We offer throughout the year Missions d'Ecovolontariat to help us protect the Makay massif.
If you share our values and feel concerned about the causes we fight for, come and join us in the field ! Not only will you help protect biodiversity and provide better living conditions to remote communities, or live a moment out of time, make unforgettable encounters, observe wonderful animals and exercise yourself by exploring one of the most beautiful places on the planet, our ecovolunteer missions are made for you!
Why come with us ?
- Our missions allow you to discover Makay, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, accompanied by its finest connoisseurs.
- They ensure you will be able to watch several species of lemurs.
- They allow you to live a rare and beneficial disconnection and rejuvenation to the rhythm of nature and the songs of forest birds, an experience of intense and unforgettable life.
- They teach you a lot about nature, about Malagasy culture, but also about the environmental and societal challenges of developing countries, as well as about the daily life of a conservation association.
- They allow rich encounters and open the door to very strong friendships.
- They can be part of a stage if you are a student (see more details in the FAQ).
Or because you’re fed up with living outside the law ;-) Indeed, the charter of the environment in the French Constitution declares that the environment is the common heritage of humankind and that "everyone has a duty to take part in preserving and improving [it]".
Our missions make it possible to make a "useful journey": since 2012, the ecovolunteer missions carried out by Naturevolution have made it possible to finance a large part of our conservation activities and aid to the communities of Makay.
Where do we work ?
Since 2010, Naturevolution works in the Makay massif, located in the southwest of Madagascar.
How we work
Our projects in the Makay aim at protecting on the long term the natural environment of the Makay and developing ways for local people live better and in harmony with their environment. Some projects are carried out in the heart of the massif while others take place in the surrounding villages, a few hours' walk from the Makay canyons.
We offer 3 types of ecovolunteers missions, different times of the year :
- Solidarity and support to local development
These missions focus on environmental awareness, education, income-generating activities such as beekeeping (hive construction) and ecotourism, the creation of vegetable gardens and nurseries, waste cleaning, etc. These missions take place in or near villages. Learn more about our solidarity missions with local development.
- Citizen science
These missions aim to carry out, supervised by researchers, operations to monitor or inventory the biodiversity of Makay, to assist scientists in their work, even to carry out archaeological surveys or to improve the mapping of Makay. These missions take place from a fixed base camp established in the massif. Learn more about our citizen science missions.
- Scientific exploration
These missions are designed to search for missing cash or rarely observed, as well as an inventory of archaeological sites in the Makay. They take place when roaming in the mountains and we also improve our knowledge of the massive remote places and to keep a watch. Learn more about our scientific exploration missions.
On all our missions, at least two thirds of your time in the field will be devoted to projects. The rest will be dedicated to discovering the still largely unexplored paradise of Makay during trekking accompanied by our specialists.
To note :
- The definition of the actions carried out during these missions is not specified until two months before each mission: on the one hand because we adapt to the most urgent needs and the priorities of the moment, and on the other hand because it depends on the number of ecovolunteers registered.
- Naturevolution reserves the right to modify the order and list of actions to be taken during missions, until the day of departure, in order to adapt to needs and unforeseen events.
Because a few images are more than a long speech ...
How do we live on the ground?
- We camp under individual tents
- Volunteer work is done usually outdoor (or, in case of rain, which is extremely rare at this season, under large expedition tents brought by Naturevolution)
- We eat products bought in the capital, supplemented with local products offered by the villagers (depending on the season: mangoes, bananas, tomatoes, brèdes, sheep, turkeys, chickens, etc.). Everyone can participate in the preparation of meals and the dishes,
- We drink water from the rivers : the water comes straight out of the rocks, and we either filter it or boil it,
- A few beers and soft drinks can be found in the villages,
- Dry toilets and showers are set up in the forest.
This life in nature is relatively comfortable and above all a source of friendships and good laughs.
Who are the ecovolunteers?
All applicants, of any age (from 18 years old, or younger with parent/guardian consent), with any skill-set and nationality are welcome, without discrimination.
"Enthusiasm and motivation are all that matter."
No scientific background nor any diploma is required.
If you are a student, you can use your participation in our assignments as a study internship.
Some activities require a good physical condition, others call for being creative, and some ask for educational skills. Let us know your skills and your wishes and we'll do our best to offer activities that match.
The only requirements are that you are:
- checked by a doctor before departure to ensure good physical condition
- able to speak French or English
- smiling and pleasant to live
How long are the missions?
We favor 3-week missions
but also offer some rare shorter missions (2 weeks). And for more fun, meetings and adventure, it is possible to stay for up to 6 weeks!
This time is considered from Paris to Paris. Your presence on Malagasy soil will be respectively 13 days to travel 2 weeks, 20 days for travel 3 weeks or even 41 days for travel 6 weeks.
Be aware also that the lavish travel between the capital Antananarivo and the steep Makay can take only four days return when we go in northern Makay seasonally dry but can last much longer because of the runway conditions and the distance of the proposed work site. We prefer of course the shortest paths for the 2-week missions.
“Almost everything was new to me. Too many positive aspects to list them all, but among others the exceptional and preserved environment of human pollution, and the learning of resourcefulness. "
– Ecovolunteer testimony, avril 2019 (mission explo)
Find a description of the different types of mission in the paragraph How we work and a detailed description of the tasks on the corresponding pages: Support to local development ; Participatory science ; Scientific exploration.
Our missions are suspended for the moment due to measures related to the Covid19 epidemic. We will keep you informed of the situation on a regular basis. However, you will find all the dates for the year 2021 below. You can use the filters available to refine your search (for example, look for "August").
Development aid missions
|DEPARTURE FROM ANTANANARIVO||RETURN TO ANTANANARIVO||DURATION||TYPE OF MISSION||PRICE|
|January 2, 2022||January 21, 2022||3 weeks||Development Assistance||2 200 €|
Missions de science participative
|DEPARTURE FROM ANTANANARIVO||RETURN TO ANTANANARIVO||DURATION||TYPE OF MISSION||PRICE|
|January 2, 2022||January 21, 2022||3 weeks||Participatory science||2 500 €|
Scientific exploration missions
|DEPARTURE FROM ANTANANARIVO||RETURN TO ANTANANARIVO||DURATION||TYPE OF MISSION||PRICE|
- The departures of our missions are guaranteed from 4 participants.
- It is possible to participate in a combination of different missions and thus discover different aspects of our activities. For more information, please contact us via the form below.
Are you up for it? So Get in touch! !
|Mission / Duration||2 weeks||3 weeks||4 weeks||5 weeks||6 weeks|
|Scientific exploration||3 100 €||4950 €|
|Solidarity and Development Aid||1 600 €||2 200 €||2 700 €||3 100 €||3 500 €|
|Participatory science||1 850 €||2 500 €||3 100 €||3 550 €||4 000 €|
- If you sign up for 2, rates are reduced by 8%, and 12% from 3 persons (except for already reduced prices).
Distribution of the trip cost
Logistics costs include:
- Transportation *, meals, hotel accommodation;
- The on-site mission management team;
- The material necessary for the accomplishment of the mission;
- Prior organization that everything happens for the best during your stay.
* Please note that transportation is our main cost item because :
- the journey is long to reach the Makay and is therefore relatively expensive in fuel;
- the tracks are difficult, which obliges us to rent vehicles of very good quality and therefore more expensive + which almost always implies additional repair costs;
- For security reasons notably, we have to keep the vehicles with us for the whole duration of the trip, which increase the renting cost.
The management fees include:
- Monitoring and evaluation of the results and impacts of missions;
- Steps to promote missions;
- Administrative processing of registrations;
- Repatriation insurance and civil liability;
- Membership to Naturevolution.
The donation to the conservation program will partially finance:
- Salaries of project actors in the field throughout the year;
- Research and development of strategies and means of action that will ultimately safeguard the Makay as a whole;
- The travel of our teams necessary for the development of the project;
- Daily management and fundraising actions in France, essential to the success of the conservation program.
The cost of the missions does not include:
- International flight + airport taxes;
- Personal equipment (tent, clothes, shoes, sleeping bags, water bottle, backpack, headlamps, ...);
- Antimalarials and vaccines;
- The entry visa to Madagascar;
- Extra drinks and snacks, as well as souvenirs;
- Hotel accommodation and any other costs outside the official mission dates;
- Cancellation insurance
The full cost of your mission, including airfare, is défiscalisable up to 66% for an individual of 75% if you are subject to the IFI and 60% for companies.
All tax exemption information can be found in the ‘other questions’ section below.
Dreaming about it but broke? Think about crowdfunding!
We can assist you in your efforts to help you raise the necessary funds from those around you, your networks or organize fundraising events (craft sales, screenings, etc.).
To find out more, visit: Crowdfunding
How much cash should I budget?
There will be little opportunity to spend money there. Your main expense may be a coke or a beer after a long day in the sun. The costs in Madagascar are never too great. We believe that with € 10 per day when you travel and € 2 per day when you are on site, you will do very well.
Do i need insurance?
Repatriation and civil liability insurance for the entire duration of the mission will be automatically taken out for you with our insurer, MAIF, when you pay. But you can take out additional insurance if you wish.
Do i need a visa?
Yes, but this can be obtained simply upon arrival at Ivato Airport. For prices, see this page Madagascar consulate website.
How is the weather in the Makay ?
Madagascar is a huge island that spans multiple latitudes and altitudes, and weather and temperatures vary across the island. There are two main seasonal variations, the hot / humid season (November to March) and the dry season (April to October).
From June to September, in Makay, expect cool evenings, especially during bivouacs by the rivers. So plan on a good fleece and a decent down (0 or even -5 ° C comfort), or even a small cap.
How large will our group be?
Our missions include a maximum of ten volunteers. Sometimes we are much more numerous, in which case we distribute the groups over several different places and projects so that the experience lived in this wild natural space is always so intense. It also happens that we are much less numerous.
Is it dangerous to travel to Madagascar ?
Madagascar is a safe country to travel as long as you respect some rules of good conduct and common sense as in any other country. It is notable advised to avoid walking alone the streets at night in the cities. It is also best to avoid displaying signs of wealth like a smartphone or a camera.
You can also check the recommendations to ecotourists wishing to go to the Makay. These tips form the basis of the Ecotourism Charter for the New Makay Protected Area.
Can I arrive and/or depart outside the indicated dates?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to join or exit our missions once they have begun due to challenging transport logistics in this very remote region.
On the other hand, apart from the dates of the mission, you can very well stay in Madagascar and travel in the country on your own.
How can I be contacted?
Due to the remoteness of our field sites, telephone communications are not straightforward, so don't expect to be able to easily call your loved ones during the mission. However, part of the stay will be covered by the mobile network. On the security side, a satellite phone will always be present and we will use it in emergencies only.
What vaccination do I need for Madagascar?
According to the latest news, apart from the essential update of the DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-polio) vaccine, no other vaccine is compulsory. However, some are recommended such as the vaccine against typhoid fever. Before going on one of our missions, please consult your doctor or an approved travel health clinic, who are willing to give you more information.
What is the cancellation policy ?
Cancellation by the volunteer:
- if the cancellation takes place more than 2 months before departure, the cancellation will be free of charge and the volunteer will be reimbursed in full;
- if the cancellation takes place between 2 months and 1 month before departure, the deposit of € 800 will be withheld;
- if the cancellation takes place within one month of the departure, the volunteer will be ineligible for a refund and the totality of the payment will be retained, except in case of force majeure or proven medical reason.
Cancellation by Naturevolution:
- In the event of non-payment of the participation fee one month before the mission, the ecovolunteer reservation will be canceled and the deposit of € 800 retained;
- The sums paid will be fully reimbursed by Naturevolution in the event of cancellation of the mission for logistical reasons or due to other contingencies.
In fact, given the difficulty of access on site, Naturevolution reserves the right to cancel the mission, in particular in the case of force majeure, damage, or meteorological imperative, at any time prior to departure, without further obligation to reimburse fees paid to Naturevolution.
Such a cancellation doesn't entitle to indemnity. Therefore, Naturevolution asks the volunteer to take the necessary precautions (cancellation insurance, modifiable plane tickets) when booking flights to Madagascar, and will not accept any responsibility in case of extra costs incurred by the modification or the cancellation of transportation tickets for any reason whatsoever.
Cancellation risk insurance is recommended.
Is my trip tax-deductible?
To the extent that management fees and logistics (35% of total cost), and the plane ticket, help ensure the successful completion of your mission and that it aims to protect the environment, these costs are considered a gift. The remaining 65% are themselves purely a donation to our conservation program Makay massif.
The whole cost of the mission is thus deductible for your taxes up to 66% for an individual (capped at 20% of income), 75% if you are subject to the IFI (capped at € 50,000) and 60% for businesses (capped at € 10,000 or 0 , 5% of turnover excluding tax if this figure is higher).
So, for example, if you are an individual going on a 3-week mission and if you find a plane ticket for 1000 €, your mission will cost you, after tax deduction, only (2200 € + 1000 €) - 66 % = 1088€.
If you are not paying taxes this year or if your payment exceeds the limits mentioned, tax deductibility can be carried forward up to 5 years after the donation.
Student, can I do an internship?
We welcome you as part of an internship by signing an agreement with your training organization. You then agree to provide fieldwork that is clearly beneficial to the actions of the association, finalized by a mission report. In this case, we apply a special rate which will have to be established as soon as you have informed us of your dates and we can agree on the objective of your internship. From experience, we have noticed that the field internships have a real effectiveness from 6 weeks on site. This is the reason why we only validate files that meet this requirement.
Are you interested in going on an ecovolunteer mission with us?
If you wish to participate in one of our ecovolunteer missions, or if you have any questions before deciding, please complete the pre-registration form below. We will then get back to you as soon as possible to explain the usual progress of our missions, give you the procedure to follow before leaving, present you the details concerning the actions we are carrying out in the field, and answer your questions.
Responsible for ecovolunteer missions