MARINE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Quick Facts

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MARINE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

The Bazaruto Centre for Scientific Studies offers volunteers a once-in-a-lifetime experience to explore and observe this incredible setting with world-leading scientists and environmentalists. You will step off the island having engaged in scientific research with professional scientists, learning about precious marine ecosystems in the Indian Ocean and enriched your life and resume with valuable training. Dive into a world of marine conservation, quality outreach projects, permaculture and both scuba and free diving.


Project Highlights

Live on a tropical island set in the heart of Bazaruto Archipelago National Park
Work side by side with experienced, resident scientists and contribute to the mission and goals of the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time series research in Africa.
Study ecosystems in a Marine Protected Area
Join scientific expeditions and encounter incredible wildlife, from humpback whales to numerous types of sharks, manta rays, turtles, dolphins and much more whilst diving or from the boat
Stay in a sustainable, zero-waste accommodation
Get your scuba diving certification or learn how to free dive and use your skills for science
Learn about permaculture as a way to provide food sustainably in a remote location
Receive an official reference from Lead Scientist/Operations Manager/Dive Manager

the destination

The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park (BANP) is a 30-minute boat ride off the coast of southern Mozambique and is made up of five islands, including Benguerra, on which the Bazaruto Centre of Scientific Studies is located. Home to the last viable population of dugongs in the Western Indian Ocean, the BANP is also a breeding ground for migratory humpback whales, and a refuge for over 20 endangered wildlife species, six dolphin and five turtle species – plus plays host to 10 critical marine and terrestrial habitats. The archipelago is an unexplored sanctuary for wildlife and marine animals.

The research station has been carefully designed to blend with the surrounding environment, causing minimum impact. The station was hand-built using the island’s skilled residents, with local materials such as coconut wood, reed walls and roof thatching. Only a stone’s throw away from the shore, the building is simple but spacious and airy, containing a total of 8 rooms, some private and some with two individual beds. You will share the bathroom facilities with the other volunteers. There is hot and cold water for the showers, and you can drink the water from the sink. Laundry is provided every three days and your room is cleaned and tidied on a daily basis.

Our local team of chefs provide three meals a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. They use nutritional ingredients and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. The dishes are usually a mixture of local food (fresh fish, salads, beans, rice, curries) and Western classics like curries, pizza and pancakes.

At the station, there is limited WiFi and we ask you kindly not to use it to stream or download videos or other heavy files, plus to avoid videocalls. If you are staying longer than 2 weeks, we would recommend buying a local Vodacom sim card upon arrival and loading some credit.

Mozambique has a tropical climate and is warm year-round, with temperatures averaging between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius during the day. There are two seasons; dry and rainy season. Dry season, running from May to November, is the best time of the year to visit because these months are cooler and it isn’t as hot as rainy season usually is. The field station is situated in a location where there is usually a light breeze.

PROJECT IMPACT AREAS

ECOSYSTEM MONITORING AND FUNCTION

Monitoring the ocean over time and space (time-series monitoring) helps scientists better understand intricate workings of marine ecosystems. In this theme, you will help detect and predict climate-driven changes on the biological, chemical, and physical conditions of the ocean and how these changes influence the function of the ecosystem.

SPECIES IDENTIFICATION AND HABITAT MAPPING

The conservation of critical habitats for marine life depends on identification of how different species use pelagic and benthic ecosystems. In this theme, you will help conduct open ocean, coastal, seabed and underwater surveys to study marine life hotspots and learn how organisms interact with the environment over time and space.

MIGRATORY FISH POPULATION DYNAMICS

The understanding of migratory patterns of marine life and their hotspots around Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and National Parks (NPs) is critical for conservation efforts. In this theme, you will help locate and tag pelagic animals (conventional, acoustic, satellite). Bio-samples will be collected for isotope and DNA extraction.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Take part in land-based projects and leave behind a lasting positive impact on the environment and the Benguerra Island community. In this theme, you will be involved with marine debris monitoring, recycling, permaculture and collaborations with the local community (e.g. environmental awareness initiatives).

Recent Reviews

I had high expectations on arrival and those have been exceeded. The team are generous with their time, their expertise, and their welcome. I experienced a broad range of activities including sampling, laboratory work and ocean observation, as well as undertaking a scuba diving course. The facilities are lovely and it is an exceptionally beautiful place to stay.

Edel Cribbin

Marine Science and Environmental Conservation

The staff and facilities are simply amazing, with the perfect location for our research trips out by boat each day. The views are incredible from the accommodation, and we loved the chance to explore the rest of the island by 4x4.

Josie Chandler

Marine Science and Environmental Conservation

Other Activities

Learn how to breathe underwater and discover another world. Our 5-star PADI dive centre is part of the BCSS research station, given that so much fieldwork is executed underwater. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, our instructor will make you feel comfortable and confident underwater, as you gain comprehensive experience about scuba diving in the BANP.

Whether you would like to try free diving for the first time or already have some skills, our experienced instructor will introduce you to this exciting sport step by step. By the end of the course, you will have solid breathing techniques under your belt, as well as a certificate and lots of experience and confidence.

If you can’t get enough of free diving, scuba diving or simply snorkeling the pristine waters of the BANP, you might want to book a separate activity or two. The Bazaruto Archipelago has a lot to offer, from free diving with humpback whales and snorkeling with dugongs, to dhow sailing or island horse riding.

dates and rates

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Please note that an additional GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is added to the program fee as a mandatory contribution to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.

project fee includes

  • Park fees
  • Serviced accommodation on Benguerra Island
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Transport from the mainland to Benguerra Island
  • Visa transport to Maxixe (if staying longer than 4 weeks)
  • 3 meals a day
  • 24/7 support from resident staff and management
  • All lectures and training needed for you to contribute to the stations mission and goals

project fee excludes

  • Flights
  • Visa-related costs
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Optional courses (e.g. PADI Scuba Diving, Pure Apnea free diving)
  • Transport to/from optional weekend leisure activities
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund
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