This placement involves gathering field data to make recommendations for improving the conservation of marine life, as well as creating general awareness about the marine environment. The project has a focus on whale sharks, which are a threatened species. As the ocean’s biggest fish, they are easy to monitor; their size can be up to 20m long. In recent months, however, the number of whale shark sightings has dropped. This project’s research is hoping to establish the cause of this change in behaviour as well as the population dynamics of and the population threats to whale sharks. The project collaborates with the a number of international, marine research bodies, including the Eco-cean Global Whale Shark database.
As a components of this project, you will monitor the condition of coral reefs using international reef check methods. This involves doing scuba diving transects along the reefs and recording coral cover and fish indicator species- all in one of Africa’s best diving destinations!
Why choose this project?
Due to tourism and other human activities, coral reefs are under threat of exploitation, bleaching, invasive alien species and other ecological changes. With guidance, you will help with hands-on whale shark research, coral reef monitoring, humpbacked whale monitoring and turtle nest surveys. Additionally, you’ll be able to explore one of Africa’s best scuba diving destinations with an included PADI or SSI Dive Course.
Role of the volunteer
You will help carry out the marine research and monitoring activities for the project, under the guidance of our project co-ordinator. With other volunteers, you’ll collect the data via beach walks, boat surveys, swims and scuba dives off the coastline of Tofo in Mozambique. Volunteers are needed, not only to carry out the field activities, but also to help fund the project. For those of you who volunteer for four weeks or longer, you will have the opportunity to participate in a seahorse and biodiversity monitoring trip.
To participate in this project, you need to be willing to learn to scuba dive. You should be able to swim 100 meters (about 330 feet) unassisted, be able to hold your breath and be capable of equalising your ear pressure.
To train you to carry out this coral reef monitoring, a four day internationally recognized open water diving course (PADI or SSI) is provided as part of this project. If you already have this qualification, you may do an advanced open water diving course instead or an equivalent number of extra research dives. Beginner divers need to volunteer for a minimum of 3 weeks to maximise their time spent on conservation volunteer activities.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To dive in some of the best sites of Africa
To take part in an internationally recognised scuba diving course (PADI)
To develop marine research skills while supporting local conservation efforts
About the Location
Mozambique has most recently become famous for its magnificent coastal waters. These crystal blue waters are teamed with a rich array of wildlife – including whales, dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and schools of tropical fish – which are starting to attract the world’s diving communities. Did you know that the narrowest point of the channel of water between Mozambique and the island of Madagascar is just under 500km? That’s around 300 miles, so there is plenty of room to discover marine wildlife.
During your time on the project, you will be located in Tofo, a small beach town that is located on the eastern shores of Inhambane Peninsula. The house is a 2-minute walk from Tofinho beach and about 800m from Tofo Beach. Tofo village centre is also within easy walking distance, where there are very basic shops, a few restaurants and bars and a number of beach activities available.
Set amongst palm trees, the accommodation is a traditional reed house situated just back from the dunes of Tofinho beach. The house has electricity and running water, with an open kitchen and living area and ample room to relax outside.
What to do in your spare time
Excursions are optional and during weekends you will be free to travel and explore as you choose. In Tofo, snorkelling and scuba diving are very popular activities, as there is an array of marine life to see, such as whale sharks, giant manta rays and turtles. Additionally, you can sail via Dhow safari to the Bazaruto Islands, or go deep-sea fishing on the beautiful waters. Be sure to visit the beachfront and sample some of the local food from the seafood restaurants for an incredible meal! If you want to venture further afield then a long weekend may be arranged, where possible, and expeditions to Kruger National Park and Swaziland may be available too.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 2-8 weeks
- Cost: £1622 / $2839 for 2 weeks (advanced divers)
3 weeks needed for beginner divers £2153 / $3768
Additional week pricing varies on length of stay and diving level
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Tofo, Mozambique
- Project activities: whale shark and manta ray research, data collection, underwater photography, GPS positioning, coral reef monitoring; internationally recognised qualification for beginners or open water divers.
- Working hours: 08:30 – 15:00, Monday – Friday (weather dependent)
- Project Availability: project runs from January to October
- Arrival day: Please speak to a Kaya Placement Advisor
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in the volunteer beach house
- Food: 3 meals a day (volunteers help to cook)
- Internationally recognised scuba diving open water course and qualification; other courses offered for qualified divers.
- Airport pick up and drop off at Inhambane Airport
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Daily transfers to and from your project
- Support: on-site coordinator providing 24 hour support
- Activities: staff help organise weekend activities (activity price may be extra). Trips include: snorkeling, safaris or horseback riding on the beach.
- Fundraising Guide
- Working alongside qualified professionals
What is not included
- Additional dive training, including a scuba assessment for qualified divers who haven’t dived in the last 6 months.
- Police/Government Background Check; US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies) all other nationalities must provide local police check.
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
Get involved with tourism development in a rural community of Thailand and help build the future of the local community!
Combine study abroad and volunteering this summer in Cusco, Peru.
Take a hands-on role in reforestation and environmental education by volunteering on this mass action project in South Africa this summer.
Veterinary internship in South Africa Wild Coast catering to 2nd and 3rd-year students
Why not do a bit of everything on this 9 week volunteer and adventure tour that takes you to Mozambique, Swaziland and Kruger National Park in South Africa.