If variety is what you’re after, look no further! The Madagascar Island Outreach project offers volunteers a chance to participate in a 7-day island tour, enjoying everything the beautiful scenery offers as well as a great variety of volunteer tasks that make a difference to people and animals that live away from the mainland.
The trip takes place aboard a 50ft research vessel. You’ll spend your days visiting several of Madagascar’s remote islands and villages, spending your nights in rustic overnight camps. A key focus of the trip is rural community outreach to villages with limited and basic resources.
You can be involved in beach and reef clean-ups, education support, small construction projects, donation distribution and battery collections. You can also assist with scientific research on forest hikes, snorkel surveys and beach patrols that aid the conservation of local wildlife. These activities all contribute to the ongoing efforts of our Marine Conservation, Forest Conservation, Teaching and Community Development projects in Madagascar.
You’ll also have a good amount of free time to explore tropical islands, snorkel in the turquoise waters or enjoy a fun game of beach soccer with the village children. It’s a truly unique and immersive experience!
The Island Outreach project begins with a general volunteer program orientation on the first Monday of each month, before a project-specific orientation on the Tuesday. The boat departs on Wednesday. It’s important to be flexible around the order of stops during the trip and to expect volunteer tasks to vary according to the research being undertaken at the time, as well as the needs of the various communities.
Your itinerary is weather-dependent, but the project will generally follow the itinerary below:
Volunteers start the program by meeting at the Oasis Coffee shop at 9 am on the Monday morning. Once the group has gathered, transport will take volunteers to the Centre National de Recherches Océanographiques (the Oceanographic Research Institute of Madagascar) in Nosy Be, where volunteers will receive a short introduction to marine conservation by one of the institutes leading Malagasy marine researchers. This is followed by a fascinating tour of the marine museum, which has a large collection of specimens covering all aspects of marine life and its evolution in Madagascar. Thereafter, volunteers head to the port to join Spirit of Malala around noon. Shortly after arriving on board, volunteers will receive a safety briefing and local lunch. After lunch the boat will head to Nosy Mamoko, the first of the stopover points. The journey to Nosy Mamoko usually takes around 3 hours.
Nosy Mamoko Island This small unique island is situated at the southwest end of the greater Ampasindava Bay and is still ruled by a Queen. The pristine unspoiled forest canopy ends on white sandy beaches where you will often see wild lemurs and a 100-year-old tortoise play amongst the palm trees. Volunteers undertake a number of activities for the 2-day stay that can include construction projects, beach clean-ups, snorkelling for plastic waste, English classes, cultural interaction with the islanders. Leisure activities include a visit to the waterfall, swimming. Accommodation is in tents situated under a grass canopy on the beach.
Volunteers will stay on Nosy Mamoko for 2 nights before traveling to Ampoagna, approximately a 3 hour journey away.
Ampoagna Ampoagna is a small village located on a pristine long white sand beach flanked by tall pine and coconut trees. The beach is a favourite for nesting turtles. In Ampoagna volunteers will assist with the construction of the new school by making bricks and helping with general construction. Previous volunteers have already successfully constructed a clinic and water well. Volunteers also teach English to local children and conduct beach clean-ups. Leisure activities include swimming and playing soccer with the local villagers. Accommodation is in beach houses with modern local bathrooms.
Volunteers will stay on Ampoagna for 3 nights before traveling to Russian Bay, approximately a 1.5 hour journey away.
Russian Bay An area steeped in history dating back to the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, when a Russian warship anchored in the bay. Instead of attacking passing Japanese ships as instructed, the crew who enjoyed Madagascar so much, decided not to wage war or to return to Russian. The ship was kept hidden, but emerged twice to trade with pirate vessels in the Mozambique Channel. It finally sank years after running out of fuel. The last of these Russian sailors died in 1936 and their graves can still be visited today. Volunteers activities mainly focus on beach clean-ups and plastic remove from the many inlets and hidden beaches and bays. Leisure activities include beach bonfire on the last night, swimming, forest walk. Accommodation is in tents on the beach.
Volunteers will stay on Russian Bay for 1 night before traveling to Nosy Tanikely, approximately a 3.5 hour journey away.
Nosy Tanikely The Nosy Tanikely Island Reserve is famous for its pristine beach and incredible snorkelling and crystal-clear waters. Volunteers enjoy a short 3-hour stopover at the end of the program to relax and enjoy the sun or visit the lighthouse and local lemur population.
Volunteers will travel back to Hellville after visiting Nosy Tanikely, approximately a 1-hour journey, and arrive in Helville around 4pm on the Sunday afternoon.Apply now