WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
Volunteers arriving weekly on a Monday will be welcomed by a Frontier representative at Nosy Be airport. From here it's a short taxi or minibus ride from the airport to the centre of the vibrant town of Hellville. If you arrive before noon, you will transfer to your project site and be introduced to the Frontier-Madagascar programme on the same day. If you arrive later in the day, you will stay overnight at the Frontier volunteer house in town and transfer to your project site the following day.
On arrival at camp, you will meet the staff, receive some initial briefings, including an introduction to the science programme and techniques used, as well as health and safety lectures, so make sure your medical kit is complete and start reading your safety and medical briefs. The transfer from Nosy Be to the Frontier camp is by small, wooden boats and depending on the weather both you and your kit will get wet so make sure you have sufficient dry bags to waterproof all your belongings and something to waterproof yourself!
You will be transferred back to the town of Nosy Be at the end of your project from where you can reach the airport or start your onward independent travel.
Independent travellers arriving on dates other than weekly on a Monday can arrange a separate airport collection at an extra cost of $85 by contacting your volunteer coordinator.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
During the project you'll live in the beach camp in the village of Ambalahonko on the island of Nosy Be alongside other Frontier volunteers and staff. We aim to provide you with a unique and memorable living experience. The Frontier camp was constructed by Frontier volunteers working with local craftsmen, using traditional building techniques and locally sourced environment-friendly, building materials. The camp, which is situated in a clearing on the beach, has been designed to blend harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Camp life is very simple, unsophisticated and fun.
You will be staying in simple communal local style dwellings, known as "bandas", your "shower" will be a jug or a bucket of water and you cook over an open campfire, so prepare for the basic, virtually footprint less, unencumbered lifestyle! When you are trekking away from the base camp you may stay on a "satellite camp" which may consist of a mosquito net pitched in a remote clearing. You will also help run camp from day-to-day, taking turns to collect firewood, purify water, and undertake other essential camp maintenance duties.
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
Food on camp is simple and nutritious and consists largely of locally sourced fresh vegetables and fruit, rice, beans and noodles, all of which are purchased from nearby communities, thereby helping to support the local economy. Luxuries such as chocolate, peanut butter and drinking chocolate are only available in the main town, so make sure you stock up before heading to your field camp.
Part of your role on camp will be to help with the cooking. Creating spectacular meals over an open campfire or baking bread in the campfire oven will become second nature, so get your cookbooks out now and start thinking up recipes! The local villagers sell homemade delicacies every day just outside camp, including banana macari, fresh bread, meat and veggie sambos. You may also be invited to local feasts and festivals – a great way to meet locals and enjoy local culture. On certain days the village women prepare local style meals which are offered to Frontier volunteers for a small extra cost.