"World class diving with making an actual impact with nature reserves makes up Eco Tourism! This is what we're all about!"
Madagascar, an island roughly the size of France, is home to around 250,000 species. Astonishingly, 70% of these species cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Nosy Be (meaning ‘Big Island’ in Malagasy) is a volcanic island off Madagascar’s northwest coast, and is the location for this conservation project. You’ll explore one of the world’s most impressive dive sites, with colourful corals and verdant sea-grass beds providing a home for an assortment of marine life. There are huge levels of biodiversity both on and offshore with reef fish, barracuda, dolphins and migrating whales in the waters and magical mangrove forests where land meets ocean.
With PADI qualifications available, once you’ve learned to dive your work will involve locating, mapping and studying large areas of untouched coral and their intertidal inhabitants. Alongside your underwater work, you’ll explore wonderfully strange mangrove forests, participating in transects to record populations living there. Finally, you might conduct interviews with local Malagasy people and help to raise environmental awareness by promoting conservation in local schools and villages. Your research will help to inform sustainable management plans for the Madagascan coastline, thereby protecting coral reefs and their inhabitants. In your free time, indulge in a wealth of water-activities including swimming, snorkelling, sailing and diving, or perhaps attend a Malagasy wedding or festival (only if you’re invited, of course…)
The island of Nosy Be, located off Madagascar’s northwest coast, is home to a wide range of flora and fauna thanks to its mangrove and coral reef ecosystems and shallow waters. However, the island and its intertidal inhabitants are threatened by coastal population growth and increasing levels of deforestation, among other things. The use of mangroves as a wood-source and for building materials means that nursery habitats of coral reef fauna are disappearing. However, Madagascar’s government is working alongside international aid and conservation agencies in a combined effort to secure the future of the island’s incredible biodiversity.
This project has worked in association with L’Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine (IHSM) since 2000, and aims to provide data and information needed to inform future protection and management plans for the area. Volunteers are taught research and diving skills, and put these to use conducting visual census of reef fish populations and coral cover which helps to assess levels of over-fishing and coral damage. The project also focuses on rich mangrove ecosystems, with volunteers helping to record organisms living there. Another important strand of the project is its community work, with volunteers promoting conservation and Frontier’s work specifically by helping to run Environmental Awareness sessions in local villages and schools.
- Travel & medical advice & documentation
- Equipment advice
- Discounted medical kit
- Free t-shirt
- UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)
- Cast away camp accommodation & food
- Local orientation & comprehensive project training
- Project equipment & camp diving equipment
- Research materials
- 24 hour in-country support
- International HQ emergency support & back-up
- Free airport pick-up and transfer to the island for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each the month. Optional airport pickup, first night accomodation and transfers to the island can be provided for an extra cost for those arriving on different dates.
- Diving projects: Dive training to PADI Dive Master courses available & FREE use of project dive equipment, including tanks, BCDs, Regs, weights, compressor & all air fills, boats, outboard engines. Scuba dive courses available subject to availability, confined water dives may be done in Suva.
- Night dives, fun dives, shore dives, recreational dives and speciality dives available at extra cost based on volunteer interest and skill
- Personal dive kit, including mask, fins, snorkel and wet suit not included
- Not sure of anything? Simply click to ask a question at the top of the page to speak to us directly!