SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme Internship Madagascar
97% Rating
(21 Reviews)

SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme Internship Madagascar

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme offers interns the chance to get involved in all aspects of conservation work in Madagascar; from Lemur Study to Reforestation Work, Environmental Education to Biodiversity Research - you’ll be an active member of a specialist team committed to preserving Madagascar’s threatened ecosystems.

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme is offered as an internship for those wishing to gain experience and/or credit for a college or university course. The major difference between whether you take the programme as an intern or a volunteer relates to the amount of mentorship and self-evaluation available to you during your time on the programme.

For Information about project dates, please visit our website.

Locations
Africa » Madagascar » Fort Dauphin
Africa » Madagascar
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Inclusions
Activities
Airport Transfers
Meals
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Weekly Hours
1
Starting Price
$795.00
Currency
GBP
Other Locations
Fort Dauphin

Questions & Answers

Reforestation, environmental education and biodiversity research.

Program Reviews

  • Growth
    88%
  • Support
    95%
  • Fun
    88%
  • Housing
    88%
  • Safety
    93%

Program Reviews (21)

Default avatar
Alicia
Female
20 years old
United States
University of California- Berkeley

A great way to experience working with an NGO

9/10

It is weird to say that I loved my experience here, because the experience included a stark view of the world; it is difficult to believe that the poverty of this country and its citizens can coexist in a world with other developed countries of affluence and wealth. However, I found myself completely immersed in the experience of understanding the complexities of these issues and excited to help with the current work. I really enjoyed my experience working in the Pioneer program and then participating in the Conservation program. Each program immersed you in a community and I was able to learn about Malagasy culture in a respectful, yet participatory way. You experience the poverty that you help to alleviate, and it is clear that you can see SEED's tangible impacts throughout the community.

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Rachel
Female
19 years old
United Kingdom
Other

Conservation project Jan - Feb 2017

10/10

I had the most amazing experience with Seed Madagascar, the staff were all friendly and helpful and although living at the rural conservation project camp in Ste Luce was often challenging the support network between everyone there was incredible. I learned so much from talking to staff as well as when participating in the surveys being conducted at that time. Some of the most important things I feel my time at the project taught me however, were less academic and defiantly more personal. It taught me not to give up because the people of Ste Luce always managed to smile and laugh and get through the day no matter what was thrown at them, and also to appreciate what I have at home. After just 6 weeks I nearly cried when I came home and actually got to sleep on a proper bed, was amazed at light bulbs and switches, western toilets and food that did not contain rice! The last 3 things are actually in fact present in the town camp but as I spent 5 days there out of my 6 weeks and honestly enjoyed the rural camp more (spiders and all despite being at total wimp at home when it comes to them) I really did come to understand just how much I had taken for granted up until that point in my life.

In my opinion it is vital that more people do volunteering like this and I would recommend it to anyone. Westerners live in a society that takes many things for granted. Often life its self. Working in this part of Madagascar will be a harsh but seriously needed reality check for some people and I hope that they will accept the challenge to open themselves to how the rest of the world have to live, while also helping to improve things for local people and the environment while there. I have definitely come out of this experience a stronger and I believe a better person.

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William
Male
37 years old
United Kingdom
Other

Wonderful experience and insight into conservation work

10/10

Volunteering with SEED Madagascar was an eye-opening and rewarding experience. I went
in order to gain experience of ˨eld conservation projects and learned a tremendous
amount. The other volunteers, staff and guides were friendly and helpful. They were most willing to share ideas and discuss conservation issues which was a tremendous learning experience.

The work was varied and interested. We did transects searching for lemurs, reptiles and amphibians and bats, as well as tree counts. It was a fascinating insight into the biodiversity of the region.

Camp life in St. Luce was bliss. It is a beautiful environment, the food was excellent and there was a friendly and warm atmosphere. I would highly recommend volunteering with SEED.

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Hazel
Female
22 years old
Kettering

Make the right choice and go with Seed Madagascar!

10/10

I've been back home now for the past 4 weeks, and I'm still missing Sainte Luce! Being out there for 4 weeks you get into a routine so it was sad to leave the people and the beautiful landscape and wildlife behind. I decided to do my dissertation research whilst I was there, and had great support from both the London and Madagascar offices in helping to organise it and the good working relationship that Seed has with the local people made it easy to find participants!

I also joined the surveys and was amazed at how close we were to the local wildlife population, with a forest fragment only across the road from camp, and frequent visits from brown lemurs trying to steal bananas! The Malagasy guides are very informative and friendly and seem to have a natural ability to spot wildlife from a mile away- even from a moving taxi! The programme was very flexible allowing you to choose what activities you participated in and more importantly giving you plenty of time to take photos!

Although the idea of staying in a tent for longer than a week may put you off, investing in a good camping mattress meant that honestly you couldn't tell much difference, whilst the food was varied and there were plenty of opportunities to change it up a bit, including buying lobsters for £5! I think if you are considering volunteering in Madagascar but are a little bit hesitant about travelling alone, it is worth it in the end and was a lot less scary than I was expecting. More importantly, I knew that the money I was spending was genuinely going to the projects. My only regret is not organising to travel more around Madagascar, but this gives me an excuse to go back!

How can this program be improved?

Possibly put volunteers in touch with Malagasy staff beforehand so that volunteers can organise to travel around Madagascar before or after the programme.

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Fiona
Female
45 years old
Cambridge, UK
Other

Great program to volunteer on, whatever your age

10/10

Theres lots of stories & lots of memories! The people & scenery are fantastic, as is the wildlife. I should also point out that I am a little older than the usual volunteer (43) so if you are older, I would still recommend this. I will be going back anyway!

If you have a morbid fear of spiders, you're going to struggle as there are a lot! However, I was amazed at how beautiful spiders can be.

There were a couple of highlights though - walking back after a night transect towards the end of my stay, I still hadn't seen the infamous mouse lemur when about 100 yds from camp, I spotted the tel tale glow of eyes caught in my torch light & it slowly dawned on me that they weren't the wooly or dwarf ones we had been seeing on every night transect but much smaller. I initially thought that there were a few there then I realised that it was just one but moving VERY quickly! Good job he was quick really as we also spotted a snake in the tree trying to follow him! A few days later, Tsiriky or Hoobie came into camp & said that they had found a mouse lemur nest too which wasn't far away.

Then another day, we were out looking for seeds (for a reforestation project) when we spotted a tiny little iridescent gold frog sitting on one of the plants we were picking seeds from. none of the guides recognised it & so we took it back to camp for DNA testing (waiting for results)

One day the collared lemurs came through camp while I was chilling in the hammock. There must have been around 10 of them & one female came right down the branch to within 3 feet of me & hung there staring at me for a few minutes
Learning how to pin butterflies was pretty cool too

Then there was...

(apologies, I can't get any photos to upload for some reason, though I have loads!)

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Sanne
Female
26 years old
Utrecht, The Netherlands

Experience biological research

8/10

The most interesting about my stay, I found to see on how many ways you can do biological research. I have learnt a lot of it, it is not in my field of interest, but I think really important to understand how you can find out about the biodiversity. I found the azafady as organisation really respectful to the villagers and I had the idea we were going along with each other really well. Things we were doing, where birth spotting, pit traps, butterfly catching, PCQ and many more. I found it really special to live in a really basic place next to some small villages. Being really busy in the nature, every day walking and doing research. I was interesting to work together with all sorts of people of different background, different fields of interests and different countries. We had a antropologist, biologist, medicin and geogologist.

How can this program be improved?

I think in some way we lost a little bit the big line, why are we doing all this biological research? The reason is to conserve the forest. I think there are many more ways to conserve it, like more teaching to the villagers and birth planning. But also the most important think for me was to get the villagers less poor, so how can you do that hand in hand? You should give maybe more education, and also education about hygiene, healthy diet and diseases, more free health care and some way that they can get more work or money, by tourist coming to the forest, or more plantations or maybe even the mine company can give more work and better infrastructure. But who knows it keeps really difficult to help poorer country's.

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Luke
Male
26 years old
London, England
Durham University

Fantastic Experience

10/10

During my short stay at the Azafady camp and St Luce, I was treated to some incredible nature, a wide variety of activities, a brilliant social scene (football, cards and a few beers every now and then) and most importantly, genuine conservation opportunities that are really going towards helping the community and the wildlife.

The local community are very friendly and are pleased to have conservation workers there. Local understanding of the importance of conservation was obvious throughout the community and many members of the community now work for Azafady in order to help.

How can this program be improved?

Better food! The simple food was very much part of the experience however rice and beans every day did get a little dull!

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Sam
Male
26 years old
London, England
Durham University

Azafady Conservation Programme

10/10

This programme offered me a truly unique experience and has to be up there with one of my most enjoyable trips. The work I was involved with was incredibly interesting, rewarding but most of all thought provoking. The staff, volunteers and particularly the locals created a great environment to live and work in. I hope I get the opportunity to go back!

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Bernhard
Male
28 years old
Pretoria, South Africa
University of Pretoria

Madagascar Conservation Work

9/10

Madagascar is a very special place with many unique forms of life which are found nowhere else. It has been a great experience and a privilege for me to take part in Azafady's conservation programme in Sainte-Luce, to get to see and research some of the island's amazing wildlife. Of the many special moments I had, my favourite was seeing the brown lemurs on a moonlit night leap through the treetops.

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M
Male
32 years old
Kent, UK
University of East Anglia

If I'd know how good it was I'd have gone for longer.

10/10

You stay on the edge of St Luce, a small village in the rural SE of Madagascar. Tents are centered on a wooden long-house where meals are eaten and the hanging-out is done between trips in to the forest.

These forest trips range from half-hour bird surveys to a couple of hours following lemurs or conducting Herp surveys - all very informative and good fun. All in the most amazing forest surroundings with the ever-present chance of seeing something incredible.

All of the Azadafy staff, whether domestic or international, were very friendly and the organisation's relationship with the local community in St Luce make for a uniquely integrated experience.

The Azafady literature makes the food in the bush seem intimidating but it's actually fantastic, the cooks do a great job.

All-told, my only regret is that I didn't stay for longer. Although I highly recommend that you also leave time to travel the country after your volunteering is over. The guys in camp will give you some great advice.

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B.
Female
42 years old
Canada
University of Calgary

Go To Madagascar With Azafady!

10/10

Whether you are looking to gain valuable field experience to beef up your resume, or are just looking for a vacation off the beaten track, the Azafady Conservation Programme is for you! As an experienced field biologist I was looking for an experience that would allow me to both return to the field, as well as give something back to the local community. Having never traveled to Africa before, I was a little nervous about the trip in general, but Azafady was always quick to answer my numerous questions before my arrival, and ensured I was taken care of upon arrival in Tana (even though it was after midnight). I rented a tent from the organization, which withheld TERRIBLE rains in St. Luce. If you've ever lived in the field, the camp is what you would expect at a location with no power- bucket showers, latrine, cookhouse and a nice communal longhouse. Electronics can be charged for a nominal price. Daily schedule involves performing biological fieldwork sampling the many different species that Azafady is working so hard to preserve (lemurs, herps etc). You would never see many of these endemic animals as a tourist (as many are nocturnal and located off the beaten track). ALL the people that run the program are friendly, helpful, kind and genuine. This is truly one of the safest and most amazing ways to experience Madagascar- coming from someone that has worked in many forests around the world.

How can this program be improved?

More information as to how I can help after returning home, other than sending funds.

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Morwenna
Female
24 years old
Sheffield, United Kingdom
University of York

Azafady Conservation Programme - Experience of a lifetime!

10/10

My 4 weeks with the Azafady Conservation Programme were just amazing! The research into the wildlife of Ste. Luce was fascinating and will hopefully help protect the amazing endemic species found there. Watching lemur behaviour and finding chameleons and geckos by night will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life! The programme also allowed me to interact with the local community by teaching the children about the forest and English lessons. So much fun and the community is so wonderful, always smiling and laughing! That is definitely one of the reasons I find Azafady fantastic, as they combine conservation and community work. I would definitely recommend Azafady to anybody wanting an experience of a lifetime!!!

How can this program be improved?

There seems to be a slight lack of communication between the London Office and the Malagasy Office, so I didn't receive completely correct information before I left. But once in-country this was cleared up and things ran smoothly.

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Shoa
Male
24 years old
Sydney, Australia
University of Sydney

A fantastic experience

10/10

I choose to do the ACP program on a whim after finIshing unIversity so I could put off getting a job and it was one of the best decisions I have made. The people, environment and azafady staff that I encountered during my time with azafady made the experience one I won't forget in a hurry and my only regret was I didn't go for longer than 4 weeks. So if you want to do some worth while conservation work and don't mind rice & beans, drop toilets and bucket showers this is the place for you.

The initial contact with azafady and the sorting out of your volunteering stuff before you leave is pretty good, they can book you hotels in mada and help with flights and so on. I was never left wanting more information.

Once your in Fort Dauphin (actually a pretty cool town with a decent night life) your shown around and the whisked of to the bush for all the fun stuff. The conservation work up there was fantastic and I actually learnt some worth while ecology skills doing which was convinient. Basically the work revolved around lemur behaviour, HERPs (reptiles and amphibians (so much more fun than lemurs)), endemic palms and conservation education with the locals.

Life in camp was a ball, you've got the local madagash staff who keep the place running, the local guides which keep you from getting lost in the bush, the azafady guides whom are experts on everything wild in mada and really amazing people and then you have the ACP research assistants whom are responsible for your well being and were beyond amazing and really made my time there fun and worth while. There are also other volunteers. And while much is made of the rice and beans you have the opertunity to by fruit, fish and lobster at redicously low prices and the local shop is more often than not stocked with beer (warm but still good). The work can wear on you at times I guess but I found my self often wanting to do more.

But basically this is an amazinging program done by amazing people and unless there is something wrong with you you will have a fantastic time.

How can this program be improved?

More work could of been done at times I thought but that's just me, some people would argue it could get too much. Depends on the person.

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edtooth
Male
24 years old
Sussex
Other

A wonderful place

9/10

Coming to Madagascar has been an ambition of mine for a long time, ever since I first read one of my favourite books, The Aye-Aye and I by Gerald Durrell. The project certainly hasn't disappointed. Everyone on camp has been friendly and welcoming, and to be in such a wonderful place with like-minded people has really helped to generate an amazing experience for me so far.

Getting stuck into the research on some exciting new projects has been great, especially getting to know our local troop of black lemurs that live just outside the village. The highlight for me has been the birds (they are my thing) and getting to visit Ankarafantsika to see the fish eagles was magical.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn't see much of the mainland while I was here, but the sat camp solved that problem. The camp feels like home, and the home-comforts that I'd thought I'd miss seem unimportant now. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in nature.

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foa
Female
32 years old
Lewes, UK
London College of Fashion

Azafady and Madagascar are amazing

10/10

I absolutely loved my time in Madagascar with Azafady. I had wanted to volunteer on a conservation project and seeing this opportunity in such a special place I just had to go. I was really helped with all my preparations for going out there by the London office who were really helpful and supportive. And once we arrived the local staff were increadible and I felt really at ease even though I was in such a different place having not really travelled much on my own before.

The actual work with the ACP programme consisted of various data collection on either lemurs or reptiles and amphibians which were both really interesting and involved walking a lot to beautiful segments of forest and exploring remote places. We learnt how to handle some reptiles and amphibians for indentification purposes which was great. I learnt so much in this time, the guides were increadibly knowledgeable and patient with teaching about the local environment and the culture customs and language.

We also had classes with the local children twice a week to teach them about thier environment and conservation. This really made us feel like we could help the local community a little as well as the wildlife and also to be welcomed in by the people. We were camping on the edge of a village called Ambandrika where the people are wonderfully friendly and kind and inquisitive about us visiting. The campsite is more basic than what peopl are used to back home (UK) but you quickly get used to it and its actually really nice to live like this for a while.

I was extremely sad when my 4 weeks were up and I had to go home, this is a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to anyone considering it. I wish I could have done the whole 10 week programme or even be able to work there for a year.

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sustainableartist
Female
32 years old
San Francisco
University of California- Santa Barbara

Adventurous wilderness research in the back country

9/10

I was looking for something very specific when I joined Azafady's ACP team: an opportunity to practice immersive field work in Madagascar for over two weeks. I signed up for the maximum length, 10 weeks.

Azafady was the cheapest, most reputable program for the length of stay I wanted. We camped in tents for the full period.

As an American, it was very interesting to go with Azafady because I felt like I was not only learning about Malagasy culture, but about English/British culture (as the staff were primarily British, and the majority of volunteers were European).

I was very satisfied with my experience. The volunteer coordinators were caring, knowledgable and dedicated. We got to know some of the Malagasy people who were our guides through the forest, and they were amazing, swift-footed, with eagle eyes. Our main activities: researching amphibians and reptiles, surveying palms and lemurs, and teaching the local schoolchildren environmental lessons (once a week), were all extremely rewarding. If you have a sharp eye for spotting creatures, can estimate distances, and have an intrepid spirit, you will serve your team very well!

The pace of life is slower there. I got used to things taking longer to do and being a bit less clean: bucket showers from the well, huge muddy puddles on the road, rice and beans every lunch, "mofo" and banana and rice for breakfast, with simple vegetables, pasta, and occasional fish or zebu for dinner. Everyone missed some food luxuries, like cheese, more meat, spices. We longed for our beds a bit too, after that long in a tent. And hot showers. But let's face it, being in Madagascar and getting to walk through forest fragments almost every day is worth a little sacrifice.

Your volunteer team will most likely be diverse: my team came from at least 10 different countries (but mostly the UK). I had some stomach issues halfway through that didn't really leave me until I was back home recovering, but was never horribly ill. I took the anti-malarials (malarone) and those worked out fine.

One thing that was suggested to me to save the most money was to go on my own and just find an organization once in Madagascar. But I don't speak French, and for a first time to the country, didn't want to worry about safe food sources and accommodations. I'm really glad I decided to go with Azafady. With their knowledge and connections with the local people, it allowed me to do and see things I never would have otherwise.

It's the experience of a lifetime, and you'll be glad Azafady's got your back.

How can this program be improved?

I would have a few more practical Malagasy lessons. I wanted to be able to chat more with the locals :) Although we did have great conversations with our fluent-in-English Malagasy guides!

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dandylions
Female
24 years old
New York, New York
University of Vermont

Most amazing experience

10/10

Hands down, volunteering with Azafady was the greatest decision I ever made. I cannot say enough good things about the program - the people are fantastic and very supportive, the program itself (I took part in the Conservation Programme) was interesting, educational, and fun, and the chance to experience Madagascar was priceless. It is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people, and I truly left my heart behind when I came back to the US. I can't say enough good things about the program.

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Mattmassara
Male
24 years old
Kent
University of Reading

Azafady - Would love to go back & couldn't recommend more

10/10

I signed up to the Azafady Conservation Programme (ACP) for the short period of 4 weeks and the only regret I have about the programme is that I could not stay longer.
I already had a desire to travel to Madagascar and having been recommended of ACP from a close friend who had been apart of the volunteer programme in 2009, I had a justification to go. The experience became so much more than that and I now have lasting elated memory of my time in Madagascar and the bush.
I didn’t have any expectations when I departed for Antananarivo and on to Fort Dauphin. It was remarkably easy to meet people, all coming from a range of different backgrounds, although largely from the UK. I can honestly say that the people that are drawn to the ACP or Pioneer programmes are going to remain some of my closest friends, partly due to our shared experiences but also because I was living with like minded individuals that shared similar passions, points of view and desire to be contributing towards Madagascar’s sustainability on a grass roots level.
Upon arrival and meeting the volunteer coordinators you can say nothing less than how easy going yet helpful the Azafady team are. There are no pressures to over come, yet they are always on hand to help you with any small or large request or dilemma. The consistent nature of the Azafady staff throughout my adventure only ensured my lasting memory or the trip.
We worked closely in the hamlet of Sainte Luce. You are isolated from Western Society, yet it is remarkable how comfortable this becomes. I did not once miss checking my facebook or slipping on to BBC sports to see how the Premier League is panning out.
You work with the biodiversity programme. There are two modules lasting 2-3 hours each day, where you generally go into the forest and assist the coordinators and guides on the work. During my time we embarked on detailed research on lemurs, herpes, phelsuma antonsy and various palms. Everyone has a positive attitude towards the work and the guides are incredibly knowledgeable, and always on hand to offer their wisdom. It also felt like we were making a positive contribution and achieving our goals. An example is that a publication was suggesting that there were only 40 specimens of a particular palm left in Madagascar (or at least our region) and in my 4 weeks out there we found 110, which I understand two weeks later surpassed the 200 mark.
We were able to collect seeds and physically restrict the plight of this palm. In terms of other conservation activities there were regular stove building activities, donating our efforts to the local community in a bid to reduce energy consumption and wood depletion. We also had an active involvement in the schools teaching the children about forest habitats and providing weekend English lessons.
It’s rather difficult to express how the entire trip has reflected on me. I didn’t once have a bad day, and reflect upon my time in awe and desire to return. The forests are no less than stunning. You have plenty of opportunities for adventure, visiting the most incredible naturally pristine beaches I have ever been fortunate enough to visit. The experience has certainly reflected on my life for the better. I am a lot more aware of how significant the work out in Madagascar is and I am eternally grateful that I was able to be apart of that. The wildlife is beyond what I imagined, even the campsite was littered with an array of animals, from a family of chicks to cats to the most unique reptiles. The night walks that occur three times are week are truly memorable.
It’s all very well trying to write down how my time in Madagascar was amazing beyond belief, but I can write nothing better than a suggestion you witness and experience all of this yourself. I have always tried to live an experiential life, pushing myself towards new and interesting things, but I think this has been the best choice I have made thus far.
So lastly be reassured that the contribution you make out there is well worthwhile and not to be fearful as everything falls into place rather effortlessly. So just take the plunge and see for yourself what Azafady can offer you and Madagascar.

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Vony
Female
32 years old
Dublin
Trinity College- Dublin

Tena Faly Zaho!

10/10

Not long into the ten weeks I spent with Azafady in Ste.Luce I was already plans ways to get back and work with them again! I learnt so much about the extraordinary wildlife of the region. I gained valuable research skills and first-hand insight into the problems and opportunities surrounding the forest fragments and the local community. I love the dedicated Azafady staff, the wise local guides, the joyful children in the conservation class, and I miss them every day. Ste.Luce is a stunningly beautiful place where you'll find fascinating animals and plants everywhere you look (the tiny brookesia chameleons and the woolly lemurs that slept above our tents were my favourites!). It is a very poor area, and Azafady are doing wonders to help people deal with the challenges that poses. The programme offers volunteers a chance to really get involved in this work. I could happily live the rest of my life with such an enthusiastic team, in those perfectly simple basic living conditions (very well fed by amazing chefs!), being outside almost all the time in the fresh air and sunshine, doing work that really matters, in such an incredible place with such wonderful people.

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Cathy-October2010
Female
42 years old
Minneapolis, MN
Other

Awesome

10/10

The most amazing thing for me was being able to see lemurs every day. Living in the same area as lemurs and other fantastic animals was so cool, and to see how people live in the village was very eye-opening. I felt like I made a difference with my lemur observations, population and habitat studies. The people in the community were so wonderful, you could tell they really loved having us there, and the kids wanted to interact with us whenever they could. Even though we were "roughing it," things were pretty comfortable. I really enjoyed my time with Azafady working in the conservation programe, and I can not recommend it enough. Madagascar is an amazing place, and being able to help the animals and people there is very rewarding.

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cdreibelbis
Female
24 years old
Arlington, VA
Princeton University

Lemur Venture

10/10

I went on Azafady's Lemur Venture Program in the summer of 2008. It was an AMAZING experience, which immersed me in an interesting and different culture while also allowing me to learn an incredible amount about lemur conservation work in Madagascar. I enjoyed being exposed to other volunteers from many other countries, since I'm from the U.S., while also learning some Malagasy and getting to know our local guides.

The program brings you to both the city (Fort Dauphin) and more rural areas, and I think camping was a great way to do that. (Although, it did get cold at night, even in the summer!)

Doing lemur research was incredible. I was maybe 10 feet away from some of the most endangered animals on the planet, recording feeding habits and other things. We also did botanical counts and research on the folliage.

About The Provider

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SEED Madagascar is an award-winning UK registered charity and Malagasy NGO dedicated to supporting the people and ecosystems of Madagascar, one of the most biologically rich but economically poor countries in the world. Our approach is one of co-operation and participation with grassroots communities working

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