Marine conservation & Divemaster

Ratings
Overall
10
Impact: 8
Support: 9
Fun: 9
Value: 10
Safety: 9
Review

I spent 13 weeks with MRCI through IVHQ. I did 2 weeks of forest and then 11 weeks of marine whilst completing my PADI divemaster. The staff are amazing! Kyle is a perfect dive instructor and any training you do with him will be conducted expertly. All the staff are really kind and caring. The programs are really flexible - I did some teaching around my forest/marine so ended up getting to try it all. The program managers really care about their projects and try to make the best of the volunteers time. The marine project's diving was incredible - I did one dive a day during busier times and Spring tides and sometimes two dives a day, doing Nudibranch surveys and line reef surveys and once artificial reef maintenance. The biggest downside of the marine project is the occasional dry days when the compressor broke, but the staff tried their best to occupy us with relevant activities and a new more reliable compressor is arriving immently. Lots of volunteers extend or stay on as interns, so be prepared to stay for longer than you expect! The atmosphere on camp is amazing. I honestly felt like everyone there was my friend, and this is a group of about 30 people from all over the world. Every evening there was something going on in the main house and every weekend someone would be planning a fun activity.
the accommodation is huts each with 3 bunk beds and then 2 shower and toilet huts. Bring a good mosquito net - box shaped ones are the best, or even better, a tent that your mattress fits inside. The showers are cold but you quickly find that daytime showers are the perfect temperature - warm enough from the sun but still refreshing from the heat. Don't even think about showering at night unless you are particularly good at bearing cold. The food is really good and a mix of rice and beans and meat and pasta, but most people buy sauces and spreads to add. Bring a pillow if you're fussy about that kind of thing, there are some on camp but they're not the best. Bring hand santisiser as there's not always soap and quite a few people got sick with typhoid (not as scary as it sounds! Just a bad flu). Bring a good first aid kit for sure and a head torch. Don't worry about fins if yours don't fit - they have lots of spares that people have left behind (but maybe email ahead to ask if you can borrow before leaving yours at home!). My biggest piece of advice is to avoid air Madagascar!!! Even if it costs more, the emotional stress of flying with this airline is immense. They lose luggage and constantly move flights. Their last minute changes made my day long journey into 4 days with 3 overnight stops, so the extra to go with air austral or another airline will probably end up cheaper when you take last minute hotels into account.
I had an amazing time in Madagascar and was very sad to leave.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2015
Private Note to Provider (optional)
I miss you all!!!
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