Marine Research & Whale Shark Conservation in Mozambique

6 to 12 weeks
18 - 100 years
40 travelers are looking at this program

About This Program

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


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...


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

What's Included
Airport Transfers
More info on what's included:

Orientation upon arrival
Full support and daily guidance from the project coordinator and assistant coordinator
PADI dive course

What's Not Included
Travel Insurance
More info on what's not included:

✘ Local transport fares to your projects
✘ Medical/Travel Insurance
✘ All Flights & Visas

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.



4 Weeks
$3022 USD
6 Weeks
$4094 USD
3 Weeks
$2650 USD


Mozambican Metical
88 F / 73 F
84 F / 61 F
82 F / 61 F
88 F / 68 F
Maputo International Airport
( MPM )

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.

Hosted by All Out Africa

All Out Africa, a responsible travel company, was founded in 2004 by Kim Roques. With its headquarters in Ezulwini (the Valley of Heaven), Swaziland, All Out Africa also has bases in Cape Town, South Africa; Maun, Botswana; and Tofo, Mozambique. All Out Africa's travel company focuses on providing responsible travel experiences as well as...

Ginger Green
Marketing & Bookings Coordinator
Have a question?
Send Ginger a Message


based on 7 reviews
  • Impact 8.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation in Tofo, Mozambique

I had an excellent time when I volunteered for a month with AllOut Africa in Mozambique. It provided me an incredible cultural, ecological, and educational experience. I was able to kickstart my research career and begin my path towards becoming a marine scientist thanks to this opportunity. The director and staff at the marine research center were top-tier. I recommend this program to anyone interested in marine conservation, ecology, tourism, and local culture of Mozambique!

What would you improve about this program?
More funding!
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

When I decided to do a career break I was travelling to Southern Africa for a couple of months. As already being a certified scuba diver, I was keen on discovering Tofo's well-known marine life with its big fish. One of my friends who joined this project a few years earlier recommended it to me. And it didn't take me long to sign up. It was highly interesting for me to be part of a marine conservation project, even though I was "only" joining for one month. Not only did I get to see the manta rays and whale sharks and lots of other marine life, but also received a lot of first-hand scientific background information about it. Moreover, it was really impressive to see how such a conservation projects works and what it needs to be successful. And it really needs a lot, especially very dedicated and passionate people. On the dives, our target was to record the appearance of certain species of fish. And for specific fish like manta rays, turtles and leopard sharks it was the aim to get an identification shot with our underwater camera. Same thing for the Whalesharks but only by snorkelling during so-called Ocean Safaris. Subsequently, these whale shark ID shots were uploaded and compared with other ID shots on a global database. In this way, it is possible to research their migration and behaviour. The days in the project are generally not fully packed so you will have enough leisure time especially in the later afternoon. This gives you time to enjoy the beach or to explore the surroundings for a bit. But be aware that Tofo is a very small village in a remote area. So don't expect a lot to be going on there, especially out of peak seasons. On the weekends I always went for scuba diving on my own with the project's partner dive center Peri-Peri Divers, great team! Our volunteer house was perfectly located just next to the dive center and just a few steps down to the beach. One thing to mention: It's not a joke about the mosquitos. So make sure you prevent yourself from bites and bring your medication. But even if you should get sick, the dive center has its own doctor which is comforting to know. Overall, I definitely had a fantastic time and can highly recommend joining this consveration project to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
The variety of dinner at the accommodation was quite limited. But in view of the fact that Tofo is so pretty remote and the local people living under moderate conditions, it is certainly acceptable.
Yes, I recommend this program

This is for the marine conservationists, marine animal lovers, and don't mind taking it slow.

I took a career break and had the time of my life at this project. Spent two months and the duration felt right. My fellow volunteers ranged from ages 19 to 49, and we got along great. If you're looking to party a lot and do very little, sure you can do that, but you should do that at another project that's cheaper and at a more "happening" town. If you're looking to gain great scuba diving experience, learn lots about the local marine ecosystem, lots of relaxing, simple/comfortable living, and can be creative in keeping yourself busy, then this is for you. I didn't mind the occasional power outage or lack of warm water for showers. I love the many science presentations and discussions offered by MMF. The staff are awesome and will take good care of you. Being a city gal, the beach environment, rudimentary infrastructure, and friendly locals really charmed me. I can't wait to visit Tofo again!

What would you improve about this program?
Not much, the program had the right amount of structure, support, and info to prepare me.
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure of a lifetime!

My decision to volunteer with this project is the best I have made so far. It led to my ultimate love for diving and preserving the environment everywhere. I learned so much about the ocean and its inhabitants. Not only that, you get to know the locals and their language, their culture and their simple way of life.
Last but not least, the friends. The incredible bond you form with the other volunteers you eat, sleep and dive with. You have so much fun learning and working together.

All in all, the place is great, the diving is amazing and the experience, I promise you, you'll never forget or regret it!

What would you improve about this program?
A little higher standard on dinner. Very little variation and not a lot for everyone.
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine volunteer

I were a volunteer at all outs marine project dec 2013 to jan 2014 and I had the time of my life. The project is very good. Everything works well and if you should run in to any problems you have two wounderfull project coordinators how will help you! You can notice that they have been doing this for a time and really love it. They are so good!
The dives here are amazing and the divecenter, who takes you on dives, are so good.

I had such a great time here and i woulde recommend it to eveyone!

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that comes to my mind is the house, but the project moved to a new much vetter one during my stay. Maybe it was a little bit to much free time. But overall it was a very good project.
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

Waking up everyday knowing your'e going to see something that will stick with you forever is the most amazing feeling. On an average day a volunteer will walk down to the dive centre, get their gear ready for diving and launch the boat. A lot of laughs and smiles all round, the dive sites are not a far boat ride away. Once you descend onto the reef, your eyes explode as you see a flurry of colours and movement. A friendly potato bass will most likely great you as you reach the bottom, followed by turtles, an abundance of fish and corals and even a few manta rays if you're lucky! Exploring the reefs with the dive master you're sure to see eels, shrimps and some elusive frog fish. As we ascend back to the boat, you keep your eyes peeled for any whales swimming by! Back onto the boat you receive a tasty lollipop as you head back to shore. Next in your amazing day is an ocean safari! This is the best chance you get to see the most magnificent animal of all, a whale shark. As you spot the dark mass in the distance, you scurry to ram your mask on your head and rip your flippers on your feet. You jump into the water and are greeted by an enormous whale shark seven times your size, and you get the chance to swim by this amazing creature, taking identification shots and if you're quick enough, diving to see if its a male or female. After a long swim with the whale shark you once again clamber onto the boat and continue looking for dolphins, turtles and other large sea creatures. Going back home after a long day of adventure, you crash, get a home cooked meal by the best locals you've ever met and chat with all the volunteers. At night, if you've managed to save some energy, you experience the local night life, full of beers, pool and music. Make sure you let the leaders show you around, they're sure to have some unforgettable dance moves.
Volunteering in Mozambique was the most amazing experience of my life, i felt safe at all times and always had support and would recommend it to everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
The food in the house was minimal, also the way data is entered should be 'easier' as sifting through excel spread sheets and badly written logs is tedious, but hey, it's mozambique!
Yes, I recommend this program

I just wish I'd stayed longer!

I can honestly say the marine conservation project in Mozambique is one of the best thing I've ever done. The staff running the project (Ross and Katie) are amazing, inspiring and great fun. The dive staff were fantastic. The diving itself was absolutely spectacular. Every day was a new high. The first few days were spent learning to dive and learning about the local marine life. After that, each day involved diving, snorkelling, whale-watching, as well as free time to take a stroll along the beautiful beaches of Tofo. Your fellow volunteers quickly become your friends as you bond over your love of all things marine. Each day there would be someone running through the door after a dive with the biggest grin on their face, exclaiming "Guess what we saw today?". In the evenings we'd either have a group dinner at the house (possibly followed by a showing of Finding Nemo or a shark documentary..), head to the local bars or restaurants for a bit of partying, attend a marine conservation seminar or sit back and watch a movie at one of the local hostels. By the end of the trip I felt like I'd learnt a lot, not just about marine conservation, but also about the country itself, the people and, of course, diving. When I looked out the plane window on my flight home, I had already made a promise to myself to return again. And I will. 3 weeks was not enough.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, it would be the level of organisation when it came to the databases. It was sometimes confusing to know whether a survey had already been entered, and sometimes the surveys would be a little scruffy or just didn't make sense - some would use a completely different scale of measurement to another. I know the volunteers are partly at fault for this (you could definitely tell when someone had been having a lazy day), but maybe if the system was a bit more clear (maybe establish a proper filing system rather than using plastic wallets) then there would be less confusion. Particularly when it comes to the whale-watching - people seemed to get different sets of instructions which led to quite a bit of confusion when filling out the forms.


Great question! Once you send a message or press Apply Now, the provider of this program will receive your message or application, and guide you to the next step. All you have to do is fill out a few details! The entire process should only take a few days and every message will appear in your personal inbox.

You will know within the next few days.

Wait for the provider of this program to accept you! You will receive an email to your personal inbox as well as your Inbox here on Go Overseas within 48 hours.

Your message will be sent to the provider who runs this program! You will receive a personal email as well as a message in your Go Overseas Inbox (top right of the page, "Inbox") once the provider responds to your question. At any point, you can ask more questions by pressing View within your Go Overseas Inbox.


Meet the Alumni
Meet the Staff