• Madagascar
2 to 8 weeks

Program Details



Starting Price
What's Not Included
Accommodation Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Equipment SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance Visa
Dec 12, 2019
Dec 14, 2016
7 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Operation Wallacea is a research and environmental organisation, working alongside university and college academics to build long term datasets to put towards various conservation management goals. We recruit volunteers to help out with the data collection, and train them in the skills and background that's needed to help effectively. There's also the option to complete dissertations or senior theses at our sites.

The Madagascar project is spread between a terrestrial site in the Mahamavo forest, and the marine site in Nosy Be - both in north part of this incredibly biodiverse country. The terrestrial projects focus on biodiversity assessment for a number of different species - herpetofauna, chameleons and frogs, crocodiles through boat surveys, lemurs, and bird species. The marine site is using a stereo-video survey technique to look at general reef health - although, like all Opwall marine sites, volunteers can also learn to dive there.

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with Operation Wallacea for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Program Reviews

4.40 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • 5 rating 80%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 20%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.4
  • Support 4.2
  • Fun 3.8
  • Value 4.2
  • Safety 4.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime experience

I participated in their two weeks Madagascar expedition in the last summer, and it was indeed a once in a life time experience! We stayed in the dry forest in the Northern Madagascar for wildlife surveys, and we were offered the chance to explore different satellite camps. Starting early at around 10 am and ending late at around 10 pm, a day in the forest was including three wildlife surveys and a lecture time. It was tiring, but Madagascar is a wonderful place that you will fall in love with its rich biodiversity and nature that you will not resist going out into the forest. The most unforgettable time is on the last week, we went on a small boat in the middle of the night to search for Nile Crocodiles. It was just like some kinds of thriller in the movie, and it is absolutely safe.
I have met amazing people with the same passion to wildlife conservation, and the people working there were real experts in the field, especially for the indigenous people who have unbelievably amazing eyesight to discover and identify small animals far away.
And I love the lecture session that they gave, which avoid us from the burning midday African heat :D and through the lectures you would really understand why are you doing this and what change can you give, which is a pretty nice wrap up to your time in Madagascar.

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

Two week expedition in the summer of 2016

I went on a two week terrestrial expedition with OpWall to Madagascar in June/July of 2016 and had an absolutely amazing time. They are a friendly, enthusiastic, helpful and supportive organisation who are there to help you every step of the way through fundraising and preparing for your trip. The academics are also passionate and ambitious in their conservation goals and were inspiring to learn from.

I learned a great deal about the country, culture and wildlife of Madagascar, and about the challenges conservation faces there, which, although unique in their specifics, are representative of similar challenges faced by conservationists across the world. I also learned about many different sampling techniques, and about the practical difficulties of conducting research in such remote and basic conditions.

I also made some amazing friends and had so much fun that I have been promoting OpWall at my university since I got back! I cannot recommend this trip enough!

26 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Yes, I recommend this program

Two years later and still an unforgettable stay

I remember this trip, and the amazing people I met during my stay like it was last week.
To start with, just the sheer amount of wildlife and cutting-edge research that we were exposed to and allowed to contribute towards is second to none. I have never been on a trip before or since where I felt so immersed in such important and exciting science, whilst getting to see some of the most amazing creatures that I could only dream of seeing on a television screen before.
The people who worked on the course were some of the friendliest, upbeat and accommodating people I have met across the world. Each and every person had an interesting story to tell, and I really felt that these people were interested in us students as well which was so important in making us feel at home.
I am a keen photographer and came across endless opportunities with the wildlife that was nearby, and that was not phased by human presence either. I am just sad that I do not think I will be lucky enough to come across such spectacles again for a very long time.
As long as you are prepared to wash with buckets and use your imagination when it comes to a shower and toilet made with leaves, sticks, and a spade, you will be living the dream!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly thought it was perfect. Would not change a thing about that trip except for to go again.
31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime

I went to Madagascar in the summer or 2016.
It was truly an amazing experience
The staff were helpful and accommodated my needs. This time made me think seriously about a career in conservation, and due to having such an amazing experience with Operation Wallacea I have decided to go out with them again, and I am off to Peru this summer!

I would highly recommend going with opwall, they are professional, fun, and made me feel completely at home in such an alien place!

27 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
No, I don't recommend this program

not great

Staff were fairly unsupportive and unfriendly, some were lovely but others treated us like we were school children, which wasn't what I had expected! We were not allowed days off if we were exhausted. Sleeping arrangements were not what was listed, as they were supposed to be 2 people sharing a 3 person tent, but we in fact shared 2 person tents, which e had to cram our 2 huge bags into as well. I wasn't expecting fantastic accommodation, I was prepared for a month in a tent, but not to be in such a tiny one with large holes in so we were regularly disturbed by mice in our tent in the night. It was difficult to sleep which generally impacted on the entire trip. Im not entirely sure what our money paid for. I loved the wildlife aspects of the trip, and some of the malagasy people were lovely. But support from staff was poor and I would not recommend this trip to anybody. Definitely go to Madagascar, it was a fantastic beautiful country, but do not go with opwall. (I have since heard that some of their other trips were wo derful, particularly peru, and as this was the second year Madagascar had been running it may have improved. But for the cost dont risk it!!!)

23 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers