If variety is what you’re after, look no further! The Madagascar Island Outreach project offers volunteers a chance to participate in a 10-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 volunteers will generally visit the following locations:
|CNRO||A visit to CNRO, the Oceanographic Research Institute of Madagascar, in Nosy Be. You will receive a short introduction to marine conservation from one of the institute’s leading marine researchers followed by a tour of the marine museum. The museum has a large collection of specimens covering all aspects of Madagascan marine life and its evolution.|
|Nosy Mamoko Island||This island is at the southwest end of Ampasindava Bay. The small, unspoiled forest ends in sandy white beaches with excellent swimming opportunities and delicate coral reefs that make for great snorkeling. This traditional island still has a Queen as head of the population, a troop of lemurs living among the villages and a 100-year-old tortoise. This is a location for overnight camping.|
|Ampoagna||A beautiful village set on a long white sandy beach that is frequented by nesting turtles. At night, volunteers can hear the calls of the mouse lemurs overhead. On either end of the beach are mangrove forests that are home to a number of bird species. This is a location for overnight camping.|
|Russian Bay||Spectacular marine life in the bay offers superb snorkeling and diving. Whales and whale sharks are common in the bay from October to December and there is an abundance of lemurs, birdlife and reptiles in the tropical forest. This is a location for overnight camping.|
|Ankazoberavina Marine Reserve||Ankazoberavina means “island with big-leaved trees”, and it certainly lives up to its name. The forest of large trees and mangroves is home to lemurs, flying foxes and chameleons. The snorkeling is outstanding with spectacular coral formations teeming with tropical fish and resident turtles.|
|Nosy Iranja Archipelago||The Nosy Iranja Archipelago consists of two small islands linked by a sandbar at low tide. The clear waters offer excellent snorkeling and swimming.|
|Nosy Iranja Be||This is the larger of the two islands that make up the Nosy Iranja Archipelago. It’s home to an abandoned lighthouse designed by Gustav Eiffel - the man best known for designing the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. There is also a small village of fishermen on the island.|
|Nosy Iranja Kely||As the smaller island of the Nosy Iranja Archipelago, Nosy Iranja Kely is home to sandy beaches that are important breeding sites for both the Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtle. Its lush vegetation is also home to many native birds and coconut crabs.|
|Baramahamay River||Lush hills behind sunny, white beaches are the main features of Baramahamay River. While visiting this remote area you may even spot the extremely rare Madagascan fish eagle feeding off fish in the river. The villages are renowned for their blacksmiths, boat builders and honey. There is a small primary school in the village that volunteers assist in. This is a location for overnight camping.|
|Nosy Tanikely||Nosy Tanikely is a hit with both bird enthusiasts and snorkelers. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for viewing the amazing variety of marine life. At low tide, it’s possible to walk all the way around the island and while doing so you may spot lemurs, flying foxes and white-tailed tropic birds.|
Due to its unique nature, the Island Outreach project has a stand-alone Program Fee of $650.Apply now