Volunteering and Going on Safari in Tanzania

By: Shelley Seale
Tourists on safari watch rhinoceroses from their vehicle. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Craig Lovell / Getty Images

In 2012, Keith and I took an amazing trip to Kenya and Tanzania. While we were there, we were lucky enough to be able to go on safari, and some of our best experiences came through Hostel Hoff, which provides a hostel in Moshi, Tanzania along with safaris that are much more economical than most, intimate cultural experiences that can hardly be found elsewhere, and amazing volunteer opportunities.

In today’s guest blog post by Amanda Natai, I would like to share these opportunities.


The number of people wanting to come to Africa to volunteer continues to grow however many people don’t know how to go about it.

With the increasing popularity of voluntourism, there are many large international companies taking advantage of this. It is increasingly difficult to find a ‘volunteer’ program that won’t involve you emptying your bank account.

Tanzania is a top destination for those looking to give back. With more than 14 million living in poverty but an incredibly friendly population despite their hardships, it is the ideal place to volunteer. Amanda Natai was one of those looking to do some good…. In 2007 she first came to Tanzania to volunteer through a larger international organization. She fell in love with the people and the work she was doing, with it changing her entire outlook on life. After seeing first-hand how volunteers could really help but often could not afford the expensive fees, she decided something had to be done. She established Hostel Hoff in 2007, as a way for volunteers to sidestep these large businesses and be able to give back.

We are located in the vibrant town of Moshi, with Mt Kilimanjaro as a back-drop. Not only is Moshi a popular spot for those passing through on their way up to Africa’s highest peak, but it is also a gateway to some of the best national parks of the safari circuit, including the Serengeti. Despite the tourism industry, the local people living in and around the outskirts of Moshi are still relatively poor. Very few succeed in finishing high school, and HIV/Aids is still a major issue resulting in many struggling families and orphans. There are many wonderful projects that have been developed as an initiative to overcome these struggles.

At Hostel Hoff we have worked hard to establish partnerships with more than 15 different local projects, where they can really benefit from the help of volunteers and the volunteers can feel that they have made a significant contribution. We work with projects varying from orphanages to nursery & primary schools, vocational training centers, women’s groups, centers for children with disabilities, medical centers, community development, and conservation projects, and many more. We can guarantee we’ll be able to find a project to match any volunteer’s interests and background experience.

Volunteers at Hostel Hoff only pay for their accommodation and food, and the rest of the support required for your volunteering experience is provided free of charge. This idea of not paying huge amounts to volunteer now attracts guests from all over the world to come and stay with us. Volunteers have a great time out at their projects but also find a welcoming ‘family’ to come home to and socialize with at the end of the day. Weekends can be packed full with day trips out to visit local villages and tribes, or even off on a wildlife safari.