Whale shark conservation

Project name:

Madagasar Whale Shark Project (MWSP)

Project purpose:

Since 2015, our team has conducted annual research and conservation work during the whale shark season in Nosy Be (Madagascar), from September to December. The core elements of MWSPs research include monitoring the presence of whale sharks, as well as conducting in-water behavioural surveys and tourist compliance surveys in the area. We also work closely with the local community by conducting capacity building activities and encouraging sustainable practices.

Project activities:

  • animal interaction
  • community awareness
  • data collection/analysis
  • teaching
  • scuba diving

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration
  • field research skills
  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:

  • development goals (supporting local community)
  • publishes work


Shared or single bedrooms with a shared bathroom

When does the project run?

September to December


accommodation included, food included, electricity, local shops, refillable drinking water, western toilet, wifi

How long can I stay?

18 days or 22 days


  • At least 18 years old 
  • Minimum commitment of 3 weeks
  • Fluent in French & computer skills 
  • Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills and ability to free-dive
  • Physically fit enough to spend several hours a day on a boat and/or in the water, frequently in rough conditions and current 
  • Ability to live closely with a small community and respect their culture 
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Comfortable living in a shared home and in a remote setting with extremely basic amenities 
  • Strong work ethic with a willingness to work long and sometimes irregular hours if necessary 
  • Strong interest in marine biology, research and conservation

Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

What are you going to learn?
• Training in photo-identification of whale sharks
• Training in data collection for marine megafauna
• Training in GPS data collection
• Training in data recording
• Field experience
• Participating in a program to raise awareness of whale shark approach rules among tourists.
• The opportunity to become more involved in a conservation project on a daily basis

Reviews & ratings



Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday



It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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