Volunteer Conservation Eco-programme

Want to have a positive impact and travel to a tropical island paradise? Participate in our 2-week eco-volunteer conservation programme held monthly.

We combine a wide range of conservation based activities both at Ebony Forest and elsewhere on Mauritius, linking terrestrial, riverine and marine conservation. Your fun and action packed 2 weeks will have a lasting impact as you help save some of the most endangered plants and animals in the world, contribute to carbon offsetting, and long-term data collection to monitor the environment.

volunteer-eco-programme
OVERVIEW

Project length:
2 weeks

 

Arrival airport:
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU)

 

Dates of arrival:
The programme starts on the Monday of week 2 of each month. We receive volunteers from the Friday of week 1 as we realise that flights aren’t always available and sometimes you can get a cheaper flight.

 

Dates of departure:
The programme finishes on the Friday of week 3 and volunteers leave on the Saturday – Monday.

 

Impact value:
• Carbon offsetting
• Planting a native forest
• Saving endangered animals and plants
• Reducing pollution
• Contributing to long-term data collection
• Coastal mangrove restoration
• Marine monitoring
• Check out the impact of each day under a typical schedule

 

Age:
18 – 50 years old.

 

Important note:
please note that we do not accept families.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING

You will be expected to participate in the following activities following training and assessment:
• Assisting in bird ringing
• Mist-netting of birds
• Surveys of plants, invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals
• Bird monitoring
• Giant tortoise monitoring
• GIS mapping
• Native plant propagation
• Forest restoration activities
• Environmental education and community engagement
• Other plant, invertebrate, reptile, bird and mammal work

 

This list is not exhaustive and should you have a preference for a particular activity, please state so during our Skype chat.

WHO WILL YOU BE WORKING WITH

During your volunteer programme you will be working with the conservation team under the direction of Dr Nicolas Zuël and Dr Christine Griffiths. Your colleagues in the team, who will help train you in the different tasks have more than 5 years of experience in conservation in Mauritius. As well as working with a passionate and experienced team of Mauritian conservationists, you will also work alongside volunteers from all corners of the globe.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Accommodation option:
shared room in a field station at Ebony Forest Reserve

 

Food:
three meals per day

 

Airport pick up and drop off:
to and from Ebony Forest

 

Orientation and training:
in all the activities

 

Basic costs covered with accommodation:
such as electricity, water, gas, toilet paper

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights, travel health insurance, personal expenses, day visits at the weekends, additional accommodation beyond 14 nights.

A TYPICAL SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

Day 1, Friday/Saturday/Sunday:
Arrive at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU). You will be picked up by your guide and transferred to Ebony Forest Reserve. You will have the opportunity to stop at a supermarket. Orientation and welcome on arrival.
Sunday: welcome BBQ to meet all volunteers.

 

Day 2, Monday:
Volunteers will receive an introduction and meet the team, followed by a team orientation activity using compasses, landmarks and GPSs. The aim is to help you discover the site, get to know each other and promote team-building and communication skills.

 

Day 3, Tuesday:
Following breakfast, you will be fighting invasive alien plants! Learn how the locals do it using machetes, sickles and hand-pulling. In the afternoon, you will be meeting, measuring and observing the Aldabra giant tortoise weeders!
Impact: protect less than 2% native forest remaining in Mauritius from invasive plants.

 

Day 4, Wednesday:
A morning of planting endemic species in one of the forest restoration sites, followed by an afternoon of nursery work, where you may be collecting and cleaning seeds and seedlings, potting up, sowing seeds and more.
Impact: expand the native forest and propagate rare endemic species.

 

Day 5, Thursday:
The day will start with a hike to the Chamarel waterfall. There we will collect rubbish that accumulates at the entrance of a cave, and then spend time monitoring the resident Mascarene swallow population to contribute to a long-term study. The afternoon will be spent hiking along the river and doing wildlife observations.
Impact: reduce plastic pollution and wildlife monitoring.

 

Day 6, Friday:
After breakfast, you will be collecting data for our long-term bird survey looking for the endangered Pink Pigeon, Mauritius Kestrel, Echo Parakeet, Mauritius Paradise Flycatcher, Mauritius Grey white-eye, and Mauritius Bulbul. The afternoon will involve a hike to the Flycatcher forest, along the ridgeline and then an evening spent watching the sunset, before a night time hike back to the field station.
Impact: contribute to our long-term data collection on the bird populations.

 

Day 7-8, Saturday-Sunday:
we will be arranging various adventures to discover Mauritius.

 

Day 9, Monday:
We will kick start the week with a hike in the Black River Gorges National Park to do some bird and wildlife surveys, a swim in a river, lunch with the roti man and then visit the sacred lake and statues at Grand Bassin.
Impact: contribute to our long-term data collection on the bird populations.

 

Day 10, Tuesday:
An early morning start to go whale / dolphin watching, depending on the season. We will take this opportunity to discover either the beautiful west or north coast.
Impact: learn about the islands marine mammals and of course contribute to #trashtag

 

Day 11, Wednesday:
We will visit Ile aux Aigrettes, an island nature reserve, off the south-east coast, snorkel at Blue Bay Marine Park and survey the state of the coral reefs, followed by sight-seeing along the south-west coast (Gris Gris, Maconde)
Impact: learn about forest restoration, bird conservation and the impact of giant tortoises, as well as assess the impact of the coral reef

 

Day 12, Thursday:
It’s not all about Ebony. Today, you will be heading to the coast to do some marine survey transects by snorkeling. The afternoon will be spent planting mangrove plantlets and surveying their regeneration. We will of course take the advantage to collect some litter!
Impact: coastal mangrove restoration, #trashtag, and coastal quality surveys

 

Day 13, Friday:
As it is the last night, we will be having dinner and a party to thank you for all your hard work and wish you all the best on your next adventures.
Impact: conservation buddies and lasting memories

 

Day 14, Saturday/Sunday/Monday:
it’s home time. We will drop you off at the airport and say our farewells.

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

In most cases, you will be sharing a room at the field station. Each room accommodates 2 to 4 volunteers in bunk beds. There’s a kitchen, office, laundry room, a western-style toilet, hot shower, living room and veranda. Wifi is available.

 

The field station is located on site in close proximity to the Visitor Centre, where there is a first aid room.

WEEKENDS

During the weekend, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Mauritius. We organise the following at additional fees:

 

Water activities:
Sea kayaking or stand-up paddle board to either Ile aux Benitiers or Ile d’Ambres. Discover the coast.

 

Catamaran trips:
to Ile aux Cerf, Flat island or Gabriel island.

 

Cultural tours:
to Port Louis.

 

Zip lining:
for the adventure seekers

 

Tours:
of the south coast including tea plantations and La Vanille Nature Park

REQUIREMENTS

Please take note of our minimum requirements:
• Basic English or French
• Happy to live in shared accommodation

HIGHLIGHTS

• Work alongside professionals and develop a wide range of practical field experience and skills in fauna and flora conservation, which will help you boost your future career, whether it be in conservation or not.
• Experience the island’s amazing wildlife and some of the most threatened species in the world: watch as a Pink Pigeon fledgling leaves its nest or Paradise flycatchers feed their young.
• Live on a forest reserve, watch amazing sunsets, cuddle some giant tortoises and know your travels have a lasting impact.
• Make lifelong friends and have an amazing and unique adventure amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
• Waterfall hikes, river swims, bird monitoring, planting, weeding and more

Small acts

of Kindness can
go a long way

CONTACT EBONY FOREST TO FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE, AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OUR MAURITIAN WILDLIFE…