Scuba Diving & Marine Conservation

Conservation Travel Africa  »  Scuba Diving & Marine Conservation

Scuba Diving & Marine Conservation

from £1,975
Duration: from 2 weeks to 16 weeks
Countries: Mozambique
Live on the beach and join a world-class research team in Southern Mozambique, one of the best diving locations in the world. Help in the conservation of whale sharks, manta rays and turtles

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

Estuary tours

  • 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

Community Outreach

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.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,975

Programme Highlights

- Dive the clear, crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean and experience one of the top 10 dive locations in the world
- 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 and huge manta rays
- Learn new research techniques and work alongside marine scientists as they conduct their research
- Become Open Water Dive Certified
- Snorkel amazing coral reefs and learn to identify fishes and other sea creatures
- Get involved with the local community as you give swimming lessons, play waterpolo and teach children about marine conservation
- Live right on the beach and enjoy the local Mozambican seafood and hospitality

What's included

- Programme fee - financing which goes back into the programme; this includes funding for equipment, supplies, vehicles and foodstuffs as well as a contribution to the Foundation you will be working for
- Return transfers from Inhambane to the project
- Full board and lodging for the duration of your programme including laundry and housekeeping (exc. alcoholic and fizzy drinks)
- Open Water / Advanced Certification (if required)
- All diving and snorkelling equipment (wetsuits, masks etc) required to do your work (you may bring your own equipment if you wish)
- Practical instruction on identification and research techniques
- All programme-related transport
- 24 hour support and guidance from the volunteer programme staff, researchers and instructors
- Internet at the volunteer house (streaming, Skype and video downloading is not allowed)

Do I need experience

This programme is ideal for students pursuing a career in marine biology, scuba divers who want to experience one of the world’s best diving locations, or beginner divers who want to combine volunteering with dive training.

While previous dive experience is recommended, diving certification is included in your package – or free additional dives if you already hold Advanced Open Water certification.

How old do I need to be

There are no specific age restrictions, but generally we are looking for fit, adventurous, enthusiastic people over the age of 18.

Do I need a visa

Yes, all visitors to Mozambique need to apply for a tourist visa BEFORE entering the country. It is easy to apply for and takes 3-4 days.

What will the weather be like

Almost all of Mozambique falls within the tropics so Mozambique features a mostly tropical climate. Along the coast Mozambique has a warm, tropical climate. Evenings are rarely cold, except for a few nights in June and July and the rainfall isn’t too high. In summer, temperatures can soar and the humidity levels rise.

When can I come

Start dates are throughout the year, excluding the last 2 weeks of December.

About Conservation Travel Africa

Conservation Travel Africa was established to help restore Africa’s wilderness areas, working with existing organisations and conservationists to achieve long term goals through conservation, education and wildlife research. These projects need volunteers to support their work and we pride ourselves on providing meaningful and responsible volunteer programmes which are beneficial, necessary and, most of all, fun!

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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.

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