I am incredibly passionate about marine mammal conservation and now I have a real opportunity to start my journey towards making a change for the whale sharks and manta rays in our oceans. The marine conservation programme is a structured volunteer program aimed at involving citizen scientists in the world-class scientific research and marine conservation work being conducted in the vibrant waters of southern Mozambique. The programme will give me the knowledge and experience I need in order to raise awareness about the issues marine wildlife is facing.
- Dive the clear, crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean and experience one of the top 10 dive locations in the world
- Train at an awesome dive school with a great atmosphere - they have some of the best whale shark trackers in the world on their team
- Learn from experienced marine biologists and scientists and assist with their research projects
- Get close to some of the ocean's most incredible creatures as you dive alongside whale sharks, huge manta rays and even the rare guitar shark
- Learn new research techniques and work alongside marine scientists as they conduct their research
- Snorkel amazing coral reefs and learn to identify fishes and other sea creatures
- Optional surfing, ocean kayaking, sea fishing and other amazing activities on offer
- Live right on the beach and enjoy the local Mozambican seafood and hospitality
What sort of things will I be doing?
As a volunteer you will help gather information about whale sharks, manta rays, marine turtles, humpback whales and other marine wildlife, depending on the season. This data is used by biologists to study the conservation of the threatened species and analyse environmental conditions.
Diving and Snorkelling
Southern Mozambique is one of the top 10 scuba-diving and snorkelling locations in the world and Tofo is one of the best in Mozambique! During your programme you will usually undertake 4 research dives or ocean snorkel safaris per week accompanied by qualified dive instructors and programme researchers.
- Megafauna research dives and snorkel safaris - manta rays and whale sharks
In the last decade more than 800 manta rays have been identified in Tofo, and the Mozambican manta database is the second largest in the world.
Tofo is also a global hotspot for the whale shark, the world’s largest fish. Researchers have identified more than 600 whale sharks in the Mozambican waters.
- Join researchers to collect valuable field data to assist their scientific studies on manta rays and whale sharks
- Take identification photos and monitor behaviour
- Check acoustic listening stations
- Observe and record environmental conditions
- Gather GPS locations, segregation and sex of whale sharks
- Tag animals and collect tissue samples
- Measure these amazing ocean giants using laser technology
Data recording, analysis and maintenance of equipment
- Assist researchers and scientists with the preparation of acoustic listening stations and tags
- Help process tissue samples
- Set up camera equipment to measure the size of whale sharks
- Record megafauna behaviour, plankton density and environmental conditions
- Add your identification photos to the online database
Successful conservation relies as much on community work as scientific research. More than 60% of Mozambique’s population live in coastal areas, which places significant pressure on the marine environment. Many species are vulnerable to illegal poaching, many Mozambicans fear the sea and the majority cannot swim.
You will get involved with Mozambique's flagship coastal community outreach programme, which, through teaching children how to protect and live with the sea, aims to create Ocean Guardians who have compassion for their marine environment. Since its inception in 2012, the programme has reached more than 700 young Mozambicans, some of which have gone on to train within the marine tourism industry.
- Assist local instructors to assist children in water safety, surfing, snorkelling and ocean safaris
- Help to create marine biology, ecology and conservation classes, participate in rock pool exploration and help with beach clean-ups
- Play water polo with the advanced swimmers and teach the younger children the basics
- Participate in Creature Feature - pick your favourite marine animal and work with teachers to get the children excited!
- Help in the creation of a children’s marine conservation book to be used as a study aid for local children and the community
The volunteer lodge is situated right on Tofo’s main swimming beach and boasts amazing views over the bay. It is the perfect location to explore the Inhambane province and some of Mozambique’s unique culture