I have just completed a Marine Internship in Madagascar and I had spent 8 amazing weeks on camp. As an intern I was given more responsibilities around camp and was able to carry out and manage my own project. I loved having my own project it gave me more of a objective within my stay, I chose to do my project on sea urchin abundance across the different dive sites. I gained so much experience diving in such a beautiful environment, nearly every day I had the opportunity to go out diving and assisting with surveys of invertebrates, fish and nudibranchs. I am now also qualified up to a rescue diver thanks to the guidance of Pete my dive instructor. When we weren't diving we were exploring our nearby surroundings, we carried out sea grass surveys, mangrove transect lines and regular beach cleans. I loved getting firsthand experience carrying out scientific research and feel the involvement will be highly beneficial to myself in the future. On days off we had opportunities to go in to town or take part in other activities such as mountain walks, visits to other islands and my personal favorite was the whale shark trip. I was very fortunate to visit at a time when whale sharks were in the area and we had the opportunity to swim with the amazing animals. All of the stall were lovely people, they were so easy to be around and were always happy to help. Life on camp is living with basic commodities, which was also one of the main reason I was drawn to the Madagascar project. I wanted to experience a new way of life, see and be part of amazing things. I was not disappointed.
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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.
I had an incredible time as a two month forest volunteer in Madagascar and was able to gain valuable experience in field data collection and other scientific methods used during the project. As well as bringing their specialist knowledge to the project, the staff are extremely helpful and enthusiastic. Assisting with problems of any magnitude and going the extra mile in ensuring volunteers arrivals and departure from the island goes smoothly as well as arranging outings on our days off. Walks into the forest take place several times a day and are abundant with fascinating wildlife.
The camp atmosphere is extremely welcoming and relaxed and though it is considered to be a basic lifestyle, conditions are extremely good. There is a reliable supply of running water for washing and cooking. This is also chlorinated for a communal supply of drinking water. There is a choice of two shared volunteer huts each being pleasant and roomy. There is a large sheltered communal area as well as a couple of more solitary places around camp which can be visited at will. The camp food was much more varied than expected. Beans, rice, vegetables and seasoning make up the majority of meals but extras such as omlette night, fresh fruit breakfasts and pancakes are often made. Additionally, if you choose to chip in a small amount there are regular steak nights for meat eaters, with other options for vegetarians. For those missing the use of electricity and internet, it is possible to travel to town on saturdays and visit cafes with wifi and power.
I highly recommend volunteering with Frontier Madagascar. It will be undoubtedly amazing experience.
Before arriving at the Frontier Tanzania camp on Mafia island i had never spent much time in a developing country, let alone volunteering in one. Needless to say i was a bit apprehensive however after arriving on camp with a bunch of fellow volunteers these apprehensions quickly disappeared. I have now spent three months working at this site, and i still love every single day of it. When my two months as a volunteer was nearing an end i didn't want to leave, so i was given the opportunity to apply for the conservation apprentice role and stay as a full member of staff, i eagerly took this chance and haven't looked back since.
What can i say about the camp, the facilities are basic but this is more than made up for by the atmosphere, camp mates are always a good laugh and everyone in my time here have always got on great. If camp life does get too much then their is always the local village and beach lodges to entertain you, many a night has been spent in the local bar, or down by the beach, relaxing under the stars or with a cold locally brewed beer in hand.
Then comes the project work itself, i was lucky enough to have applied for the marine project, i came out a lowly open water diver but during my stay i have progressed all the way up the ladder to become a fully qualified Dive master, all thanks to Frontiers, amazing dive instructors. Most days are spent on the boat, or under the water, conducting Baseline surveys of the marine life found within the Mafia island Marine park, the data collected is analyzed by us then used by the Marine park office to maintain the marine park. It makes it feel all worth while knowing the data you collect is used to save some amazing animals that would otherwise be at the mercy of the modern world.
The work experience has been fantastic and for the first time in my life i can honestly say what i want to do in the future, which for me has been by far the best thing to come out of a trip that has been full of great memories and new friends.
I have spend 4 weeks on a Sport Coaching program in Madagascar. From the beginning to the end, I'm not regretting anything. I was doing a volunteering program in Tanzania before to get to madagascar. I was quite sad to leave Tanzania because I met so many good people and I had so many amazing moments.
Now, after my experience in Madagascar, I feel the same. I spend 4 weeks with amazing people. The malagasi and of course the others volunteers. The staff is very professional and very friendly. They all want you to feel very confortable in Madagascar and they all want to get the best from your experience.
The teaching program was also a pure success. The teachers, all of the people in the school are very warmful and they all help you in your courses. It could be impressive when you face hundred kids for the first time, but just to take that to serious and just enjoy the moment. The best way.
I don't have any moment in particular that i've like the most. There is just an accumulation of moment which make this experience unbeliveable. If you want to do it and you are reading these lines, I've got an advise for you: Do it, It worth.
To finish I wanted to thanks a last time the Frontiers staff.
Thank you for everything.
Here I am, on Mafia Island Tanzania. Diving in an incredibly beautiful place, surrounded by new friends that feel as though they will last a lifetime.
As the Assistant Dive Officer, being in the water is how I spend my day-to-day life on Frontier camp. Although they’re always is time for a mangrove walk and a bird survey or a walk into the village for chai and fresh doughnuts. The environment is beautiful, the local community it welcoming and helpful, and our Frontier family is fantastic.
As a scuba diver instructor on paper and at heart, I came to Mafia knowing about the underwater world, but was continuing on my way to understand the vast world that lives below the surface. Since arriving on camp I have not stopped learning. Learning about the local marine life, the aquatic environment as a whole and about how I can assist in the fight to save our oceans.
Our supportive staff, both local and international, bring vast quantities of diverse knowledge and experience to create an inspiring team of individuals that have formed together to create a working ‘conservation machine’. Whale Sharks outings, turtle hatching, environmental days with the local children and conservation lessons in the local schools.
The varying diversity of daily experiences have helped me concrete my goal to continue my professional career in marine conservation. Taking my love and new knowledge for the oceans and passing these lessons onto my students.
I want to pass on a huge thank you to all our camp members who have helped me learn more about myself and the underwater world, which is were I feel most at home.
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