• Madagascar
    • Nosy Komba

Program Details



What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals
Feb 13, 2017
Nov 27, 2019
6 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Our Marine Conservation Program offers a variety of projects to volunteers and also includes the PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water diving courses, as well as a 10 day Eco Boat Safari exploring several remote islands.

Not only do our projects include reef surveying and regeneration, turtle monitoring, nudibranch research and beach cleanups, we also educate the local community on environmental issues, conservation and protection of their marine resources.

Our volunteers receive comprehensive training on species identification and surveying techniques.

Program Reviews

4.86 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 85.71%
  • 4 rating 14.29%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.45
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 5
  • Value 4.45
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Where did the time go??

Kathelijn van Heusden, 23 (Marine Program, MRCI)

My four weeks at MRCI have flown by in a complete whirlwind of wonderful new friends, a heap of marine related knowledge and above all, many scuba diving adventures. As I was not PADI certified before joining the Marine Program, my stay at Turtle Cove on Nosy Komba started off with meeting my instructor Jacques, who I would be spending most of my mornings with over the first week here (lucky for him, somehow the Madagascan sun has turned me into way more of a morning person than I am at home…;) ) Being able to do my confined open water dives, not in a pool somewhere, but in the shallows of our very own beach has been amazing, and Jacques is a wonderfully kind and patient instructor. My fellow Mariners waste no time in filling me in on which are the nicest creatures to find on our reef (Nudi’s and Boxfish for the win!), their weekend plans on Nosy Be and how to make sure you can be first in line for seconds at dinner. Since we get the weekends off we plan a Whale Shark trip (Snorkeling with these majestic creatures should truly be on eveyone’s bucketlist) and an excursion to Nosy Iranja (A beautiful tropical island Jack Sparrow would gladly finish a bottle of rum on). I seriously am beginning to wonder why I even packed clothes for this trip as I am spending every day morning till evening in my swimsuit or wetsuit, participating in dives or on one of the many dry activities that are organised, beach cleans and turtle watch being two of my favourites. The time here flies by and you’ll find yourself wondering why you even booked a ticket home in the first place in no time at all…

24 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of MRCI Camp on Nosy Komba

My time spent on Nosy Komba has been unreal. As a marine volunteer, I would typically start the day with a dive along the reef about 100 meters off the shore from camp. After the dive there are typically dry activities, like data entry, turtle monitoring, or snorkeling available to the volunteers as well as activities with the other programs such as hikes with the forest program or construction and teaching with the community program.

Camp itself is an isolated location off the bigger island of Nosy Be. It is nestled on the beach with the forest directly behind it. The location of camp is perfect, and I enjoyed relaxing on the hammocks or going swimming on the beach. In addition to camp there are activities such as the sacred waterfall on Nosy Be, diving at Tani Kelly, and snorkeling at the beach of Nosy Iranja.

Overall my experience here has been great, and I would recommend this camp to all potential volunteers. A couple things to keep in mind is the weather during the winter months is still extremely hot and humid, and the camp is quite isolated with limited access to electricity and access to wifi.

24 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Paradise

Volunteering with the Madagascar Research and Conservation Institute has been a trip of a lifetime. Being able to dive at least one a day during the reef and have a gorgeously healthy reef right out front has been an amazing way to spend 12 weeks. Being a part of the survey team, tracking the health of the reef over the years and working to make sure it stays protected is truly remarkable. The water conditions are gorgeous and the staff is so amazing. Some truly amazing divers who have shared so much knowledge to help improve my diving skills, plus make the environment fun as well as serious. Safety is truly a top priority which isn't something that you always find when it comes to diving. The overall experience here has been life changing in a very positive way.

22 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Not only is Madagascar an incredible place to volunteer but the camp itself is absolutely beautiful. The MRCI staff is so welcoming and helpful and the local staff does an amazing job with cooking the (meat and vegetarian) meals and the most delicious desserts. I came to Madagascar without any SCUBA certifications but the dive instructor made it so easy to learn and within two weeks I had my advanced certification and was diving in the most beautiful reef. I made the best friends that I plan to visit all over the world and have learned so much during this experience. I spent four weeks there and I can honestly say it was not enough time to take it all in, I was so sad to leave but can't wait to go back some day.

What would you improve about this program?
A larger emphasis on teaching conservation and science related topics
21 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

I have just completed my 8 week volunteer adventure on the Marine Conservation Program with MRCI. It was a life changing experience to say the least, from the food provided on camp, to being professionally guided throughout all my diving qualifications. The staff of MRCI are nothing shy of excellent, they are always there to help with any issue large or small. In addition to this, MRCI also offer malagasy language classes throughout the week, if you are interested on fully immersing yourself in the local culture and environment.
The Marine Conservation Program especially was excellent. If you do not already have your Open Water and Advanced Open Water diving qualifications, the local staff are skilled and excellent in helping you master your underwater experience. Highlights of the program would have to include, aiding in the construction of an underwater artificial reef, being qualified for the active swimmers survey team as well as having the ability to go diving almost every day of the week.
I would recommend to any future volunteers that are looking to aid the community or wildlife in Madagascar, try and go there with no expectations. It is a environment like no other, a life changing experience and a highlight of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
I would try and introduce more variations of the types of meals that are provided on camp.
20 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Madagascar

After doing forest conservation for 2 months, I did marine conservation for 2 months. I never went scuba diving before coming here, it was the best experience I have ever had. I can't imagine a place more ideal for scuba diving than Madagascar. Madagascar is definitely the most beautiful and unique place I've ever been too. The staff is very helpful and passionate about what they do. For marine, we did a lot of shore dives and some boat dives. The boat dives were at some spots nearby camp, they were always very fun! I loved that no dive was ever the same, we would always see something really interesting and different on every dive. There is an abundance of beautiful coral and marine life everywhere on the reef. I would recommend to stay as long as possible, you won't want to leave. The only thing I regret is not doing marine for longer. Madagascar had a big impact on me and really changed me. I will never forget all the amazing people I met and the memories made.

What would you improve about this program?
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My Time at MRCI

If you want to go to Madagascar this is the program to do. I spent roughly five months at MRCI and didn't have a single problem at all. The staff is amazing. They are very friendly and accomadating but also have a strong passion for what there doing! The Cape sits in a perfect location a short boat ride away from the main town and from the front of the camp its about a 30 second swim to "Turtle Towers Reef" where they do many of there surveys! I also highly recommend doing the 10 day Eco Tour! Going around to remote islands, atoms, and reefs for 10 days what one of the many highlights of my trip. Nosy Be and the Surrounding area is an amazing place and theres no where else in the world like it. I recently went back for the second time and had just as much fun.

If you get the chance to do this program believe me you won't regret it

20 people found this review helpful.

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