and fun English lessons. You can also participate in any construction projects or help with the crops.

Accommodation and food

As a volunteer, you live in your own house on the centre, along with other volunteers. The standard is local and very simple, there is no running water and the electricity is limited.

You make your own breakfast, while lunch and supper are prepared by the staff at the orpanhage. It is of course welcome to help. The evening meal is served around the centre’s heart, the wooden fire, with great community and singing.

Leisure and excursions

On weekends when you are not working it is free to make excursions or just take it easy on the orpanhage together with the children. You can go to the town of Mafinga where there are smaller shops and internet cafes or to the larger town of Iringa which is a few hours away.

There are fantastic national parks and landmarks in the country. You can, for example, go on a safari or visit a Masai village.


Matanana is 1500 m above sea level and it is not as moist as the coast. During the days the temperature can go up to 28 °C, while the nights rarely go below 12 °C.

Weather and temperature depend, of course, also on what time of year it is. Broadly speaking, it is dry season between May and October, while the rest of the year offers alternating sun and rain with more greenery and plant life. In June to July it is the most cold and there can be frost during the nights. Warm clothing is a very good idea.


The international airport is located in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. It is about 600 km, or equivalent to 10 hours by bus, from there to Matanana – a bus ride through national parks and magnificent views!

Volunteer film with clips from mostly Matanana and orphanage, but also from safari in Ruaha National Park and Zanzibar.


Please note that personal costs are added for you, such as visas and air tickets. If you wish to be picked up and left off in Dar es-Salaam, a safari or visit to a Masai village, additional charges will be applied.

Requirements and guidelines

You must have turned 18 and have basic knowledge in English. Be out in good time, as preparation such as vaccination can take up to 2 months. You also need an excerpt from the police’s criminal record.

We rarely approve visits less than 4 weeks, as it is important to be able to adapt at the orphanage and learn how it works.

Notice of interest

Preparations and tips

In order to volunteer work in Tanzania, a Business Visa is required which costs USD 250 and is valid for 90 days. This can be obtained at the Tanzanian Embassy in Stockholm before departure or at the airport in Dar es Salaam. If you want to get the visa at the airport then bring with you 250 USD in cash before departure, as they do not take cards or have ATMs at the airport. Rules and prices are subject to change so please be updated on www.tanemb.se.

When you book your trip, you will receive a document with an invitation from us that will be attached to the visa application.

Tanzanian shilling is the currency used and a 1 SEK is about 250 TZS. It is illegal to bring the Tanzanian shillings outside Tanzania’s border. You cannot therefore withdraw money in advance, at home in Sweden.

USD 250 is, as said, a must to obtain a visa upon arrival at the Dar es Salaam airport. However, it may be good to have a little more US dollars taken out before arriving in Tanzania as safety and backup.

Both VISA cards and MasterCard cards work in most ATMs.

There are some vaccinations that are necessary for your trip. Contact your nearest infection clinic or health center for a visit. Be out in good time, as many vaccinations can take one or two months to become fully active.

Malaria is very common in Africa and Tanzania, especially at sea and lakes. Matanana is situated high above the sea and the mosquitoes are not as many, but prophylaxis for preventive purposes can be good to take anyway. The most effective protection is a mosquito net when sleeping and mosquito repellent after dusk. Don’t be too worried about malaria, they are used to it in Tanzania and there is medicine that cures.

Check out your home insurance and see what applies for traveling to a country like Tanzania and staying in the countryside. Also, check how long your home insurance covers such a trip.

It may be necessary to purchase additional insurance. The Insurance  Leva Utomlands från Gouda is a good and complementing alternative.

  • Passport – a must.
  • Passport photos – good to have in case there are hassles with the webcams when obtaining the visa at the airport.
  • Copy of the passport – should you get rid of your passport during the trip it will be easier if you have a copy, have one available on your email as well.
  • Vaccination booklet – in some cases you must include a certificate stating that you have taken a yellow fever vaccine.
  • Insurance certificate – is very good to have if something should happen. You can request it from the insurance company of your choice.
  • Form for damage repory – is the accident ahead or thieves, this form is good. Available by your insurance company.
  • 250 USD – in cash is a must if you get a visa at the airport. You might want to bring some more for your first days in Tanzania.
  • Mosquito nets – Impregnated mosquito nets are the most effective protection against mosquitoes and malaria. This is provided in the volunteer house.
  • Sleeping bag – is a must when it can be down 12 °C at night.
  • Underwear and pillow cases – available in the volunteer house, but it may be nice to have your own.
  • Sweater – is much appreciated and a must many nights during the year as it can be cold.
  • Hat – is also nice for the frozen one during the evenings, best to be on the safe side.
  • Rain jacket or thin jacket – is of course good if it rain, as well as chilly evenings.
  • Sunscreen – is very good in the beginning to avoid burning, which you will do if you are in the sun all day.
  • Flashlight or headlight – is a must and very useful for getting around in the evenings.
  • A few pairs of shoes, some comfortable and fair, as well as a pair of airy ones.
  • USB memory, to have important documents on, as a digital copy of the passport. If the camera memory becomes full, you can transfer your pictures as well.