Though my stay was only a short one (2 weeks), I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Madagascar is a country with much to offer and the frontier staff on location manage the projects with great ease and experience. I got to do a wide range of community work, from teaching to construction. A good balance between volunteering and a little free time also enabled me to discover others corners of Nosy Be. I would absolutely recommend this project to anybody looking for new experiences, is open minded and flexible. Madagascar is full of surprises, and Frontier will make sure you don't miss any of them!
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Frontier has over 300 projects globally, offering unlimited opportunities to volunteer abroad. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a conservation project with lion cubs! You can learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and make lifelong friends.
Not sure I can add much more onto what the others have been saying for our programme in Madagascar - it genuinely was such an amazing experience and everyone loved it. I've come away with so many good memories, and the diving project was really worthwhile.
If you're thinking of doing this trip just a few things to mention:
1) Don't fly with air madagascar. There are flights direct to Nosy-be (the island off madagascar that the project was on), once a week from italy - this means you don't have to go through mainland madagsacar and experience the internal air madagascar flight. You are incredibly lucky if you reach camp with air madagascar without any cancellations. Frontier failed to mention to any of the participants that air madagascar is a nightmare (which they know very well by now), and recommend the italy flight route.
2) The required kit list is not really the required kit list. I bought over £400 worth of dive gear, when in actual fact the camp already has a lot of it there (dive belt, fins, mask - all things people have left behind). Save yourself some money and find out what you really need.
3) There is very little contact between the london HQ office and the camp on Madagascar. I arrived on the first monday of the month, at midday, at the airport, where I had confirmed with the london office that I would be. Nobody turned up. When I tried to call leaders on the camp it did not work. Turns out that the London HQ told the camp in madagascar they didn't know how or when I was arriving.
I first joined the Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates and Turtle Conservation Project as a volunteer for 5 months. I enjoyed my time there so much that after three months I became staff on the project and extended my stay there for an additional 8 weeks. There was so much to do on the programme with regards to everything including the many different surveys and general trail/river explorations, sunset walks, teaching at the local school, spending time with the locals, socialising, playing football, beach volleyball or even stargazing and much more. There was never a dull day and there was certainly never a time where I wanted to be anywhere else but in the middle of the Costa Rican Rainforest in the OSA peninsula. I felt as being staff on the project I learnt so much from all the different survey techniques and loved getting to know all the great people that were on camp during my time there and teaching them what I had learnt from my experiences and time here, I definitely made some friends for life and I really never wanted to leave, but I will return one day!
The camp set up suited me perfectly, especially as it was not unusual to see at least one of the four species of monkeys in the area passing through for a visit as well as many other reptiles, birds and mammals. There is cold running water straight from the pristine river next to camp, two flushing toilets, two hammock areas, a tent deck, a main deck for cooking, eating, reading, working and general chilling time and many resident alarm clocks (Howler monkeys) to make sure everyone was up nice and early to make the most of their day.
The wildlife was incredible, everyday there was something new and exciting and nothing ever got old, I still got just as excited for every baby sea turtle I saw reach the sea and happily got up at 2pm or 3pm most mornings to watch the struggle over and over again. I could not recommend this project more, I had the most amazing 6 and a half months of my life here and made some unforgettable memories.
I could not have wished for a better experience teaching abroad, I had the most amazing six weeks. The staff at Frontier worked incredibly hard to support the volunteers and ensure we all got the most out of our experience as well as making sure the local community got the best from us. The whole team was really friendly and the group of staff and volunteers working together was like a family. The community teaching projects are really well established in the town and I felt like I was really helping to improve local children and adults English skills. I have learnt a lot from my time on the teaching project and it would not have been the same without the amazing staff that run the projects and organize the volunteers.
I would thoroughly recommend Frontier projects in Madagascar to anyone wanting to make a positive impact on the community or the environment.
I was a healthcare volunteer on the island of Nosy Be in Madagascar for 2 weeks. I was based in the community house in the centre of Hellville with 4 other people doing different projects. The atmosphere was intimate and fun. I really liked being in the town and getting to experience the local people and customs. Though I was supposed to be doing the Healthcare project I participated in different activities such as teaching English, playing sports and looking after children. I also gave a few healtcare lessons and built a tippy-tap. I would maybe have liked to have a few more organised healthcare projects that I could have worked on and be a bit busier in my short amount of time here. I do have some great memories of my trip especially with the local youth club, where we would teach English to young Malagasies. The relationship the Frontier volunteers shared with them was amazing and enriching.
Overall, during my time here I think I learned a lot about myself and the activities I am interested in. I am very glad that I did this project as it allowed me to discover how the Frontier community projects work
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