2 WEEK RESEARCH PROGRAM
We are currently offering positions for a select number of participants in 2020 on the following program dates:
March 29th – April 12th (Ending 17th April if participating in Safari)
Program Fee: £1250
Program Plus Safari Fee: £2250
It’s important to know where your money is going. For a full price breakdown please click here.
As a Love The Oceans volunteer, you form an essential part of our team. You will participate in our 6 principal activities:
Sea turtle nesting patrols
Fish and shark tagging
Coral reef surveys
Teaching and painting at the local schools
Teaching swimming lessons to the local children
We highly recommend joining us for 5 night safari since it is not too far away from Guinjata and is another incredible experience.
Our volunteers have Saturday mornings and Sundays to participate in optional extra activities such as surf lessons, sailing trips or just relaxing on the beach. Saturday afternoons will be spent teaching the local school children how to swim.
After you have settled in, your program will start with an intense 3 days of training. We aim to ensure that everyone on the program has the same level of knowledge about LTO, the conservation work we do and your role and responsibilities as an LTO volunteer.
In these 3 days you’ll learn about your next two weeks in Mozambique. It is during the training that we will get to know each other better, refresh diving skills and learn new skills as you come up to speed with the research requirements. We expect you to learn and work together, setting a positive tone for the coming weeks. Towards the end of the training you will be placed into a team and will rotate around the following key activities:
Collecting fisheries data will allow us to assess how sustainable the fisheries are. From these assessments, eventually we would like to determine minimum landing size for individual species, as well as changing certain fishing legislation.
We cover two fisheries sites; Guinjata Bay and Paindane Bay. A third may be sporadically covered in accordance with the shark fishing. Both sites have resorts and active local fishermen. The Guinjata research site is next to our dive centre, while the Paindane research site is a 45 minute walk away. Expect to walk to both sites. Every group will have a mobile phone so help is always at hand.
Every day on fisheries you will be responsible for recording the data into the logs along with the corresponding images (check shark and ray IDs with a field specialist if unsure), cleaning the collected shark/ray vertebrae, and ensuring equipment is cleaned and stored.
Mozambique is home to 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles, and all of them are globally threatened. We have 2 species that nest on our beaches: loggerhead and leatherback. We’ve noticed some of the nests have been raided so we’ve started doing beach patrols as many nights as possible throughout the program to ensure mothers are safe when laying, and as many babies make it to the ocean as possible when they hatch. If you’re lucky you’ll get to witness a hatching event, its an incredible experience!
Understanding the lives of ocean animals is integral to their conservation. We work with the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), tagging and releasing many marine animals. The data set we’re contributing to with this is a long-term collaborative marine environmental project with the aim of ensuring the wise and sustainable use of southern Africa’s marine line fish resources.
Educating the next generation of fishermen in schools about sustainable fishing and why the ocean is important helps the local community protect their biodiversity assets – assets because of ecotourism and fisheries.
As part of your volunteering, you will help at Guinjata and Paindane School Monday-Friday. You will be teaching 10-13 year olds about the marine environment, as well as painting classrooms which are in much need of some TLC. You will not be partaking in construction work as we prefer to employ local builders and put money back into the local economy.
Surprisingly few local children are confident in the water. Part of our commitment to the local community is teaching the school children how to swim, helping to fuel their passion for the marine environment with a view to them one day being able to experience the underwater world for themselves.
We also teach sea safety in our lessons. This is very important as children drowning is not uncommon in this area due to a strong rip and lack of awareness. You can help teach the children (and some adults) how to swim on Saturday afternoons.
LTO collects coral reef data in order to lobby for a marine protected area which could enhance eco-tourism, bringing more money into the region and an alternate source of income to unsustainable fishing. We strongly believe we’re in a biodiversity hotspot and we need a coral reef data set to prove our area is worth protecting.
To expand LTO’s coral reef logs, you will be diving and snorkelling to complete LTO surveys. You will identify different fish and coral species you see on each dive, and be responsible for logging the data into the scientific logs at the end of each day. We use Reef Life Survey methodology, allowing us to compare our data sets with other reef systems around the world.
We offer an optional extra 5 night safari that you can enjoy at the end of your volunteer program. You will leave Guinjata Bay to explore the Balule Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger Park Ecosystem, staying at our partner safari lodge.
During your 5 days you will participate in game drives, bush walks, a scenic tour through the Drakensburg Mountains (to see God’s Window, the Three Sisters and Bourke’s Luck Potholes) and have an animal behaviour bush walk and lecture from experienced field guides. You will then be transported to Johannesburg Airport. All of your meals are included, but the beers are on you!
There are optional weekend excursions you can participate in. They are not compulsory but have proved great fun in the past. These activities need to be paid for separately in cash in Mozambique.
Boat Trip – We sail the Inhambane estuary on a boat, with the chance to snorkel a few islands.
Surf Trip – A day trip to Tofo (the tourist hub) for a fun surf lesson and shop around their market.
Diving Courses – PADI scuba diving courses are available at Jay’s Pro Dive Centre from open water to rescue. If you’d like to do your Dive Master click here.
Ocean Safaris – Local dive centres offer various Ocean Safari tours where you can search for whale sharks and whales from the boat in an afternoon.
We stay on the stunning Guinjata Bay beach on the side of the Indian Ocean. Our accommodation is rustic and rooms will hold a maximum of 4 people (genders will be separated). Running water, hot water and electricity is available at all times… with the exception of a few power cuts! Mosquito nets are provided.
Your program is fully catered, however you may want to bring money for internet, drinks and treats. Bring an network unlocked mobile phone with you in order to buy a local sim for internet as there is no wifi available. The local shop is a short walk away and holds a few western treasures.
For more information, enquire below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our FAQs page.
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