You’ll be based at Ampijoroa Research Station in Ankarafantsika, Mahajanga Province. The station serves the 333,592-acre (1,350-square-kilometer) Ankarafantsika Protected Areas Complex, one of the last and largest tracts of dry deciduous forest in Madagascar. The area has more than 13 miles (20 kilometers) of well-marked trails through the forest that features tall baobab trees, stands of precious woods such as palisandre, and many species of orchid. Ankarafantsika boasts seven lemur species, including the acrobatic Coquerel’s sifaka, the rare mongoose lemur, and the nocturnal woolly, sportive, and mouse lemurs. A variety of bird, reptile, and amphibian species also inhabit the area.
Volunteers are guests living near a traditional Malagasy village. You may be invited to participate in village activities or ceremonies. The local people work extraordinarily hard to help this project succeed. A heartfelt “thank you” or “misaotra betsaka tompoko” is the best way of expressing gratitude for Malagasy hospitality.