BOOKINGS FOR 2021/2022 OPEN – come join us, help save & look after Zanzibar’s animals
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download the pdf: volunteer pack

ABOUT Zanzibar Animals Affection Society (ZAASO)

ZAASO is a hub of activity for animals requiring medical treatment. No animal is turned away and patients include donkeys, cows, goats, dogs, cats and sometimes a bird or a monkey.

This is a fundraising project for ZAASO and all volunteer funds received go directly to keep the NGO going.

As a charitable donation-funded NGO we aim to:

  • Establish care, support and animal protection services
  • Tackle the stray animal population problem
  • Stop animal overloading, beating, mishandling and cruelty
  • Provide education and awareness to local communities

The workload varies throughout the week and the year but generally the vet is busy spaying, castrating, responding to emergency and house calls as well as attending to animals brought directly to the clinic.

On Saturday morning there is an Open Community Clinic where the local people bring their cows, goats and dogs for free dip-washing. Our vet also attends to any animal brought in for medical treatment; be it cows, goats, dogs, cats or the occasional chicken or rabbit. Often over 50 animals pass through the clinic on any given Saturday.


Only basic medical equipment is available in Zanzibar, which means the work environment can be challenging. More gets done with less and as much as it can be difficult sometimes it is also immensely rewarding to treat an animal or save its life with almost no means.

Husbandry Work

  • Maintenance & cleaning of kennels, cattery, stables and paddocks
  • Dog walking and grooming
  • Donkey grooming

Veterinary work

Our principal activities are:

  • Sterilizations, vaccinations and surgeries
  • House-calls around the island
  • Treatment of animals brought to the clinic
  • Saturday Open Clinic for the local community

Don’t worry if you have no training or experience with animal care, we will show you how to assist and participate at the clinic and during house calls. There is enough to do around and everything is as important and helpful:

  • Changing bandages, bathing animals, providing medication
  • Bathing animals suffering from parasite or skin problems
  • Feeding cats, dogs, horses and donkeys
  • Nursing sick animals with the Vet’s guidance

Those studying Veterinary Medicine or Nursing will work alongside our Vet and learn academic and clinical skills:

  • Participate in supervised surgery
  • Help spay and castrate animals
  • Develop skills in wound care and management
  • Learn to splint/cast and manage broken legs
  • Scrub in to soft tissue surgeries
  • Develop clinical confidence by participating in consultations
  • Learn how to diagnose diseases without laboratory test facilities
  • Learn to triage emergency cases


It’s a team effort all round and everyone mucks in to help with the daily chores. It’s a volunteer experience like no other: expect hands-on work, occasionally long days of intense cases and emergencies from one end of the island to the other. It’s an unforgettable learning experience in a community and environment with challenging infrastructure, limited access to veterinary resources, and sometimes heart-breaking animal abuse.

Monday to Friday: clinic attendance and client based veterinary work

Saturday: Open Community Clinic in the morning and afternoons free

Sunday: free


Every animal lover is welcome! There are no specific qualifications required. Ideal for Veterinary Medicine or Nursing students as well as qualified Veterinaries and Nurses looking for a rewarding career break. All we ask our volunteers is to be flexible, resourceful and willing to embrace new experiences. And of course… bring your loving heart and soul!


Accommodation is on a share basis and volunteers are required to buy their own food and drinks for the duration of their stay. There are fresh seafood, meat and vegetable markets in Stone Town, which provide cheap and delicious ingredients to cook yourself. There are also plenty of restaurants and market stalls offering local food.



Minimum stay is 1 week, maximum stay is 3 months and we are open all year round.



$ 60 per person and per day.


  • Volunteers are required to have their own medical and travel insurance
  • Flights and visa are not included
  • Pick-up on the island is either at the Airport or the Ferry Terminal and costs $10
  • Once you have secured your placement, you will receive our “Must Have List” and “Getting Around Zanzibar” to help you with your planning.