Ross Newbigging

What position do you hold at All Out Africa? What led you to join their team?

Ross Newbigging

Ross: I am the marine conservation assistant co-ordinator in Tofo Mozambique. I joined the All Out Africa team in August 2011.

I saw the position advertised online, and having just graduated from university with a degree in Zoology it seemed like a great opportunity. I didn’t think I could actually get the job, but you have to be in it to win it. Two and a half years later, I’m still here.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

Ross: My favorite part of the job has to be getting out on the ocean and interacting with the volunteers. It never gets old seeing a whale shark or a manta ray. But it's also great to see the small things such as shrimp, frogfish and pipefish.

As for the volunteers, it’s great to see their faces when they first see a whale shark or a humpback whale, being able to increase their knowledge of all our marine life and get them to pass on the knowledge they have gained to others is very rewarding.

Have you volunteered abroad? Do tell!

Ross: No, I haven’t. I have done lots of travelling around the world but never any volunteering - yet.

Which All Out Africa program do you have your eye on for your next trip?

Ross: I was very keen to check out the savannah conservation project, and as I write this I am sitting in their office in Swaziland.

It’s a beautiful place, very rustic and basic but very much at one with nature. The camp is open to the animals, so they are free roam around.

What tips do you have for first-time volunteers abroad?

Ross: I would say be prepared for anything, Africa can throw anything at you.

In Mozambique we come across many strange and interesting problems, there is always a way around them, it’s just not always the conventional way, but it’s always fun.