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Marine Conservation with Underwater Africa

Discover, Protect, Learn

Posted: 7th December 2015 11:16

Discover, Protect, Learn

Southern Mozambique is home to some of Africa’s largest marine megafauna populations (whale sharks, manta rays, marine turtles) and is also an important refuge for other threatened marine species like the elusive dugong.  Unfortunately, the area is not protected, and is considerably damaged by the fishing industry.

Underwater Africa is a volunteer research program aimed at involving nature enthusiasts and aspiring scientists in the world-class research conducted by Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) in Tofo Beach, Mozambique.  They are looking for fit, adventurous and enthusiastic people with an interest in marine research and conservation to help collect data for the foundation.

During their stay, volunteers will have a chance to engage with world leading researchers like manta ray researcher and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Dr. Andrea Marshall.  Daily activities will include research dives and ocean snorkel safaris with Tofo’s hottest dive centre, Peri-Peri Divers, estuary kayak tours, wildlife photography workshops, scientific equipment maintenance, and data entry and analysis.  There are also weekly presentations on various scientific and marine-related topics.

All volunteers will get hands-on experience in field research in one of the most beautiful coastal locations in Africa, and the longer your stay, the wider range of activities you will become involved in and increased responsibilities you will have – those who really impress Andrea and stick around long enough are allowed to take on field trips or individual research projects.  Volunteers will be hosted at Tofo’s own Casa Barry Beach Lodge, only steps away from the MMF Office, and from the beach!

“Join the programme and help to save our ocean giants from extinction”

Marine Conservation

Designed by world leading manta researchers, Dr. Andrea Marshall and whale shark expert Dr. Simon Pierce, co-founders of the MMF, Underwater Africa participants will assist with various research and conservation projects in the area, including with MMF’s whale shark, manta ray, and marine turtle research programs.  By working with Underwater Africa you will be aiding the MMF, contributing to a genuine scientific project, and gaining valuable skills and experience.  As all volunteers will need to be able to dive, dive courses and certifications are included in the experience.

Cultural Exchange Programmes

Underwater Africa expects its volunteers to work hard, but they reward that by making sure you gave a truly magical trip.  The beautiful yet rustic Casa Barry Beach Lodge is situated right on Tofo’s main swimming beach, and boasts amazing views over the bay.  It is the perfect location from which to explore the Inhambane province and Mozambique’s unique culture.  In your downtime you’ll have the chance to participate in some traditional Mozambican dancing lessons (highly recommended!), join the local surfers right on your doorstep, find inner peace during your weekly yoga sessions, go horse riding on the endless beaches or join the social life in the small but vibrant Tofo village.

Community Outreach

Successful conservation relies as much on community work as scientific research.  As an Underwater Africa volunteer you’ll have the unique opportunity to join the MMF’s community outreach programme; Nemos Pequenos (Little Nemos).  Nemos Pequenos aims to create Ocean Guardians with a compassionate understanding of their marine environment by teaching them how to live with it and how to protect it.  Since its creation over seven hundred young Mozambicans have benefitted from the programme, and some have already graduated to internships within the marine tourism industry.  You will engage with local instructors and children to assist them in water safety, surfing, snorkelling and ocean safaris, and create and present classes on marine biology.


+27 31 767 0111

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