We are currently offering positions for a select number of participants in 2018 on the following program dates:
May 27th – July 1st, ending 6th July inc. Safari
July 1st – August 5th, ending 10th August inc. Safari
August 12th – September 16th, ending 21st September inc. Safari
September 16th – October 21st, ending 26th October inc. Safari
21st April – 26th May (finishing 31st May inc. safari)
26th May – 30th June (finishing July 5th inc. safari)
30th June – 4th August (finishing August 9th inc. safari)
11th August – 15th September (finishing September 20th inc. safari)
15th September – 20th October (finishing October 25th inc. safari)
If you’d like to enquire about these program please click here.
At the end of the above programs, we also offer an optional 5 night safari.
Program Fee: £1995
Program Plus Safari Fee: £2995
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. After the training week, you will be rotating around our 4 principal activities:
- Whale surveys
- Fisheries research
- Teaching and painting at the local schools
- Coral reef surveys
- Ocean trash research
We highly recommend joining us for the week safari, making it a 6 week trip, 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 training week. 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 this week you’ll learn about your next month in Mozambique. It is during the training week 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. Toward the end of the week 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 45minute walk. Expect to walk to both sites. Every group will have a mobile phone so help is always at hand.
Every day on fisheries you 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 clean and stored.
TEACHING AND PAINTING
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.
We ask for our volunteers to bring out 5kg of donations (books or stationery) for the children as well as any marine themed toys.
CORAL REEF SURVEYS
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 income to unsustainable fishing. We strongly believe we’re in a biodiversity hotspot and we need coral reef data 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. These dives require confident divers with good buoyancy. PADI Open Water is a prerequisite for our programs.
Humpback whales typically migrate through Mozambique between June and September. LTO is collecting data on these magnificent creatures, looking at surface behaviour and pod formation, never before studied in our area.
As part of LTO’s team, you will be armed with a camera, binoculars and survey sheets in order to record sightings of humpback whales and any other megafauna that passes through (orcas, whale sharks, manta rays). You will also be trained in deploying hydrophones so we can record vocalisation data on humpback whales.
You’ll be going out on the dive boat with the divers but will remain on the boat while the other volunteers dive, in order for you to conduct the whale surveys.
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 Ku Sungula 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! This trip is highly recommended.
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.
- Yacht Trip – We sail the Inhambane estuary on a yacht, 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 dive master.
- 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.
- Free Dive Training – A lecture series, breath hold and static apnea training combined with a practise free-dive in the sea will prepare you well for megafauna research!
We stay in backpacker style accommodation in Guinjata Bay and rooms will hold a maximum of 6 people (genders will be separated). Running 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. You are required to bring an 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, please email us at email@example.com for a volunteer booklet. You can also reach us on Facebook.
If you’d like to apply for this program, please fill in the below form.
Our July program is almost full so please apply for another program’s dates if you can!
Be sure to check your JUNK mail as we find our replies are sometimes filtered to there. We will respond within 48 hours: