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One of the most attractive places in the world to volunteer for marine conservation. It is about monitoring sea turtles, sharks and beautiful coral reefs, collecting data for their protection. The research centre is next to a pristine white beach, blue waters and calls for this volunteer adventure.

Volunteer for marine biodiversity: reef health, sea turtles, sharks


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Surely this is one of the nicest and most attractive places in the world to volunteer for marine biodiversity. The centre is located adjacent to a pristine white beach and clear blue waters allowing volunteers an easy access to swimming and snorkelling on the home reef (‘ on the Island surrounded by rocks’).

Directly opposite, on the Island of Nosy Be is the world’s famous Forest Reserve, where is also the base Centre. This volunteer for marine biodiversity Madagascar program is a partner to a volunteer marine research and education program. So, both aim to actively contribute to the conservation of the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar. As a ‘volunteer for marine biodiversity’, you’d feel completely overwhelmed to help at this inspiring spot. Above all, marine conservation is a long term monitoring and leading species-specific projects in the water. It consists of international partners to strengthen an effective outreach. Further – all volunteers are welcome – either students from the interest in marine biology and related or just being ocean enthusiasts. There are plenty of beauties in the vast blue of the sea with their most magnificent inhabitants. Volunteer leads are sure both volunteer groups intend to equally contribute with volunteering.


Why volunteer in protecting marine life of Madagascar?


Marine environment is more and more jeopardised by human activities. We need to do sustainable actions in the future in order to
stop losing marine habitats and its inhabitants. One can research the oceans starting with plankton and follow up the food web the environmental pressures, up to the top marine predators, like are sharks, dolphins, whales, sea turtles. But one can also monitor the top predators and see what is happening with the ecological state of the sea by following their population dynamics.
And this is exactly what Madagascar volunteer marine project is doing. Monitoring top predators and so much more – from observing and collecting data from the coral reefs. Here the volunteer work is essential to help in collecting the data, enjoying and then helping also in identification.

Putting fun and usefulness together – how cool is that?

Interactions between marine environments and human health are more complex as one can imagine, in terms of risks and benefits. We know this very well already from the western societies.
Here in Madagascar it’s still time to, with the help of precious volunteer work, to have direct impact
on the community outreach on how to behave with the ocean resources, marine mammals, sharks, sea turtles or be it just the reef corals or their fish.
The nicest ocean beauties of this world being at your hands while you are making your mission with volunteer for marine biodiversity. And each single volunteer has an impact and helps in to preserve our Blue Planet. Take the chance and volutener with big ocean creatures. .[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1507284335031{margin-top: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 50px !important;background-color: #157a7c !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}” el_id=”project-cta-blue-color-white”][vc_column_inner 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]

Get advice for this fascinating VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY.

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arriving to Nosy Be island for pickup the day before the start. From where you’ll drive to the neighbour island to the project.



2 – 12 weeks; starts 1st and 3rd Monday of every month


 Airport of Arrival:

Ivato International Airport (TNR), in Antananarivo, Madagascar; the nearest inland airport is on island of Nosy Be

Volunteer Contribution:

Data collection and protection of the marine mega fauna and coral reefs monitoring



18 – 60


 # of Volunteers:

4-6 volunteers in one hut (e.g. USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria, UK)


 Languages spoken:


 Essential info:

Volunteers are expected to have their own health insurance. Vaccinations are not typically required.

For the Marine Conservation program, volunteers must have both: Open Water and Advanced Open Water Dive Certification.


What is included?


 Airport Transfers:

Volunteers will arrive to Nosy Be on Madagascar for pickup the day before and here they will be collected. Nosy Be has the airport.



Shared huts at the volunteer camp



All inclusive; vegetarian; traditional Malagasy cooking



Volunteers must provide their own comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage.


 Essential info:

You can pay also in USD. After applying you will receive an email. Then please follow the guidelines about the price conversion.




Optional excursions:

There are plenty of amazing travel options during your volunteering. See the section ‘travel focus’



24h emergency support and local in-country with the marine volutneer conservation team.


Not included:

Flights, arrival to the Nosy Be island, personal expenses, local trips and insurance (see above).[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner content_placement=”middle” css=”.vc_custom_1507284844516{margin-top: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 50px !important;background-color: #02ab4c !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}” el_id=”project-cta-green-color-white”][vc_column_inner 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]

Get live chat to volunteer with turtles, sharks, coral reefs.

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Minimum conditions:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Must be a swimmer
  • Language: English
  • Enthusiastic and a team player
  • No vaccines are needed
  • Background check is needed


The country is one of the safest in the world however, like everywhere, precautions must be taken with your personal belongings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-camera-retro” add_icon=”true” title=”Photos” tab_id=”photos”][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”2162,2161,2160,2159,2158,2157,2156,2155,2154,2153″][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-comments” add_icon=”true” title=”Reviews” tab_id=”testimonials”][vc_column_text 0=””][testimonials ids=”2197″ paging=false][/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-map-marker” add_icon=”true” title=”Location” tab_id=”location”][vc_column_text 0=””]



Lemur island

The research centre is the heart of the operation and the volunteer for marine biodiversity base for all the conservation programs. Location for the volunteer programs is on Nosy Komba (‘Lemur Island’), also known as Nosy Ambariovato (‘Island surrounded by rocks’).  This marine conservation centre is adjacent to a pristine white beach and clear blue waters allowing volunteers easy access to swimming and snorkelling on the home reef.

Directly opposite us on the Island of Nosy Be sits world famous Lokobe Forest Reserve, as well as the base of CNRO with whom the volunteer project partner for marine research and education. All programs, as well as ‘Volunteer for marine biodiversity’ aim to actively contribute to the conservation of the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar both in and out of the water through long term monitoring and species-specific projects in collaboration with a range of international partners.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-question” add_icon=”true” title=”About” tab_id=”about”][vc_column_text 0=””]



This volunteer for marine biodiversity program is working to protect the marine ecosystem in Madagascar. Thanks to years of hard work by the marine research staff the home reef of the volunteer base location became a marine protected area in November 2016. Volunteers are now working to monitor the impact of the protection on marine life.

Madagascar marine volunteer program is collaborating with several scientific partners and oceanographic organizations to gather vital raw data through numerous initiatives, including:

  • Reef Surveying
  • Turtle Monitoring
  • Nudibranch Research
  • Beach Clean Ups
  • Community Education on environmental issues
  • Artificial Reef (Increase the coral reef size and health)
  • Marine Protected Area (volunteers are monitoring the marine life).
  • Rising the awareness about the importance of the protected area to local fishermen and tourists

For more information about this specific volunteering program see the section Volunteer Contribution.

This marine mega fauna program work is crucial to understanding the factors influencing the sea turtle, dolphin, shark populations and educating the local community on why protecting the marine life is crucial. Besides these species, the volunteer work is also committed to preserving the coral reefs to benefit also other marine life, which regulate the ecological balance of the marine ecosystem.


You can visit our IG account Volunteer EcoTravel for more ideas on our conservation projects[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-compass” add_icon=”true” title=”Orientation” tab_id=”orientation”][vc_column_text 0=””]




Each volunteer will receive orientation in marine mega-fauna and coral reef volunteering in the research office of the volunteer camp. Volunteer for marine biodiversity work roles will be explained. Consequently you will get to know how volunteering in marine conservation is needed and the team will give you helpful tips to obtain the best possible volunteer experience.

Volunteers receive comprehensive training to prepare them to undertake research-based activities at sea. This means that volunteers will have identification training for marine wildlife, including turtles, fish, corals and invertebrates. They are also taught methodology of coral baseline surveying, a key skill in marine conservation as a universal approach to monitoring the state of coral reefs.

To participate on the Marine Conservation program, volunteers must have both Open Water and Advanced Open Water Dive Certification to survey.  PADI diving courses can be completed with the volunteer team in Madagascar at the on-site Diving School.   It is best if volunteer completes the e-learning portion of a PADI training prior to coming to Madagascar as access to wifi is limited. As a Marine Conservation volunteer in Madagascar, you will need to specify whether you need any dive training. Information on the PADI diving school and courses offered is detailed below this marine volunteer description.  Please note, this project has a minimum duration of 4 weeks to allow sufficient time to complete the dive and volunteer marine research training required to participate on the project.

All marine conservation volunteers are required to bring
the following items to Madagascar, as these are not available for purchase on the island:
  • PADI crew packs / Manuals for the relevant course(s)
  • Snorkel and mask (with tempered glass)
  • Fins (open heel with booties are more comfortable for frequent use)
  • Wetsuit (long or short, 3mm minimum)
  • Surface marker buoy (DSMB)
  • Reel (a small finger reel will be adequate)
  • Waterproof watch
  • Dive compass
  • Log book


PADI Diving School and Courses for marine volunteers:

A PADI certification is the worlds most respected and sought after dive credentials. This means wherever your dive travels take you, you can be confident that the local dive community will recognize your dive qualification.

Our PADI diving courses apply the concept of performance based learning.  Performance based learning means that our students’ progress to the next level on the basis that they meet specific performance requirements.  Our experienced instructors are there to guide students through each performance requirement.

Volunteer diving students are required to bring the equipment listed above to Madagascar, as they are not available for purchase on the island of Nosy Komba.

Open Water Diver (OW) – USD 440.00

Advanced Open Water (AOW) – USD 320.00

Emergency First Response (EFR) – USD 160.00

Rescue Diver – USD 360.00

Dive Master – USD 700.00[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-user-plus” add_icon=”true” title=”Contribution” tab_id=”contribution”][vc_column_text 0=””]



The program volunteer for marine biodiversity is aiming to protect the marine ecosystem in Madagascar. Thanks to years of hard work by the marine research staff the home reef of the volunteer base location became a marine protected area in November 2016. Volunteers are now working to monitor the impact of the protection on marine life.

Madagascar marine volunteer program is collaborating with several scientific partners and oceanographic organisations to gather vital raw data through numerous initiatives. So, this includes:

  • Reef Surveying
  • Turtle Monitoring
  • Nudibranch Research
  • Beach Clean Ups
  • Community Education on environmental issues
  • Artificial Reef (Increase the coral reef size and health)
  • Marine Protected Area (volunteers are monitoring the marine life).
  • Rising the awareness about the importance of the protected area to local fishermen and tourists.


Typical Day:

Generally, a volunteer program has morning and afternoon activities. After dinner each day, we have a briefing to go over activities for the following day. NOTE: The schedule will vary widely depending on the project, tides, etc… for that day.

Sample Schedule:

  • 05:00-07:00 Breakfast on camp prepared by our in-house cooks
  • 06:00-08:00 Start of volunteer morning activities on project
  • 12:00 Lunch on camp prepared by the in-house cooks
  • 14:00 Start of volunteer afternoon activities on project
  • 16:00-17:00 Volunteer activities for the day usually conclude
  • 18:00 Dinner on camp prepared by the in-house cooks
  • 18:45 Board Briefing to go over volunteer activities for the following day*

*NOTE: There will be varying amounts of down time for volunteers during the listed morning and afternoon program activities depending on the day and project.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_type=”entypo” i_icon_entypo=”entypo-icon entypo-icon-signal” add_icon=”true” title=”Living set-up” tab_id=”living-set-up”][vc_column_text 0=””]

Living set-up



The research camp of volunteer for marine biodiversity is built into the steep slopes of Nosy Komba as a multi-level compound overlooking the spectacular coral reefs. Climb stone stairs up from an idyllic beach to main house situated above the dive deck. This will bring in the stunning view for the volunteers of the ocean over the reef, extending far across to the Forest Reserve on Nosy Be. Main house accommodates staff members and serves as a meeting place. Moreover it is a hangout area for volunteers during the day. Large decks line the front of main house complete with hammocks, bean bags and benches for the volunteers to relax. There is also volunteer working area and lockable storage boxes. Volunteer for marine biodiversity participants should bring a padlock to secure personal items in their luggage when not in use.

Up another level from main house sits a separate kitchen for volunteers and dining hut nestled among vibrant gardens. On this level and up another level sit a series of locally built volunteer bungalows fitted with bunk beds that serve as volunteer sleeping quarters. Volunteers can expect to share a hut with four to six other volunteers, and will need to bring their own bedding and towels. On these two levels, there are also several bathroom facilities equipped with running water, flush toilets and cold water showers.

Volunteer for marine biodiversty research camp

The volunteer research camp is eco-friendly with solar powered lighting throughout. There are no charging facilities for electronic devices; volunteers are encouraged to bring along a solar panel charging device and/or battery pack to keep their devices charged. Charging ports are available in the neighbouring village of Ampang, about a half hour hike from the volunteer camp. We do have an onsite generator for staff use though and volunteers are welcome to charge small devices (no laptops) from this if there is space. Bear in mind that in an effort to go green and use mostly solar power, use of the generator is minimal, sometimes only once per week or less.



Volunteers need to bring their own beddings and towels with them.



On the volunteer camp, three meals per day are provided seven days per week. Each meal is prepared by the on-site cooks using traditional Malagasy cooking methods making use of fresh, locally grown, seasonally available produce. Most meals have a rice base with a serving of beans, usually cooked in a sauce with vegetables on the side. Meals with change depending on the season and availability of local produce. Some meals will include fish/seafood, beef (zebu), or chicken. Meat, when part of a meal, is typically prepared with a sauce, cut into small pieces, and served over rice. In addition to bananas, breakfast usually consists of either baguettes and jam, eggs or crepes. Mm, sounds inviting!

Volunteers are also offered a vegetarian option for all meals. Due to logistics and the limitations of our remote location, the volunteer leads cannot provide a vegan option. Vegans can help themselves to the vegetable-based foods prepared, but will also need to supplement their diet with foods purchased off camp.  If a volunteer has special dietary requirements, please let the VET team know, so we can give the message further. The volunteer team at site will do their best to provide accordingly, however volunteers should not expect to eat as normally, at home. Volunteering in a remote region is a special case and being in a developing country the flexibility is necessary.



Wi-Fi is not available on volunteer camp, however there is Wifi access in the neighboring village of Ampang, about a half hour hike from camp.  Volunteers will also have access to Wifi over the weekends either in Ampang village or on the Neighboring Island of Nosy Be.


Mobile phones:

Volunteers can bring their mobile phones and purchase a local SIM card and credit for calling and data upon arrival. If their phone’s SIM is locked, they have the option of purchasing a local phone. This is great for keeping in touch with local staff, other volunteers and loved ones at home. With enough credit loaded on, you can make both domestic and international calls. The country code for calling Madagascar is +261.



Hand washing laundry area is provided on camp. Volunteers will need to purchase their own laundry soap (available on neighbouring Nosy Be) and can either do their own washing, or pay one of the local kitchen or care taker staff to do it for them. Typically, it costs 10,000 MGA per bag of laundry, plus soap.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-suitcase” add_icon=”true” title=”Travel focus” tab_id=”travel-focus”][vc_column_text 0=””]

Travel focus



Volunteer for marine biodiversity participants start the program by visiting the Centre National de Recherches Océanographiques of Madagascar in Nosy Be, where they will receive a short introduction to marine conservation by one of the institutes leading Malagasy marine researchers. Then volunteers will follow a fascinating tour of the marine museum, which has a large collection of specimens covering all aspects of marine life, also marine megafauna, and its evolution in Madagascar.

Nosy Mamoko Island

This island is at the southwest end of Ampasindava Bay.  The small, unspoiled forest ends in sandy white beaches with excellent opportunities for volunteers to swim and snorkel. It is possible in the bay to explore the delicate coral reefs. This traditional island still has a Queen as head of their population (which includes a troop of lemurs living amongst the villagers and a 100 year old tortoise).

Russian Bay

The name of this fascinating area dates back to the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, when a Russian warship anchored in the bay.  Instead of attacking passing Japanese ships, the crew enjoyed Madagascar so much, they decided not to wage war or to return to Russian. The ship was kept hidden, but emerged twice to trade with pirate vessels from the Mozambique Channel.  It finally sank years after running out of fuel. The last of these Russian sailors died in 1936 and the volunteers are free to see and visit their graves.

Volunteer adventure is here to about start! The 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 with a choice of hiking trails. It is super to know that while you are here to help with volunteering you can enjoy the top end nature (marine) scenery.

Ankazoberavina Marine Reserve

Very attractive to volunteers is also Ankazoberavina, meaning “island with big-leaved trees. This Marine Reserve lives up to its name with a forest of large trees and mangroves which is home to some species of lemur, flying foxes and chameleons. Also here volunteers are free to enjoy in snorkeling, which is absolutely outstanding with spectacular coral formations teaming with tropical fish and resident turtles.

Nosy Antsoha

This little-known island is so small that it is used solely as a lemur rehabilitation centre and safe-house.  It is currently home to six lemur species and volunteers are welcome to see it by themselves. This private island has a tropical rainforest and is one of four large lumps of silver basalt that makes up “Les Quatres Freres” (The Four Brothers) which also includes Nosy Betalinjona, Nosy Beangovo and Nosy Betanihazo.

Nosy Iranja

The Nosy Iranja Archipelago consists of two islets (Nosy Iranja Be and Nosy Iranja Kely) linked by the now world famous sandbar at low tide. The clear waters offer excellent snorkeling and swimming. While volunteering this is an incredible opportunity to see the underwater marine beauties. Nosy Iranja Be is the larger of the two and home to an abandoned lighthouse that was designed by Gustav Eiffel (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 has large sandy beaches that are surely attractive for the volunteers to see, as well as they are important breeding sites for both the Hawksbill and the Green Sea Turtle. With its lush vegetation, it is home to a large diversity of birdlife and coconut crabs.

Baramahamay River

Lush hills behind sunny, white beaches are the main features of Baramahamay River. What more can a volunteer wish for in his volunteering free time? Visitors to this remote area may even spot the extremely rare Madagascan fish eagle feeding off fish basking in the river. The villages are reknown for their blacksmiths, boat builders and honey. Honey and even crabs can be purchases from villagers in their pirogues. There is a small primary school in the village that volunteers contribute towards running.

Nosy Tanikely

Nosy Tanikely draws both bird enthusiasts and snorkelers alike. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for viewing the amazing variety of marine life. At low tide, one can walk all the way around the island, during which you may spot lemurs, flying foxes and white-tailed tropical birds. Again – here is the very best possibility to put together volunteer adventures and satisfy your expedition spirit.

About Spirit of Malala

An absolutely attractive spot for volunteers. The Spirit of Malala is a 50ft research and conservation vessel with cooking facilities, showers, flush toilets and seating areas. This boat was built in support of Malala Yousafzai, an incredibly courageous young girl, who stood up for the rights of all young women to receive equal educational opportunities. In doing so, she almost lost her life. Malala is the youngest person to receive a Nobel Prize and she continues to inspire and promote equal education for women globally. The meaning of Malala in Malagasy is “My Darling”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][vc_gmaps link=”#E-8_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” size=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1512544405677{margin-top: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 50px !important;background-color: #157a7c !important;border-radius: 10px !important;}” el_id=”project-cta-blue-color-white”][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]

Apply now and secure yourself a place in this life changing volunteer marine project.

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Additional information


4 Weeks, 5 Weeks, 6 Weeks, 7 Weeks, 8 Weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 11 weeks, 12 Weeks

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