Affordable Marine Conservation Programs with IVHQ

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About

Join Marine Conservation volunteer projects with IVHQ in Madagascar. Living on the island of Nosy Komba, you'll be working alongside other international volunteers and support conservation efforts focused on the protection of the marine ecosystem in Madagascar.

You'll be working with oceanographic organizations to gather vital data through reef surveying, turtle monitoring, beach clean-up, community education programs and reef regeneration initiatives.

Volunteers need to have an Open Water Dive Certification and Advanced Open Water Dive Certification. The relevant courses ​should be completed prior to arrival in Madagascar, or they can be completed in Madagascar.

You can choose to volunteer for durations ranging for 4 weeks to 12 weeks with program fees starting from $1040 for 4 weeks.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 7 reviews
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Drew
10/10

Costa Rica Turtle Conservation Project was an Experience of a Life Time

Costa Rica's Turtle Conservation Project was one thing I will never forget! Such an eye opening and amazing experience. The IHQV program is an amazing way to explore the world in a feasible way. Not only is it affordable but I would have never experienced anything like it! IHQV Brings so much more, more ham any guided tour, more than a resort, and more than anything you could experience on your own. They have demonstrated such strong dedication to make sure every part of the trip is a great learning exprenice while keeping it fun. One of my most memeroble moments would be seeing the indangered leather back turtle lay her eggs. Because the leather back is in such danger it is critical that her eggs are gathered and re-nested in the hatchery where they can be taken care of and monitered to keep them safe from predators. I was lucky enough to be able to personally collect her eggs and dig a new nest to place each egg carfully. It was truley an amazing experience. I wish I could go back to see them hatch! Not only was this such an amazing experience, but every single person I met on this trip through the program m, I will dearly miss. IHQV brings everyone with similar ambitions together and from all over the world. I loved to meet people from the UK, Australia and Italy. Never could I go anywhere and meet such amazing people in one single place. I would recommend this program a million times. Leaving was hard, I'll miss my friends I have made and most importantly all the work that was done everyday to help such a wonderful project!

Yes, I recommend
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Amy
10/10

So Fun, So Productive, So Lovely!

If you want to work hard with lots of time left to play on the weekends, I would highly recommend this program. It truly gives back as much as you are willing to put into it. Emily is the sweetest manager ever and makes you feel at home right away. The staff on the marine project are highly competent and really safe, and the program had some really cool partnerships with other conservation organizations. Kyle made my stay fantastic, taking time to answer all of my questions and going above and beyond while teaching my rescue diver course.

The living arrangements are charming and comfortable (huts of six) and the bathrooms were western style which was a downright delightful surprise. The extremely friendly local staff homecook delicious meals, there are gorgeous views...I signed up for a three month volunteer program and ended up staying for nine months because I loved it so much. Highly recommended!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Amy, thanks for taking the time to write your review, it has made me a little Madagascar-sick and I want to go back! It is great that you were able to stay on, and it sounds like you really became integrated into the community, which I know was one of the things you wanted to get out of volunteering abroad. ^Claire - IVHQ Madagascar Program Manager

Yes, I recommend
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Nancy
10/10

Marine conservation & Divemaster

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.

How can this program be improved?
Antibacterial pump hand soap in all the bathrooms
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Nancy, Thanks for your feedback and for taking the time to include a few tips for future volunteers as well - handy hints. It's great that you had such a positive experience in Madagascar and we hope to see you back again one day in the future. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

Yes, I recommend
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Ashley
10/10

An experience of a lifetime

I have never experienced anything like the time I have spent here on Nosy Komba. I have been thoroughly impressed from the beginning of my stay- from the friendliness of the people to the cleanliness of camp. I was introduced to scuba diving and have since completely fallen in love with it. Kyle was a great instructor and taught with incredible patience and guidance throughout my courses.The diving team has become like a family to me and I will miss my time with them. Even on days where we couldn't dive the marine staff had planned marine activities and jobs to keep us busy, which I loved. The cooking staff is wonderful and continues to improve the food each week, which has become quite enjoyable. I recommend this program to any person wanting to experience a beautiful island and experience the slow "mora mora" culture of Madagascar. :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashley, Thanks for recommending our Marine Project in Madagascar and for sharing your thoughts about volunteer life while in country. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed the project, accommodation, food and the location. It is a unique program and we are glad that you we able to be a part of it. We hope to have you back again. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

Yes, I recommend
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Jack
10/10

Madagascar Marine Program

I had an amazing time learning to dive, living on camp and generally experiencing the new culture in Madagascar. For a relaxing, stress free beach side getaway, i cant imagine there are many other places that come close, and be so rewarding at the same time. I would highly recommend anyone, regardless of dive experience to seriously consider coming here.

How can this program be improved?
The charging situation for volunteers needs to be better, either have more sockets available (only 10 for 20+ people), or have longer sessions.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jack, Thanks for the feedback and we are so glad to hear that you had a relaxing and enjoyable volunteer abroad experience in Madagascar. We hope to see you on another of our programs again in the future.

Yes, I recommend
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Connor
10/10

2 amazing months of volunteering!

I volunteered in the marine conservation program from the beginning of june to the end of july. The diving was awesome and the people were great. The staff and other volunteers were really helpful with getting everyone settled into their programs and made the time i spent there a blast and worry free! My time in madagascar will be something that i will never forget and MRCI has been an inspiration to volunteer abroad in the near future. Thanks again!!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Connor,

It’s fantastic to hear that you enjoyed your volunteer experience on our Marine Conservation project in Madagascar.

Thank you for your feedback and we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ again in the future.

Catherine

Yes, I recommend
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Julie
9/10

Life Changing Experience

I felt obliged to write this review when I saw a negative one for this project- my experience is quite the opposite!
Yes, this program is brand new; still setting up and establishing itself as a premier volunteer program. Hence, there are a few things that are still getting ironed out and some construction still happening. HOWEVER, I feel privileged to be a part of this process as a volunteer. Because everything is all so new, I found that I have contributed to the development and direction that the organisation is taken.
The staff at camp are amazing- they have been working very hard to find the best ways to aid the local community through the construction and teaching program, while working towards using the data collected in the forest and marine program in the best way possible.
The atmosphere on camp is fantastic, its like a family- no such thing as being homesick!
The food is basic, but its all you need and it is certainly what I expected.

If you are thinking about going to Madagascar these are the things I would consider;
* If you are doing construction or teaching you have to walk to the nearest village along the beach which is quite rocky, so be prepared.
* If you are doing the forest program you will need a decent level of fitness
* Realise that you are living on the edge of a forest. There are going to be bugs!

This program has taught me so much more than I ever expected and I would encourage anyone to give it a try.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Julie,

Thanks for sharing your feedback - we are happy to hear that you appreciated the support of the local staff and the atmosphere of the volunteer accommodation - it sure is an incredible spot!

Thanks for sharing your tips for future IVHQers too, we hope to have you volunteer with IVHQ again one day!

Yes, I recommend

About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

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