We are sure you have many questions about your volunteering experience and we hope the below will help answer some. If you have any questions remaining, please shoot us an email!
A visa is required to volunteer in Tanzania and please see visa instructions on the Rates/Visa Costs page. Volunteer visas are mandatory. If staying and volunteering through Hostel Hoff, you must follow these requirements.
The closest international airport is Kilimanjaro International airport (KIA/JRO) and the most common airlines flying into JRO are Ethiopian, Kenya Airways, KLM, Qatar & Turkish Airlines. Pre-booked pick-ups are provided from Kilimanjaro airport for USD$40. Alternatively you can arrive into Nairobi or Dar es Salaam and catch an 8 hour bus. Feel free to contact us for more advice regarding this.
Breakfast and dinner is served daily. Meals consist of good quality western style food. Vegetarians and other dietary requirements are catered for. Some projects provide a basic local lunch for their volunteers. For others you will need to provide your own lunch which can easily be purchased in town.
As Moshi lies so close to the equator the year round temperature is not too variable. Being in the Southern hemisphere our seasons are Dec-Feb (summer) and Jun-Aug (winter). During summer you can expect temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius and during winter up to 25 degrees Celsius.
The main rainy season is April/May and then there are the short rains in November. During the rainy season, most rain is during the night. At this time you also have the advantage of less tourists and less dust!
Internet & Mobile Phones
Moshi has many internet cafes, the closest being only 5 minutes’ walk from the hostel. One or two offer free Wi-Fi. If you bring your own laptop you can purchase an internet stick, which will give you personal internet access at the hostel. SIM cards are available for Ipads and the equivalent.
Mobile phone SIM cards are easily available. This is much cheaper than using your number from home. It is best to use a cheap, basic phone around town as expensive smart phones are a target for pick pockets. If you are bringing a phone from home, please ensure it is unlocked. Alternatively it is easy to buy one in Moshi.
Tanzanian Shillings is a soft currency, which means it is only available in Tanzania. There are many ATM's around Moshi and a lot of volunteers use these to withdraw cash. Please ensure you notify your bank that you are travelling as sometimes they can block accounts when they see unusual activity. Alternatively, you can bring US Dollars or Euros from home and exchange these at one of the bureaus. Please ensure any USD notes are printed on or after 2003, because notes printed before this are not accepted anywhere in Tanzania.
In Tanzania you will require a British plug (three square pins).
This obviously varies from person to person, however expect to spend USD$50-$100 per week on lunches, internet access, transport, day trips, spending money etc. You need to allow more if you plan to undertake activities such as safari, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or travelling to Zanzibar.
Safety & Travelling Alone
Tanzania is a relatively safe country however, as with all developing countries, there are some precautions you should take. Upon arrival we will give you a safety briefing, however below are the most important precautions to be aware of.
- Dressing conservatively is encouraged as this will reduce unwanted attention and show respect to the local culture. This is especially important when volunteering at projects.
- Limit how much cash you carry around with you and keep it well hidden, along with other valuables. We provide everyone with a lockable drawer at the hostel for storing valuables. Please bring a small padlock from home.
- Do not use local motorbike taxis as these are unsafe. The drivers do not normally provide helmets for their passengers and you may not be insured to ride on a motorbike. Please take a normal car taxi.
- Do not walk around the streets after dark, take a taxi.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers at the local bars.
- If going out at night, stick together with your fellow volunteers.
Before travelling to Tanzania you need to contact your doctor. Yellow fever vaccinations are no longer mandatory when travelling from a developed country, however you will still be asked to show a vaccination certificate at the airport upon arrival.
Whilst the malaria risk in Moshi is low, it is advised to take preventative medication. Your doctor can advise which is most suitable to you. We also advise volunteers to cover up in the evening and use mosquito repellant. We provide mosquito nets at the hostel.
Your doctor may also suggest polio, hepatitis and others.
We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance before you travel. This will cover lost luggage, medical costs and emergencies.
Around Moshi there are many clinics, hospitals and pharmacies and should you have any medical problems whilst you are here, we will help you to visit an appropriate medical facility. Whilst pharmacies are generally well stocked, many products you are used to from home may not be available here. It is therefore a good idea to bring a small supply from home. Suggestions include tablets for nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, an anti-inflammatory and any personal medication you require.
Recommended Clothing & Things to Bring
This list is a basic idea of clothing and important things to bring with you to Tanzania. It does not include everything (we presume you will remember underwear!). The items listed are those most suitable for the environment in Moshi.