Our Madagascar Conservation team work to protect and conserve the endangered coastal forest through biodiversity research and supporting sustainable community initiatives.
Volunteers support the team collecting valuable research in the tropical coastal forest which is home to unique species including lemurs, flying fox bats and chameleons. The research helps to drive the region’s conservation strategy for protecting the area. You can help to make a difference by assisting on the conservation treks, reforestation projects and community education sessions.
Live in a beautiful coastal village which is surrounded by a tropical forest and near to stunning beaches.
Join the conservation team and be part of the vital research in unique Madagascar.
The Conservation project aims to protect the fragile ecosystem by conducting valuable research into the region’s biodiversity which helps to drive a conservation strategy for future protection. 99% of amphibians, 96% of reptiles and 93% of mammals found in Madagascar are unique and found nowhere else on earth, so it’s a very exciting project to be part of with new species found every year!
Volunteers support the local team of researchers staff with their ongoing conservation work and your role will depend on the current research aims. Activities may include population, distribution and behaviour studies on:
Volunteers will help the conservation team with:
“For us here in this region, every extra volunteer means extra investment, extra employment and training, and a multitude of benefits.”
The Mayor of the region
Volunteers normally work 5-6 days a week, usually from 8am to 8pm. Volunteers generally have a two hour lunch break to eat and relax at the research base. You may walk or take a local boat to each day’s project location. The journey from your camp site to the project site varies from around 5 minutes to 1 hour. The role is dynamic and changes depending on the current research requirements so volunteers can choose which activities to assist with each day.
An typical day may include:
During your first few days you will receive an induction for your conservation work, health and safety briefing and advice on local customs and the cultural sensitivity when working alongside the village communities.
In your free time you can relax or explore the local area and activities that South East Madagascar has to offer.
There are normally 2-8 volunteers with a maximum of 15, who work alongside the local team, researchers and conservation staff.
This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.
Hoby and Tsaraiky are the Conservation project team leaders and have years of expereince working in the forest on conservation projects and as tour guides. There are also international project coordinators. The support staff are located at the project site which also houses volunteer accommodation.
Throughout the placement you will be predominantly based at the rural campsite, but will also stay a few days at a homestay.
The rural camp is located near deserted beaches and tropical forests teeming with wildlife. There is no WIFI access. You will stay in your own tent which you can either bring from home or rent locally.
The homestay is a local style house, located next to a stunning lake. It is a 40 minute walk or 10-15 minute drive from the town centre. WIFI access is available.
All main meals are included in your placement and are prepared for you by the local team. Here are typical examples of the food you will have:
Fruit and simple snacks can be purchased locally.
Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and can be catered for.
Drinking water is provided throughout your placement.
Based in a tropical forest and surrounded by coastal fishing community, volunteers often spend their free time at the beach, walking to local markets or (electricity permitting) enjoying a film night on the team’s projector. Other free time activities that volunteers regularly enjoy include playing guitar, card games, dominoes and word games or just relaxing with a book in a hammock at the rural camp site. New games and activities are always appreciated too!
The research team usually spends 3-4 weeks based in the rural camp and then returns to the town for a few days off to relax before travelling back to the rural camp. Whilst in town, volunteers can visit Nahampoana wildlife reserve which is on the outskirts of Fort Dauphin and is a great opportunity to see the diverse ecosystems of Southern Madagascar including many lemur species that are unique to the region.
For those with 2 or 3 days free, Berenty Reserve is also well worth a visit for a chance to experience the unique spiny forest, octopus trees, ring tailed and ‘dancing’ sifaka lemurs – famous for being a film location for a David Attenborough documentary. The Berenty trip is best booked in advance whilst most other activities can be booked locally once you are at the project.
Madagascar is an incredibly diverse island off the South West coast of Africa and a perfect destination for intrepid travellers. It is home to thousands of animal and plant species which are found nowhere else on else including the famous lemurs, aye-ayes and fossas.
Popular places to visit in Madagascar that you might like to combine with your project include:
For more information on Madagascar and some things we loved when we visited there please see our Madagascar country page.
Madagascar has a hot tropical climate and the Anosy region is no exception! The region has two main seasons. The hot, rainy season runs from November through to April (January to April experiences the highest rainfall). May through to October is the cooler, dry season but there can be tropical downpours throughout the year. Temperatures get up to around highs of 30 degrees celsius during the hottest months, but you'll need a fleece or two during the cooler months which can feel very chilly at around 15 degrees in the early mornings.
2020: 13 Oct (1-8 weeks), 27 Oct (1-6 weeks), 10 Nov (1-4 weeks), 24 Nov (1-2 weeks)
2021: 5 Jan (1-10 weeks), 19 Jan (1-8 weeks), 2 Feb (1-6 weeks), 16 Feb (1-4 weeks), 2 Mar (1-2 weeks), 30 Mar (1-10 weeks), 13 Apr (1-8 weeks), 27 Apr (1-6 weeks), 11 May (1-4 weeks), 25 May (1-2 weeks), 29 Jun (1-10 weeks), 13 Jul (1-8 weeks), 27 Jul (1-6 weeks), 10 Aug (1-4 weeks), 24 Aug (1-2 weeks), 28 Sep (1-10 weeks), 12 Oct (1-8 weeks), 26 Oct (1-6 weeks), 9 Nov (1-4 weeks), 23 Nov (1-2 weeks)
|1 week||£845||GB Pounds|
|2 weeks||£895||GB Pounds|
|4 weeks||£1445||GB Pounds|
|6 weeks||£1845||GB Pounds|
|8 weeks||£2195||GB Pounds|
|10 weeks||£2495||GB Pounds|
Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis. For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.
All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT).
Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com
“This is a truly eye opening experience being in the middle of a local community where the team has such a close relationship with this unique community. You are also always busy and definitely get your money’s worth with really interesting activities from herpetological identification (amphibians and reptiles such as chameleons, geckos, snakes, frogs and lizards) to lemur transects.
Absolutely changed my perspective on the way that we approach life and how we can protect these very special areas of the world."
“For years I had dreamed of visiting Madagascar in a way that would connect me to people and allow me to contribute in some way. Pod Volunteer and team in Madagascar made this possible.
Being involved in so many different activities was very rewarding and was an amazing learning experience. The team included me in everything, and I had opportunities to participate in plant, lemur, invertebrate, herp, and bird assignments. Everyone on the team shared so much of their knowledge and experiences and they provided excellent advice on just about everything.
The team always made me feel very welcome and engaged. I will cherish my memories from this experience. Many thanks to Pod Volunteer and the Madagascar team."
“I had the most marvellous time volunteering with the Conservation project in Madagascar. Tourism in Madagascar can be expensive, so this was a fabulous way to safely see some parts of the country that are otherwise inaccessible.
I was extremely well looked after throughout my stay, and really enjoyed being able to contribute to the ongoing wildlife conservation and education work that the team are doing in the region. The scenery was spectacular, and it was wonderful to get to explore the local beaches and forest with knowledgeable guides, and to see several unique endemic species some of whom, including lemurs and chameleons, would turn up in camp to visit us!”
“My conservation volunteering experience in Madagascar was amazing. I got to be involved in so many different activities, such as forest analysis, lemur transects, herps transects, lobsters and Club A, where kids from local schools learn about nature and conservation.
I learnt some very basic Malagasy to be able to say hello to the locals and buy beer from the local shop. Interacting with the community was pretty great and everyone was always in such a brilliant mood.
The guides were so helpful and knowledgeable, the Research Assistant and coordinator were amazing, and the food was soooo good!! I would definitely recommend the experience! You will go home with a very full heart!"
endangered Phelsuma geckos remain in the surrounding forest
"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder
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“Doing the project has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. The people are incredible, the environment is breath-taking, and the work is very rewarding.”Read more volunteer reviews
“I definitely recommend traveling to Madagascar because you will have an incredible special experience at the same time as benefiting one of the poorest communities and most endangered eco systems.”Read more volunteer reviews
“Watching lemur behaviour and finding chameleons and geckos by night will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life! I would definitely recommend to anybody wanting an experience of a lifetime!!!”Read more volunteer reviews