Trip SummarySee full itinerary
Into all things marine? Get stuck in on our marine conservation project in Mozambique and get the opportunity to gain a PADI qualification, conduct all important research on the local area, and if you're lucky- the chance to swim with whale sharks too!
On the marine conservation side of the project, you'll be gathering data on the beautiful coral reefs and whale sharks, and to get a closer look, you'll also scuba and snorkel off the coast of Tofo in Mozambique. The concerns of the project do change throughout the year, so check out our itinerary guide to get a closer look of what you'll be up to!
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Mozambique is set on the stunning indian ocean, so if you're looking for crystal clear seas, lovely hot weather and your own slice of paradise, this is the place to come!
The country is relatively undiscovered, so it's not full to the brim with tourists and tacky shops. Mozambique provides an authentic African experience, which is great to experience for yourself when you get some free time away from the project!
If you're into all things marine, biology and sealife (as well as lovin' all things tropical and beach!) then this project is for you! There are so many elements that'll make up your time with us, so prepare yourselves- you're going to have an awesome time!
The whale shark component of the project involves joining boat launches (under the guidance of the project co-ordinator) on ocean safaris to snorkel with the whale sharks. You'll be taking underwater photos and getting stuck in gathering a load of information- including the GPS location, size and sex and an identification of the sharks, which is incredibly valuable in helping aid the survival of the speices.
You'll also help out on other parts of our marine project, which will vary depending on the time of year you choose to depart.
Although day to day activities will vary on the project, a typical day in the life of a volunteer working on the project might be:
07:30 – Wake up and have breakfast
08:30 – Data entry of the research from the previous day
10:00 – Walk over to the dive centre and get prepared for a Whale Shark launch. Jump on the boat and head out to sea to find Whale Sharks. On finding a Whale Shark, you'll start to snorkel- whilst gathering info and taking photos of the mammal. Photos enable us to identify individual sharks around the world!
13:00 – Lunch
14:00 – Depending on the time of year, you'll get stuck into your next activity.
15:30 – Work generally ends around 3.30pm, but this is flexible. Sometimes it can be later, sometimes it can be earlier- so be prepared to take everything as it comes!
During this three month period you'll help to monitor the numbers of humpback whales on their seasonal migration up and down the coast. (This involves beach based observation, and keeping your eyes peeled for these stunning mammals!). Although their numbers have increased, these whales are still vulnerable and your work will help provide some key information to help improve the conservation of the humpback in the future.
Over this period of time, you'll help monitor the progress of loggerhead turtles and in particular their nesting habits. Over the last few years, a large amount of loggerhead, leatherback and hawksbill turtles have nested on our beaches, but their nesting has declined dramatically recently due to poaching. We'll also patrol the beaches at night, and raise awareness by talking to the fisherman in the area.
To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!
Minimum age of 17 years (with parental/ guardian consent), maximum decided on potential participants health and physical ability.
There are no minimum numbers on the trip.
Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us
Volunteers are accommodated in a shared volunteer house. There are dorm style bedrooms, a kitchen upstairs and downstairs and a communal lounge. Bed, mattress, sheet and pillows will be provided (a sleeping bag is needed during winter i.e. May-August). There are communal toilet and shower facilities. You will need to do your own laundry by hand. The house is situated in Tofo village 100m from the beach. Tofo’s center is within 200m, where there is a market, some very basic shops, a few restaurants and bars and a number of beach activities available.
Please note: There are no mosquito nets provided so you will need to take one with you.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included in your programme price. Breakfasts generally consist of cereals and toast, lunches usually sandwiches and salads, whilst dinners will be a cooked meal. All meals are prepared by volunteers on a rotation basis.
Please note that if you have a medical condition or injury, you may be required to obtain a 'Fit to Dive' letter from your Doctor to declare that you are able to dive with your condition. Please double check with our team as to whether a letter is required for you to participate in this programme.
Any volunteers taking LARIUM, MEFLOQUIN or MEFLIAM will not be permitted to dive as it causes increased risks. You should advise your doctor that you are going on a dive holiday and request another suitable anti-malarial other than Larium.
You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.
If you are joining the programme for 2 weeks, you will need to already hold a diving qualification of at least PADI Open Water.
It is important to remember that Whale Sharks are wild animals and as such it is not possible to guarantee the number of Whale Shark sightings during each encounter or dive.
To take part in the this programme you will need to complete the following medical questionnaire; PADI Medical Statement. If you answer no to all questions then you will just need to take the form to the project with you. If you answer yes to any of the questions on page one or are over 45 years of age then you will need to get a doctors report to take to the project with you. Please note that if any circumstances change after the doctors report you will need a new report.
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.
In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.
If you are only staying on the programme for 2 weeks, you must already hold a PADI diving qualification. For programmes of 3 weeks or more you will do a diving course (either PADI open water or PADI Advanced Open Water) on the first week you are there. If you already have a diving certificate (PADI) you will get extra diving instead of the dive course.
No – they supply all the equipment you need, however you can take your own equipment if you prefer. If you have your own underwater camera and housing, you can also take this with you.
No, you will need to take your own mosquito nets with you.
Approximately £50 per week for snacks and drink will be enough. If you are planning on doing a bit of shopping in local Curio markets, you will need to budget more.
The best time to go is between October to March.
Our Adventure Policy will cover this programme. Please see our insurance pages for further information.
Typically the Turtle nesting season runs from November to February. Whilst the hatching season generally runs from December to February.
Yes you will need to take a sleeping bag.
Yes, there will be one available for you to use.
This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out - please contact us for further information on how to do this.
I've done this tripWrite review
awesome time, great people, will never forget this time!
snorkelling with the whale sharks and diving with the manta rays. To see how the people live there and visit the kindergarden, orphanage and school was a great experience.
- don´t forget that you travel to africa, the time goes different. We have to be patient! - 2 weeks are too less, if you can spend at least 4 weeks there! - If you have already your diving licence and you haven´t dived for more than 6 month, you should dive before your trip in your country. Otherwise you have to spend a day to do the review dive in a cold pool and will cost you 1900 mets (50 €). So don´t waste the time and money for that. -Bring some stuff (school equipment, toys, clothes) for the kindergarden, orphanage and school. They will appreciate it a lot and you will get a lot of smiling kids! Surely you have got some things/clothes which you dont need, so leave it there. And you have more space in your backpack for nice souvenirs.
Fantastic experience, life long friends, unforgetable!
The diving experience and meeting new people.
Relax for the African way. For example don't sress out if the power or water cuts out or time not being important. It turns out to be a fantastic experience and you fall in love with the way Africa culture is.
Life long memories, met some fantastic people. Very inspirational.
There are many. The encounters not just with the whale sharks, but dolphins, humpbacks, mobula, small eye sting ray and sharks were mind blowing experiences. The diversity of the program which isn't limited to whale sharks only, is very interesting. I also enjoyed the opportunity to spend time at the local orphanage. Tofo is a very special place and real pleasure to spend time there within such a good community of people.
Take a memory card, mini drive with you to share and save images If you can afford one do take an underwater camera, as these are the experiences you would most want to catch someone had a go pro which was a really good quality compact camera If you have a phone with with Orange make sure you get your phone unlocked well in advance of your departure so you can get a Mozambique SIM card on arrival, they take 30 to 40 days in some cases
Unforgettable time. Met wonderful and interesting people, and made new friends.
Snorkeling with whalesharks. To hear the humpback whales under water - on any time. To see the whales blowing, playing and breaching on the surface. Beautiful diving at the coral reefs with many different fishes.
Bring your old clothes, you can swap them or donate to poor people. Bring sweets for delighted children. bring pencils an notebokks for children - they need it for school. If posssibile bring your own underwater-camera for diving, you will see a lot of underwater creatures!
Incrediable, Loved every second and went back two months later. I'm a whale shark addict!
Learning to dive was amazing and the quality of instruction was impeccable as was the quality of the reef enviroments. The whale sharks are astounding and its such a privilage to swim with them.
Dont bring too many clothes - I spent most of the month in a Bikini - two pairs of shorts, one skirt and a few vests/T-shirts would be fine you do not need lots of stuff in Tofo! Take lots of rehydration salts, pain killers and diareeze - very hard to get in Moz. Bring a rash vest - the sun can be incredibly strong on the boat and there is no shade - also helps with Jelly fish