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Madagascar Wildlife Conservation N.G.O. Internship

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Madagascar Wildlife Conservation N.G.O. Internship

Discover, monitor and assess the huge variety of Madagascar's exotic and rare species as you trek through remote regions of this hugely exciting island on a wildlife conservation internship.

Prices from US$2,895

The magical Island of Madagascar is famous for its bizarre wildlife, dramatic landscapes and unique ecosystems. Journey with us to northern Madagascar, a remote and mysterious land unlike anywhere else on earth! Places on this ancient, exotic island have vegetation and wildlife so strange that at times you'd even think that you were on another planet. Nothing is quite as it seems in Madagascar, with strange animals lurking almost everywhere you look.

Madagascar is home to all of the world's lemurs, with over 100 species currently identified and new discoveries being made seemingly each year. Madagascar also has a huge diversity of chameleons, including the world’s smallest and largest, many endemic birds and the spectacular fossa, a cat like carnivore which is actually related to the mongoose family. The landscape is also full of strange and unusual plant species, including bulbous baobab trees, exotic orchids and sprawling cactus, interspersed with pockets of lush riverine tropical forests and all combining to produce a varied and wild landscape of steep cliffs and volcanic massifs.

The Frontier-Madagascar wildlife conservation project is based on the 'scented island' of Nosy Be, famous for its vanilla, ylang-ylang and mangoes. The island is home to three species of lemur, the black lemur, Hawk's sportive lemur and Claire's mouse lemur, as well as six species of chameleon. Whilst on the wildlife conservation project you’ll discover the huge variety of Madagascar's exotic species as you trek through various regions of this hugely exciting island. Working alongside other dedicated volunteers, you’ll help to monitor the distribution and abundance of many groups of animals, assessing how they use their forest habitats and the important roles they play within the ecosystems. You will also help to evaluate the impacts that humans are having on the wildlife and the forests and will contribute to the conservation of this rich and special land.

Recovering from your trekking and bush camping with a day's resting, you will be able to relax on the Frontier beach camp at Nosy Be, where you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters and sunbathe on the fantastic white sand beaches.



  • Work alongside local Malagasy communities and experienced field staff
  • Help to preserve Madagascar’s abundant and unique biodiversity
  • Extend your field work experience in the wildlife conservation sector in this global biodiversity hotspot


  • CV required
  • Relevant academic qualifications required
  • Proof of work experience
  • Minimum 2 month placement


Location Madagascar
Activities Assessing the biodiversity, including lemur and chameleon species
Compiling species lists
Setting up trapsites
Leaf-litter surveys
Mapping of vegetation
Assessing human disturbance
Recording how local communities use their precious natural resources
Transport Airport pickup weekly on a Monday. Alternative start dates possible, additional £50 applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
Transfer to town centre and beach camp from Nosy Be Airport weekly on a Monday
Accommodation Communal beach camp



Before you go

Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)


Airport pickup weekly on a Monday. Alternative start date possible, additional US$85 applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
Internal ground transfers & in-transit accommodation weekly on a Monday. Alternative start dates possible
Project orientation and training
In-country emergency support

24-hour international HQ back-up



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.


Help conserve species found nowhere else on earth

The project's aims are to contribute to the current understanding of the local environment and help monitor the spectacular array of wildlife found here. Madagascar has been isolated for over 84 million years, creating a biodiversity resource of global significance, with over 80% of species found nowhere else on earth! Nosy Be's fauna ranks three species of lemur, including the diminutive mouse lemur (Microcebus), which is the smallest primate on earth. Reptiles include rare turtles, snakes, geckos, including the superbly camouflaged leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus), skinks and an array of chameleons.

There is spectacular bird life on the island, with the highest levels of endemism of any similar sized area in the world, as well as some elusive tenrecs – a group of small mammals that are incredibly diverse, filling niches in aquatic, teresterial, arboreal and fossorial environments and resembling everything from otters to hedgehogs.

Desertification & hunting

Madagascar's human population has doubled since 1960, leading to increased deforestation and overgrazing, which in turn has caused massive soil erosion and desertification. Only one tenth of the original forests remain and this situation is rapidly deteriorating as the human population continues to grow. The forests are cut down to provide nutrients and land for agriculture, as well as being used as hunting grounds in the more remote and poor communities.

Empower local Malagasy communities

You will be surveying the flora and fauna of the region through biodiversity surveys of mammals, birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians. You will learn about friendly Malagasy culture from working with local university students and you will interact with communities to survey their resource use and conduct environmental education days. This will enable you to evaluate the impact of human populations on the wildlife and help to develop ideas as to how communities can lead more sustainable lifestyles.


The main aims of the programme are to assess the biodiversity in this little studied area and compare habitat types suffering from different levels of human disturbance. Compiling a species inventory will involve carrying out extensive surveys of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in the surrounding forests. Behavioural studies are also carried out on the lemur populations. In addition, we will also be mapping vegetation and studying disturbance and resource use in the area to build up an accurate picture of how land use changes over time.

As an intern, you will have additional responsibilities which contribute to the overall running of the project, such as teaching species ID to new volunteers.

If this is your first time doing wildlife conservation work in the tropics, don't worry! It will only take a short while for you to feel totally at home on camp and confident with the science work. Although the work is intense you'll find that living in such a beautiful and inaccessible environment on the coast in between the ocean and the forest alongside friends who share your passion for conservation will be the experience of a lifetime as you develop your experience of field work.

You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages, usually between 18 and 25, although no age limit applies, and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field many of whom may have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.

This project looks to utilise skilled interns to develop and grow their experience along with the achievements of this project; please speak to a Frontier travel advisor for more information on the kind of skills and experience required of interns. A relevant degree is essential and some field work experience is necessary.


Volunteers arriving weekly on a Monday will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at Nosy Be airport. From here it's a short taxi or minibus ride from the airport to the centre of the vibrant town of Hellville. If you arrive before noon, you will transfer to your project site and be introduced to the Frontier-Madagascar programme on the same day. If you arrive later in the day, you will stay overnight at the Frontier volunteer house in town and transfer to your project site the following day. You will be welcomed onto camp by Frontier and introduced to the Frontier-Madagascar research and conservation programme. You will meet staff and receive initial project briefings, including an introduction to the work programme and to the field research techniques used, as well as being given health and safety lectures, so make sure your medical kit is complete and start reading your Safety and Medical Guides now.

When you are not camping or working out in the forest you will join the marine research team on the main beach camp for some well deserved relaxation and may even have time to enjoy some snorkelling off the shore. 

Independent travellers arriving on dates other than weekly on a Monday can arrange a separate airport collection at an extra cost of US$85 by contacting your volunteer coordinator.  


During the project you'll trek each day from the main campsite on the beach at Nosy Be, along with other Frontier volunteers and field staff, to various sites in the forest to conduct the field work. You will be fully ensconced in the local community and will enjoy an authentic and memorable living experience. The Frontier field camps blend in with the surrounding natural environments. Camps usually comprise a group of tents and shelters sometimes incorporating simple local dwellings made of locally available materials. Our beach camp will provide you with a special home during your stay. 

Life on camp is simple unsophisticated and fun. We believe that part of the excitement of journeying to a foreign country comes from immersing yourself with the local communities and living at one with nature.  In your beach-camp you will be cooking over an open fire: so prepare yourself for the simple, footprint less, unencumbered lifestyle!  When you are trekking away from the base camp you may stay on a "satellite camp" which may consist of a mosquito net pitched in a remote clearing. You will help run camp from day-to-day, taking turns collect firewood, purify water, and other essential camp maintenance duties.


Check out our Camp Tour video! 


Camp food is basic and nutritious and consists largely of rice, vegetables, beans and noodles, all of which are purchased locally in order to help support the local economy.

Luxuries such as chocolate, peanut butter and drinking chocolate must be imported from Helville the local town, so make sure you stock up before heading to the camp. You may be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to meet locals and enjoy local culture. On certain days the village women prepare local style meals which are offered to the Frontier volunteers for US$5/$5 a meal.

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The Frontier-Madagascar camp is great fun and in your spare time you'll have opportunities to swim in waterfalls and play football and beach / river volleyball against the mostly unbeatable local teams.  You can socialise, sit around the campfire, enjoy a traditional Saturday night themed camp party, play chess, poker, scrabble or backgammon or join in a camp quiz night. After a long hard day of trekking and working in the field you may wish to relax with a drink and sway in the camp hammock, if you've made one, chatting to your new friends under a tropical sky lit by a million twinkling stars, before drifting off to sleep to the exotic calls that fill a tropical night.

A range of adventure and cultural activities like visits to remote villages, dive trips and river rafting are available. Talk to our local staff teams to fix these with local providers and tour operators.

Scuba diving courses may be available (subject to availability of space and time constraints).

dive courses run monthly commencing on the first monday of the month

  • Single Day snorkelling off the boats US$17
  • Single Day Dive US$51
  • Double Dive US$85
  • 4-dive package US$170
  • 10-dive package US$340


  • Discover Scuba Diving US$110
  • Open Water Dive Course US$595
  • Advanced Open Water US$561
  • Emergency First Responder US$221
  • Rescue Diver US$595
  • Dive Master US$1,275

*Medical certificate is mandatory for participation in dive courses

Modern conveniences

Hellville - 1 hour boat journey at own cost

  • Attractions e.g. Lemurland, Donia Festival
  • Banks / ATMs; Bank of Africa, BFV-Société Générale, BNI-CL
  • Bars / cafes
  • Boats to the mainland & Boat Hire
  • Hostels and hotels
  • Internet cafe
  • Medical clinic
  • Nightclub
  • Pharmacy
  • Post office
  • Street food
  • Supermarket
  • Taxis to the rest of the island
  • Telecom office
  • Traditional markets
  • Western style restaurants
  • Western Union


8 weeks US$2,895

12 weeks US$4,045

20 weeks US$5,995

extra week US$345


Every Monday

Ideally flights to Madagascar and connections to Nosy Be (Fascene) should be arranged for this arrival date.


You can join this project for a minimum of 2 months

This project is available throughout the Christmas period


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pickup weekly on a Monday. Alternative start dates possible, additional US$85 applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
  • Internal ground transfers & in-transit accommodation weekly on a Monday. Alternative start dates possible
  • Local orientation & training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Nossi-Be (NOS)


  • 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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