Visit Reef Doctor.Org's website to learn more about their programs abroad
ReefDoctor is a UK-based, not-for-profit, Marine Conservation organisation conducting marine research, implementing management principles, community awareness, school education and alternative livelihoods work. All with local Vezo fishing communities who live off the marine ecosystem of the Bay of Ranobe, SW Madagascar -part of the 3rd largest coral reef system in the world.
Our organisation adopts a holistic approach to undertake conservation of their ecosystems, working with local fishing communities providing education, socio-development, management and alternative livelihood initiatives, directly involving these people in the sustainable management of their marine resources so that they can become successful stewards of their own environment securing their own future and culture.
I stayed 5 weeks with reefdoctor and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. The work they do and how much they help the malagasy community is...Read more
I stayed 5 weeks with reefdoctor and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. The work they do and how much they help the malagasy community is impressing! You can feel the difference that they are making and that YOUR work is very appreciated there. I've learnt a lot of interesting facts about the whole sea ecosystem, fish and corals, and really enjoyed all the presentations I had.
Even if you are a beginner in scuba (as me) you can help out in many things after just a short period of training. I always felt very safe and looked after during my dives, you never dive alone and especially in the beginning of your course your dive trainer always keeps eye-contact with you. Also most of the people you dive with are certified rescue divers, therefore if you faint or are about to drawn; don't worry.
But Reefdoctor is not just about diving! You can help out in the seaweed and sea cucumber farm, help teaching English to the kids, cleaning coral (which was one of my favorite activities) and lots of other stuff. The free French and Malagasy lessons twice a week and the occasional cooking classes were adorable. There was always a lot of stuff to do and I never got bored.
If you decide to go, bring some hand disinfectant as they have no running water in this region (but 2 nearby cities do, and lots of nice restaurants and cool places to go out as well!). We had 3 hrs of electricity per day, which is totally sufficient. The food is basic but good. The only thing they could improve, is their breakfast which wasn't very nutritious. There is no fridge but you can buy eggs in the nearby village and cook your own breakfast. The huts you sleep in are sweet and the beds are comfortable. Also there are guards at night, although there is not much criminality in this area.
And the best part: the dive sites are FUCKING INCREDIBLE! You usually have 2 dives a day which is awesome and burns lots of calories as well. People there are amazing, can't wait to see them again!