Marine Biology Research Volunteer Program in Mozambique

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Protect Endangered Marine Species in Mozambique

Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater realm of Mozambique, a haven for marine life, and become part of a groundbreaking conservation endeavour. Join a marine research volunteer project designed by the world’s foremost whale shark and manta ray experts, where you’ll dive alongside these gentle giants and engage in cutting-edge field research. Mozambique boasts one of the world’s densest whale shark populations and consistent manta ray sightings, along with a kaleidoscope of other incredible creatures – whales, sharks, and turtles. Through this incredible Mozambique marine research project, you’ll gain hands-on experience gathering vital scientific data, directly contributing to the understanding and protection of these threatened species. Your underwater observations and contributions will empower crucial work, helping shape conservation strategies in this extraordinary marine ecosystem.

Project Highlights

  • Work with world-leading experts in the fields of marine biology, ecology, oceanography and marine wildlife conservation
  • Assist in the marine research and conservation of whale sharks, manta rays and turtles while meeting these gentle giants of the sea
  • Help protect coral reefs at risk of exploitation in Mozambique
  • Create and present educational classes on marine biology, ecology and conservation
  • Live right on the beach on the stunning southern coast of Mozambique and ‘braai’ under the stars

Quick Facts

Tofo, Mozambique

Inhambane Airport

Any date

2 – 8 weeks

Impact: Marine Conservation

From £1100 per week

Project Destination

From Tofo’s rustic, unspoilt beaches and turquoise seas to its vibrant marine life and colorful culture, every marine volunteer will surely enjoy this exotic paradise. Situated in Southern Mozambique, with palm-fringed beaches and wide expanses of powdery white sand, this is a famous spot for world-class scuba-diving. Dive alongside majestic manta rays, encounter playful dolphins, and explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. Ashore, immerse yourself in the local rhythm, sample fresh seafood at bustling markets, and discover the warmth of Mozambican hospitality. Tofo is an unforgettable blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and thrilling aquatic adventures.

ACCOMODATION

You will be based in our Volunteer ‘Big House’, a shared accommodation with five same -sex rooms each with two beds. Here volunteers enjoy breathtaking views (whales!), as well as easy access on foot to the Foundation offices and the restaurant. Your Project Coordinators will reside within the house and are on call 24 hours a day. The house has 24 hour security on site, with further staff members who are always happy to help.

During your Mozambique marine volunteering you’ll have up to three meals a day prepared for you by our private chef. Some days you may even have a BBQ on the beach! All food is cooked fresh each day and is sustainably sourced. A lot of our staff and volunteers are vegetarians or vegans, and so we have a wide variety of options for everyone. One thing is for sure, you will eat well everyday in paradise!

There is free WiFi throughout the Volunteer House. You can also buy a local SIM card and data bundles; our team will assist you in picking one up if needed.

Mozambique has a subtropical climate making it hot and humid all year round, with February the hottest month with an average daily maximum temperature of 30°C. The wettest months are January and February when afternoon thunderstorms are a regular occurrence and the cooler, dry season (April to October) is recommended as a more comfortable period to do marine conservation trips. Most days, however, are filled with blue skies that are occasionally interrupted by a quick shower.

Participant Requirements

AGE

Minimum Age: 16 (15 if traveling with a parent. Other adult companions require sign off.) (16 & 17 requires Parental Consent before arrival)

To travel to Africa, many people are required to obtain a visa either upon entry to the relevant country or beforehand. Please note different countries require different passport validity periods.

But don’t panic, our Journey Team will help direct you and answer your questions during our Pre-departure process.

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Project Impact Areas

MARINE RESEARCH DIVES

Reefs are home to a wealth of biodiversity, and the reefs found in Mozambique are no exception. During marine research dives you will accompany the research team to these incredible ecosystems to collect data. You will create photo identity kits for whale sharks and manta rays all year round and marine turtles from November to February, plus other marine megafauna. This might be done through laying camera traps, conducting surveys or assessing the health of marine life.  

ESTUARY TRIPS

Fed by two rivers, the Inhambane estuary is a great place to study marine life. Controlled by the tides, it provides a shallow water habitat where we can study the health of the reef and surrounding mangroves. We take an expedition out into the estuary on a traditional dhow boat to snorkel, collecting data on the abundance of species through surveys and video transects. This gives us insight into the reef and over time this data supports work with local governments to regulate and protect the area.

SHARK TAGGING

In order to understand these misunderstood creatures, scientists use tags that are picked up by underwater receivers to find out where they are and when. Spend a day out on the boat fishing for sharks as you learn how to use the rods and techniques for bringing them to the boat. You will safely observe as the tags are secured onto the body of the shark and collect data about the length and characteristics. The shark is then released back into the water where they recover quickly.  

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On-the-ground Project Support

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FLIGHTS & ARRIVAL

A friendly face from our Base Team will be ready to meet you at the airport and drive you to our Volunteer Accommodation. Just look out for the African Impact sign!

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SAFETY

On arrival you’ll have a comprehensive induction to prepare you for project work, the local culture, people and wildlife; and of course, how to stay safe!

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STAFF

24/7 support: Our base teams are on hand every day to make sure you have the most amazing and memorable time in Africa.

Program Experience

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RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES IN MOZAMBIQUE

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TOFINHO POINT

Head to the world-famous Tofinho Point, a surfer’s paradise known for its consistent waves and laid-back atmosphere. Sign up for beginner lessons with experienced instructors who will guide you through the basics of paddling, balancing, and catching your first wave. Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned surfer looking to hone your skills, Tofinho Beach offers the perfect setting for an unforgettable surfing experience while volunteering in Mozambique.

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PANORAMIC VIEWS

Hike to the top of Ponta Malongane, a dramatic headland offering panoramic views of the unspoiled coastline. As you ascend the rugged terrain, keep an eye out for diverse birdlife and unique coastal plants. Once you reach the summit, be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views of the turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and lush inland areas. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a memorable meal while soaking in the stunning scenery and feeling a sense of accomplishment.

PROJECT APPLICATION

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

After completing the below application form, one of our Destination Specialists will get in touch to discuss your volunteer experience and any questions you may have. When you are ready to book, we will send you a booking form after which a deposit will be required to secure your position.

STEP 1

Personal Information

STEP 2

When do you want to Volunteer or Intern?

(Optional)

Give us an idea of your travel plans, you can also say ‘I’m not sure yet.’ 
We’ll take it from there.

STEP 3

How long do you want to Volunteer or Intern for?

(Optional)

Select your preferred duration(s). The African Impact team recommend at least 4 weeks for a truly memorable experience!

PRICE

From £1100 per week. Your weekly cost will reduce if you stay for longer than 2 weeks.

PROJECT FEE INCLUDES

  • Shared house style accommodation on beachfront
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Mon – Sat)
  • Laundry service
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All project transport, equipment and resources
  • Support from experienced local and international staff
  • Full orientation for responsible project contribution

PROJECT FEE EXCLUDES

  • Price excludes flights, visas, insurance, weekend tours and personal expenses

MOZAMBIQUE MARINE RESEARCH FAQs

Why Should I Volunteer in Mozambique?

You’ll make a real difference for the ocean! Your efforts will directly help scientists and conservationists understand and protect endangered species and fragile ecosystems.
All the while, gaining valuable experience. Learn from experts and gain practical skills in research methods, data collection, and environmental awareness. This marine conservation trip can be valuable for your personal and professional development.

We will provide training on relevant methods for your marine research volunteer project. This could include:

 

  • Photo Identification – we’ll teach you how to take identifying photographs of individual marine animals, like the unique spot patterns of whale sharks or the belly patterns of manta rays
  • Survey Techniques – we’ll show you how to conduct underwater surveys to record the presence and abundance of different marine species
  • Data Recording – we’ll help you get familiar with data sheets and protocols for accurate and consistent data collection
  • Whale Sharks – These gentle giants are a major draw for volunteers. Projects often monitor their populations, study their migration patterns, and promote responsible tourism practices around them
  • Manta Rays – You might assist with identifying manta rays through photo identification, observing their behaviour, and documenting any threats to their population.
    Sea Turtles – Mozambique’s beaches are important nesting grounds for sea turtles. Volunteers might help protect turtle nests, monitor hatchlings, and educate local communities about turtle conservation
  • Coral Reefs – Learn how to monitor the health of coral reefs, contribute to restoration projects, and educate about the importance of these ecosystems.

More about African Impact

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