Tanzania Whale Sharks and Turtles
Where: Utende, Mafia Island, Tanzania
Focus: Monitoring whale sharks and turtles
When: All year round | Project starts 1st and 3rd Monday of every month – alternative dates at request
Marine life seasons:
- Whaleshark monitoring between November and January only
- Sea turtles nest from April to July, with eggs hatching between June and August
Duration: 1 to 20 weeks
Suitability: Over 18s. Group bookings available
Cost: The cost gets cheaper the longer you stay – available here.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Help to monitor and conserve coastal sea shore environments and rare marine life.
- Conduct surveys on the whale shark population (November – January), and promote the welfare of these creatures.
- Contribute towards an educational/awareness programme on whale sharks with local fisherman and tourists .
- Play an active role in the conservation of sea turtles by patrolling the beaches.
- Witness the nesting process and watch young turtles hatch and scurry their way to the sea.
- Learn to identify hundreds of species of reef fish, corals and invertebrates.
- Become an experienced and competent snorkeler.
- Swim and snorkel from the beach camp and explore the local reefs, recording observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
- Study the impact of fishing on the coral reefs and local whale shark populations
- Survey, map, and record important marine habitats such as seagrass meadows and mangrove forests.
- Swim with dolphins, rays and turtles and possibly spot migrating humpback whales..
- Survey and report the effects of global warming on coral reefs.
- Discover Swahili culture by taking part in environmental education days in the local schools and community groups and awareness raising activities with tourists visiting Mafia Island.
Dive Training: Volunteers have the option of learning to dive, or taking a dive course.
PADI Certifications: Open Water, Advanced Open Water, EFR, Rescue, Divemaster.
Divemaster Internship: Available for a min. 3 month stay.
Accommodation: Volunteers stay at Frontier’s simple beach camp made up of communal bandas, huts made from makuti (woven palm leaves), poles and mud. Shower with a jug or a bucket of water. Occasionally, volunteers travel to a remote survey site and stay in a ‘satellite camp’, usually a mosquito net pitched on a beach.
Sleeping: Beds constructed from wooden poles.
Food: 3 healthy meals a day, cooked over a charcoal stove. Volunteers share the cooking duties on a rotational basis.
Support: 24-hour in-country support; International HQ emergency support and back-up; UK residential briefing weekend available.
Transport: Airport pick up and first night hostel accommodation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania can be arranged for an extra fee.
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