by Cara MacDonald, Blue Ventures volunteer, Madagascar

The two weeks I have been volunteering in Andavadoaka have flown by and we have managed to do so much already!

In our first couple of days we traveled via pirogue to Lamboara. We spent the day counting spider tortoises as part of one of the conservation projects. It was amazing, specially when me and my group found a 36 years old tortoise, the oldest ever recorded in the region.

Cara getting friendly with some of the 'locals'

After Lamboara we started diving. In a few days I had done confined and open water dives, achieving my first diving qualification.

Whenever the weather isn’t ideal to dive, the staff prepares alternative activities, which are also very exciting. We’ve already been to the iconic Baobab Forest and snorkeled at the nearby islands.

The whole expedition is turning out to be a great experience and I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks.

By Maria Ranohatra, Blue Ventures Indopacific Scholar, Madagascar

I am delighted that I had the opportunity to join an expedition with Blue Ventures. As a Malagasy, I was able to discover more about my own country and the communities who live in this area. I was touched by the friendliness of the people, while becoming more familiar with conservation and economic development issues. Indeed, it is encouraging to see increased environmental education and other incentives that Blue Ventures has been able to facilitate here. The community-based sea cucumber farming incentive is particularly a memorable experience to me as I could spend some time with the farmers and share their excitement as they were harvesting.

Maria at the sea cucumber pens

Posted by Guest author

We regularly invite guest authors, including expedition volunteers, independent researchers, medical elective students and former staff to contribute to the Beyond Conservation blog.

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