SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme Internship Madagascar

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About

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme offers interns the chance to get involved in all aspects of conservation work in Madagascar; from Lemur Study to Reforestation Work, Environmental Education to Biodiversity Research - you’ll be an active member of a specialist team committed to preserving Madagascar’s threatened ecosystems.

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme is offered as an internship for those wishing to gain experience and/or credit for a college or university course. The major difference between whether you take the programme as an intern or a volunteer relates to the amount of mentorship and self-evaluation available to you during your time on the programme.

For Information about project dates, please visit our website.

Questions & Answers

Hi! No, we don't require our volunteers to speak Malagasy or French to take part in our programmes, although either would be beneficial! Our teams on the ground will speak English with volunteers, and there will be some language lessons during your orientation sessions. We encourage volunteers to learn some Malagasy greetings but do not expect anyone to know the language fluently.
Reforestation, environmental education and biodiversity research.

Reviews

97%
based on 25 reviews
  • Growth 8.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 25
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Philip
10/10

Amazing nature. Friendly people. Madagascar. Win.

I loved my time with SEED! The knowledge and passion of the staff is incredible and volunteering with an NGO in rural Madagascar is an unforgettable experience. As someone who is about to start studying biology at uni, I feel that this was the perfect programme for me - you learn so much about research and about the local wildlife. The diversity of the wildlife is mind-blowing. The lemurs and chameleons are great but there are also more varieties of frogs, spiders, snakes, dragonflies, geckos, snails, beetles, and grasshoppers than you can imagine. We even saw a baby crocodile!

The area is absolutely gorgeous. What I really loved was how you're made to feel part of the Sainte Luce community - the camp is right next to a small village where you can buy snacks and practice your limited Malagasy. If you're an adventurous person who loves nature and are considering volunteering with SEED, then do it!!! I stayed for 8 weeks but I wish I'd stayed for even longer.

Yes, I recommend
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Nessa
10/10

Wildlife, culture, scenery, dancing and friendships like nowhere else on earth.

I've volunteered with SEED Madagascar three times now, as a volunteer, a research assistant and to revisit my home in Sainte Luce, for a total of nearly 20 months. The variety of biodiversity research projects and experiences you'll encounter there is remarkable. The community and the conservation team are so warm and welcoming, so open to sharing their knowledge and culture and music, and the English and conservation students are so dedicated to learning, it feels like my heart is being torn out every time I leave. There is always more to come back for. This stunning place and truly awesome community are worth everything and anything we can do to support them into a wonderful sustainable future.

How can this program be improved?
The English class in Sainte Luce needs more support in terms of books and other teaching resources. The schools would benefit from a sponsorship programme, perhaps twinning with a similar sized town in another country.
Yes, I recommend
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Alexandra
10/10

10 week SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme Review

My time with SEED was unforgettable! There is no place like Madagascar and I was lucky enough to be immersed in the culture and collecting data on the diverse environment for a full 10 weeks. I had a chance to camp in the bush nearby local villages and interact daily with local children, lemurs, and geckos of all sorts. SEED is a wonderful organization and if you get the chance to volunteer for them- DO IT! The local staff is incredibly educated and friendly, and the international staff make you feel right at home. Camping in the bush is not easy, but I learned so much about the benefits of living a simpler life. Also, Madagascar is simply beautiful and the beaches are to die for! Your time spent with SEED will not be wasted.

Yes, I recommend
Nicola
9/10

An experience I will never forget!

I was a little worried that I was too old to volunteer in this programme, however the staff at SEED made me feel so welcome age wasn't an issue. I volunteered to teach English and again was worried as I hadn't been to university but had completed a TEFL course, and again there was no need to worry the TEFL course was all I needed. During my stay I met some wonderful people. It was the hardest but the best thing I have ever done. Its hard to see such poverty, however the people really appreciate what you are doing for their community and I can honestly say to anyone who is thinking about volunteering do it!

Yes, I recommend
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Alicia
9/10

A great way to experience working with an NGO

It is weird to say that I loved my experience here, because the experience included a stark view of the world; it is difficult to believe that the poverty of this country and its citizens can coexist in a world with other developed countries of affluence and wealth. However, I found myself completely immersed in the experience of understanding the complexities of these issues and excited to help with the current work. I really enjoyed my experience working in the Pioneer program and then participating in the Conservation program. Each program immersed you in a community and I was able to learn about Malagasy culture in a respectful, yet participatory way. You experience the poverty that you help to alleviate, and it is clear that you can see SEED's tangible impacts throughout the community.

Yes, I recommend
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Rachel
10/10

Conservation project Jan - Feb 2017

I had the most amazing experience with Seed Madagascar, the staff were all friendly and helpful and although living at the rural conservation project camp in Ste Luce was often challenging the support network between everyone there was incredible. I learned so much from talking to staff as well as when participating in the surveys being conducted at that time. Some of the most important things I feel my time at the project taught me however, were less academic and defiantly more personal. It taught me not to give up because the people of Ste Luce always managed to smile and laugh and get through the day no matter what was thrown at them, and also to appreciate what I have at home. After just 6 weeks I nearly cried when I came home and actually got to sleep on a proper bed, was amazed at light bulbs and switches, western toilets and food that did not contain rice! The last 3 things are actually in fact present in the town camp but as I spent 5 days there out of my 6 weeks and honestly enjoyed the rural camp more (spiders and all despite being at total wimp at home when it comes to them) I really did come to understand just how much I had taken for granted up until that point in my life.

In my opinion it is vital that more people do volunteering like this and I would recommend it to anyone. Westerners live in a society that takes many things for granted. Often life its self. Working in this part of Madagascar will be a harsh but seriously needed reality check for some people and I hope that they will accept the challenge to open themselves to how the rest of the world have to live, while also helping to improve things for local people and the environment while there. I have definitely come out of this experience a stronger and I believe a better person.

Yes, I recommend
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William
10/10

Wonderful experience and insight into conservation work

Volunteering with SEED Madagascar was an eye-opening and rewarding experience. I went
in order to gain experience of ˨eld conservation projects and learned a tremendous
amount. The other volunteers, staff and guides were friendly and helpful. They were most willing to share ideas and discuss conservation issues which was a tremendous learning experience.

The work was varied and interested. We did transects searching for lemurs, reptiles and amphibians and bats, as well as tree counts. It was a fascinating insight into the biodiversity of the region.

Camp life in St. Luce was bliss. It is a beautiful environment, the food was excellent and there was a friendly and warm atmosphere. I would highly recommend volunteering with SEED.

Yes, I recommend
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Hazel
10/10

Make the right choice and go with Seed Madagascar!

I've been back home now for the past 4 weeks, and I'm still missing Sainte Luce! Being out there for 4 weeks you get into a routine so it was sad to leave the people and the beautiful landscape and wildlife behind. I decided to do my dissertation research whilst I was there, and had great support from both the London and Madagascar offices in helping to organise it and the good working relationship that Seed has with the local people made it easy to find participants!

I also joined the surveys and was amazed at how close we were to the local wildlife population, with a forest fragment only across the road from camp, and frequent visits from brown lemurs trying to steal bananas! The Malagasy guides are very informative and friendly and seem to have a natural ability to spot wildlife from a mile away- even from a moving taxi! The programme was very flexible allowing you to choose what activities you participated in and more importantly giving you plenty of time to take photos!

Although the idea of staying in a tent for longer than a week may put you off, investing in a good camping mattress meant that honestly you couldn't tell much difference, whilst the food was varied and there were plenty of opportunities to change it up a bit, including buying lobsters for £5! I think if you are considering volunteering in Madagascar but are a little bit hesitant about travelling alone, it is worth it in the end and was a lot less scary than I was expecting. More importantly, I knew that the money I was spending was genuinely going to the projects. My only regret is not organising to travel more around Madagascar, but this gives me an excuse to go back!

How can this program be improved?
Possibly put volunteers in touch with Malagasy staff beforehand so that volunteers can organise to travel around Madagascar before or after the programme.
Yes, I recommend
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Fiona
10/10

Great program to volunteer on, whatever your age

Theres lots of stories & lots of memories! The people & scenery are fantastic, as is the wildlife. I should also point out that I am a little older than the usual volunteer (43) so if you are older, I would still recommend this. I will be going back anyway!

If you have a morbid fear of spiders, you're going to struggle as there are a lot! However, I was amazed at how beautiful spiders can be.

There were a couple of highlights though - walking back after a night transect towards the end of my stay, I still hadn't seen the infamous mouse lemur when about 100 yds from camp, I spotted the tel tale glow of eyes caught in my torch light & it slowly dawned on me that they weren't the wooly or dwarf ones we had been seeing on every night transect but much smaller. I initially thought that there were a few there then I realised that it was just one but moving VERY quickly! Good job he was quick really as we also spotted a snake in the tree trying to follow him! A few days later, Tsiriky or Hoobie came into camp & said that they had found a mouse lemur nest too which wasn't far away.

Then another day, we were out looking for seeds (for a reforestation project) when we spotted a tiny little iridescent gold frog sitting on one of the plants we were picking seeds from. none of the guides recognised it & so we took it back to camp for DNA testing (waiting for results)

One day the collared lemurs came through camp while I was chilling in the hammock. There must have been around 10 of them & one female came right down the branch to within 3 feet of me & hung there staring at me for a few minutes
Learning how to pin butterflies was pretty cool too

Then there was...

(apologies, I can't get any photos to upload for some reason, though I have loads!)

Yes, I recommend
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Sanne
8/10

Experience biological research

The most interesting about my stay, I found to see on how many ways you can do biological research. I have learnt a lot of it, it is not in my field of interest, but I think really important to understand how you can find out about the biodiversity. I found the azafady as organisation really respectful to the villagers and I had the idea we were going along with each other really well. Things we were doing, where birth spotting, pit traps, butterfly catching, PCQ and many more. I found it really special to live in a really basic place next to some small villages. Being really busy in the nature, every day walking and doing research. I was interesting to work together with all sorts of people of different background, different fields of interests and different countries. We had a antropologist, biologist, medicin and geogologist.

How can this program be improved?
I think in some way we lost a little bit the big line, why are we doing all this biological research? The reason is to conserve the forest. I think there are many more ways to conserve it, like more teaching to the villagers and birth planning. But also the most important think for me was to get the villagers less poor, so how can you do that hand in hand? You should give maybe more education, and also education about hygiene, healthy diet and diseases, more free health care and some way that they can get more work or money, by tourist coming to the forest, or more plantations or maybe even the mine company can give more work and better infrastructure. But who knows it keeps really difficult to help poorer country's.
Yes, I recommend
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Luke
10/10

Fantastic Experience

During my short stay at the Azafady camp and St Luce, I was treated to some incredible nature, a wide variety of activities, a brilliant social scene (football, cards and a few beers every now and then) and most importantly, genuine conservation opportunities that are really going towards helping the community and the wildlife.

The local community are very friendly and are pleased to have conservation workers there. Local understanding of the importance of conservation was obvious throughout the community and many members of the community now work for Azafady in order to help.

How can this program be improved?
Better food! The simple food was very much part of the experience however rice and beans every day did get a little dull!
Yes, I recommend
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Sam
10/10

Azafady Conservation Programme

This programme offered me a truly unique experience and has to be up there with one of my most enjoyable trips. The work I was involved with was incredibly interesting, rewarding but most of all thought provoking. The staff, volunteers and particularly the locals created a great environment to live and work in. I hope I get the opportunity to go back!

Yes, I recommend
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Bernhard
9/10

Madagascar Conservation Work

Madagascar is a very special place with many unique forms of life which are found nowhere else. It has been a great experience and a privilege for me to take part in Azafady's conservation programme in Sainte-Luce, to get to see and research some of the island's amazing wildlife. Of the many special moments I had, my favourite was seeing the brown lemurs on a moonlit night leap through the treetops.

Yes, I recommend
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M
10/10

If I'd know how good it was I'd have gone for longer.

You stay on the edge of St Luce, a small village in the rural SE of Madagascar. Tents are centered on a wooden long-house where meals are eaten and the hanging-out is done between trips in to the forest.

These forest trips range from half-hour bird surveys to a couple of hours following lemurs or conducting Herp surveys - all very informative and good fun. All in the most amazing forest surroundings with the ever-present chance of seeing something incredible.

All of the Azadafy staff, whether domestic or international, were very friendly and the organisation's relationship with the local community in St Luce make for a uniquely integrated experience.

The Azafady literature makes the food in the bush seem intimidating but it's actually fantastic, the cooks do a great job.

All-told, my only regret is that I didn't stay for longer. Although I highly recommend that you also leave time to travel the country after your volunteering is over. The guys in camp will give you some great advice.

Yes, I recommend
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B.
10/10

Go To Madagascar With Azafady!

Whether you are looking to gain valuable field experience to beef up your resume, or are just looking for a vacation off the beaten track, the Azafady Conservation Programme is for you! As an experienced field biologist I was looking for an experience that would allow me to both return to the field, as well as give something back to the local community. Having never traveled to Africa before, I was a little nervous about the trip in general, but Azafady was always quick to answer my numerous questions before my arrival, and ensured I was taken care of upon arrival in Tana (even though it was after midnight). I rented a tent from the organization, which withheld TERRIBLE rains in St. Luce. If you've ever lived in the field, the camp is what you would expect at a location with no power- bucket showers, latrine, cookhouse and a nice communal longhouse. Electronics can be charged for a nominal price. Daily schedule involves performing biological fieldwork sampling the many different species that Azafady is working so hard to preserve (lemurs, herps etc). You would never see many of these endemic animals as a tourist (as many are nocturnal and located off the beaten track). ALL the people that run the program are friendly, helpful, kind and genuine. This is truly one of the safest and most amazing ways to experience Madagascar- coming from someone that has worked in many forests around the world.

How can this program be improved?
More information as to how I can help after returning home, other than sending funds.
Yes, I recommend

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About SEED Madagascar

SEED Madagascar is an award-winning UK registered charity and Malagasy NGO dedicated to supporting the people and ecosystems of Madagascar, one of the most biologically rich but economically poor countries in the world. Our approach is one of co...