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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Conservation

Conservation

Madagascar

  • Protect the endangered habitats of unique Madagascan species including lemurs
  • Help conserve the forest by supporting community initiatives and collecting data on local biodiversity
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Duration: 1 - 10 weeks

Cost from: £845 / €930 / $1050

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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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal