from 1,867€

Fantastic 4.5rating (14)

Marine Research and Whale Shark Conservation

location
2 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Fantastic 4.5  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Good response rate

Highlights

  • Volunteer and have a lasting positive impact on the conservation of the whale shark
  • Help carrying out the marine research as well as the monitoring of activities
  • Join other volunteers on the project to collect the data via scuba dives, ocean safaris, and beach walks off the coastline
  • Expect an excellent diving, snorkeling and beach experience whilst gaining first hand marine research skills and contributing to a worthwhile project
  • Explore Mozambique's idyllic tropical beaches on the Indian Ocean

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

Work in the field to help Whale Shark conservation!

YOUR ROLE

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 co-ordinating project scientists. You will join other volunteers on the ...

About the program

YOUR ROLE

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 co-ordinating 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.

As a volunteer, you will help on a multitude of research projects. These include monitoring of whale shark numbers, behavior, and ecology and taking underwater identification photographs; monitoring the condition of coral reefs and indicator species of reef fish. You will also be trained to take ID photos of manta rays and other threatened marine species to aid in population assessment and monitoring. At certain times of the year, you may help survey humpback whale numbers and turtle nesting activity as well as other indicators of the health of marine biodiversity. You may also assist with beach clean-ups and other general environmental activities and will help upload and analyze the field data.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The highlights of this incredible experience include:
  • Snorkeling with the world’s largest fish – whale sharks
  • Learning about the diverse species and megafauna, and contributing to their conservation
  • Learning to dive and experiencing the magic of the underwater world
  • Observing the migration of magnificent humpback whales
  • Gaining hands-on experience in marine research techniques and analysis

Some of the activities you will get involved in may include:

Whale Shark (throughout the year) The whale shark component of the Project involves joining ocean safaris to snorkel with Whale Sharks in the open ocean. It involves taking underwater photographs to identify the Whale Sharks as well as recording other ecological information. As a summary, you will collect the following information on the Whale Sharks:

  • Date, GPS location, surface, and underwater conditions
  • Size, sex, scars/distinctive features, behavior of the whale shark
  • You will take an ID photograph and identify each whale shark & record re-sightings 

Dolphin (throughout the year) Another species monitored on ocean safaris is dolphins. You will be collecting data that enables dolphin numbers and behaviors to be recorded and uploaded onto databases to share with our Marine Partners. Of particular interest in this study is dolphin behavior in relation to tourism

Coral Reef and Fish (throughout the year) The coral reef monitoring involves joining scuba diving and carrying out underwater data collection on indicator species of coral fish and the condition and cover of coral and echinoderms on the reefs. As a summary, on these research dives you may carry out the following activities:

  • Recording indicator species of reef fish
  • Collect ID photos of megafauna including mantas, turtles and

Leopard Sharks

  • Coral reef quadrants to assess the cover and condition of different coral groups and echinoderms
  • Collection of photos of nudibranchs (sea slugs) to help develop a species list for Mozambique

Turtles (November to March) You may help survey turtle survival and you may be lucky enough from November to February to monitor the nesting of turtles on beaches in the areas around Tofo. Historically, loggerhead turtles have nested here in significant numbers and although these, as well as green turtles, leatherback turtles, and hawksbill turtles, are sighted in-water, their nesting has declined dramatically owing to poaching. In the last 8 years, little to no nests have been found in the area. The surveys involve working to patrol the beaches, recording nest sites, finding shells- sizing them, and taking GPS points for data collection on poaching in the area.

Seahorses (throughout the year) This project will involve traveling to the nearby Inhambane Estuary and snorkeling in relatively shallow waters to evaluate and monitor the seahorse population. The seahorses are counted, and photos are taken to identify the size of the seahorses, with data then then entered into a database to allow for analysis.

Humpback Whales (June – October) You may help monitor the numbers of humpbacked whales on their seasonal migration up and down the coast. This involves sand dune-based observations using binoculars and boat-based observations recording the numbers of whales, the makeup of the pods, and behaviors witnessed. 

ITINERARY

Day 1

Fly into Inhambane Airport, usually, connections are available from OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg or Maputo Mozambique (more details in “Arrivals” section in the Mozambique Destination Brief) where you will be met by an All Out Africa staff member who will transfer on the short journey to your accommodation.

Day 2-5

Your orientation will start with a presentation by the co-ordinating project scientists to prepare you for your project. You will then be shown around Tofo and Inhambane.

If necessary (or if you've added a dive course add-on), hereafter you will do an open water scuba diving course which usually lasts between 4 and 7 days depending on 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. Once the course is completed you will have the time & skills to focus on the project activities.

If you are a two-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.

Day 6-7 and all other weekends

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 and all other weekdays

You will begin your project activities, which can include any of the research activities outlined in the volunteer role section of this brief.



Typical day

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, and conduct research including fish and manta ray surveys

Or you may go ...

Typical day

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, and conduct research including fish and manta ray surveys

Or you may go on an ocean safari and go searching for whale sharks and dolphins to take photo ID shots and record behavioural data,

12:30Time to either 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 you did that morning

15:00Depending 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, maybe even a quick swim in the ocean!

18:00 Enjoy a delicious evening meal and relax...


Free-time activities

Mozambique is world famous for its idyllic tropical beaches on the Indian Ocean. As a former Portuguese colony that has come out of a prolonged civil war, it is now booming as quite possibly Africa’s top beach destination. Tofo is a laid-back beach village in ...

Free-time activities

Mozambique is world famous for its idyllic tropical beaches on the Indian Ocean. As a former Portuguese colony that has come out of a prolonged civil war, it is now booming as quite possibly Africa’s top beach destination. Tofo is a laid-back beach village in southern Mozambique and offers some of the best opportunities in the world to snorkel in the wild with the world’s biggest fish – the whale shark. With diverse coral reefs, whales, manta rays, dolphins and nesting turtles Tofo is a marine paradise and yet it is relatively close to the vibrant historic trading port of Inhambane. You will experience the laid-back beach lifestyle of this colourful and vibrant country. You will take an ocean safari to snorkel with the magnificent whale shark and also have a full day kayak trip across the blue waters to the palm fringed islands in the Inhambane Bay. If you are a certified diver you will have the opportunity of exploring the spectacular fish life of the coral reefs!

There are plenty of optional extra activities including beach horse rides, quad biking, mangrove kayaking, surfing, body boarding, deep sea fishing and catamaran cruises. A beach party or two is par for the course and some chill time on the beach is guaranteed Mozambique is a true gem on the east African coastline, an unspoiled paradise waiting to be explored! 

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

You can also add one of the following to your adventure of a lifetime prior to or upon arrival:

  • Kruger National Park 3-5 night camping safaris to experience a true African safari and see the big 5!
  • Surfing or yoga lessons on the beach 

Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.

Language Skills

You need to speak English (basic level)

Education Requirements

at HIGH SCHOOL level

Nationality Restrictions

No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills

In order to carry out many of these activities you will need to be able or willing to learn to scuba dive. An open or advanced internationally recognized diving course is provided with an additional fee through our dive partners - although if staying for 2-weeks you must at least have your PADI Open Water license. You will also need to be a capable swimmer (able to swim 100m unassisted) and snorkeler. Being able to hold your breath to dive down would be an advantage but is not required.

Time Commitment

Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:30 - 17:00

What's Included

What's Included

Services by All Out Africa

INCLUDED IN THE COST

Research dives and ocean safari’s to collect data

Comprehensive 24 hour, 7 day a week support from All Out Africa

Volunteer projects specifically designed to enable you to make an active contribution during your stay

Support of volunteer project coordinators who are experts in their fields which ensures the volunteer experience is valuable

Comprehensive orientation to the country

All food and accommodation throughout your stay

● All dive equipment while on research dives. The only exception is a dive hood (optional extra) for colder winter months.

(Airport transfers on ARRIVAL day is what is included as a part of your project fee. If you arrive on another day, additional charges may occur.) 

Airport Pickup at Inhambane Airport

ARRIVALS

Airport transfers on ARRIVAL day is what is included as a part of your project fee. If you arrive on another day, additional charges may occur

DEPARTURES

When you arrive a member of All Out Africa staff will request your flight departure time and will organise a transfer for you from Tofo to the airport. 

Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION 

During your stay you will be accommodated in Tilak Lodge, in Tofo. Tilak 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 fitted 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 office, 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 25 minutes away by car. 

If you would like private accommodation, our partners at Tilak Lodge charge a roughly ~20 USD/night. Please let us know and payment will likely be processed at arrival.

Food & Beverages

MEALS

Volunteers, interns and students receive 3 meals a day when joining an All Out Africa experience. 

Breakfast will include a selection from the following items: bread, fruit, eggs and spreads. Lunch can include sandwiches, salads, omelettes 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. 

Internet Access

Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Flight Tickets

The nearest airport is Inhambane Airport (INH) in Inhambane. We assist you to find cheap flights to Mozambique. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

Travel Insurance

Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Mozambique provides security and is a plus to have. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Mozambique you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Mozambique. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

Start date for this project is the first Monday of the month throughout the year, with the exception of December when the project is closed.

*Min of 3 weeks required to participate in the international certified PADI course. 

BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHT

All our volunteer projects commence on the first MONDAY OF THE MONTH, as this is when All Out Africa staff can personally collect you from the airport.

Airport transfers on this day is what is included as a part of your project fee. If you arrive on another day, additional charges may occur.

If your project/expedition begins in Mozambique you should fly to Inhambane. You may do this by flying to Johannesburg in South Africa or Maputo in Mozambique then take a connecting flight to Inhambane. To ensure your journey is fluid and easier, please try and book your connecting flight to Inhambane on the same day that your flight lands in OR Tambo or Maputo.

Please make sure you arrange a valid visa for Mozambique prior to flying. You can get a visa in Mozambique on arrival only if your country of origin does not have a Mozambican embassy.

VISA FOR MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique has recently changed its visa policies to allow for more tourists to get their visas upon arrival, but we still request that you reach out to your nearest Mozambican embassy to confirm this is a possibility for you. It is your responsibility to check if you need a pre-arranged visa. Should you need a letter to assist with a visa, please let us know and we will happily assist. 

ARRIVALS

You will be given an ‘International Arrival/Departure form’ on your flight – please fill this in on the plane before landing. When you are filling in the Arrival/Departure form please remember that participating with All Out Africa counts as ‘tourism’ for immigration purposes.

If you transit through OR Tambo International Airport, your first stop will be at the Immigrations Desk where you will have to hand them your passport and your Arrival/Departure form that you would have filled out on your flight. Your passport is stamped/endorsed by the Immigration Officer and he/she will issue you with a visa. You will then proceed to international departures to prepare for your flight to Inhambane.

If you transit through Maputo, Mozambique you will pass through the Immigration Desk where you will have to hand them your passport and your Arrival/Departure form that you would have filled out on your flight. Your passport is stamped/endorsed by the Immigration Officer and he/she will issue you with a visa. You will then proceed to domestic departures to prepare for your flight to Inhambane.

For your destination details please write down All Out Africa and if asked for postal address please put: ALL OUT AFRICA, Tilak Lodge, Tofo, Mozambique. You will then enter the baggage reclaim area to collect your luggage. Once you have your luggage make your way to the exit. There you will be met by one of our staff (holding a sign and wearing a T-shirt with the All Out Africa logo).

DEPARTURES

When you arrive a member of All Out Africa staff will request your flight departure time and will organise a transfer for you from Tofo to the Inhambane airport. 

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

2 weeks (min. stay) 1,867€
3 weeks 2,499€
4 weeks 2,992€
5 weeks 3,591€
6 weeks 4,189€
7 weeks 4,788€
8 weeks 5,027€
9 weeks 5,581€
10 weeks 6,136€
11 weeks 6,690€
12 weeks (max. stay) 7,244€
Average fees 768€/week

Program fees

768€ per week 2 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

2 - 12 weeks

Deposit

The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.


Final Payment

Your final payment will be agreed with All Out Africa during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.


Meet your organization

All Out Africa

Fantastic 4.5 rating (14 reviews)

Non-profit - founded in 2004

Verified by Volunteer World

  Good response rate

Coordinated by

Simise

Spoken languages: English

About the project

Our goal at All Out Africa, is to share our passion for southern Africa's people, places and wildlife with the world and offer adventures that change lives.

Meet your organization

About us

All Out Africa offers inspirational travel experiences in amazing destinations in southern Africa provided by an experienced and dedicated team.

All Out Africa has hosted over six thousand volunteer and tour participants and many more lodge guests since its inception in 2004. Many of these people have become friends and ambassadors and are helping in various ways to build a better world. All Out Africa is dedicated to people, wildlife, travel, safety, education and entrepreneurship. We have built lasting friendships with our partners and are deeply engaged in the local communities and conservation areas we work in and committed for the long term. Join us on adventures that change lives.

Our Vision

 Our vision is tocontribute to a peaceful & sustainable world where people & wildlife thrive.

  • We are passionate about Africa’s amazing diversity and believe it has unparalleled opportunity to contribute to the benefit of all.
  • We believe in the power of nature to improve wellbeing.
  • We believe in the educational influence of experiences and travel.
  • We believe in the importance of empathy in an interconnected global community.
  • We believe in the creative potential of people to do extraordinary things.
  • We seek to harness this potential to help make our vision a reality.

Our Values

  • Trust – we live by honesty, are governed by conscience, can rely on each other and respect each other
  • Care – we care for each other, strive for the greater good and a better future, empathise with others, nurture leadership, believe in partnerships,
  • Communication – we communicate positively, work as a team, celebrate successes, foster dreams and opportunities, and reward innovation
  • Integrity – we take individual responsibility, are accountable and strive to be efficient and effective
  • Passion – we are passionate about our works purpose, derive meaning and fulfilment from our work, strive for balance, have fun and enjoy life

Our history

All Out Africa came from a humble beginning in late 2003. The first office was a shared desk in an internet café at Malandela’s farm center in the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland. The only asset was a 1985 land-cruiser affectionately known as the passion wagon which was used to ferry volunteers between community and conservation projects. 

All Out Africa was the brain-child of young conservationist and social-entrepreneur Kim Roques who was joined by long-term friend and responsible tourism expert Roland Thorne. At the time, the concept of volunteer travel as a means of implementing projects was novel but gradually the dream gained momentum and in early 2004 All Out Africa was born and a handful of dedicated individuals joined the team to implement important community and conservation projects through offering a rewarding travel experience to international volunteers. 

Despite the humble beginnings, the dream was always big and All Out Africa has grown significantly every single year since it began. From those beginnings All Out Africa has grown to become one of Africa’s leading volunteer and responsible travel organizations with bases in Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana employing over 50 staff and owning more than 15 vehicles. One constant throughout has been the passion, dedication and care of the staff that make up the organization, which feels more like a family than a work force. Despite having grown significantly since inception, we view where we are now as just the beginning. Join us and be a part of the story.

The name All Out Africa was derived from the saying “go All Out” meaning, “give of your best” or “no half measures” and from our focus on Africa. All Out Africa’s logo is designed to signify the inter connected nature of people, wildlife and travel. As a brand, All Out Africa has come to signify travel, adventure, care and dedication.

Why choose us

Our volunteers experience Southern Africa, it’s people and culture more than any ordinary tourist. They work along side members of the community to build shelters, teach classes or learn a new game-- this experience is sure to give back as much as our volunteers put in. Combined with our adventure tours division, we also offer in-house adventure tours combined with volunteer and intern experiences; giving us totally unique products and the opportunity for clients to both give back and have a holiday. 

By signing up with us you are donating your time and skills to work directly with communities in need through a structured project. There are many benefits of volunteering through an organization like ours. Sometimes it is hard to find projects to support in a foreign country that are safe, worthwhile, and reputable. When you sign-up for one of our projects for 2 or 12 weeks, you become part of a bigger, sustainable plan that our team of qualified staff have carefully crafted. You will also receive travel and visa support, orientation, a safe place to stay, logistical support, in addition to clear expectations of the work you will do. This is why we charge a fee for volunteering or interning abroad. 

Your project fee goes towards a company you can trust, an experience that is worthwhile and an opportunity that will make a positive and sustainable impact on the community you have chosen to serve.

Who we are looking for

All Out Africa works within South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana. We cater to people of all ages and backgrounds, looking for a wide variety of African experiences, from tours, volunteering, research and internships. Our goal is to share our passion for southern Africa’s people, places and wildlife with the world and offer adventures that change lives.

14 reviews · rating4.5

It was amazing to see the great marine life in Mozambique. Tofo is a quiet place and the bay is beautiful. I stayed in dormroom in Tilak Lodge which was a 10minutes walk at the beach away from Tofo Scuba where mostly everything regarding the programm takes place. Days start with this walk and then ...
Rebecca Heymann rating4.8

2021 at Marine Research and Whale Shark Conservation

The program was absolutely amazing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is interested in marine research or just wants to volunteer and help out with scientific research. The program was very organized and the people and locals there are all very friendly and willing to help you out. I ...
Ramon Macia Sanchez rating4.2

2019 at Marine Research and Whale Shark Conservation

It was a really good program, I learnt a lot from Marine life, the only con I would say is to be clear on the diving preconditions, I had to do a review scuba that was not necessary, if more information is requested to the diver probably it can be solved with a dive if possible and avoid the review ...
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 ...
Peggy Martin McGuire rating4.6

2019 at Kruger to Coast: Safari, Beach & Community

This is a youth volunteer oriented project. The foundation and its subsidiaries are very solid, and the community work centres around vulnerable children. The degree of involvement with the kids can vary according to length of stay and interest of volunteer. The tourism components are well organized ...
Stacey rating3.8

2017 at Sports Development

This was the first time i had travelled on my own. All the the staff made me feel very welcome and safe. The project was really fun i participated in circle games, supported a day of football, went to a game reserve and got to help some children on the first swimming lesson. I also really enjoyed ...

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English

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