Scuba dive training, basic marine species identification courses, and experience marine conservation in action
Fancy a holiday or gap year with a difference? Then our EcoDiver volunteer programme may be just what you are looking for. It is open to anyone 18 and over who can only join us for a limited period of time. No prior skills are required, just a general enthusiasm to learn more about the marine environment and to get involved in activities on camp. As well as learning to dive, you will get to experience eco-diving, community-based marine management and conservation, the unique Vezo culture, and the amazing environments of this mega biodiversity hotspot. Enjoy a life changing experience, make lifelong friends, and return with incredible stories and memories.
Expeditions run from January to December for 3, 4, or 5 weeks, with spaces available for 6–8 people per expedition month.
Divers and non-divers are both welcome. If you are not yet a certified diver, the EcoDiver programme provides training to PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water levels. If you are already certified to PADI Advanced Open Water or above you can jump straight into the ‘EcoDiving’.
This programme is also suitable for marine and environmental science undergraduate students who wish to gain practical field based experience during their vacation periods. Students joining as part of their degree experiences can be fast tracked to gain survey skills, as offered as part of our Research Assistant programme during, a 4–5 week expedition.
What to expect from the EcoDiver Programme:
PADI dive training.
Learn about the marine biology and ecology of one of the most extensive barrier reef systems in the world and its associated marine habitats (seagrass and mangroves).
Marine species identification. We train you in the underwater identification of commercially important reef species and coral reef health indicator species (fish, benthic life, and invertebrates)
Training in basic marine habitat surveying skills, with the opportunity to participate in our core research for any fast learners on a 4–5 week expedition.
Experience life living alongside a traditional Malagasy fishing community and gain insight into the unique Vezo culture.
Gain first-hand experience of the workings of a marine conservation NGO.
Make a lasting connection and impact with local children by participating in our local environmental education initiatives Kids Club and Junior Reef Doctors.
Assist our team in their core research, management and conservation projects (e.g., coral gardening, aquaculture, artificial reefs, turtle tagging/release, fisheries monitoring, reforestation).
Help our staff undertake English classes for adults.
Take part in our weekly Malagasy classes to help you interact with local communities.
Enjoy exploring the local area; the popular beach resort, the Spiny Forest, or visit one of the regional National Parks (in your free time, at your own expense).