Tourism & Hospitality Internships in Zanzibar
Gain hands-on experience in one of Africa’s most popular tourism destinations. These are highly customized internships, with placements in hotels, resorts, boutique accommodation, restaurants, tourism operators, or even with water sports companies as a surf or diving instructor. Enjoy stunning Zanzibar and help fellow tourists to do the same!
- Contribute to the tourism industry in a popular travel destination
- Customized placements across a range of tourism and hospitality providers
- Highly relevant industry experience
- Experience life on Zanzibar, a unique and beautiful African island
Type of host organizations:
- Hotels of different standards and sizes – from family-run hotels and small luxury boutique accommodation, to 5-star resorts.
- Water sport providers
Gain experience in one of Africa’s most popular tourism destinations. These are highly customized internships, with placements in hotels, resorts, boutique accommodation, restaurants, tourism operations, or even with water sports companies as a surf or diving instructor. Enjoy stunning Zanzibar and help fellow tourists to do the same!
This is an in-country internship, with accommodation and meals provided.
A hidden gem of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar boasts pristine beaches and rich cultural heritage. It relies heavily on tourism, and has a wide range of tourist services, hotels and resorts that help to make Zanzibar a highly-rated destination for tourists from all over the world.
Tourism and Hospitality interns can be placed in hotels or water sport businesses all around the main island of Zanzibar, helping locals in a range of roles. This is a highly customizable internship, where the exact nature of your role will depend on your own skills, interests and the needs of your placement. Interns can state a placement preference, with the majority of interns opting to be placed in hotels.
Hotel interns have a range of opportunities to assist in various aspects of the business. Interns can help at the front office, with reception, restaurant, reservations, guest relations, events or marketing teams. You can also assist with human resource planning and accommodation inventory management. Placements are available at large hotels and resorts where roles are more specialized, or in smaller hotels where you’ll help in a more general role.
Interns can choose other placements too, including as instructors in diving, surfing, kite-surfing, stand-up paddleboarding or snorkelling (prior experience may be required). You can also help water sport centers that offer kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing or fishing by explaining equipment or safety aspects to clients, maintaining equipment or assisting in administration or sales roles.
Tourism and Hospitality interns can expect a busy schedule of between 40-50 hours per week. Some weekend work may also be required. Interns should state a placement preference in your application. These will be accommodated wherever possible, but are not always guaranteed.
In all cases, interns should expect that the first week of your experience will focus on settling in and gaining some introductory knowledge, as you will not “hit the ground running”. Rather, you should start with learning about the placement to gain an understanding of what you can build upon, develop, learn, and contribute. Ensure that you ask questions and provide feedback during the introductory period, so that your supervisor understands how you’re progressing. This will help them to better understand important details, such as how quickly you learn, what you find challenging, what you find interesting, etc.
Understand and expect that individual internship experiences vary, as the specific placement that you’re assigned will depend on review of your resume and your current level of studies and experience. Therefore, if you’re at a more introductory level, you should reasonably expect a more introductory internship. Likewise, if you’re interning for a shorter duration, you will have a different experience from someone who is interning for a longer duration. Placement preferences are considered but always subject to availability.
Schedules vary based on the exact nature of each internship. Interns should prepare to be flexible with their schedules, but expect roughly 8 hours of work each day, including possible weekend work.
Tourism & Hospitality interns learn from a qualified and experienced supervisor, and can be involved in:
Hotel service work
Hotel administration activities
Guest assistance in hotels
Water sports instruction, including diving, surfing or kite-boarding
Customer service at water sports providers
Professional development opportunities:
Learn about tourism and hospitality service in one of Africa’s busiest tourism destinations
Work experience across a range of hotel departments including reception, restaurants, events, administration and marketing
Water sport instruction experience
Customer service experience
Gain practical skills and boost your employability, with guidance from Intern Abroad HQ’s Experiential Learning Curriculum to support your learning and cultural intelligence.
Zanzibar photo gallery
What recent interns said about their experience
This Tourism & Hospitality internship gave me the opportunity to develop my capacities in a management role. My ambition to work abroad has only been confirmed during my internship in Zanzibar. You can get valuable experience and personal growth when you are ready to get out of your comfort zone. Just enjoy your time in Zanzibar! I was able to test my ability to deliver messages and instructions in a way that feels comfortable with other people. I also gained insight into how many different departments work, while developing my cultural intelligence from working within a culturally diverse environment. All of this supports my dream of a career abroad.
To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.
Academic credit available for all internships
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing an internship abroad or remote internship program with Intern Abroad HQ.Learn about course credit
It’s free to apply for this internship. Once we have reviewed your suitability and accepted you onto this program, you’ll need to pay a deposit of US$499 to confirm your place. The remaining balance of your Program Fee (less your initial US$499 deposit payment) will be due no less than 60 days before your internship start date.
Program Fee (USD)
|$2,103 Equivalent to $37 /day
|$2,349 Equivalent to $33 /day
|$2,545 Equivalent to $30 /day
|$3,047 Equivalent to $27 /day
|$3,439 Equivalent to $24 /day
|$3,831 Equivalent to $22 /day
- Airport pick-up
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
- 24/7 in-country support
- Program orientation
- Dedicated support before, during, and after your internship
- In-country guidance for social and tourist activities
- Sourcing and securing your internship placement
- Personalization of your internship plan
- Coaching from your supervisor
- Documented portfolio of your experiential learnings
- Academic credit facilitation
- International reference letter
- Certificate of Internship Completion
- All in-country transportation
- Visa (if required), flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check
- Transfer back to the airport at the end of your internship program
- Personal spending money for snacks, drinks, public transport, laundry, and leisure activities during your free time.
- A deposit of $499 (approximately 499) is required to secure your internship
- It is important to note that internships in Zanzibar require all participants to obtain a visa. We advise Zanzibar interns to purchase and obtain this in-country (at the airport, on arrival in Zanzibar). Interns receive details in advance, which outline instructions for this process (depending on your specific internship details), along with anticipated costs. Some interns are additionally required to purchase a Work Permit (US$400) or a Trainee Permit (US$100) in-country. This is a government requirement and it currently applies Cultural Arts, Social Work & Education, and Tourism & Hospitality internships. If this is required then it will be arranged with you during the orientation, as coordinators will assist you at the Zanzibar Labour Office. Please note that the requirements and costs for such visas and/or permits are outside the control of Intern Abroad HQ and are subject to change without notice.
- Balance of your Program Fee is due 60 days before your internship start date.
- All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
Arrival and Orientation
Internships in Zanzibar begin every Monday and interns may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Exceptions to start date availability may occur when start dates are closed due to public holiday / festival disruptions or if the program has already reached capacity.
Airport pick up and accommodation are included in the Program Fee, as well as return transportation to the airport in Zanzibar at the completion of the internship. Interns are required to arrive on the Sunday before their Monday start date. In order to receive this airport pick up, interns fly into the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar (airport code: ZNZ). Note that all participants are advised not to book flights until they have first registered to confirm their internship placement.
Upon arrival, interns will be met, greeted, and transferred to the accommodation, to settle in and rest. Accommodation is covered from the Sunday night of the internship start date. The last night of the accommodation is the Saturday night of the final week, leaving interns free to depart on the Sunday.
Orientation typically takes place on the Monday start date and covers important details for your internship, including introductions, information about culture, customs, rules, expectations, safety, language lessons, cultural excursions, and more. For participants who will be interning within Zanzibar Town / Stone Town, a walking tour is also covered. Tourism & Hospitality interns, who may be based within popular beach areas, such as Nungwi, Kendwa, Kiwengwa, Paje, Jambiani and Michamvi, will receive a local orientation that’s relevant to their area.
If you are planning to spend time independently in Zanzibar prior to the commencement date of your internship, and will not require an airport pick up, then you’ll be required to come directly to the local team’s office in Zanzibar Town / Stone Town for meet and greet on your start date. From there, you will be guided to your home-stay accommodation.
It is important to note that internships in Zanzibar require all participants to obtain a visa. We advise Zanzibar interns to purchase and obtain this in-country (at the airport, on arrival in Zanzibar). Interns receive details in advance, which outline instructions for this process (depending on your specific internship details), along with anticipated costs. To cover the cost of the visa sufficiently, most interns need to budget US$50-100. However, Tourism & Hospitality interns will need to budget US$250, for the correct visa.
Some interns are additionally required to purchase a Work Permit or Trainee Permit in-country. This is a government requirement. It applies to:
- Cultural Arts interns - you will need to cover the cost of a Work Permit in Zanzibar. Please budget US$400 for this.
- Social Work & Education interns - you will need to cover the cost of a Work Permit in Zanzibar. Please budget US$400 for this.
- Tourism & Hospitality interns - you will need to cover the cost of a Trainee Permit in Zanzibar. Please budget US$100 for this.
If this is required then it will be arranged with you during the orientation, as coordinators will assist you at the Zanzibar Labour Office. Please note that the requirements and costs for such visas and/or permits are outside the control of Intern Abroad HQ and are subject to change without notice.
Accommodation and WiFi
Most interns in Zanzibar are hosted in various homestay accommodations, within Zanzibar Town / Stone Town. The exception to this is that Tourism & Hospitality interns can expect to be located in closer proximity to their internship. For example, locations usually include the popular beach destinations of Zanzibar, such as Nungwi, Kendwa, Kiwengwa, Paje, Jambiani and Michamvi. In this case, accommodation may be located on the grounds of the internship placement (e.g. on the grounds of the hotel), at external guest houses/lodges, or with a host family at the respective village.
For the comfort of our interns, the host families that we work with (within Zanzibar Town / Stone Town) provide a higher standard of living, compared to other typical family homes on the island. They often have access to domestic staff, such as a cook, drivers, nannies, gardeners, housekeepers, and security guards. Employees of the host family usually have their own separate accommodation, provided for them on the same property as the main family home. Typically, these host families have older children who are being educated abroad. Therefore, they are able to comfortably accommodate international interns in Zanzibar while their own children are studying internationally. The household may have younger children who have not yet reached a higher level of education. Interns can expect to have their own bedroom. The meals which are included are typically generous, having been prepared and served by a cook.
Note that accommodation is unlikely to provide WiFi. Unlimited internet plans are typically unavailable in Zanzibar and connection must be paid for by the gigabyte. However, all interns receive a local SIM card for use at their orientation, which initially includes 3 GB of data traffic. Top-up vouchers can be purchased as need be and they are relatively inexpensive.
Internships in Zanzibar include three meals per day, seven days per week, served at the accommodation. The culinary traditions of Zanzibar have been influenced by many nationalities, including Indian, British, Portuguese, Arab, Bantu, and even Chinese. Therefore, typical dishes may reflect a fusion of styles. Rice is a staple, which can be cooked with an array of spices (Zanzibar is the island of spice, after all!) Cinnamon, ginger, cumin, chilli, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves may be used to flavor rice, meat, fish and curry dishes. The famous spice rice of Zanzibar is called “Pilau”. In addition to cooked meals, fresh vegetables and fruits are available and you can also find a wide variety in the local markets. Host families are accustomed to accommodating interns who are vegetarians and can ensure meals are prepared appropriately. Some restaurants will also offer vegetarian dishes. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance (i.e. allergies and intolerances), so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations to you accordingly.
Swahili Language Lessons
Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is spoken throughout Zanzibar and it is the national language of Tanzania. (English is only the official language of the High Court). While fluency in Swahili is not a requirement to intern in Zanzibar, learning some of the local language can help enhance your cultural experience and immersion. Starting with a few lessons can help you learn some basics to demonstrate common courtesy. A maximum of ten hours per week are recommended. Lessons are typically conducted individually, but may be shared between 2-3 other participants of the same level (although, the number of participants per lesson does not affect the cost). For more information about language lessons, interns may speak directly to the local team in-country.
Weekends and travel
There are a wide range of tourism excursions to enjoy in and around Zanzibar archipelago. You can join half or full day trips to some of the infamous spice plantations, explore the Jozani Forest National Park and mangroves, sail through the Menai Bay Conservation Area, or even relax within some of the popular beach resorts. While there is a lot to see and do, we recommend chatting with our local team, based in the historical center of Stone Town, for advice. They’re in the best position to advise you regarding responsible tourism operators. Keep in mind that any trip to Africa is not complete with going on safari. We can help interns to arrange budget safari options, within the mainland of Tanzania. Although cost-effective, the trips are high-quality and provide the social opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers and international interns or volunteers. If you’re looking for a challenge and aiming to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, let us know as well - we can assist with arranging affordable accommodation in Moshi, as well as making other recommendations.
Essential country information
|Swahili, Arabic, English
|Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Weather and climate:
Being near the equator, the islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago are warm year-round, and the temperature doesn’t vary too much throughout the year. The usual highs are between 85°F / 91°F (30°C / 33°C) and the usual lows range between 70°F and 76°F (21°C / 24°C). The hotter times of the year are typically from December through March. From July through October, the temperatures are more comfortable. The wetter season usually begins in late November, leading up to the wettest month of the year, which is April. After April, the dry season begins again around mid to late May.
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