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Frontier

I have just returned from an absolutely awesome 6 weeks in Madagascar on the Marine Conservation project with Frontier and I can honestly say I'm only sorry I could not stay for longer! I had the time of my life and I will never forget it. I cannot express in this review exactly what a fantastic place this is to visit, or how great the staff and volunteers were who I was lucky enough to spend my time with however I will at least try!
I've always loved to travel and wanted to do something different, when I finally got the money and opportunity this year I decided I wanted to visit somewhere unique and learn to dive too. I came across the Frontier Madagascar Marine Conservation project and it fit the bill perfectly! From making my initial enquiry to arriving on camp staff were always friendly and knowledgable.

After a long flight Project manager Chris was on hand to pick us up from the airport and gave us a very informative Madagascar orientation during our transfer to the boat to reach camp. During my time there he went above and beyond to answer any questions and help whenever anybody needed something, even organising some trips for our days off which included an incredible snorkel with Whale Sharks!
The camp setting is a glorious island paradise. You only have to step outside the front gate to lie on the beach or jump in the sea! Life is basic but fun and various activities and 'food events' keep moral high. From self made entertainment such as reading book in a hammock, playing cards with other volunteers or going for a walk; to the excellent Beach Olympics or themed Friday night parties. I saw and experienced something new everyday I was there. Amenities wise there are showers and taps, hammocks, communal areas in and outdoors and toilets. These are obviously long drops but you get used to them quickly and often you might see a Lemur, Chameleon or Gecko when you pop to the toilet!
Food is basic but good, and you'll even learn to cater for a group of people in your time. Cooked on an open fire, rice, beans and veg make up the staple diet but you can always go to town on your day off and buy herbs, spices, sauces, fruits or treats to mix things up a bit. You can also pop to the local village for dinner on Tuesday and/or dinner and a party with the locals on Friday. This is for a small fee but comes highly recommended! The villagers also sell tasty local snacks in camp and I personally fell in love with the Sambos (kind of a cross between a pasty and a samosa). Monday night is omelette night and Thursday is the legendary STEAK NIGHT (vegetarian option available too), which was often a culinary highlight of the week :)
Staff on camp were welcoming, approachable, helpful and fun. They are all passionate about the work being done and I've learnt a lot from all of them in my time out there. I really enjoyed working as a team and they always had time to help us learn the many different species we needed to know for surveying and gave informative lectures on many related subjects such as coral disease and Nudibranchs. Special thanks to Lisa the Marine P.I. and the rest of the Marine team for running such a great project.
Beyond a try dive I had no diving experience on my arrival in Madagascar and completed my PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water in my time there and I'm really glad I did. The location was an excellent place to learn and the instruction from Gin in my first week (who sadly finished her time while I was there) and Pete for my second week of training (and support afterwards) was fantastic and I thank them both. I believe my diving has come a long way in my time there due in part to the excellent instruction and I found learning the surveying techniques really helps with buoyancy and breathing control. I've done deep dives (at the gorgeous Tanikely, and also the very different Andilana), a night dive and a drift dive and many dives at various sites for the project. I hope to carry on diving around the world now but I'll never forget where I and how I learnt to dive. I couldn't have asked for more.
Now that's not to say the Forest project is any less awesome and is just as well run! Although I was on the marine project in my time there I was lucky enough to go out on a few walks with the forest team and explore the terrestrial side of Nosy Be searching out the weird and wonderful wildlife of Madagascar. It is an amazing place. My camera is certainly been well used and I have over 1600 photographs to sort though!
We also did some work educating the children local village on environmental awareness which was very rewarding and fun.
A final word on the volunteers whom I was with who were also fantastic, I met such a variety of people from around the world and made some great friends in my time there. The people also make the experience and I feel very lucky to have spent my time with such great people (staff included of course!)

In summary if you cannot live without the internet, mobile phone coverage, power and cannot stand the outdoors then camp is not for you but these are some of the reasons I chose this location and given the chance I would go back in a heartbeat. If anyone reading this is sat on the fence about going and isn't bothered by the lack material things then climb down off that fence and go and book it now. You won't regret it the experience is amazing, Madagascar and it's people are fantastic!
I personally can't wait to go on my next project :)

Thanks again to everyone who made this trip for me
Adam

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Nov 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Frontier

From the amazing wildlife to the lively local culture, my time in Madagascar was a truly magical place like nothing I have experienced before! Made even greater by volunteering through frontier! The staff were brill especially project coordinator Chris who's knowledge of the local area is outstanding and really went out of his way to help with any problem you may have.
Camp life was basic but that was just part of all the fun! Food consisted of rice and bean but if like me you have a sweet tooth you could buy tasty home made snacks from the locals in the village or just stock up of Nutella from the Saturday trip to town!
The work is tiring but fun! I really enjoyed surveying the reefs and Seagrass around camp, the sea is buzzing with wildlife and my principle investigater Kate always managed to spot a turtle!!
It wasn't all work though on Thursday night we had steak night which is a very welcome break to rice and beans. And Fridays were party night which where a barrel of laughs. I made some super friends from all over the world during my time with frontier and have left with spectacular memory's that I won't soon forget!

Program:
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Nov 22, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I volunteered in Nepal with the Orphanage Project. The kids were very appreciative of the time given. I learned so much from them, more than I thought. This experience helped me to appreciate all that my parents have given to me. I am now looking to volunteer every year in a different country.

My experience with Global Crossroad was very good. They were very helpful, and assisted me throughout my entire time. It was a very pleasant experience for me and my parents, as the staff was very good at answering all of my parent's questions and alleviating their fears. All information was provided as we requested, and when we requested. The efficiency of the company is what helped make my experience great. They even advised that I might like to do the Conservation Project with the Orphanage Project and that was great, as I truly loved both projects

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Nov 20, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

I have spent 5 weeks in Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage, an amazing program that allows volunteers to work with local children as much as with wild animals. The perfect mix! Not only you teach the children about saving environment, animals and other matters, but you also learn about them and their way of life which is quite different from ours. It's very enriching, and I would say that you learn from them as much as they learn from you. You also work and live among the animals, and the arrival of a new one is always very exciting!
Volunteers also have the possibility to meet local people from the near village, by spending a night within a family. A unique experience I highly recommend...
Daktari is a family size program, on the day you arrive you immediately meet all the people that work here, including the foundators, and you quickly feel like at home. The relationship with other volunteers is great because everybody is very willing, and you can meet people of every ages and from every places of the world.
Finally, when volunteering at Daktari, I would say that you feel very useful and it is an experience you will never forget.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: South Africa
Posted: Nov 20, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

A Broader View provided me with a once in a life time opportunity that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in a cause that you are passionate about, meet new people from all over the world, and experience other cultures and experiences that you would not have otherwise been able to witness. ABV enabled me to go on this amazing adventure, and provided me with every little detail that I needed to have an amazing trip.

My accommodation, meals and feeling of security was amazing! I feel like I have a second family and a second home in Costa Rica. The beds were super comfy, something I was not expecting. I enjoyed living only meters from a beach, in a very basic shelter. Meals were also excellent, I never know there could be so much variety in the way you can cook beans and rice! Pancake day was my favorite! I always had more than enough food, and was always satisfied with the meals I was provided with. There was never a time where I didn't feel safe, and I couldn't be happier with the living and eating provisions I was given.

The A Broader View Support before traveling was stellar. I was provided with detailed packing manuals, instructions and pieces of advice as to how to adapt to the new culture I would be immersed in. Any and all questions I had were answered effectively and promptly. ABV was also very accommodative of my itinerary, as I was traveling for five days after volunteering, and they even suggested some travel agents, companies, and activities. To me, ABV is more than just a company providing volunteer opportunities, but a company built by people who are caring, and passionate, and want to provide their customers with the best experience possible.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Nov 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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