Volunteers are accommodated in communal locally built eco-bungalows equipped with beds and solar powered lighting. Volunteers are required to supply their own bedding. Each cabin can accommodate 6 – 8 volunteers.
Charging facilities for cameras, laptops and mobile phones are limited as we make use of a generator, so please limit the amount of electronic equipment you bring along. We encourage volunteers to bring solar battery packs for charging personal equipment as an alternative.
The onsite ablution facilities are modern and hygienic and are equipped with running water, basins, flush toilets and cold water showers.
Volunteers enjoy three meals per day prepared on site by a locally trained chef in the traditional Malagasy cooking method using fresh fresh, locally grown, seasonally available ingredients. Softdrinks, sweets and snacks can be purchased at the centre’s canteen.
In Madagascar the official currency is the Malagasy Ariary (MGA), which can only be exchanged in Madagascar. There are a number VISA ATMs located in Hellville which volunteers can draw cash from. We do however advise that you bring some Euro’s along with you.
Passport and Visa
All visitors require visas and a one to three month single entry visa may be obtained on arrival at the airport. We do recommend you check with the Consulate General as visa requirements can change at any time. A passport valid for 6 months after date of return is required. Please ensure you have at least two blank pages available in your passport before commencement of travel.
What to bring along
- Minimal clothing is required as dress is casual at all times. Do pack some light warm clothing for the cooler evenings.
- Sandals and walking shoes
- Sun block
- Insect repellent
- Bath & beach towels
- Bedding/Sleeping bags
- Personal items
Diving equipment for marine program volunteers
- Wet suit (if required)
- Underwater slate
- Diving torch
- Waterproof or dive computer
Health and Safety
- While Malaria is uncommon we suggest that you take the necessary precautions and consult your local doctor before travelling.
- Drink only bottled water when in town.
- We suggest volunteers bring their own personal travelling first aid kit along containing items such as antihistamine tablets/cream, plasters, dressings and tape, antibacterial/antifungal cream, etc.
- Travel insurance is always advisable when travelling aboard and is usually available when purchasing airline tickets by credit card. This is compulsory and needs to cover diving if you will be doing diving.
- There is no hyperbaric chamber readily available in Madagascar. Divers will always be strictly adhering to a recreational dive planner and diving within qualified limits.
- Nosy Be Airport is an international Airport with regular flights to and from France and Italy.
- The hospital in Hellville has the capabilities to cover essentials, such as suturing, parasitological tests and minor surgery. There is also a private hospital on the island and there are several private doctors on Nosy Be that can offer diagnosis and treatment of minor to moderate illnesses and injury. There is a fully equipped private clinic at Mahajanga as well as one in Antananarivo.
- WiFi / internet is available at some restaurants as well as at internet cafes in Hellville.
- Local cellular sim cards can be purchased almost anywhere and there is cellular reception throughout most of Nosy Be and Nosy Komba Island. There is also cellular reception at our research centre.
Malagasy is the official language, but French is also used in business and government and is widely spoken in the main cities in Madagascar. English is also widely spoken and is official language spoken at our centre.
- Boat transfers between our research centre and Nosy Be are available to volunteers at specified times.
- Nosy Be has a large number of taxi’s that can be used for getting around town.
- The centre has its own transportation for volunteer transfers etc.