VOLUNTEERING IN Madagascar

AFRICA

Being a volunteer in Madagascar is truly captivating, this country is the world’s fourth biggest island and over 95% of wildlife in there is endemic and exists nowhere else, including the infamous lemurs, aye-ayes and leaf tailed geckos. Most people will only get a glimpse of the magic and mystery of Madagascar through a David Attenborough nature documentary. Those with the opportunity to visit and volunteer in Madagascar will see the full glory of the country! Madagascar is a fantastic destination for people who like getting off the beaten track, including those volunteering in Madagascar.

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From the epic Tsingy and ‘Avenue of Baobabs’ to the new species of frogs and chameleons being discovered each year, Madagascar is a place of unique experiences. Whilst the country is widely known for its incredible array of wildlife, it’s often overlooked that Madagascar is also one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 161 out of 187 countries globally. Volunteers are needed to work on conservation initiatives that compliment wider health, community education and sustainable livelihood goals. Pod Volunteer is an award-winning non-profit organisation helping people to volunteer in this country.

You can get involved in conservation volunteering, camping in one of the last examples of littoral forest in the world and integrating with the rural community. You will support research that is shared with the Malagasy government and collect data on lemurs, flying fox bats, reptiles and amphibians.

Volunteers are needed from early January through to late November in Madagascar. Climate wise, the region has two seasons. The hot, rainy season runs from November to April and the cooler dry season runs from May to October. The region remains humid throughout the year and tropical rains can occur at any time, so be sure to pack a waterproof! Temperatures range from the early 30s during the hot season down to a fresh 15°C at night during the cooler months.

At Pod Volunteer we love to travel and regularly visit the projects in Madagascar. Here is our insider’s view of our experiences travelling and volunteering in Madagascar…

Things we loved: Seeing the wildlife that Madagascar is famous for is an incredible experience – from watching the charismatic lemurs play and eat in the forest, to spotting a leaf-tailed gecko or a chameleon wandering past, there’s so much to take in! The food – little wooden local cabin restaurants serve unexpectedly delicious and cheap food. The beaches are also stunning – white sand, crystal blue water and activities such as whale watching or if you are feeling sporty you can hire a surf instructor and hit the waves too.

Things we weren’t so sure about! The roads throughout Madagascar are incredibly bad and bumpy, meaning that the only way to get between many cities in the South are the more expensive internal flights. The capital, Antananarivo, is not a safe city to explore alone and we not do recommend visiting.

Below you’ll find a summary of our volunteering projects abroad in Madagascar which you can click through to and find out about the volunteer role, location, accommodation and costs, see lots of pictures and read volunteer reviews!

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Amazon Conservation

Amazon Conservation

Peru

  • Work alongside scientific researchers to document the ecosystem to help conserve the rainforest
  • Study local wildlife including endangered Blue-headed macaw, jaguars and monkeys
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Duration: 2 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £1595 / €1850 / $1915

Big 5 Conservation

Big 5 Conservation

South Africa

  • Experience incredible Big 5 sighting - lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard
  • Live on a stunning wildlife reserve, near to the beautiful beaches of the Garden Route
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £895 / €1040 / $1075

Caribbean Reef Conservation

Caribbean Reef Conservation

Belize

  • Join an award-winning project on the world's second largest coral reef
  • Learn to dive or develop your skills whilst carrying out surveys and conservation work
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £1195 / €1330 / $1435

Caribbean Wildlife

Caribbean Wildlife

Belize

  • Assist keepers with the care of around 200 rescued native animals including jaguars and tapirs
  • Help prepare food and enrichments for the animals at the educational visitor centre
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Duration: 2 – 3 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Community Development

Community Development

Ghana

  • Join a passionate team and help build a brighter future for rural Ghanaian communities
  • Get involved in a diverse range of community initiatives from eco solar lights to sports!
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Desert Elephant Conservation

Desert Elephant Conservation

Namibia

  • Join an elephant tracking team to research the wild elephant population
  • Build protection walls for farmers' water sources and drinking water points for the desert elephants
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Duration: 2 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £1195 / €1385 / $1435

Desert Elephant Conservation - Family Trip

Desert Elephant Conservation - Family Trip

Namibia

  • Work with your family to help protect and research desert elephants in Namibia
  • Join a family volunteering team to support elephant conservation and community work
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Duration: 11 days

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Early Learning

Early Learning

Ghana

  • Create fun educational activities with the children at the nursery
  • Support the local nurses during community baby weighing clinics
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Elephant and Wildlife Conservation

Elephant and Wildlife Conservation

Sri Lanka

  • Join the team to support vital work helping to protect wild elephants
  • Research sloth bears, leopards and other wildlife to support their conservation
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Elephant Care

Elephant Care

Thailand

  • Care for elephants rescued from a harsh working life
  • Live on site at a tropical wildlife sanctuary home to over 600 animals
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £665 / €770 / $800

Elephant Care and Research

Elephant Care and Research

South Africa

  • Join an active research team collecting data to guide best practice for management of elephant husbandry
  • Work hands on with elephants providing care and enrichment
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £895 / €1040 / $1075

Elephant Conservation

Elephant Conservation

Cambodia

  • Assist at a sanctuary which provides a home for rescued Asian elephants
  • Observe elephants in their natural surroundings and help support the daily running of the sanctuary
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Duration: 2 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £1295 / €1500 / $1555

Endangered Wildlife Conservation

Endangered Wildlife Conservation

South Africa

  • Award winning conservation of priority species including black rhino, African wild dog, leopard, elephant and lion
  • Join a small team living on a stunning game reserve
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Duration: 2 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £1395 / €1620 / $1675

Film and Photography Volunteering

Film and Photography Volunteering

Ghana

  • Use your photography or film skills to promote community achievements and support community initiatives
  • Work with the team to produce interactive health sessions
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Horse Rehabilitation

Horse Rehabilitation

South Africa

  • Help to care for and rehabilitate around 40 horses (no previous riding experience required)
  • Enjoy riding along the Indian Ocean whilst watching whales and dolphins
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £795 / €920 / $955

Marine and Coastal Conservation

Marine and Coastal Conservation

Greece

  • Help protect the sand dunes and seagrass meadows on the beautiful island of Kefalonia
  • Gain hands on experience and skills in research and conservation
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Duration: 2 - 6 weeks

Cost from: £790 / €915 / $950

Marine Conservation

Marine Conservation

South Africa

  • Learn or advance diving skills and enjoy some fantastic diving in the Indian Ocean
  • Receive marine ecology training and contribute to turtle, shark, potato bass and manta ray research
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Duration: 2 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £1345 / €1560 / $1615

Marine Conservation

Marine Conservation

Thailand

  • Contribute to the research, protection and restoration of reefs in Koh Tao
  • Open to all dive levels and experience, conservation certificates included
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Duration: 1 – 4 weeks + dive courses

Cost from: £875 / €1015 / $1050

Teaching

Teaching

Ghana

  • Develop the students’ confidence speaking English and run after school sessions
  • Work with the local team promoting hand washing to schools
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Duration: 2 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £1095 / €1270 / $1315

Turtle and Wildlife Conservation

Turtle and Wildlife Conservation

Costa Rica

  • Join an active scientific project monitoring and protecting sea turtles and other wildlife
  • Live in a research and education station on the stunning South Pacific coast
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £725 / €840 / $870

Turtle Conservation

Turtle Conservation

Greece

  • Help monitor and protect endangered sea turtles on the beautiful island of Kefalonia
  • Gain hands on experience and skills in research and conservation
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Duration: 2 - 6 weeks

Cost from: £790 / €915 / $950

Volunteer Building

Volunteer Building

Ghana

  • Work alongside the local team of builders and carpenters
  • Build and renovate schools, community buildings and handwashing facilities
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1155 / $1195

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife Rescue

Thailand

  • Work with rescued bears, monkeys, otters, gibbons and other exotic animals
  • Help to protect endangered animals, living onsite at a tropical wildlife sanctuary
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £645 / €750 / $775

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife Rescue

Costa Rica

  • Assist at a wildlife sanctuary which provides a safe haven for rescued animals
  • Help to care for animals such as monkeys, sloths, birds and anteaters
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Duration: 1- 4 weeks

Cost from: £775 / €900 / $930

Wildlife Rescue - Family Volunteering

Wildlife Rescue - Family Volunteering

Costa Rica

  • Work with your family to care for and help rehabilitate rescued animals living at the sanctuary
  • Assist the team in providing a safe haven for monkeys, sloths and birds
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Duration: 1 week

Cost from: £2095 / €2430 / $2515

Top 5 reasons to visit and volunteer in Madagascar

  • Lemurs - Madagascar is known the world over for its lemurs; there are roughly 60 different species and sub-species on the island. The lemurs are fascinating creatures displaying a huge range of captivating behaviours such as singing like a whale!

  • Alley of the Baobabs - usually solitary, the trees in this region are found lining a dirt track, clustered together to form an avenue effect. They are roughly 30m in height and perfectly equipped to deal with dry hostile environments. The powerful sight of these gentle giants towering over the vast landscape is a must see.

  • Reef exploration - Madagascar boasts 450km of barrier reef and 250 islands to explore. Take a trip whale watching or explore the many nearby islands for stunning scenery and unique views. Alternatively, dive below the ocean and discover the wonders of the corals, fish, sharks and shipwrecks.

  • Local music - music and dancing are a big part of Madagascan culture, with salegy (a traditional form of music using many instruments and powerful voices) taking precedent. Take a walk through the streets to hear the vibrant and energetic sound of salegy and immerse yourself in true Madagascan life.

  • Mofo street food - Madagascar boasts some of the tastiest street food in the world. From cakes to fritters to sweetened bread collectively known as ‘mofo’. The foods are cooked on the street over charcoal or are deep fried and often include a variety of fruits such as pineapple and bananas. Delicious!

Madagascar children

Madagascar children

Madagascar countryside

Madagascar countryside

Madagascar countryside and animals

Madagascar countryside and animals

Madagascar volunteer at top of hill

Madagascar volunteer at top of hill

Madagascar canoeing on river

Madagascar canoeing on river

Madagascar traditional dance

Madagascar traditional dance

Madagascar locals carring wood

Madagascar locals carring wood

Madagascar boat and beach

Madagascar boat and beach

Madagascar volunteers by the beach

Madagascar volunteers by the beach

Madagascar wildlife

Madagascar wildlife

Madagascar countryside and hills

Madagascar countryside and hills

Madagascar wildlife

Madagascar wildlife

We have long term relationships with hand-picked projects that have lasting and positive impact. We are a highly experienced and passionate team, here to support you!

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