Lemur conservation project in Madagascar

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2016: 31 Oct, 14 Nov, 28 Nov

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Lemur conservation project in Madagascar

This project is run by a registered UK charity and Malagasy NGO that has been working on environmental, humanitarian and sustainable development projects in southeast Madagascar since 1995.

The project integrates research on endangered flora and fauna with community initiatives such as reforestation and environmental education. Combining direct conservation, working in and supporting local management of two legally-protected forest fragments with a number of other complimentary initiatives, (such as tree planting to provide rapid growth of farmed trees for firewood) this project holistically approaches the conservation of biodiversity.

Where possible and practical, we use only locally owned and operated suppliers and employ local people as guides to lead our groups of volunteers. Our local guides and staff are in full time employment with contracts, are treated as equals, paid a fair wage and not given an unreasonable workload.
We plan volunteer programs in a way which maximizes the opportunity to meet and work alongside local people, learn about the local culture and experience the local way of life. We teach our volunteers to speak the local dialect of the Malagasy language and provide orientation to present a balanced view of the country, the people, our work and local culture and traditions, religion, body language and eating habits before any volunteer visits the field.

We endeavour to minimize this impact and engage in projects that not only make the environment sustainable but contribute to improving it. When visiting villages, group sizes are determined by what is appropriate to the area we are visiting and the job that we are doing. Use of motorised transport is kept to a minimum. We ask volunteers to use water sparingly and respect the needs of local people at water collection points. We ensure animals are never fed or touched unless to do so is part of an organised visit to a park or other managed environment. We provide water to refill plastic bottles and we separate our waste for re-use or composting.

Reviews of Lemur conservation project in Madagascar

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The very first morning at Saint Luce, we were up pre-dawn and walked down to the estuary. There several pirogues took us across the lagoon to the mangrove waterways and then back again. The round trip was about 3 hours, initially mainly silent except for bird identification, the sunrise added to the atmosphere. Part of the mystery and beauty of Madagascar was revealed on that memorable morning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read every bit of information sent out by the agent about ten times and be sure to follow that advice. Be prepared physically, fitnes is important (I wrote tips specifically for the older traveller while I was in Fort Dauphin and left copies for people). Remember to be tolerant, to be kind and to be respectful of all peoples. Your contribution is important but it is not about you.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes on all counts but with some limititations. I'd expected to contribute more while at St Luce and was surprised that 2 weeks of volunteer work was only 6 days in the field. Back in the Fort further volunteer work wasn't expected but I eventually was given some useful tasks. Overall, nearly as much energy was expended on my 'training' as I returned in conservation work. I doubt if 2 weeks is an effective period (apart from the donation) for a volunteer holidaay.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I really do have loads of wonderful memories, especially of the local people, and even more specially of the local people employed by the agent. The agent stands high in ethical standards and takes care of the traveller/volunteer. Its projects are clearly focussed on local people and their environment.

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