Operation Wallacea
96% Rating
(137 Reviews)

Operation Wallacea

Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research programmes. Research is supported by students who join the programme, to strengthen their CV or resume or collect data for a dissertation or thesis. Academics benefit from funding for high quality fieldwork enabling them to publish papers in peer reviewed journals. This model enables the collection of large temporal and spatial datasets used for assessing the effectiveness of conservation management interventions.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Fiona
Female
20 years old
United Kingdom
University of St Andrews

A Truly Unique Experience

9/10

I had such a wonderful time in the Peruvian Amazon with OPWALL last summer! It was something that I signed up to without really thinking it through fully (because I would probably never have taken the chance, otherwise), but it was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made. Because there is nothing in the world that compares to waking up each morning to the urgent squawking of brightly-coloured macaws overhead, the splash of pink river dolphins out for an early morning hunt, and the low, stirring call of the howler monkey which echoes through the foliage on all sides.

The two-week expedition was packed full of exciting, varied and genuinely meaningful fieldwork tasks, ranging from fishing and mist-netting to bat-counting and caiman-catching. Not only were all of the tasks exciting and awe-inspiring in themselves, offering a unique set of close-up encounters with species endemic to the most biologically diverse region on Earth, but we were constantly surrounded by the knowledge that what we were doing was actually helping to make a difference. By contributing invaluable data to the fieldwork studies, we were playing our part in sustainable rainforest management,to ensure its protection for the wildlife and communities reliant upon its resources. And all whilst having the time of our lives!

The OPWALL staff and the natives played an enormous part in helping to make the trip so enjoyable. They really looked after us throughout the trip, right from the moment the plane landed in Iquitos, and not only that, but we were entertained each evening with activities from pub quizzes to a particularly memorable night of salsa dancing! The staff have dedicated most of their lives to observing and studying the species in the Amazon in meticulous detail, and so had so much wisdom to share with us, which they did through a series of fascinating biodiversity lectures held throughout the trip. The local people working on the boats could not have been more friendly and welcoming, and the extent of their skills and talents when it came to producing souvenir crafts for us to take home, using resources from the rainforest, has to be seen to be believed...!

Another highlight of the trip was visiting the village of San Martin de Tipishca on the return boat journey to Nauta. The local children there were so delighted to see the boat again (the arrival of which is clearly viewed as a big event!), and the local people showed us great gratitude for the gifts of toys, clothes and medical provisions which we took for them. It was really promising to see the developments which had taken place there over the past few years, and in particular the brand new school, which was about to open. And it was extremely thought-provoking to see the hopeful faces of the children beaming, in spite of the poverty that surrounded them. In addition to this, what better way to spend the final afternoon of the trip than by feeding manatees their greens at the rehabilitation centre near Iquitos?!

Overall, I cannot recommend undertaking an expedition with OPWALL highly enough, to anyone who is interested in conservation and willing to experience an extraordinary ecosystem which so many talk about, but so few have actually set foot in. Even as a mere Geography student, with no expert knowledge or experience in biological surveying techniques, I got a huge amount out of the trip, and learnt a great deal along the way. OPWALL were there supporting me right from the start, providing tips and guidance for fundraising and detailed packing lists and tutorials to ensure that I was fully prepared for the expedition, and that I had a brilliant time.

I couldn't have been happier with my trip to the Amazon with OPWALL, and I strongly urge you to push the boat out next summer and join them, too. You will never regret it.

Miles
Male

Unforgettable experience in Madagascar

9/10

This was an amazing experience and definitely one of the best trips I have been on. All of the different animals that we saw were so different from anything I had seen before. I discovered a new interest in snakes and many other animals that we studied. I made many new friends who will stay with me for a long time. This experience has opened my eyes to the different living conditions and cultures of different people in other countries.

How can this program be improved?

Improve the sleeping and travel arrangements.

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Alisha
Female
37 years old
Bexley

A magical splash in the ocean

8/10

On the long travel up the coast, as we stopped in the resort for an evenings rest, myself and the other teacher snuck away for a quick dip in the ocean. As we entered, the waves and fleeing fish turned bright blue with luminescence. Soon the whole camp was out for a midnight swim, chasing blue fish and painting blue snow angels in the water. It was a magical splash that was uncapturable by a camera and left only in memories and stories.

How can this program be improved?

The dive site was not ready for us as the first group and provided very little scientific value.

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Katie
Female
17 years old
Wordsley

South Africa

10/10

When we arrived on the outskirts Balule National Park we began the drive in we began the journey of a life time, within 5 minutes an Elephant was only 20 metres away, and every single on of us on that vehicle we speechless. However moments later we drove for the maximum of 1km before we saw not one but two black rhinos. They are one of the rarest animals on the planet and we had the privilege of seeing not only an adult female, but also its calf. The reality of what we had just seen finally set in when our ranger, had to call in on his radio the location and time we saw these two rhinos. We had only been there 10 minutes and we had already seen of the rarest animals on the planet, that is when I knew this was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

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Antoinette
Female
28 years old
Toronto
York University

Opwall Transylvania Expedition Review - Butterflies! Everywhere!

10/10

I am very new to travelling, although not new to ecology and field work. Nonetheless, signing up for the Transylvania Expedition was a huge move for me - and I am thrilled I decided to join in!
This trip represented 1) my first time backpacking in Europe 2) First trip to Romania 3) First time camping and doing field work for a lengthy period of time.

A few things I noticed: It really helps to be fit. You will learn soon enough that you will be doing a lot of hiking, and it will really work your muscles! As well, stay hydrated and take care of yourself when you get back to camp.

This experience was wonderful overall. The camp and schedules were extremely well organized, and the camp was well stocked with medical materials if anyone were to fall ill. The staff were friendly, attentive, and addressed any concerns. We could have used a bit more time to rest to remain on form throughout the trip though! This experience allowed me to test my own endurance, to learn many new and cool skills, and to meet plenty of awesome people along the way. It was a safe intro to field work and camping, and an excellent stepping stone for future experiences abroad. I highly recommend it!

Program Listings

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working with university and college academics to build long...

Peru

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Honduras

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Romania

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Indonesia

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

South Africa

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Mexico

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Madagascar

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Guyana

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build...

Croatia

Operation Wallacea
Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organization, working alongside university and college academics to build...