Volunteer in one of the most beautiful coastal locations in Africa, getting involved in industry-leading, globally-recognized humpback whale research. As a volunteer on this 2-to-4-week program, you’ll learn all about these majestic creatures, including their behaviors, distribution, abundance and conservation.
You will learn research techniques and partake in frequent excursions out to sea, transforming scientific data into real solutions, in an effort to protect this species and preserve their valuable winter breeding ground. Humpback whales visit the area from the beginning of July to the end of September by the thousands to mate, give birth to their calves and lactate them until they are strong enough to migrate back to the rich waters of Antarctica where they feed during the summer.
From Tofo’s rustic, unspoiled beaches and turquoise seas to its vibrant marine life and colourful culture, everyone will 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 and for opportunities to spot some of the magnificent creatures that live here permanently or visit seasonally including, humpback whales, whale sharks, manta rays, and other large marine species such as sharks and turtles.
However, many of these species are under threat and this beautiful and important marine area is at risk of exploitation and other changes associated with tourism and human interaction. Research on species and reef degradation is vital in working with governments and other stakeholders to improve legislative protection and the creation of protected areas. Volunteers play a huge part in gathering as much information as possible about these threatened species and directly contribute towards the conservation efforts taking place in Tofo.
Participate in thrilling expeditions out to sea to collect data on these incredible whales, particularly their behaviour, movement patterns, habitat use, and pod structures. You will learn all the research techniques that are used to study these whales, from photo-identification and acoustic recordings of their beautiful songs, to taking biopsies to study their diet and origin. After every trip out to sea collecting data, you will process the information gathered and interpret it with the whale research team.
You will gained insight into what it really means to do research with megafauna in the field, and what can be achieved with this research to reach conservation goals. You will take part in every aspect of the research and will gain knowledge about how we transform this scientific data into real protection efforts. Our current goal is to declare the area a World Whale Heritage Site. You will be an integral part of our young research team and will contribute to this conservation success.
Attend talks on whale biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, acoustics, research, and conservation. The research team have a wealth of specialist marine knowledge and researchers also give regular talks about specific wildlife such as sharks or manta rays. These will be relevant to anything you’ve seen or learnt about in the week and will be tailored to the particular interests of volunteers.
Community involvement and interaction is a big part of conservation, and we find regular opportunities to engage with local people. You might take part in a beach clean-up, visit a local school to educate children about the importance of ocean conservation and how to avoid dangers in the water, or attend a community event such as World Oceans Day.
“I was blown away by the diversity of marine life in Tofo and really enjoyed the amount of time out on the water – especially the diving. I got to complete my advanced open water diving certification too! I learned so much and would definitely recommend it.”
“There are no words to describe what an experience this was, from the place I stayed to the dives I did, to getting to know all that goes on in this program. I just wish I had spent more time there. Africa is a wonder, nothing is easy or straightforward, which makes getting something done very rewarding. “
Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.
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