MADAGASCAR

Madagascar won’t disappoint. Cultural immersion, lemurs, turtles, dolphins, painting classrooms alongside Malagasy children – a life changing experience!

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VOLUNTEER

You will be participating in light construction work and the painting of primary and secondary schools. Assist staff with reef restoration, collect data in the forest on flora and fauna, and animal populations, and a chance to monitor nesting turtle sites.

CULTURE

The 4th largest island in the world, Madagascar is considered a part of Africa. The Malagasy people are of mixed Malayo, Indonesian and Arab descent. Ninety percent of the animals living on the island are found nowhere else on earth.

FOREST SAFARIS & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Safari deep into the Madagascar rainforest where you will encounter friendly lemurs and other stunning wildlife. Your last day on nosy Be island, volunteers can take on kite boarding, quad bikes on dunes, horseback riding and so much more!

DIVING / SNORKELING

Part of your volunteer experience will include snorkeling off the shores of the Indian Ocean. Being one with your snorkel gear and fins is important. If PADI certified, more adventures await you!

USEFUL DETAILS

Meals

At our volunteer base-camp, you will be served three meals per-day, prepared in the traditional Madacascan style by an on-site Malagasy cook. Breakfast ranges from pancakes to eggs and bread. Lunch is rice or pasta based, and dinner is rice based. Both lunch and dinner is served with either beans, chicken, beef or fish, all with vegetables and an optional sauce.

Volunteers working on a placement, which requires you to be away from camp during lunch time, can organize a packed lunch, through the local team, the night before. Volunteers are allowed to store non-perishable items at camp.

Climate

Avoiding the hot, rainy season entirely, May through October is considered the relatively cooler, dry season for weather. Day temperatures average 87 degrees with night-time temperatures dipping into the high 60’s.

Living Conditions

Volunteers are accommodated in locally built huts on Nosy Komba island and can expect to share a hut with up to six other volunteers of the same sex. Huts are comprised of single bunk beds and covered in a mosquito net. Cold showers and toilet facilities are located on-site. The huts are open air with the beach just a stone’s throw away!

Because we are volunteering in a remote location, power is delivered to volunteer accommodations by an on-site generator, which runs for approximately 2 hours per day. Power outlets are limited so solar charges are encouraged.

How to Dress in Madagascar

While at base-camp, you’ll be pretty much be living day-to-day in swimsuits, shorts, short sleeve shirts and tank tops. Standard beach attire is fine.

While in the capital city of Antananarivo, more conservative dress is required.

Passport & Documents

Copy of passport (copy for parent(s) & trip leader)

Money belt and/or similar, to keep cash and passport secured.

In the event a passport is lost or stolen, another form of ID will be required for passport replacement at the US Consular Agency – Madagascar. Please bring your driver’s license and/or other form of ID with your picture on it. A photo copy of your passport will also be required. Passports are generally issued within a 48-hour period.

Money

US dollars must be dated 2010 to present year. Local currency will be used for tips, shopping and misc. meals outside the allotted daily per-diem. Your team leader will oversee the conversion from US dollars to in-country currency. The conversion receipt will be given to you for confirmation of exact amount(s). All US dollar exchanges with either be through an ATM machine or through the BFV/Societe Generale Bank.

On the island of Nosy Komba, where you will be conducting your volunteer work, only local currency is accepted. Although everything is included during your stay on the island, there will be local crafts and additional food staples available for purchase, which is not covered by The Zuri Project.

Upon return to the US, if you back a large sum of foreign currency, The Zuri Project will buy your foreign currency and pay you in US dollars.

Credit / Debit Card

Visa is the standard credit/debit card accepted in Madagascar. Master Card and American Express are not accepted. There are ATM machines widely available in Antananarivo and the island of Nosy Be. Please note all ATM machines disburse local foreign currency only. Credit/debit card – make sure to call your credit card company/bank stating country of use and travel dates.

WHAT TO BRING

CLOTHING

Tops
Short/Long Sleeve T-Shirts
Light Rain Jacket
Tank Tops
Top/Jacket for cool evenings

Bottoms
Long/Regular Length Shorts
Capris (optional)
Linen Pants (optional)
Skirts

Footwear
Flip-flops / Sandals
Tennis Shoes and/or Hiking Boots
Water Shoes for snorkeling, diving and protection from coral reefs

Electronics
Digital Camera + extra batteries
Electronic plugin converter

Swimwear
2+ Bathing Suits (In ocean for 2 weeks!)
2 Beach Towels
UV Shirt for snorkeling/sun protection

MISC.
Sun hat / Baseball cap
Head Lamp (extra batteries)
Water Bottle
Light day-pack for hiking/beach excursions/city tours
2 travel locks to secure luggage/bags during travel
Laundry bag – FYI local village women can do laundry while volunteering on remote island / machine wash available on main island of Mahe.
Mosquito repellant
Hand/Baby wipes

BEDDING

Light Travel Pillow
Mosquito Net
Top & Bottom Sheet
Light sleeping bag 50+ degrees

LUGGAGE

You are individually allowed one suitcase on the designated trip. Weight limit is 50 pounds. If over 50 pounds there is a charge of $250 USD, which is not covered by The Zuri Project. Make room for shopping items! You are allowed 2 carry-on, daypack size, pieces of luggage on all flights.

Lock all luggage with universal travel lock. Bring an extra lock for your daypack(s).

Distinguish your luggage by placing a ribbon/sticker on it. When landing in Madagascar there will be over 200 black suitcases and we want to be sure to find yours!

Liquid Items

Due to new flight regulations, you are only allowed to bring on the plane with you one, large, clear, plastic zip-top bag of liquid items such as lotion, hand sanitizer etc. You are free to pack any type/volume of liquid items in your checked luggage.

MEDICATION

If your child is taking a prescription medication, carry prescription medication in its original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. In the event medication is lost, this will ensure that your child will receive the same medication without issue.

Vaccinations

The decision to receive vaccinations is an individual choice, which should be made with a travel health specialist and/or your personal physician. With that said, Yellow Fever is required upon entry into Madagascar (even though there is no Yellow Fever in Madagascar – welcome to Africa!) Malaria is present in Madagascar so please talk to your physician on medication options.