Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute

Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute

About

We are a Government Approved Institute undertaking environmental research for our partners, which includes the Malagasy Government

Our Volunteer Programs include forest conservation, marine conservation and teaching English at local schools, as well as to staff of the National Oceanographic Research Centre (CNRO).

Our Turtle Cove research centre is ideally located next to the beach allowing easy access to the wider surrounding waters, as well as being directly opposite the Lokobe Forest Reserve and CNRO.

Founded
2013
Headquarters

2040 Bancroft Way, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Camilla
10/10

I volunteered for teaching during 2 months. Definitely, it was one of the best times of my life! As a teacher I had students all ages, from 3-4 to 50 years old. Classes in different villages, with several levels of English. This was a big challenge! A challenge I would love to deal with again and definitely for more than 2 months. There is so much to do!
Camp and it’s life style is amazing. The acomodations are really good with very good views to Nosy Be. Staff members and local people are very welcoming and friendly, creating a very good atmosphere to live.
My experience with other volunteers was really really good. I met awesome people. I learnt plenty of them and I had my small family back on camp. This made my experience even better. During weekends we did some trips to other islands, national parks and other turistic places, which I recommend 100%.
But volunteering is not only about teaching. It starts from the moment you arrive to Madagascar, see the people, other volunteers, camp, everything. All of it, It was an amazing experience!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Josh
10/10

I worked on the Community development program for 2 weeks in February, and had the chance to do some English teaching in the schools on Nosy Komba and Nosy Be. The best thing about my time teaching was how appreciative the kids and teachers are of you teaching, and the chance to work with students of all ages. You don't need any prior experience teaching, a good understanding of English is the most important asset, and the local staff you work with are always there to help out. I will never forget the experience I had teaching in Madagascar, and I look forward to doing it again very soon.

Yes, I recommend
Pradeepta
9/10

1. The “Local Experience”: Stayed in a campsite located in the middle of the forest, atleast 30 minutes away from the nearest village, a life without mobiles and tablets, woken up at dawn everyday by the pet rooster; enjoyed the local diet of rice and zebu(local cattle) meat; hiked daily among the mountains, passing by charming always smiling local villagers scampering by.
2. Expanded my knowledge database exponentially: I am originally from a Biology background, and I have been able to gain so much more knowledge about the endemic species of Madagascar and the ecology.
3. Accumulated valuable Survey Skills: Performed surveys in the forests of Nosy Komba. This was also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to observe the endemic species of Madagascar in their undisturbed natural habitat.
4. Met people from…everywhere!- From Canada to Australia, Iceland to Columbia!
5. Fun Fun Fun: This volunteering trip has been possibly the best experience of my life till now.
A big thank you to MRCI :D

How can this program be improved?
The volunteers could be provided with more information about where and how the surveyed data was going to be used. This would help in give a better picture of the impact our work is having on the local communities.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jesse
10/10

The program itself was great, we went out on hikes everyday and if you couldn't hike as was the case for me for a bit they also had something you can do and there was always a way to help out on camp. The accommodation for Madagascar was better then I expected and had most amenities like flushing toilets and good showers. The rooms we stayed in where hostel style with 6 beds in a room but there was more then enough room for everyone. The food was also really good with rice and beans being staples but there was also fish, chicken and beef that served. For the program itself it was very cool and rewarding to see some of these amazing creatures in the wild. With most of them you can only find in Madagascar. The research that you gather exploring the forests in nosy komba is so valuable when it comes to studying these creatures and for someone who wasn't really a reptile person before I left I was in awe of some of the things I saw. So I would highly recommend this trip

How can this program be improved?
One of things I think the program can approve in is that you really need to know alot of of different species in order to identify them on the hikes. Before you arrive it would be nice to be able to study up on some of them before you arrive.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Kristin
9/10

I spent an amazing 9 weeks at MRCI doing forest conservation and helping with their social media efforts. Nosy Komba, Madagascar is not an easy terrain. The nearest village is a 30-40 minute walk from camp over rocky and beach terrain. The locals walk this island like experts and put all the volunteers to deep shame. The locals are humble though and one time while walking back from the village, I stepped aside to let some young local girls passed. The last one grabbed my hand and showed me where to step easily and it was very sweet and a great bonding experience between me and the locals. They are a wonderful caring people, certainly worth meeting!

How can this program be improved?
As far as forest goes, I would suggest the first week allowing newbies to walk every other day. Perhaps breaking them into 2 groups. On off days, they can do extensive data entry to get them familiar with what were collecting. I think this would do two things: 1) allow people a bit of time to get used to the weather before big walks, and 2) give them a chance to see the data (even out of context) early on, so when they do on walks they have an idea of what they're collecting.
Yes, I recommend

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