Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Marine Conservation Volunteering in MOZAMBIQUE!
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Website:Love The Oceans
As a Love The Oceans volunteer you form an essential part of our team. After you have settled in, your program will start with an intense training week. We aim to ensure that everyone on the program has the same level of knowledge about LTO, the conservation work we do and your role and responsibilities as an LTO volunteer.
After this training, you will be rotating around our principal activities:
Coral Reef Surveys:
LTO collects coral reef data in order to lobby for a marine protected area which could enhance eco-tourism, bringing more money into the region and an alternate income to unsustainable fishing. We strongly believe we're in a biodiversity hotspot and we need coral reef data to prove our area is worth protecting.
To expand LTO's coral reef logs, you will be diving and snorkelling to complete LTO surveys. You will identify different fish and coral species you see on each dive, and be responsible for logging the data into the scientific logs at the end of each day. These dives require confident divers with good buoyancy. PADI Open Water is a prerequisite for our programs.
Humpback whales typically migrate through Mozambique between June and September. LTO is collecting data on these magnificent creatures, looking at surface behaviour and pod formation, never before studied in our area.
As part of LTO's team, you will be armed with a camera, binoculars and survey sheets in order to record sightings of humpback whales and any other megafauna that passes through (orcas, whale sharks, manta rays). You'll be going out on the dive boat with the divers but will remain on the boat while the other volunteers dive, in order for you to conduct the whale surveys.
Teaching and Painting:
Educating the next generation of fishermen in schools about sustainable fishing and why the ocean is important helps the local community protect their biodiversity assets – assets because of ecotourism and fisheries.
As part of your volunteering, you will help at Guinjata and Paindane School Monday-Friday. You will be teaching 10-13 year olds about the marine environment, as well as painting classrooms which are in much need of some TLC. You will not be partaking in construction work as we prefer to employ local builders and put money back into the local economy.
Surprisingly few local children are confident in the water. Part of our commitment to the local community is teaching the school children how to swim, helping to fuel their passion for the marine environment with a view to them one day being able to experience the underwater world for themselves.
We also teach sea safety in our lessons. This is very important as children drowning is not uncommon in this area due to a strong rip and lack of awareness. You can help teach the children (and some adults) how to swim on Saturday afternoons.
Collecting fisheries data will allow us to assess how sustainable the fisheries are. From these assessments, eventually we would like to determine minimum landing size for individual species, as well as changing certain fishing legislation.
Every day on fisheries you be responsible for recording the data into the logs along with the corresponding images (check shark and ray IDs with a field specialist if unsure), cleaning the collected shark/ray vertebrae, and ensuring equipment is clean and stored. This work can be upsetting at times but you cannot get involved in releasing animals; we are there to photograph and collect data in order to achieve a long-term solution.
There are optional weekend excursions you can participate in. They are not compulsory but have proved great fun in the past. These activities need to be paid for separately in cash in Mozambique.
Yacht Trip – We sail the Inhambane estuary on a yacht, with the chance to snorkel a few islands.
Surf Trip – A day trip to Tofo (the tourist hub) for a fun surf lesson and shop around their market.
Diving Courses – PADI scuba diving courses are available at Guinjata Dive Centre, from open water to dive master.
Ocean Safaris – Local dive centres offer various Ocean Safari tours where you can search for whale sharks and whales from the boat in an afternoon.
We offer an optional extra 5 night safari that you can enjoy at the end of your volunteer program. You will leave Guinjata bay to explore the Balule Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Park Ecosystem, staying at Ku Sungula Safari Lodge.
During your 5 days you will participate in game drives, bush walks, a scenic tour through the Drakensburg Mountains (to see God's Window, the Three Sisters and Bourke's Luck Potholes) and have an animal behaviour bush walk and lecture from experienced field guides. You will then be transported to Johannesburg Airport. All of your meals are included, but the beers are on you! This trip is highly recommended.
Places fill up fast so we recommend applying as soon as possible!
If you'd like to find out more, please visit our website or email us on. You can also find us on Facebook.
How to Apply:
The application process is as follows:
- Please email us to request a volunteer pack for the program you are interested in.
- Once you've read the volunteer pack and have decided it's for you, send us an email and we'll reply with the application form.
- Submit the application form along with your CV and a 500kb picture of yourself for our records. This will NOT be used for anything else and will not be passed onto any third parties.
- We'll get back to you within a week as to whether you've been accepted onto the program. We generally go on a first come first serve basis, but if we have lots of applicants at once we will may select you for a skype interview, or an interview in person if you are near by.
- A non-refundable £250 deposit will need to be paid within two weeks of your acceptance onto the program to reserve your place.
- If you're accepted, be sure to join the group on Facebook to meet other volunteers and be part of the action on this awesome adventure with Love The Oceans!
Please remember to check your JUNK mail for a reply, we've found for some reason, sometimes our emails automatically go in the junk folder of some people's inbox.
2 week program - £800;
2 week program plus safari - £1450;
5 week program - £1750;
5 week program plus safari - £2400.
Program cost includes:
- accommodation in Guinjata Bay (with reakfast, lunch and dinner);
- transport to and from Inhambane airport; all program snorkelling and diving;
- all diving kit hire;
- training, guidance and mentoring by the marine biologists and scientists at LTO;
- full access to accommodation amenities and facilities;
- all research equipment;
- cultural tour around the local area.
Safari cost includes:
- panorama route tour around the Drakensburg mountains;
- game drives;
- bush walks;
- all food (extra beverages excluded);
- accommodation at Ku Sungula Safari Lodge;
- guidance from experienced field guides;
- all transport (Transfer from Guinjata and drop-off at Johannesburg Airport).