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All Out Africa

Marine Research & Child Care

Tofo, Mozambique show on map

Assist our research team with Whale Shark conservation, and assist with our community based social projects in the same experience!

THE PROJECT

The Marine Conservation side to this combo involves gathering field data on Whale Sharks, coral reefs and other marine biodiversity to make recommendations for improving the conservation of marine life as well as creating general awareness about the marine environment. The project is run by All Out Africa and involves collaboration with Peri Peri Divers and Zavora Marine lab , both based in Mozambique as well as the Ecocean Global Whale Shark database and a number of international marine research bodies.

Whale Sharks are the oceans biggest fish and although they are sharks, are harmless to people since they feed on plankton. Whale Sharks are a threatened species and are relatively easy to monitor owing to their size (up to 20m long) and swimming next to them is an awe inspiring experience! They are also good indicators of ocean productivity and can play a flagship role for the conservation of other marine creatures. Very little is known about the population dynamics and threats to Whale Sharks and with the increase of boat and fishing activities their feeding and migratory activities may become influenced and they are vulnerable to death or injury through boat strikes.

As this is a combination package you will also get the opportunity to work with the children of Mozambique.

Volunteer to help care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Mozambique. Emerging from being one of the world’s poorest countries after decades of civil war, Mozambique’s children face many challenges, including lack of proper care and limited educational opportunities. Those that have lost their parents also struggle for adequate food and shelter, and crave the love and attention that a healthy child needs. With high unemployment and limited state welfare, many of these children’s needs cannot be met without external support, therefore volunteer involvement is crucial.

Volunteers on this project and you will be able to assist these vulnerable children. You will have the opportunity to work at a local orphanage, crèche and primary school in Inhambane and Tofo, where you may help with basic care and education, organizing games and activities, arranging food, assessing needs, developing life skills and more. Depending on the project needs at the time and our skills and interests, you may work at either one of these placements or a combination of a few.

HIGHLIGHTS

The highlights of this incredible experience include:

  • Snorkelling with the world’s largest fish – whalesharks
  • 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 hump back whales
  • Gaining hands-on experience of marine research techniques and analysis
  • Assisting with teaching and caring for vulnerable children and putting smiles on their faces 
  • Assisting with swimming school, helping young children learn this important skill

VOLUNTEER ROLE

Marine Conservation The whale shark component of the Marine Conservation Project involves joining boat launches under the guidance of our co-ordinating project scientists on ocean safaris to snorkel with Whale Sharks in the open ocean. It involves taking underwater photographs for identifying 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, behaviour of the whale shark
  • You will take an identification photograph and name each whale shark & record re-sightings

In order to carry out these activities you will 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.

The coral reef monitoring involves joining boat launches under the guidance of our co-ordinating project scientists on scuba dives and carrying our underwater data collection on indicator species of coral fish and the condition and cover of coral on the reefs. As a summary, on these research dives you may carry out the following activities:

  • Recording indicator species of reef fish
  • Photo identification of large animals such as manta rays, turtles and leopard sharks
  • Coral reef quadrats to assess the cover and condition of different coral groups and echinoderms.

In order to carry out these activities you will need to be able or willing to learn to scuba dive. A four day internationally recognized PADI open water diving course is provided as part of this project to train you to be able to carry out this coral reef monitoring. If you already have this qualification you may do an advanced open water diving course instead or an equivalent number of extra research dives.

During June-October you may help monitor the numbers of humpbacked whales on their seasonal migration up and down the coast. This involves san dune based observations using binoculars and boat based observations recording the numbers of whales, behaviours and the makeup of the pods. This work will help provide recommendations for the improved conservation of these important ocean giants.

You may help survey for turtle mortality 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.

A number of more general environmental awareness and cleanup activities will be also carried out during the project. The information collected during the field work is collated into a computer database both on-site and at the head office and some of the data is uploaded onto an international on- line database.

Education & Orphan Care The orphanage is in Inhambane, a 45-minute trip on public transport from the volunteer base in Tofo. It accommodates approximately 150 children ranging from 0-13 in age. The children at this centre have either no parents, are abandoned or are vulnerable. With no suitable family structure and unable to afford to attend school, the children’s hopes for a bright future lie in the support of this facility.

Meanwhile a short distance out of Tofo, a small kindergarten caters to around 40 local pre-school aged children, offering them vital education and care, and giving them a chance to successfully enter the school system in the future.

Also outside of Tofo is a community primary school, located a 1-hour walk away and just inland of the main stretch of Tofo beach. Pupils here participate in extra-curricular English classes in the afternoons and also a swimming program on holidays and weekends. These lessons provide skills which may open doors to employment in the future as tourism in the area increases.

You may also help to teach swimming with our swimming school which has now been integrated into the curriculum at 4 local schools and orphanages. The swimming school is run by our Education Director who is also a fully qualified swim instructor. 

Typical day

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A VOLUNTEER

7:00 Wake up and have breakfast.

8:30 Data entry on the computer from previous day’s research work. OR Catch a local taxi/ chappa to your morning placement.

10:00 Walk to the dive centre and get prepared for an Ocean Safari . Jump on the boat and head out to sea to find whale sharks and other marine life. On finding a whale shark enter the water snorkelling next to the whale shark and take photos of the correct parts of the shark. Photos enable us to identify individual sharks around the world and track their movements, age etc.

13:00 Lunch 

14:00 Depending on the time of year – whale data collection from on top of the dunes or classroom prep for the next day’s teaching sessions. OR Head to community school to teach English or join any of the scheduled conservation activities e.g. beach clean-up, humpback monitoring, turtle walks.

15:30 Work generally ends around 3.30pm but this is flexible and can sometimes be earlier and sometimes later.

Please note that Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique and English is therefore not widely known or spoken, including amongst staff and children at the local project placements. 

Details on Arrival

Start date for this project is the first Monday of the month for the following months only: February, April, June, July, August, September and October. January will begin on the 9th. 

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

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.

Currently immigration require all tourists going directly to Mozambique to apply for visa before they travel should their home country have a Mozambican Embassy. You can get a visa in Mozambique on arrival only if your country of origin does not have a Mozambican embassy. If you are staying longer than 30 days be sure to get a single entry (not a multiple entry) visa. Visas can still be purchased at land border crossings, although this cannot be guaranteed and it is recommended (and often cheaper) to obtain a visa at the Mozambican Embassy.

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.

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. 

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!  Here you’ll have the opportunity of exploring the spectacular fish life of the coral reefs and the chance to find the “Tofo Big 5” – Whale Sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.

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 
Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Diving/Snorkling
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Riding
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

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) and Portuguese (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
Police clearance required for working with children.
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
In order to carry out these activities you will 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 - 15:30

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by All Out Africa.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
All Out Africa (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by All Out Africa

INCLUDED IN THE COST

An internationally recognised dive qualification

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, its culture and your role as a volunteer upon arrival

All food and accommodation throughout your stay 

(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

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 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 one hour away on public transport. 

Bungalow Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

MEALS

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, 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?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Inhambane Airport (INH) in Inhambane. We assist you to find cheap flights to Mozambique.
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.
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
6 weeks (min. stay)
$3,672.00
8 weeks
$4,209.00
10 weeks
$5,016.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,823.00
Average fees
$549.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Tofo/Mozambique between 6 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. All Out Africa will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Mozambique.
Deposit (15%)
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 (85%)
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.
  Africa Eastern Africa Mozambique  Tofo, Mozdivers Road

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