Mozambique marine conservation project

“Become an Advanced Open Water diver before assisting scientists and researchers with ongoing marine conservation projects off the coast of Tofo, Mozambique.”


PADI open water and advanced scuba courses | Project designed and overseen by Dr. Andrea Marshall | Beach cleans | Boat and underwater research | Assist scientists and marine conservationists | Work 5 days a week | Weekends off to enjoy Tofo in southeast Mozambique |

Description of Mozambique marine conservation project

This two week volunteer project invites you to discover the amazing marine mega fauna of Mozambique where whale sharks and manta rays are known to glide above bountiful coral reefs.

As part of the project youíll be contributing directly to ongoing marine conservation studies and activities as part of a team of researchers and scientists. This is in addition to taking a PADI Open Water Scuba course, during the first week. If you're already Advanced Open Water qualified then you can start to help with underwater research projects, straight away. Anyone who's already Open Water qualified will get to complete their Advanced Open Water course before starting the research programme.

The programme itself has been created by well known manta expert, Dr Andrea Marshall, who is overseeing things both remotely and on-site in Tofo, Mozambique.

During the two weeks youíll be assisting with many tasks including: photographing, measuring and identifying manta rays and whale sharks. Youíll also be required to record findings and upload photos and other information to relevant data bases. Scientists will also be taking biological samples and youíll be able to observe this process as well as assisting where needed.

There are currently more than 600 whale sharks around Tofo and collecting information regarding their behaviour, locations, and individual characteristics is vital for their continued conservation.

Understanding migration patterns and seasonal populations in Mozambique is equally important for scientists to understand. Humpback whales (Jun Ė Sept) and loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback turtles (Nov Ė Feb), are known to make their annual journeys through Tofoís warm waters.

Beach and boat monitoring surveys will be undertaken to provide data on the health and wellbeing of migrating populations as well as further understanding the marine environment of Mozambique.

Turtle nesting sites, especially, will need to be monitored and protected to ensure their continued survival. This is just as important as carrying out research of Tofoís coral reefs where timed counts of indicator species and collecting data on resident reef fish populations provides yet more evidence for vital marine conservation work.

Travel Team

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Departure information

You can start this project on any day of the year

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Volunteering on this unique project, you will directly contribute to the marine conservation project and activities of the Marine Megafauna Foundation and work together with its world renowned scientists in the field of the ocean giants - manta rays and whale sharks.

Under the guidance of the world renowned 'Manta Queen', Andrea Marshall, you will participate in integral conservation initiatives and will help make a massive difference in marine conservation within the wider Indian Ocean region. As Andrea herself states:

ďAs a Volunteer with us, you will be exposed to the raw underwater environment and magnificent marine mega fauna, which makes Tofo, Mozambique, one of the most special marine habits on the planet! You will get to work closely with the Marine Biologists from the Marine Mega Fauna Foundation, and we have no doubt that you will walk away from this program with a wealth of knowledge and having contributed immensely to the on-going success and development of marine science in Tofoís wonderfully biodiverse waters."

Ultimately, volunteers will be involved in all of the Marine Megafauna Foundationís programmes. This will involve assessing the health of populations of manta rays, whale sharks, marine turtles (including critically endangered leatherbacks), dugongs and even humpback whales (during the winter months).

The Impacts of this Trip

Throughout your time on this unique conservation project, you will know that your are supporting the local community members of Tofo. Firstly, the accommodation where you will be staying, the Casa Berry Beach Lodge, was the first organisation to introduce diving to Tofo, and in proud association with Dr. Andrea Marshall, founded the Marine Megafauna Foundation. To this day, the Casa Barry are still one of the Foundationís chief sponsors and they provide all logistical operations to the Foundation. What's more, all of the staff employed are local to the area - this is something that the Casa Berry and the MMF consider really important.

What's more, as Tofo is quite remote and 500km from the nearest large city, there tends to be a lot more local delicious seafood and produce to eat. This in turn helps support the local fisherman and members of the community who rely on tourism to help support them in their livelihoods.


1 Reviews of Mozambique marine conservation project

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 10 Jun 2016 by

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

The opportunity to see and feel a different culture. Launching the boat into and out of the water

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

I was on doxycycline as malaria prophylactic and I had quite a few side effects and had to stop taking it at the time I was there I didn't see very many mosquitos and the dive shop is equipped with a nurse who can do a malaria test and they have the antibiotics if a person gets sick

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

In some way, I picked up a lot of garbage along the beach and our lodging and food was benefiting the local people

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

I was a bit disappointed I spent 4 weeks in Mozambique and didn't get to see any Manta Rays and we only got to see a whale shark for about 15 sec off the boat but I realize that it is nature and sightings can not be predicted
I expected to go out on the boat and do ocean safaris to look for whale sharks and that Andrea Marshall would be involved in the Manta Ray research as indicated on the website I didn't realize that we would join a dive outfit with tourists, I expected to go out on a "research boat"

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