Ecovolunteering in Madagascar

We offer Ecovolunteer Missions throughout the year to help us protect the Makay region.

If you support the values and causes we stand for, if you want to help preserve biodiversity and improve the quality of life of isolated populationsor experience a moment out of time, make unforgettable encounters, observe marvellous animals and expend your energy exploring one of the most beautiful places on the planet, our ecovolunteer missions are made for you!

Ecovolunteers in the Makay
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Why choose to travel with us?

  • Our missions allow you to discover the Makay, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, accompanied by its finest connoisseurs.
  • They guarantee the observation of several species of lemur.
  • They offer a rare and beneficial opportunity to disconnect and recharge your batteries to the rhythm of nature and the songs of the forest birds, an intense and unforgettable life experience.
  • You’ll learn a lot about nature and Malagasy culture, but also about environmental and social issues in developing countries, and about the day-to-day work of a conservation association.
  • They provide the opportunity for rich encounters and open the door to strong bonds of friendship.
  • If you are a student, you may be able to use them as an internship.

Or because living illegally weighs too heavily on your conscience ;-) Indeed, the environmental charter in the French Constitution states that the environment is the common heritage of all human beings, and that “everyone has a duty to participate in preserving and improving the environment”.

Our missions allow us to make a “useful trip”: since 2012, Naturevolution’s ecovolunteer missions have enabled us to finance a significant part of our conservation activities and aid to Makay communities.

Scientific exploration in the Makay massif

Where do we work?

Since 2010, Naturevolution has been working in the Makay massif in south-west Madagascar.

Map of Makay in Madagascar and around the world

What do we do?

Our work in the Makay aims to protect the Makay’s natural areas in the long term and to develop ways for local populations to 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, just a few hours’ walk from the Makay canyons.

We offer 2 types of ecovolunteer missions, at different times of the year:

  • Solidarity and local development aid
    These missions focus on environmental awareness-raising, education, income-generating activities such as beekeeping (construction of beehives) and ecotourism, the creation of vegetable gardens and tree nurseries, waste clean-up, etc. During these missions, you will devote at least two-thirds of your time in the field to the association’s various projects, mainly in or near villages. They also provide an opportunity to discover the largely unexplored heart of the Makay on trekking tours lasting several days and accompanied by our team and the best local trackers. Find out more about our local development aid missions.
  • Participatory sciences / Ecological monitoring / Exploration
    These missions, which enable us to improve our knowledge of the massif, its biodiversity and the history of its human settlement, aim to carry out monitoring or inventory operations on the Makay’s biodiversity, or archaeological prospecting or mapping of the Makay, all accompanied by our ecoguards, the best connoisseurs of the massif, but also regularly by scientists. These missions mainly take place from one or two fixed base camps set up in the heart of the Makay, but they can also be roamed around the massif. For a few days, they also offer the opportunity to discover and share in the life of the locals in the surrounding villages. Find out more about our participatory science science and exploration missions.

Please note:

  • Our missions are not tourism, so they don’t have a fixed program specifically designed for you. As an ecovolunteer, you will support the day-to-day activities of our teams.
  • The list of actions carried out during these missions can therefore only be communicated to you a few weeks before departure, as we adapt to the schedule of our teams, to the most urgent needs and priorities of the moment, and finally, to the number of registered ecovolunteers and the season.
  • Naturevolution reserves the right to modify at any time the order and list of actions to be carried out during missions in order to adapt to unforeseen needs and events.
The hut built by Naturevolution's ecovolunteers in the Menapanda forest.
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Because a few pictures are worth a thousand words…

How do we live in the field?

  • Our camps are in personal tents,
  • The work is generally carried out outdoors (or under large expedition tents provided by Naturevolution in the extremely rare event of rain),
  • We eat produce bought in the capital, supplemented by local produce offered by the villagers (depending on the season: mangoes, bananas, tomatoes, breeds, sheep, turkeys, chickens, etc.). Everyone can take part in preparing meals and washing up,
  • We drink river water, but you can filter it easily. As for cooking water, we systematically boil it,
  • A few beers and soft drinks can sometimes be found in the villages,
  • Dry toilets and showers are available in the forest.

This life in the wild is relatively comfortable, and above all a source of friendship and good laughs.

Ecovolunteer camp in the Makay
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Who are the ecovolunteers?

We welcome applications from people of all ages (from 18 upwards, or younger if parents agree), all skills and nationalities, without discrimination.

“Only desire, enthusiasm and motivation count”.

No particular scientific background is required, and no diploma is a prerequisite.

If you are a student, you can use your participation in our missions as a study placement.

However, some field activities require good physical condition, others call for creativity, and still others require pedagogy. Simply let us know what your skills and interests are, and we’ll do our best to suggest activities that match them.

The only requirements are that you are :

  • checked by a doctor before departure to ensure good physical condition
  • able to speak French or English
  • friendly and pleasant to live with
Ecovolunteers and Makay villagers
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

How long do missions last?

We prefer 3-week assignments

but we also offer a few shorter assignments (2 weeks). And for even more fun, you can stay as long as you like within the maximum duration of your tourist visa (2 months, extendable by 1 month)!

These times are considered from Paris to Paris. Your presence on Malagasy soil will therefore be 13 days for 2-week trips, 20 days for 3-week trips, 41 days for 6-week trips, etc., respectively.

The sumptuous journey from the capital Antananarivo to the Makay massif may take just 4 days round trip when we visit the northern Makay in the dry season (between May and October), but it can also take considerably longer due to the state of the tracks and the distance from the planned work site (especially in the rainy season). We naturally prefer the shortest approaches for 2-week assignments, to optimize your time on site.

“Almost everything was new to me. Far too many positive aspects to list them all, but among them the exceptional setting, untouched by human pollution, and learning to be resourceful.”

Ecovolunteer testimonial, April 2019 (mission explo)

Makay Lemurs
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Mission dates

You’ll find a description of the different types of mission in the What we do section and a detailed description of the missions on the corresponding pages: Helping local development; Participatory science / Exploration.

Find out more about our upcoming dates below. You can use the filters to refine your search (for example, search for ‘August’).

Please note:

  • TAX EXEMPTION (for French people only) :
    • The entire cost of your mission, including airfare, is tax-exempt up to 66% for individuals, 75% if you are subject to the IFI, and 60% for companies.
  • DISCOUNTS :
    • You’ll also benefit from a 15% discount if you sign up for one of our 2024 missions before October 31, 2023.
    • If you register with 2 people, rates are reduced by 10%.
    • If you register with 3 or more people, rates are reduced by 20%.
    • If you have already taken part in a mission with us (in Madagascar or Indonesia), you will benefit from a 10% discount. If you’ve already completed 2 jobs, the discount rises to 20%.
    • These discounts are not cumulative, the discount applied will be the most advantageous for you.
  • PROMOTIONS :
    • We also sometimes offer last-minute promotions to increase the number of registrations and guarantee the departure of our missions. Please note that these promotions are not retroactive, i.e. they do not apply to people who registered before the promotion was introduced. People who decide to cancel their registration and re-register in the hope of benefiting from the promotion will be denied this opportunity.
  • POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF MISSIONS:
    • You can take part in a combination of different missions and discover different aspects of our business. To find out more, please contact us using the form below.

Are you in? Then contact us!

Nursery seedlings and tree planting are among the projects open to ecovolunteers.

Breakdown of trip price

Breakdown of ecovolunteer prices
Ecovolunteers crossing a flooded Makay canyon
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Crowdfunding

Are you dreaming about it but short on cash? Think crowdfunding!
We can help you raise the necessary funds from your friends and family, your networks, or organize fundraising events (craft sales, screenings, etc.).

To find out more, click here: Crowdfunding

Part of the ecovolunteer trip will be dedicated to discovering the Makay.
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Other business

Ecovolunteer in the Makay
Evrard Wendenbaum / Naturevolution

Interested in volunteering with us?

If you would like to take part in one of our ecovolunteer missions, or if you have any questions before deciding, please fill in the pre-registration form below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible to explain how our missions normally run, give you the steps to take before you leave, present details of our actions in the field, and answer any questions you may have.

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Your contact

Tojo Rabefaritra
In charge of ecovolunteer missions