Escape to Madagascar – the “8th Continent” - that is home to some of the world's most spectacular and least explored dive sites. The crystal clear waters host a dazzling array of pristine marine habitats and support a huge diversity and abundance of marine creatures.
The vivid multi-coloured corals and luxuriant sea grass beds provide rich feeding grounds for an extraordinary array of colourful reef fish, rays, sea urchins, anemones, octopus and even sea turtles. Whilst barracuda, sharks, dolphins, migrating whales and shoals of pelagics cruise the deep blue waters offshore. You can explore this exquisite, untarnished underwater world as you work on the island of Nosy Be. Meaning ‘Big Island’ in Malagasy this location certainly lives up to its name.
The PADI Divemaster is the first step in becoming a scuba diving professional. At this stage Divemasters are allowed to conduct scuba reviews, lead dives, perform the second dive of discover scuba diving course and assist instructors. The Divemaster course takes an average of 3 months to complete, although an intensive rapid 2 month course is possible. With a 3-month internship students have the opportunity to take on their own personal project collecting data from the Marine Conservation survey sites. Additionally, three months affords students the time to build up dive numbers and confidence in the water.
Learn to become a PADI professional with the stunning backdrop of Madagascar. This will be your first step into a diving career. It will give you extensive hands on experience of training, equipment maintenance, leading dives and handling a variety of diving situations. You will become a revered member of the project, managing dive timetables and supervising daily boat expeditions. On completing your Divemaster you will have the ability to deal with issues whilst diving, making you more visually aware of the divers around you and potential hazards.
Whilst completing your Divemaster qualification you will discover and chart extensive coastal areas, record healthy populations of fish and coral cover, and learn to identify a wide range of intertidal creatures from tiny Hermit Crabs to sparkling sea anemones. You will discover lush mangrove forests; the unique ecosystem which straddles the land and the ocean. You'll learn how artisanal fishing communities live and utilise the rich marine resources. You will discover which groups of marine organisms are being harvested sustainably and which are being over exploited or hunted to extinction.
Your days will be eventful; the work will be challenging, rewarding and fun. Your discoveries will be of huge benefit to the conservation of these fabulous coral reefs and you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have helped protect these precious natural resources for future generations whilst gaining a professional qualification.
The results from your investigations will supply vital information on the Malagasy coastline to enable the sustainable management of natural resources in the region and the protection of the marine wildlife.
Helping to preserve Madagascar’s marine and coastal biodiversity
Collect data from some of the world's best dive sites
Obtain your Divemaster qualification whilst assisting the project Dive Officer
Make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories, photos and memories
Extend your experience of tropical marine and coastal zone conservation field work
Minimum 3 month placement
Relevant academic qualifications
Some experience of coastal zone or marine field work
18 years of age
40 dives logged and PADI Rescue Diver qualification. It is possible for novice divers to be an Intern, who can amount dives during their time on the project. This will include completion of Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Responder and the Rescue Diver course (extra costs apply).
Physician sign off – medical health check
Diving regularly (weather permitting)
Locating, mapping and studying the coral reefs
Underwater visual censuses of reef and commercial fish
Assessment of algal and coral cover
Line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species
Record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Study the impact of potentially destructive fishing methods on the corals reefs
Study the effects of global warming on marine communities
Assist with diving courses, Open water, Advanced and Rescue Diver.
Learn how to lead dives including briefings, kit set up and responsibility of the dive group
Basic knowledge of scuba equipment maintenance
Use and maintenance of compressors
Airport pickup each Monday of the month. 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 each Monday of the month
Communal beach camp
Before you go
Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)
Airport pickup every Monday of the month. Alternative start dates possible, additional US$85 applies for pickup, please speak to an adviser
Transfer to town centre and beach camp from Nosy Be Airport every Monday of the month
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
Vocational qualification diploma or certificate in Tropical Habitat Conservation available
FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, compressor, weights
PADI manuals and PICs (PADI Professional Membership Fees not included)
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.