Madagascar is unique and one of the most fascinating yet least-traveled areas of Africa. The sheer diversity of this ancient island is astounding, from the people to the geography, climate, architecture and wildlife. Brimming with endemic fauna and flora, Madagascar's ecological importance is unrivalled anywhere else in the world. Roughly 80% of the island's plant and animal species are found nowhere else on earth and as such Madagascar has been recognised as one of the planet's top conservation priorities.
Whilst biologically rich, Madagascar is economically one of the poorest countries on earth. Over 70% of the island's population of 18 million people live on less than 1 US dollar a day. Extreme poverty poses an enormous and ongoing threat to the island's staggering biodiversity, not least through deforestation caused by slash-and-burn agriculture. Many unique species have already been lost whilst many others, some of which may be yet un-described by science, face extinction.
Volunteers will be living, working and travelling amongst some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Madagascar. Fort Dauphin in the southeast of the country, where the NGO is based, has beautiful beaches and is in close proximity to some of Madagascar's famous nature reserves. Projects take place both within the town and in the surrounding rural area.