Madagascar

Frontier

My initial impressions and thoughts of this trip have been surpassed by what I have experienced in these past six weeks. As soon as I arrived at the Madagascar base camp I felt a warm welcome, with my fellow travellers, friendly staff and an impressive beach camp. The camp is well segregated into sleeping areas, science space and communal, relaxing area – and in all has a homely feeling.

I was impressed by the organisation of the marine project, and straight away I was involved in the day to day conservation activities (Advanced Open Water course, fish/coral/invertebrate lectures). Thanks to the Marine PI, I managed to go on satellite camp which was the highlight of the trip – amazing diving, great food, great company and a good atmosphere.

The diving in general is great and there is a good variation in marine life in all the sites that we survey which is good in comparatively understanding the degradation of the local coral reefs. I have thoroughly enjoyed my six weeks here and will come back for another frontier trip in marine conservation.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Jun 23, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

I spent four weeks on the Frontier Madagascar Forest Program and had one of the best times of my life! The people I met there, both staff and volunteers, were super friendly and helpful in answering all my questions. The social side of the program was a lot of fun and I know I have made friends for life! The diet and living situation took a bit of getting used to, as I am definitely a city girl at heart, but in the end I really enjoyed the simple way of life. The best part though, by far, was the animals! The species I saw on the island of Nosy-Be really ignited my passion for conservation. I hope one day to return to Madagascar and I recommend anyone looking for a good experience to get on board with Frontier!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: May 23, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Frontier

Here in Madagascar I've been so privileged to be involved in Frontier's community projects in Hellville. I've spent most of my time in a local primary school giving English lessons and the occasional sports lesson. That we teach English here is such an amazing opportunity for the students to learn direct from native speakers, and it's literally Frontier that single-handedly provides this. School sports lessons here tend to be a low priority and are desperately in need of a little extra energy and enthusiasm, which it has been my pleasure to help to provide! Outside of school, Frontier runs a course of English lessons at a local 'youth club', for students of really any age to genuinely improve their life-prospects by improving their English. One of my favourite experiences here, though, has been visiting a local orphanage where a large number of the children are very sadly suffering from disabilities. We go there whenever we get a chance to provide fun and stimulating play opportunities to these extremely cute and extremely deserving children. Basically, Frontier community projects searches out the areas of need here in Hellville and the surrounding area and tries to help fill those gaps with young and enthusiastic volunteers who are so welcomed and appreciated by the local community for all that they give. Everyone here is so happy to see a blue t-shirt coming their way, and we're proud to wear them. Offering my time to the people here has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: May 8, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9

Frontier

I spent 6 months in Madagascar on the marine project and can honestly say it was one of the best times of my life. The diving was good, the project was fun, and the I meet many people I won't soon forget. Highlights include the social life on Fridays to wind down after a busy week and playing frisbee with the locals every week. Don't forget the other things to do around Nosy be like visiting the Marine Park Tanikely and swimming with whale sharks.

Program:
Location: Madagascar
Posted: May 7, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Spending the last 6 weeks in Madagascar has been truly excellent. I am in my final year of medical school and went there to undertake my medical elective so I could experience healthcare outside of the NHS. The hospital itself where I was based was very basic but the work they did there was amazing – all the doctors and nurses were so skilled in what they did and within days they were getting me fully involved in treating the patients. I spent some of my time in A&E, dressing wounds, treating dehydration and complications of malaria. However, most of my time I spent in the maternity department, watching births and helping with vaccination clinics as well as antenatal checks. I felt so useful and the midwives were so lovely and friendly and really made me feel welcome in the hospital. I shall miss them a lot! Walking back from the hospital every day would take you through the outskirts of Hellville (the main town on Nosy Be island), past banana plantations, corrugated iron houses with children playing out front, through the port market with its array of beautifully smelling food (which I could never resist as my end of shift snack) and on into town (where avoiding the took tooks and zebu drawn carts was always an entertaining challenge)!
At the weekends and in the evenings I would spend time with the other volunteers who worked in the schools or who were involved in marine or forest conservation. Together we went exploring the island, seeing the beautiful beaches of Andilana, dancing our Saturdays away in the beach bars of Ambataloaka, snorkelling and seeing turtles around the island of Tanikely and frolicking in the cascades hidden away off the beaten track (just to name a few of our adventures). Between both the work side of the trip in the hospital and the exploring and hilarity I took part in with the other volunteers, I can honestly say it has been the trip of a lifetime.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Apr 22, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
7

Frontier

I volunteered with the marine program in Madagascar for 6 weeks. My diving experience has been amazing. The aquatic life here is very unique and the dive sites are very beautiful. The diving has been the best part of my time in Madagascar. Be prepared for the absolute minimal accommodations. Bring enough money to buy extra food because it is rice and beans for every meal. For a program that was quite expensive I expected good structure and organization. Unfortunately the Frontier Madagascar project is very disorganized. Simple necessities are unthought of. For example some days the tanks are not filled so we can't dive. Or national holiday isn't taken into account and there isn't enough food for the week. Overall it has been a very unique experience, but I question where my money has gone. Would definitely reccomend traveling to Madagascar Nosy Be area though!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Apr 3, 2016
Overall:
4
Support:
3
Value:
3

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

The four months that I spent volunteering in Madagascar through IVHQ were awesome. Coming into the program, my intention was to split my time equally between the Forest and Teaching projects. However in the end, I spent most of my time on the Community project (teaching and construction) for two reasons: 1) there was a constant need for more teachers and 2) I really loved the project. As a teacher, you get to spend a good amount of time off camp, which is nice because it allows you to get to know the locals and the area really well. The camp itself is beautiful and much better than I expected - especially considering the fact that it's located on an island in a third world country. Yet, its important to point out that there are a few drawbacks that come along with living on an island: 1) if you fall ill, you'll have to catch a 6:30 boat to Hellville and then get a tuk tuk/taxi to the hospital; 2) you have to be very conscious of your water/electricity usage because it comes from a reservoir/solar powered generator; and 3) there is limited access to various things you may need (toiletries, snacks, etc.) Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Madagascar! The staff, volunteers and most importantly the locals made my first volunteer experience incredible. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Dec 29, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Comments

Hi Gabe, Would we have you back? Absolutely! It's great to hear from you. Thanks for sharing a little from your time volunteering in Madagascar and we are glad to hear it was such positive experience. It's awesome have you as an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another program again soon.

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

There is a typhoid in the camp by Nosy Be. The staff did nothing about it. The toilets and showers were disgusting. The staff were indifferent to the health risks that they subjected their volunteers to. The head office in New Zealand after showing initial concern denied the outbreak of typhoid in the camp and refused to communicate any further. I strongly recommend that no one risks booking any volunteering trip with this company.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Sep 30, 2015
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Comments

We can assure volunteers that our Madagascar program is safe and hygienic, with no reported cases of serious illness. If anyone has any questions at all about health, safety or support from our local team at any of our programs please contact your IVHQ Program Manager or info@volunteerhq.org.

Frontier

I thoroughly enjoyed my 6 weeks on Nosy-Be in Madagascar volunteering in the community. The teaching aspect of the project was well organised and I really felt that I was making a difference to the lives of all of the students varying in age from primary school to adults. I was able to really integrate myself into the Malagasy culture both in the town and also in a more rural sense when I stayed on the Frontier camp in Ambadahonko. The staff were all really friendly and made everyone feel at ease, in fact most of the time you could not tell the staff apart from volunteers as everyone built great friendships and the sense of community was massive. I would recommend the community project in Madagacar to anyone looking to make a real difference.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Aug 24, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Frontier

I spent 4 weeks on the Wildlife Conservation Adventure in Madagascar with Frontier and enjoyed every minute. The programme was really well organised with really helpful pre-departure advise and in country staff who really knew what they were doing. It was a great opportunity to get some experience in the world of conservation and to do it somewhere like Madagascar was incredible. The accommodation was basic but comfortable and you have everything you need. The camp is in a beautiful setting between gorgeous beaches and forest, and life is very simple, relaxing and fun.

The project is perfect for people interested in protecting wildlife as Madagascar has such an extensive range of endangered biodiversity so every day you get to see different species of reptiles, birds, butterflies and of course lemurs. Project life is pretty laid back as you spend the mornings on surveys and the afternoons however you want whether it’s lying on the beach, swimming in the sea or just relaxing in a hammock. So you get the perfect balance between exploring Madagascar’s beautiful forests, gaining experience you could not get anywhere else and enjoying the gorgeous sandy beaches of this amazing tropical island.

Frontier made my whole experience so easy and stress free through their detailed project brief, pre-departure support and friendly in country staff who make you feel welcome and at home in no time at all.

I would highly recommend Frontier for gap year/volunteer travel due to their expertise and helpful staff and encourage everyone to go to Madagascar! It really is a place like no other and not many people are lucky enough to get the opportunity to go making it a true hidden gem and a place you will not regret visiting. This whole experience has been amazing and one I will never forget.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Madagascar
Posted: Jun 5, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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