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Madagascar Teaching, Wildlife & Diving

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
  • Apply
Test Madagascar Teaching, Wildlife & Diving
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Get Project Info

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Get Country Info

Download a PDF with details about Madagascar for you to keep or print out

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How To Apply

Simply fill in our no-obligation application form and we will get back to you with full project details

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PADI Qualification

Get trained up to Advanced Open Water on many of our marine conservation projects.


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Find out more about Madagascar

Start your adventure now by reading our country guide for Madagascar!


Frontier Group Project

Working in collaboration with institutions and NGOs with the country, projects are research-based, creating sustainable and biodiverse programmes.

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A magical landscape punctuated by the strange, root like forms of beautiful and unearthly baobab trees, forest canopies filled with unknown species and unique creatures such as the minute mouse lemur with its round lamp like eyes, skimming kingfishers catching tiny fish from the limpid forest pools, and the curiously coloured tenrec, amongst thousands of other endemic animals. An ocean that teems with an abundance of marine life, providing the perfect environment to discover diving under the glorious warmth of the Madagascan sunshine. Hospitable communities where you will find a culture that evokes the exotic aura of Africa with a distinctly French European flavour.

All this and more is waiting to be discovered within this unique island located in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. With this project you will experience the best that Madagascar has to offer, with an unforgettable teaching experience in a developing community, a breathtaking trek through the prolific forests stuffed full of flora and fauna, and scuba diving over the reef-scapes of one of the best diving spots in the world. Join this project for a varied and exhilarating journey through this most tempting of travel destinations!

      

    

Airport Pickup Camping Beach Emergency Physical Ground Transport Hotel Homestay Meals Research PADI Teaching Terrestrial Trekking Wildlife Marine Coastal Snorkelling Encounter
FAST FACTS
Location Madagascar
Activities Helping to teach excited and lively local kids
Assemble innovative & effective lesson plans
Explore the local forests and learn to survey small mammals, vegetation and amphibeans
Learn about the elusive lemurs of Madagascar
PADI Scuba Diving training from the idyllic beach camp (extra cost applies)
Explore the mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Swim and snorkel on the reefs of Nosy Be to study the various marine life living on coral reefs
Transport Airport pickup weekly on a Monday. Alternative start dates possible, additional £35GBP applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
Transfer to town centre and beach camp from Nosy Be Airport weekly on a Monday
Accommodation Communal mixed sex bandas

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go Pre-departure support 
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training FREE for 10 week+ volunteers (£80 per person for those participating for less that 10 weeks)
In-country

Food
Accommodation
Airport pickup (for first Monday of the month arrivals). Alternative start dates possible, additional £35GBP applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
Transfer to town centre and beach camp from Nosy Be Airport on first Monday of the month. Alternative start dates available. 
Local orientation and training

Dive training PADI Open Water (2 week+) available at extra cost £250 
Dive training PADI Advanced Open Water (4 weeks+) available at extra cost £230
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
Vocational qualification diploma or certificate in Tropical Habitat Conservation available
Dive training courses run monthly starting on the first Monday of the month. Dive training to PADI Open Water or PADI Advanced Open Water (depending on the duration of your stay) price includes PIC cards, PADI membership, and use of Frontier project equipment and diving eqipment including tanks, Regs, BCDs, weights,compressor etc.
Discounted further dive courses: PADI Emergency First Response (£100), PADI Rescue Diver (£300), and PADI Divemaster qualifications (£500)

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

Madagascar's Lemurs (MGF)

Madagascar has been isolated for over 165 million years, creating a biodiversity resource of global significance, with over 80% of species found nowhere else on Earth, including leaping Sifaka Lemurs, Lesser Mouse Lemurs or even the elusive Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur. Sifaka Lemurs are very popular with visitors due to the unusual manner in which they traverse open ground. They are mainly found in trees and are capable jumpers, but due to the dispersal patterns of their favourite trees, they cross un-jumpable spaces by sashaying sideways on their hind legs, with their arms in the air! Sadly these beautiful creatures are threatened – which is why programmes such as this are so vital.

Other interesting creatures found here include an abundance of reptiles such as tortoises, snakes, iguanas and a vast array of chameleons, both the smallest and largest in the world. There is spectacular bird life, and over three-quarters of the flora are endemic, with palms and more orchids than in all of mainland Africa.

This incredible flora and fauna, unique in its ability to resist the region's aridity, has led naturalists to describe Madagascar's forests as "the eighth wonder of the world".

Protecting Marine Wildlife (MGM)

Madagascar's human population has doubled since 1960, leading to increased deforestation and overgrazing, which in turn has caused massive soil erosion and desertification, and damage to the marine ecosystems due to pollution and runoff.

Through marine SCUBA and snorkel surveys you will map coral, identify reef and commercial fish, and record marine species including fish, dolphins and turtles. Diving under the supervision of a professional dive officer, you will become confident and comfortable underwater. Your results will determine the biodiversity of these waters and help formulate management plans.

Other activities include surveying mangroves, a vital buffer against elements such as tsunamis, and also documenting coastal bird and reptile populations, an important part of the coastal ecosystem.

*For volunteers on the marine project for up to 2 weeks you have the opportunity to complete your PADI Open Water training. For volunteers on the project for more than two weeks you'll need to complete the PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water training in order to take part in the marine surveys.* 

Lack of Foreign-Language Teachers (MGT)

The majority of primary school-age children and 36% of secondary school-age children attend school. However, schools are severely under-funded and there is an unequal distribution of educational resources across the country. Poor and rural communities can only attend seriously disadvantaged public schools. Depending on the time of year, for example during the long summer holidays, you may be teaching adults lessons to members of the village, held either at camp or in the church.

The vast majority of the population speaks only Malagasy, and there is a lack of foreign-language teachers. Your help can give children and adults a sense of confidence, encourage their enthusiasm and ambition, and even improve their opportunities for the future. To teach, you will need to be patient, flexible, a confident communicator and able to use your initiative and imagination. It would be helpful to have beginner's level French, but you will have plenty of opportunities to learn! Lessons will be fun and interactive, developing the pupil's confidence and conversational skills.

Students will be interested in life where you come from. You may be able to get involved teaching other activities such as sports, music or science, if you are interested and have the relevant skills. There will also be the possibility of working with our field conservation programmes to arrange collaborations for environmental education.

                                             

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Sample Itinerary

This is a specimen itinerary for a 3 week project and the order and duration of the project components is subject to change. The 6, 9 and 12 week project option will mean more time on each project component. Timing of Marine, Teaching and Forest phases may vary depending on the time of year you depart.

The 2 week project option allows you to take part in your choice of 2 projects from those listed above, each for 1 week. 

Day 1 & 2: Orientation

Arrive in Nosy Be and receive orientation and briefing by the Frontier staff on the beach camp.

Week 1: Diving and marine conservation

The camp is the sociable hub of Frontier-Madagascar, and is perfect for relaxing and enjoying spending time with your group at the end of a busy day of diving. Whilst completing this project, you will be able to gain your PADI Open Water diving qualification (£250 extra), an internationally recognised certification. The research programme within the Bay is a very exciting and dynamic. The priority for this phase will be BSP (Baseline Survey Protocol) although other activities will be included: Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP), collaborating and adding to underwater species lists, sediment traps – setting and analysing, algae/coral quadrats to monitor phase shifts, benthic surveys to assess the extent of pink line syndrome, nutrient water testing across the bay, mangrove survey work and various socio-economic work such as village workshops for PADI Aware, interviewing of local fishermen and trips to the fish markets. With such a wide array of activities on-going you are unlikely to be able to do everything, especially with dive training to fit in: so please be realistic. Diving regularly in the waters of the Indian Ocean over perfect coral reefs, amid spectacular fish, turtles and rays is an experience you will never forget.

Week 2: Forest conservation

You will have the chance to explore the forest of Nosy Be, and maybe even further afield on the mainland or local islands on an infamous satellite camp. You will experience a truly remote environment, spotting rarely seen wildlife along the way. As you go you may have the chance to carry out opportunistic wildlife spotting as you travel.

This may allow you to take part in the following sampling;

  • Vegetation surveying
  • Small mammal and lemur sampling
  • Reptile and amphibian sampling
  • Butterfly trapping
  • Bird-watching
  • Opportunistic observation of birds, reptiles and mammals

Week 3: Teaching English

Your work schedule will cover a comprehensive, varied and enjoyable teaching programme which will engage you fully with your pupils and will awaken your creativity and initiative. You may be helping a local teacher at the school as well as being required to take control of your own lessons, which will encourage you to formulate ideas and develop your teaching skills and techniques. You may be involved with activities such as marking pupil's work, and producing an inspiring teaching strategy including preparing homework and assembling innovative and effective lesson plans.

As well as this you will have the opportunity to help with lots of extracurricular activities which will vary extensively depending on your personal skills and interests – whether it is helping organise a school show, playing football with the super competitive and highly skilled local kids. You may even get the chance to join the Frontier marine or forest camps for their regular Friday night themed parties, depending on the overall work programme. The teaching programme is demanding but thoroughly rewarding and is excellent preparation for anyone looking towards a career in teaching or who is just keen to get exposure to this worthwhile field of work. Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from inspiring these communities, whilst significantly enhancing your own skills and experience.

Day 21 Travel to the airport and prepare for departure

You will be dropped off at the airport in time for your return flight.

If this is your first time doing conservation work, don't worry! It will only take a short while for you to feel totally at home on camp and confident with the science work. Although the work is intense you'll find that living in such a beautiful and inaccessible environment alongside friends who share your passion for conservation will be the experience of a lifetime!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Volunteers arriving weekly on a Monday will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at Nosy Be airport. From here it's a short taxi or minibus ride from the airport to the centre of this vibrant town. If you arrive before noon, you will transfer to your project site and be introduced to the Frontier-Madagascar programme on the same day. If you arrive later in the day, you will stay overnight at the Frontier volunteer house in town and transfer to your project site the following day.

Independent travellers arriving on dates other than weekly on a Monday can arrange a separate airport collection (extra cost; £35GBP) by contacting the camp staff in Nosy Be.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Your accommodation on the project will vary. During the teaching phase you will be housed in a simple, comfortable volunteer house in Hellville where our staff and volunteers are all based. Whilst on the wildlife and diving phases be staying in our beach Frontier camp, which is on the shores of the Indian Ocean, near to primary rainforest and is the perfect location for socialising and relaxing after an active day of scuba diving or trekking.

Check out our Camp Tour video! 

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Whilst on the project, you will be provided with three meals a day. Your meals will generally be basic, with beans and rice providing the basis for most meals. Madagascan cuisine is flavoursome but simple; some dishes to look out for include Malagache lobster with rice, Malagache prawn and chicken curry, and a Madagascan speciality called "Sakay". For vegetarians Malagache vegetable soup is delicious and extremely good for you!

AN ADVENTURE IN EVERY WAY  | 27 Jan 2015
I would say the best thing about working with Frontier is that they give you a push forward in li...

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THE TEACHING IS SO REWARDING!  | 20 Jan 2015
The best part of my trip was the teaching and getting to know a whole bunch of new and incredible...

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MADAGASCAR IS A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER  | 12 Dec 2014
Madagascar is a place like no other. I never knew much about it until I stumbled over the Madagas...

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MADAGASCAR WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE  | 18 Aug 2014
I went on the adventure program for 3 weeks, so I could participate in the teaching, wildlife and...

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I'M PROUD OF ALL THE THINGS I'VE LEARNED  | 10 Jul 2014
I went on a 6 week "Adventure" Program. This involves two weeks of learning to dive, ea...

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THE MOST EXCITING PLACE TO LEARN TO DIVE!  | 18 Jun 2014
I went on a 6 week "Adventure" Program. This involves two weeks of learning to dive, ea...

Read more


DEFINITELY GO FOR IT!  | 14 Apr 2014
Madagascar is amazing. Simple as that. I was part of the adventure programme in North Madagascar ...

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I FEEL INSPIRED TO LEARN MORE  | 26 Mar 2014
Weeks 1-3; Marine conservation It took me a week to get used to the environment, as even thou...

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TEACHING & FINDING ANIMALS  | 7 Mar 2014
I really enjoyed my time in Madagascar, I started off with 3 weeks of marine which I loved, my fa...

Read more


SMILING, WAVING AND GREETING THE MALAGASY KIDS!  | 26 Feb 2014
It is my last hour here in Nosy Be, Madagascar. I have spent four unforgettable weeks of teachi...

Read more


1 to 10 next >
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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

A range of adventure and cultural activities like visits to remote villages, snorkelling, mountain treks and wildlife tours are available. You can arrange these in country which helps contribute to the local economy.

Scuba diving courses may be available (subject to availability of spaces and time constraints).

Dive courses run monthly commencing on the first Monday of the month

  • Single Day snorkelling off the boats £10
  • Single Day Dive £30
  • Double Dive £50
  • 4-dive package £100
  • 10-dive package £200

Courses

  • Discover Scuba Diving £65
  • Open Water Dive Course £250
  • Advanced Open Water £230
  • Emergency First Responder £100
  • Rescue Diver £300
  • Dive Master £500 (PADI professional membership fees not included)

*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in dive courses

Modern conveniences

Hellville - 1 hour boat journey at own cost

  • Attractions e.g. Lemurland, Donia Festival
  • Banks / ATMs; Bank of Africa (BOA), BFV-Société Générale, BNI-CL
  • Bars / cafes
  • Boats to the mainland & Boat Hire
  • Hostels and hotels
  • Internet cafe
  • Medical clinic
  • Nightclub
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Street food
  • Supermarket
  • Taxis to the rest of the island
  • Telecom office
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union

COSTS

1 week £ 845

2 weeks £ 1,025

3 weeks £ 1,205

6 weeks £ 1,745

9 weeks £ 2,195

12 weeks £ 2,645

Extra Diving Week £ 250

Extra Non-diving week £ 200

DEPARTURE DATES

First Monday of the month throughout the year.

Alternative dates available on request.

Ideally flights to Madagascar and connections to Nosy Be (Fascene) should be arranged for this arrival date.

DURATION

You can join this project for a minimum of 2 weeks

School holidays dates 2015/2016 :

19 December 2015 - 4 January 2016

17 February - 19 February 

9 March - 3rd April 

School ends on 5th July 2016

During school holidays a modified program will run with one to one coaching, educational workshops and extracurricular activities.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt
  • UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training FREE for 10 week+ volunteers (£80 per person for those participating for less that 10 weeks)

In-country

  • Airport pickup on first Monday of the month. Alternative start dates available.
  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Internal ground transfers & in-transit accommodation (for volunteers arriving on first Monday of the month)
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • Project equipment & materials
  • Dive training PADI Open water £250
  • Dive training PADI Advanced open water £230
  • Advanced dive courses available
  • FREE use for Frontier dive kit including Regs, tanks, BCDs, weights, compressor
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Nossi-Be (NOS)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisors will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.