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Mozambique Whale Sharks

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Mozambique Whale Sharks

In seas teeming with exotic, jewel-coloured wildlife, work closely alongside the ancient and mysterious whale shark, and help to preserve these gentle giants of the sea.

Prices from US$3,395

Mozambique – the word evokes images of pristine coastline, beautiful terracotta tiled towns and fascinating Arab influenced culture. However, there is much more to this unique country than being simply an idyllic holiday destination. As well as boasting a cultural heritage which is an unusual amalgamation of Portuguese, Asian and indigenous origins and traditions, Mozambique provides a home for a plethora of exotic wildlife. Its seas are teeming with life including sleek manta rays, jewel green turtles, dolphins, curious animals such as sea sponges and much more. However, perhaps its most appealing and certainly its most intriguing aquatic species is the wondrous whale shark. Vast in size and steel-grey in colour, they glide silently through the profound waters of the Indian Ocean, filtering algae and fish into their wide mouths. However despite their impressive physicality (they can grow up to 12.65 metres in length and often weigh the same as a small elephant), whale sharks have been described as gentle and even playful, and make ideal swimming companions. Sadly these elegant aquatic inhabitants are threatened for a variety of reasons. Help in the preservation of Mozambique's whale sharks as you explore this lesser known but hugely attractive destination and have a totally unforgettable gap year, year out or career break!


  • Explore the endless beaches & ancient towns of Mozambique
  • Help to protect the mysterious whale shark
  • Promote the welfare of these creatures


Location Mozambique
Activities Monitor whale shark numbers
Monitor loggerhead turtle nesting activity
Monitor coral reef conditions
Data collection
Tag adult loggerhead turtles
Transport Airport pick-up & drop-off
Varies according to project site
Accommodation Beach hut


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transfers to project
Project orientation
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
PADI Open Water dive qualification


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Mozambique's extensive coral reefs are damaged and in danger from total destruction from several directions. Climate change and subsequent rising sea temperatures damage the coral by affecting the enzymes that form the foundation of the reef – this process is known as bleaching. Consequently other species that live symbiotically with the reef also begin to die out. Coral reefs are not only extremely beautiful, but they sustain vast volumes of biodiversity and are essential for life on earth. Whale sharks are threatened by the same aspects that threaten reefs, in addition to accidental death from fishing nets, sound pollution, water pollution and habitat destruction. This project is vital to sustain and boost natural populations of these gentle giants of the ocean.


The key aim of this project is to monitor whale shark numbers and behaviour, along with loggerhead turtle nesting activity and coral reef condition, with the long term view of developing a strategy for the future coastal zone management. The project is split into three phases – with the first, main phase focusing on whale sharks. You will snorkel in the same waters as these magnificent animals, brushing up on your underwater photography and carrying out vital data collection. You may also encounter dolphin pods as they feed and play in the clear waters. The second phase concentrates on the overall conservation of the reef itself, which forms the vital basis for the multitude of complex food webs and therefore for the thousands of precious species which rely upon them. You will monitor the area alongside experienced divers who will provide extensive dive training up to PADI Open Water. Concluding your experience with the third phase you will patrol loggerhead turtle nesting sites and tag adult specimens, in order to discover more about the behavioural patterns of these threatened marine creatures.


You will be collected from Inhambane Airport in Mozambique. The whale shark research project moves following the whale sharks. The project site varies with the seasons and whale shark movements can't be predicted months in advance. You need to keep in touch with us after you've booked your place and definitely contact us before you book your flight.


Your accommodation will be in a clean and comfortable beach hut situated on one of Mozambique's fabulous pristine beaches, where you can spend your evenings relaxing in the idyllic surroundings and getting to know your fellow volunteers. Internet may be on offer at an extra cost subject to availability.


You will be provided with three delicious meals a day, except on Sunday, when volunteers cook for themselves. Dishes are based on locally sourced fresh food and your diet will consist of a variety of nutritious and delicious local specialities. Mozambique food is a fascinating fusion of flavours and elements, combining European and African influences. Some delicious dishes to look out for include sopa de feijao verde, which is string bean soup, matata, which is clam and peanut stew, and dishes cooked with piri piri sauce – watch out this means spicy!

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

Definitely a once in a life time experience!  | 19 Nov 2019
The location was unreal and the work we were carrying out was incredible to do! Being able to swi...

Read more

I had a whale (shark) of a time - thank you Frontier!  | 17 Nov 2019
As a lover of all things marine life related, this project could not have excited me more. Whale ...

Read more


Mozambique has an incredible array of activities to occupy visitors, many centring around aquatic sports, all of which can be booked with local providers. Try sea kayaking, sailing or a trip in a traditional dhow. Try Tofo beach and Barra beach for other land-based activities such as horse riding and for sightings of such creatures as the unusual dugong and the stunning manta ray. For those with an interest in local arts and crafts, travel into nearby towns to sample the wares at the colourful markets and maybe even take home a handcrafted souvenir.


4 weeks US$3,395

Extra week US$845


First Monday of every month from January to November



4 weeks and longer


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off
  • Ground transfers to project
  • Project orientation
  • Project equipment
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up
  • PADI Open Water dive qualification


Nearest airport(s): Inhambane (INH)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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