At a glance
- Work at the forefront of rainforest conservation in Madagascar. Work beneath lush, green canopies, explore the forest trails and identify beautiful wildlife along the way.
- Discover the endemic flora and fauna, over 90% of Madagascar’s animal species and 89% of its plant species are found nowhere else in the world.
- You’ll stay in the small town of Andasibe. This is the ideal location for wildlife conservation work as it’s located close to a large wildlife reserve.
16 or over
Your work will focus on these main areas:
Plant and animal surveys
A large portion of your time will be spent conducting plant and animal surveys. This involves identifying different species, mapping their locations, and recording details about them. We’ll use this data to write reports about species distribution in the park. This research plays an important role in informing conservation policies in the reserve.
Build hides for night surveys
There are all kinds of interesting species that are out and about at night, like bright yellow Madagascan moon moths. To monitor species at night, you’ll build hides, which are high structures from which you have a 360 degree view of the forest around you.
You’ll spend some nights camped out there, taking turns sleeping and keeping watch for nocturnal creatures scurrying around in the dark.
You’ll also help out in our tree nursery, where we plant indigenous seedlings. Once seedlings are large enough to survive on their own, you can assist with planting them in the park.
The national park where we work doesn’t have enough staff to carry out large scale reforestation initiatives. As an animal volunteer abroad, you’ll provide a much-needed pair of helping hands for this work.
Man-made development and natural disasters like floods and fires threaten rainforest vegetation. Not only do trees counteract carbon emissions, but they are a habitat for many of the endemic species in Madagascar.
Remove alien plants
As part of your project work, you’ll also help remove alien plant species from the reserve. You’ll map where you find them and remove them before their seeds spread. Local guides will take you through plant identification lessons to make sure you can distinguish between indigenous and invasive vegetation.
You’ll be involved in cleaning up the national park and nearby communities. You’ll also promote proper waste management by speaking to local people about recycling and building rubbish bins to place around the communities.
Effective waste management is an important part of wildlife conservation volunteering. Rubbish can have a devastating effect for animals and it also affects the Madagascan tourism industry. You’ll play an important role in lessening this impact.
Where in Madagascar will I work?
This environmental sustainability project is based in Andasibe, a small town in central-eastern Madagascar. The communities here are less developed than you’re used to. You’ll find plenty of rustic-looking structures connected by dirt roads. This is an ideal setting to connect with nature.
Your project work will take place in a local national park. This park is filled with lush vegetation and a variety of different animal species.
During your free time, you can relax on one of the island’s beautiful beaches or visit Tsingy de Bemaraha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a chance to learn more about Madagascar, you can visit the Museum of the Gendarmerie.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Andasibe. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
Madagascar is synonymous with unique plants and animals. With leaping lemurs and swaying chameleons, the country has a lot of interesting sights for nature lovers.
While you’re there, be sure to visit one of the many national parks. You’ll get to see some of the wildlife that call this island nation home. The Avenue of Baobabs is also a must-see. These towering trees, with their unusual trunks, are known as Africa’s tree of life.
You can see the jagged cliffs and interesting rock formations of Tsingy de Bemaraha. Madagascar borders the third largest coral reef system on the planet, making it a great location for snorkelling and scuba diving.
We run a number of different projects here, so there will likely be other volunteers in Madagascar during your project. So you can travel independently or spend your free time with a group of like-minded, passionate volunteers.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team in Madagascar
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