We are a small nonprofit that engages local people in sustainable income-generating activities around protected forests, and we manage conservation at Sainte Luce Reserve in the southeastern part of Madagascar.
What We Need
Sainte Luce Reserve has a wide range of rewarding projects for helpful volunteers. The specific activities vary based on the season and needs, but all projects contribute to our mission to protect the coastal forest and its inhabitants. Mainly, we constantly work on habituation of our lemurs (doing lemur follows) enhancement of the forest (tree planting and nursery work), and mangrove planting. There are many other seasonal activities but you should be prepared for a hands-on experience.
Upon arrival, volunteers receive a list of projects and goals for their time at the reserve.
Almost anyone can volunteer at Sainte Luce Reserve and we will make sure that the work you do is appropriate for your level of experience, but don’t think that previous experience or knowledge is necessary. We have welcomed accountants, journalists, politicians, police, students, and free spirits. Everyone is welcome, and we look forward to learning from each other.
When & Who
What we Provide
All volunteers sleep in small bungalows that are shared between two volunteers. The bungalows include a mattress, mattress cover, sheet, pillowcase, solar light, and solar USB charger. Please note that we do not supply blankets so you need to bring a sleeping bag or buy a blanket when you arrive in the market.
Three meals per day. Due to the remote nature of the reserve, and Malagasy custom, food is mainly based on rice, with beans and other products that are easy for us to keep without refrigeration. The diet is mainly vegetarian but we always are able to provide vegetarian and vegan options.
Water is captured from a sealed well on site.
When you volunteer at Sainte Luce Reserve, you can take pride in knowing that your programme fees benefit conservation efforts and local communities, as well as supporting an excellent and safe volunteering experience for you.
Here is what is included:
Accommodation at the Reserve (VOLUNTEER HUTS) ✓
1-night at a hotel in Antananarivo ✓
1-night at a hotel in Fort Dauphin ✓
All meals on the reserve (B, L & D) ✓
Airport meet & greet & transfer to hotel (TANA SUNDAY 7AM-7PM) ✓ (please note there is a charge for meet & greet outside these hours)
Airport pickup (FORT DAUPHIN MONDAY) ✓
In-country orientation ✓
Transfers to and from the reserve ✓
24-hour in-country support ✓
So, we meet all day-time landing flights in Antananarivo on the Sunday before your volunteering and give you a bed in a small hotel near the airport on the Sunday night. Your hotel will deliver you back to the airport for the Monday flight to Fort Dauphin on the Monday. We pick you up at the airport in Fort Dauphin on the Monday, and give you a bed in a shared hotel in Fort Dauphin for the Monday night. Transfers and rooms for the two nights are included but please note we do not include any meals or drinks until your lunch on the Tuesday.
PLEASE NOTE: the provided pick ups and hotels are communal, provided twice per fortnight (1st and 3rd Sundays of each month), and only provided if you arrive in Antananarivo on the Sunday and Fort Dauphin on the Monday, if you make other arrangements, there is no reduction in price.
We are a volunteer-funded, nonprofit organisation and do not receive government funding. Our programme fees enable us to provide safe and positive experiences for our volunteers while preserving natural habitats and empowering local communities.
Costs vary and get a little less expensive the longer you stay. Please give us your dates and ask us for a price. Remember, volunteering is only and always Tuesday to Tuesday, starting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.
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More Services we Offer
We can assist with travel before and after your volunteering experience - our parent organisation is a licensed Tour Operator. We can arrange your domestic flights and any sort of adventure that you would like to do before or after your time with us.
Other Ways to Help
We always need batteries and solar equipment such as lights, solar powered power banks (external batteries) and head torches.
Additional Info about Us
Our team is there to manage and guard the reserve. Working directly with the volunteers is always at least one English-speaking guide / interpreter who is there to ensure the smooth integration of volunteers into our work plan.
Visa upon arrival at the airport is available for all nationalities. You need to have at least 6 months validity in your passport and €35 for 30 days or €60 for 60 days. Visas can be extended upon arrival at the police station up to an absolute maximum of 90 days.
Sainte Luce Reserve offers the ultimate ecological experience. Located on an island-like peninsula, the reserve is bound by the Indian Ocean and white sand beaches to the east and winding freshwater rivers to the west, with lush coastal forests to the north and south.
The wildlife reserve is situated on one of the last remaining coastal forests in southeast Madagascar and gives volunteers unparalleled access to this picture-perfect environment. Explore the array of habitats within the reserve – from mangroves and wetlands to littoral forests and open grasslands – and discover the incredible plants and animals that share our home.
Our remote location provides a tranquil environment that is perfect for volunteer holidays in Madagascar. The nearest neighbours are located a canoe ride away in the village of Manafiafy or 18km down the beach in Itapera.
Volunteer with Sainte Luce Reserve to experience the beauty of this unspoiled coastal forest paradise and protect it from future development.