Reef Doctor Location
Named in the Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries to visit in 2013, Madagascar is like no place on earth. Separated from Africa by 80 million years of evolution, Madagascar’s fauna and flora have evolved into some of the most remarkable on the planet, 80% of which is unique to the island. This is matched by epic landscapes of an incredible diversity: you can go from rainforest to desert in the same day. Madagascar regarded as one of the world’s number one conservation priorities.
Reef Doctor Location
We work in the Bay of Ranobe, southwest Madagascar. This shallow bay is protected from the open ocean by an extensive barrier reef system (one of the largest in the world), and consists of a series of patch reefs and seagrass beds. The Reef Doctor base is located on the periphery of Ifaty village, 27 km north of the main provincial town of Toliara. This is a small and traditional Malagasy fishing village; there is no mains electricity or running water and life here is basic. Behind Ifaty village is the spiny forest, considered one of the most endangered and unique habitats worldwide. The flora of this region consists of dry weather plants such as cacti, shrubs, baobab trees, tamarind trees and the infamous octopus tree. The sandy beach outside the Reef Doctor base stretch northwards for miles. After an hour’s walk you can reach the main tourist destination for the region, Mangily. Our region has many tourist attractions on offer for volunteers at the weekends such as pirogue trips, various watersports, Spiny Forest visits, and humpback whale watching (July-October). Volunteers also have the opportunity to plan long weekend excursions to visit some of the national parks of the southwest Madagascar, such as Isalo.
Reef Doctor Project Site
The Reef Doctor project site is situated on a sandy beach with beautiful views of the Bay of Ranobe. The main site is the Reef Doctor compound. This enclosed area is made up of one main house, eight brick bungalows, eight interconnected single huts, one dormitory, kitchen/dining area, dive shed, and utility room for the dive compressor and generator. The main house is used as a work area for all volunteers. Next door to this compound is land belonging to the University of Toliara. Here there are three interconnected single huts (to sleep 6 people in total) and two double huts. This is usually the main staff and intern accommodation. Our newly-refurbished community classroom from which we run all our community education programmes is also located on this site
Volunteers sleep in the huts or in the dormitory in the compound. All huts are built from locally-sourced wood and reeds with a cement floor. The dormitory hut has dividers for privacy and plenty of windows for staying cool. Showers are taken in enclosed wooden shower stalls using water from the on-site well. There are two wooden toilet stalls housing hygienic drop toilets. For an additional cost, volunteers may upgrade to one of the beach front brick bungalows complete with en suite shower and toilet.
See the Gallery and Volunteer Programme Guides for more photos of our base and facilities.