As a volunteer, on the Marine Research & Whale Shark Conservation Project, you will help carry out the Marine Research and monitoring activities for the project under the guidance of our coordinating project scientists. You will join other volunteers on the project to collect the data via scuba dives, ocean safaris and beach walks off the coastline of Tofo in Mozambique. You can expect an excellent diving, snorkeling and beach experience whilst gaining first hand Marine Research skills and contributing to a worthwhile project.
Some of the activities you will get involved in may include:
● Date, GPS location, surface and underwater conditions
● Size, sex, scars/distinctive features, the behavior of the Whale Shark
● You will take an ID photograph and identify each Whale Shark & record re-sightings
- Ocean Safari – snorkel with amazing creatures such whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins.
- Contribute to conservation science that will make a difference for marine life!
- Learn how to scuba dive and get an international PADI certificate
- Exciting extras to participate in on the weekends such as the Island Kayak trip through the blue ocean waters around Inhambane, Mozambique
- Relaxing on Tofo’s spectacular palm-fringed beaches
What to Expect
DAY IN THE LIFE OF A VOLUNTEER
7:00 Wake up to see the sunshine and get yourself started for the day with breakfast!
7:30 Get prepared for your research dive – get your equipment together and head to one of the dive sites or you may go on an ocean safari and go searching for Whale Sharks and dolphins to take photo ID shots and record behavioral data
12:30 Time to return to your accommodation for lunch after an action packed morning!
14:00 Go to the office and enter data onto our databases of the research work
15:00 Depending on the time of year – you may be collecting data on humpback whales from the top of the sand dunes, uploading photo IDs into the database, conducting turtle nest surveys or improving the beach environment with a clean-up collection.
16:30 Return back to your accommodation and share your day’s adventures with other volunteers!
18:00Enjoy a delicious evening meal and relax...
ITINERARY FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE
Day 1 Fly into Inhambane Airport, usually connections are available from OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg or Maputo Mozambique where you will be met by an All Out Africa staff member who will transfer with you to your accommodation.
Day 2 Your orientation will start with a presentation by the coordinating project scientists to prepare you for your project. You will then be shown around Tofo and have a tour of the nearby city of Inhambane.
Day 3-5 Begin your scuba diving course which usually lasts between 4 & 7 days depending on weather conditions. This is an internationally accredited course and upon completion you will get a certificate permitting you to scuba dive to 18m anywhere in the world.
Those who already hold an open water course will complete an advanced dive course (qualifies you to dive to 30m). If you are a 2 week volunteer on the program or already have both open and advanced dive qualifications you will begin the activities described under day 8-13 on the itinerary instead.
After scuba class you will be treated with a series of interesting educational talks on some of the amazing megafauna you will be swimming with over the next few weeks including how to ID several different kinds of fish species.
Day 6-7 At weekends there is time to explore the stunning palm-fringed beaches of Tofo: relax, surf, swim and enjoy your beautiful surroundings. During the first weekend you may also be completing your open or advanced water certificate.
Day 8-12 Once your dive course is completed you will officially be an assistant scientist! Your dives in the morning/afternoon will be for the purpose of collecting data and the second part of the day you will be responsible for communicating that data into the proper vehicle for safe keeping and analysis at a later date.On days when you are not in the water, our social projects guide may take you on activities around Tofo such as Portuguese lessons, historical walking tours and/or local handicraft creation
Orientation upon arrival
Full support and daily guidance from the project coordinator and assistant coordinator
PADI dive course
✘ Local transport fares to your projects
✘ Medical/Travel Insurance
✘ All Flights & Visas
Housing & Meals
Albatroz Lodge is in a perfect location, nestled at the top of the sand dunes overlooking the spectacular Tofo Bay. Accommodation is in chalets with a traditional thatched roof, and dorm style accommodation. The chalets have electricity and running, drinkable water, and feature open living areas and ample room to relax outside. The chalets sleep 4 and 12 people respectively, with each bedroom tted with bunk beds. Beds, mattresses, mosquito nets, sheets and pillows are provided. There are shared toilet and shower facilities, and communal living spaces in each chalet, and a swimming pool and relaxation area.
The accommodation is next door to the dive centre and All Out Africa of ce, and just a 30-second walk down to Tofo beach. It is also a very short walk to Tofo village, where there is a market, basic shops, a few restaurants and bars, and a number of beach activities available. The nearest town, Inhambane, is approximately one hour away on public transport.
Volunteers, interns and students receive 3 meals a day when joining an All Out Africa experience. These meals are provided at Albatroz Lodge in their restaurant overlooking the swimming pool.
Breakfast will include a selection from the following items: cereals, bread, fruit, yogurt, eggs and spreads. Lunch can include sandwiches, salads, omelette’s and pasta dishes. Dinner is a cooked meal and types of dishes served include pasta, local dishes and stew. Mozambique is a developing country and not all types of ingredients are readily available. Local cuisine is served to ensure freshness and enhances your cultural experience.
Vegetarians and most food allergies can be catered for. In order to fully support you during your experience, please advise us at time of booking if you have any food allergies or preferences, so we can cater for these in our meal plans. We will do our best but be prepared your food selection may not be as varied as other participants. If your food allergies/preference are quite restrictive, we may require you to pay an additional fee to allow us to cater for you.
Mozambique tends to draw in the adventurous sea-loving traveler, as the coastline is over 600 miles long. This country has found a way to preserve not only their colonial ties but also their African roots.