Marine Research, Teaching, Diving!
As a Love The Oceans Conservation Adventure Volunteer you will form a valuable part of our team. During your 4 weeks on the program, you will collect and contribute valuable data to our data set. You will also be learning about and supporting the local community as you participate in the following set activities:
- PADI dive training (get qualified!)
- Help improve the local school facilities
- Participate in coral reef surveys
- Support swimming lessons for local kids
- Participate in fisheries research
- Learn to cook local food
- Learn some basic Portuguese
- Greater Kruger Park Ecosystem Safari
After you have settled in, your program will start with Orientation. We want to ensure that everyone has the same level of knowledge about LTO, the conservation work we do, and your role as a volunteer. Orientation will also include dive training and educational lectures. At the end of the program you will be asked to do a presentation (in groups if you prefer) on a marine conservation topic of your choice. For the keen underwater photographers wanting to create a video, awesome, we are here to support your creativity! Here is a little more detail about the activities you will be doing with us:
PADI DIVE TRAINING
You do not have to be a diver before you come out to Mozambique, you can train with us here! Included in your program fee is scuba diving training. During the first 2 weeks of the program you can either attain
PADI Open Water Certification. For first time divers, which consists of lectures, pool sessions and 4 open water dives
PADI Advanced Open Water Certification, designed to advance your diving. The course helps build confidence and expand your skills through 5 open water adventure dives
CORAL REEF SURVEYS
We believe we’re in a biodiversity hotspot and we need coral reef data to prove our area is worth protecting. LTO collects this data as we are building a develop a robust data set which will be used to lobby for a Marine Protected Area.
We also believe that securing an MPA will create opportunities for eco-tourism, bringing much needed income into the region and providing a viable alternative to unsustainable fishing.
Once qualified, you will be diving and snorkelling to complete LTO surveys. Your new fish ID skills will be put to good use as you start to record the fish and coral species you see on each survey.
LOCAL SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
The Government does not have enough money to provide the standard of learning facilities the children need. Every year we fundraise for money specifically to improve the school facilities in consultation with the local community.
We strongly believe in supporting the organic growth and development of the local community, as such we employ local builders to complete construction/improvement work. Our volunteers then enhance this by painting educational murals on the school walls.
We ask you to get creative and design a mural (anything ranging from the human body to the solar system or an underwater scene) and then spend the day bringing your art to life for the children. You are also welcome to bring some designs out with you
We ask all our volunteers to please bring out 5kg of donations for the children – books, stationery, clothing, marine themed toys!
Surprisingly few local children are confident in the water. Part of our commitment to the local community is teaching local school children to swim on Saturday afternoons.
We do this to improve water safety skills in the community, and with the aim of igniting a passion for the marine environment in the younger generations. We hope for a future where the local community both want, and are able to, experience the underwater world for themselves.
As a Conservation Adventure Volunteer you will spend one day a week supporting LTOs fisheries research. During this time you will learn to collect beach monitoring data, how to log it and why this is so important. You will record fish, shark and ray measurement data into the logs along with their corresponding images. You will also clean collected shark/ray vertebrae specimens, and ensure the equipment is clean and stored.
LTO collects fisheries data in order to assess how sustainable the fisheries are in their current form. Through building this data set for monitoring and analysis it is our aim to work with the local community to determine a minimum landing size for individual species and help re-build a sustainable artisanal industry. The creation of a robust data set will provide the evidence base required to effectively lobby for changes to certain fishing legislation.
Our research is collected at two fisheries sites; our Guinjata Bay research site is located by our dive centre, and our Paindane Bay research site is a 45 min walk along the beach – bring a hat!
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.
The community speak Portuguese and the local dialect, Bitonga. You will participate in 2 language lessons while you’re with us. These have proven great fun in the past and allows you to learn a little of both Portuguese and Bitonga.
Mozambique is a developing nation with limited food resources. In the region we operate is remote, and the coastal soil and climate conditions are not favourable to varied agriculture. You will witness a lot of household subsistence farming. The local food is very filling and consists of a few different vegetables cooked in various different ways.
You will join in one evening for some local cooking. You will have the opportunity to to see what a normal family lives off in rural Mozambique, and how they prepare meals. Volunteers have found this experience to be rather humbling, but also a lot of fun with the many children many Mozambican families have!
After 3 weeks in Guinjata Bay, you will be whisked away to South Africa to spend 5 days exploring the stunning Balule Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Park Ecosystem. We LOVE it here. Your accomodation and meals are included…. but the beers are on you!
Our partners at the Ku Sungula Safari Lodge will be taking care of you. Here you will be taken on game drives, bush walks, and participate in an animal behaviour lecture and walk – all with experienced field guides. There will also be a scenic tour through the Drakensburg Mountains to see God’s Window, the Three Sisters and the spectacular Bourke’s Luck Potholes. When it’s time to say good-bye, you will be transported to Johannesburg Airport.
Our accommodation is by the beach in Guinjata Bay, backpacker style with a max of 4 people per room (genders will be separated). Bedding and mosquito nets are provided.
Interested in this; ready to enquire?
Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Love the Oceans should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.