Make your acquaintance with whale sharks and manta rays and get hands on with the Mozambique marine conservation project. Assist in research and conservation of whale sharks, manta rays and marine turtles while meeting these gentile giants of the sea.
Mozambique is host to 20% of the world’s population of whale sharks and one of the largest population of manta rays. Thanks to perfect ocean conditions that attract unrivalled marine megafauna, you will also get to see and work along side sharks, sea turtles and other marine animals.
Many of these species are under threat and as long-lived animals with low reproductive rates, knowledge on population structure, size and migratory patterns is essential to their survival, but lacking. Further to this, the beautiful and important coral reefs are at risk of exploitation and other changes associated with tourism and human interaction. Research on species and reef degradation is vital in working with governments and other stakeholders to improve legislative protection and the creation of protected areas.
Designed and created by leading scientists, no two days will be the same. This comprehensive programme combines conservation, education and research alongside some work within the local community.
You will spend your days volunteering with an experienced team and have the chance to be involved in world-class field research. Our team is made up of leading experts in marine biology, ecology, oceanography and wildlife conservation.
This working marine conservation foundation invites everyone with a passion for the cause to come and help. It is important to note that you must have an open water certificate to participate in this programme. To become fully qualified with a PADI diving course costs $115 and your new skills can be put to test around the world! If you are needing to become qualified, simple select the course when applying.
There are always other activities that you may get the chance to be involved in too, such as helping to create and present educational classes on marine biology, ecology and conservation, beach clean-ups and other arts and crafts.
You should be aware that although the outdoor fieldwork is very enjoyable and research dives are undertaken daily and are a big part of the programme, data entry will also be part of this research process and will require time at a desk when collating scientific data.
Picturesque and with breathtaking views, Mozambique is one of Africa’s hidden gems. Off the beaten track, you will live right on the beach on the Southern coast of Mozambique and ‘braai’ under the stars. Spend your down time learning to surf, teaching children to swim or even riding horses on the beach.
With such an in-depth list of activities this amazing programme does, everyday will provide something different. As with most things, the fact that this is a working foundation is a major factor and may influence the duties you get involved in and activities can change with major events that occur.
Generally, the programme runs from 7.00am to 4:00pm between Monday and Friday, and some of the tasks you may get to experience are:
Photo identification – From November to February photographs are taken of whale sharks, manta rays, marine turtles and other marine megafauna, to be recorded and uploaded to relevant websites and databases. With 620 gentle Whale shark giants in the crystal clear waters, it is important to identify their individual characteristics and record re-sightings.
Research scuba dives – Dives happen every single day whilst you are volunteering, on which you will collect data, monitor the behaviour of each species and contribute to the analysis of data for scientific purposes. This will also include completing identification logs and monitoring the health of the coral reefs, ensuring that protected zones are not being further damaged by human activity.
Humpback Whale monitoring – From June to September the humpback whales can be found in the waters around Mozambique as they migrate in order to mate. So during this time you will participate in beach and boat based monitoring of the number of whales to help assess the populations and health of the animals.
Turtle monitoring – From November to February data is collected on Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles, by recording GPS locations of nesting sites and photo ID-ing animals on the reef.
Additional work – Beach clean-ups, whale watching, rock pool exploration, arts and crafts, snorkelling and ocean safaris are all opportunities you may get to participate in from October to June.
Community work – With 60% of Mozambiques population living on the coast and locals relying on the ocean to feed and provide for their families, there is significant pressure on the marine environment. Educating young Mozambicans is so important, as many are unable to swim or fear the ocean, and yet they also need to understand how to protect the waters and conserve populations of threatened species. Getting involved in the education program, volunteers can help to create ‘Ocean Guardians’ – young Mozambicans who have learnt to swim and can provide for their families in a sustainable way that is compassionate towards the marine life.
During the evenings and weekends you will have plenty of time to explore this beautiful country and to get involved in many activities, all of which our local team can arrange. These can include yoga, quad bike tours, kayaking trips, surfing lessons, African dance classes or city tours.
You will be staying within our private volunteer research house within the grounds of the oldest and most respected lodge along the Imhambane coastline. Overlooking Tofo Bay you will be only steps away from the golden sand beach, where you can ‘braai’ under the stars and also keep an eye out for breaching whales.
The house has a spacious living room, two bathrooms and a fully functioning kitchen, although most of your time will be spent outdoors enjoying the views and atmosphere!
Kick back and watch the sun go down on the beautiful balcony overlooking the beach and ocean, where you can relax with a drink or two around the ‘braai’.
You will be sharing same-sex dormitory style rooms that are basic but clean and comfortable.
There is Internet access that is intermittent and is not really suitable for long Skype calls or streaming. There is a free laundry service provided to everyone.
You can head to one of the local restaurants where you can get a variety of meals for around $4 – $5 as well as some local beer for under $1 while looking out across the beach!
Wifi – Yes
People per room – Up to 3
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest shops – 5 minute walk
Airport Transfers – 2.5 hours
All meals are included during your time with us in Mozambique and you will be served three delicious meals in the lodge’s restaurant. Breakfast is on a help yourself basis and lunch and dinner are full meals that are cooked on site by local staff.
All food is cooked fresh everyday and will mainly consist of seafood, but we can cater for different dietary requirements if told in advance. Please see below for a rough guide:
Breakfast – Cereals, yogurt, toast, tea, coffee
Lunch – Sea food
Dinner – Sea food
We are able to cater for:
Unfortunately we are not always able to cater for Gluten-Free due to the location of the project.
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it dose not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive at Inhambane Airport (INH) on your selected start date, being every Monday. There is only one flight coming into Inhambane Airport everyday and you will be met by one of our local team members who will be holding a named sign and will take you to our accommodation.
The programme ends on a Monday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day. Our local team take you back to the airport for your onwards travels.
Are there any age restrictions for solo travellers?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 18 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive and we regularly have volunteers of all ages.
What is the minimum age for travelling with my family?
If you are travelling with family and at least one member is aged 18 years old or over, then we welcome anyone from 13 years and up.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise that you apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates. Some of our programmes have limited capacity and spaces can get filled up quickly.
If you are wanting to volunteer within the next few weeks, then please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
It is possible to change your start dates once you have been accepted, however this is subject to availability and can attract a small administration fee.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback from previous volunteers, we believe 4 – 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved with the programme. This also allows you to make the most of your free time, to explore this beautiful country and to participate in any activities.
We regularly have volunteers come for 2 weeks that tell us that they did not believe they had enough time and wish they had stayed for longer.
What will my itinerary be?
You should arrive at Inhambane Airport (INH) on Monday.
Days 1 (Monday) – Arrival
A member of our local team will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign. You will be taken to our accommodation to settle in for the day where you will meet the local team and fellow volunteers.
Day 2 (Tuesday) – Orientation & Diving
On Tuesday morning you will receive a small briefing that goes through everything like health and safety and what to expect. You will then receive a introduction dive or if you are already qualified a refresher course.
Day 3-5 (Wednesday – Friday) – Volunteering
Your volunteering begins! Our marine conservation programme runs from 7am to 4pm. Volunteering times will generally be the same each day and as time goes on you will become more confident and independent and given more tasks to do.
Day 6-7 (Saturday – Sunday) – Weekend
As you will be living on the beach there are so many activities to do. From surfing, relaxing, kayaking, quad biking, horse riding and so much more.
The following weeks
The following weeks will follow the same kind of pattern, with volunteering between Monday and Friday and exploring the local area at the weekends. You will find that time will really start to fly by, so it’s important to make the most of your time! Don’t forget, our local team are there to support you and to answer any questions you may have.
Last day (Monday)
Time has flown by and it is already time to leave. Our local team will take you back to the airport for your onwards travels.
How will I get to the project?
All of our programmes in Mozambique are within walking distance of our accommodation. For any activities that may be further afield, you will be taken by private car.
Is there Internet and phone signal?
There is Wi-Fi within the volunteer accommodation although this can be intermittent. If you are wanting to call home or use the internet while out and about, we recommend that you bring an unlocked phone and purchase a local sim card – our local team can assist. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap phone while there for under $25.
What is Tofo Bay like?
Tofo Beach is a small town in southeastern Mozambique. Situated on the Indian Ocean, this once small fishing village is starting to turn into a vibrant tourist destination that is home to diving retreats, amazing coral reefs and an abundance of marine wildlife.
Enjoy the beautiful beaches, laid-back vibe and amazing snorkelling and surfing opportunities.
The Mighty Roar Local Team in Mozambique
Our programmes in Mozambique are run by our dedicated local team, who are committed to ensuring you have the best time ever. They provide the structure for your stay, including the accommodation, meals, airport pickup, in-country orientation and of course support.
They are sure to become your good friends and you will not meet nicer people that are willing to do everything in their power to make your stay the most memorable.
Will I get an in-country orientation?
Yes. Your orientation will be on Monday and will go through everything you need to know for your time in Mozambique. You will be shown around the local area and you will be told exactly what to expect during your time here.
Our local coordinator will go through all of the important health and safety information that you should follow during your time here.
What is the weather like in Mozambique?
With yearly temperatures rarely falling below 20 degrees you can ensure you have a great time all year round!
The rainy season is between December and March, although this does not really affect to many things!/vc_toggle]
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are. The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Germany, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
We have many volunteers that travel with their friends, family members or with their partner. If required, we can ensure that you are based on the same project and stay within the same accommodation. On request, we can normally organise a private room to.
Is it safe to travel to Mozambique?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer in Mozambique to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay? Can I pay in instalments?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of $129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due to less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application has been successful.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Travel insurance is a compulsory part of your volunteering trip, that’s why we have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy. It is suitable for all of the programmes we offer and can be taken out at any time. You can read more about our insurance here.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try are best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that effect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. Its recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that $50 – $100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week..
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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