Scuba Diving & Marine Conservation
Join a world-class research team in one of Africa’s most beautiful coastal locations. Southern Mozambique is one of the best diving locations in the world, home to large populations of whale sharks, manta rays and marine turtles, and is an important refuge for other threatened marine species like the elusive dugong.
Volunteers support Marine Biologists in their scientific studies through various research and conservation projects in the area, including whale shark, manta ray and marine turtle research programs. Help preserve endangered turtle species and enjoy watching humpback whales as they migrate right past your beachside lodge. This marine conservation volunteer programme was designed by a world-leading manta ray researcher and a whale shark expert specifically to collect data for their marine foundation.
Contribute to marine conservation and support the development of marine science in the wonderful waters of Tofo Beach. Participate in marine field work such as taking identification photo’s, checking acoustic listening stations, observing environmental conditions, studying plankton, tagging animals, taking tissue samples or measuring ocean giants. All the quantitative data you collect is used for specific research projects, designed to protect and preserve these amazing marine animals.
While previous dive experience is recommended, diving certification is included in your package – or you can do free additional dives if you are already certified.
What exactly will I be doing?
The objective of this programme is to gather as much information as possible about whale sharks, manta rays, marine turtles and humpback whales. This data is used by biologists to study the conservation of these threatened species.
Diving and Snorkelling
Southern Mozambique is one of the top 10 scuba-diving and snorkelling locations in the world and you will live in one of the finest areas in Mozambique! During your programme you will usually undertake 4 research dives or ocean snorkel safaris per week.
Previous dive experience is useful but Open Water or Advanced diving certification can be included for a small additional fee.
- Megafauna research dives and snorkel safaris - manta rays and whale sharks
The Mozambican manta ray database is the second largest in the world. The area where you will volunteer is also a global hotspot for whale sharks, 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
- Turtle research (Nov - Feb)
All marine turtle species in Mozambique are globally endangered. Loggerhead, leatherback and hawksbill turtles are often sighted, however nesting grounds have declined rapidly due to poaching. There is little information available on turtle ecology and poaching activity and volunteers contribute by photo IDing turtles and adding them to the Mozambique turtle database.
- Humpback Whale Research (June - September)
Humpback whales make annual journeys from Antarctica to the East African coast, as far north as Tanzania, where they mate and calf. In the African winter, hundreds of humpback whales are regularly seen in the waters around the volunteer programme.
- Beach and boat monitoring of humpback whales
- Record details and enter into the humpback whale database
- You will not normally dive or snorkel near humpback whales as they can become very aggressive if they feel their calves are threatened.
In addition to collecting data on the above marine megafauna, you will also gather information on other threatened species in the area including dugongs, bowmouth guitar sharks and stingrays.
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
- Scientific talks and presentations
- Explore Inhambane estuary by local sailing boat (dhow)
- Witness flamingos, seahorses and stunning macro life as you snorkel the stunning coral reef
- Find scorpion fish, lion fish, frog fish and crabs
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.
- Teach children water safety, surfing, snorkelling and go on ocean safaris
- Help with 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
- Help in the creation of a children’s marine conservation book to be used as a study aid for local children and the community
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Conservation Travel Africa should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.