Madagascar Expedition 2 – 18th June to 30th June – 2 weeks (2 weeks terrestrial)


This price represents a 20% deposit of the $1,900 expedition fee. Please see the dates and prices page on for a list of what is and isn’t included, and the terms and conditions page for payment and cancellation schedules.


Product Description

This expedition is designed to give you a brief overview of what a field research site is like. You will complete MA001 before moving to assist researchers on MA002.

Additional Information




2 Weeks

Marine Weeks

No Marine

Expedition Type

Research Assistant

Terrestrial Weeks

2 Terrestrial Weeks

Terms and Conditions


The following conditions form the basis of your contract:


A deposit of 10% per person must be paid when booking and accepting these terms and conditions. In order to help spread the payments we require a further 10% payment 150 days prior to your expedition start date, and 20% payment due by March 31st in the same year as your expedition. If you are booking within 8 weeks of your intended departure date then we require full payment. Should we be unable to process your booking for any reason then your deposit will be returned to you.We must have the full balance payment at least 8 weeks (56 days) prior to departure.

There is an early-payment discount available if you pay either 50% or more of the total sum owed, or 100% of the total sum owed, prior to the 150 day payment date. The discounts available are as follows:-

  • For 2 week expeditions, $25 discount for greater than 50% payment or $50 discount for 100% payment
  • For 4 week expeditions, $40 discount for greater than 50% payment or $80 discount for 100% payment
  • For 6 week expeditions, $60 discount for greater than 50% payment or $120 discount for 100% payment
  • For 8 week expeditions, $75 discount for greater than 50% payment or $150 discount for 100% payment

All correspondence will be sent to you at either of the addresses you enter at time of booking. In the event of the alteration or cancellation of a confirmed booking by you, conditions in section 3 will apply. Please note that the person completing the booking form undertakes full payment of all the expedition components booked, therefore should have the full consent of the person named on the form. Payment of your deposit confirms you comply with these booking conditions.


While we reserve the right to amend prices upwards or downwards at any time, it is our policy to offer expeditions at a clear and firm price. However, the factors which may force us to surcharge you are government action, changes to the cost of currency or fuel – unless full payment is made six months or more prior to your departure date.


Should you have to cancel your booking we ask that you advise the us promptly in writing or by email. The cancellation will take effect from the day the written confirmation is received. Cancellation will incur a $95 handling charge. Additional cancellation charges, which become effective more than 30 days after the date of booking*, are as follows:

Period Cancellation charge
More than 185 days before departure No further cancellation charges
185 days before expedition start date to 150 days before expedition start date Loss of 10% of total expedition costs
149 days before expedition start date to 70 days before expedition start date 20% of your total expedition costs
69 days before expedition start date to 42 days before expedition start date 40% of your total expedition costs
Less than 42 days before the expedition start date 100% of your total expedition costs

* this applies only to bookings taken before 1 March in the year of the expedition. Bookings taken after the 1 March in the year of expedition are subject to the cancellation charges as shown in the above table.

Note if you are doing a dissertation/thesis topic then you are able to cancel up to 15 April in the year of your expedition with no loss of deposit, if documentary evidence can be produced that your university will not permit you to undertake the dissertation or thesis topic chosen.


In the unlikely event of Operation Wallacea deeming travel to your particular destination unsafe for any reason, more than 3 months before departure, we will provide a suitable alternative. As a result we are unable to refund any monies, beyond the conditions outlined above. We undertake not to cancel any expedition closer than 3 months to the expedition start date unless in exceptional circumstances such as war, riots, civil strife, industrial action so severe that alternative transport and accommodation cannot be provided, terrorist activity, natural and nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions, technical problems with transport and similar unforeseeable circumstances where compensation payments cannot be made.


We undertake not to make any significant changes to your booking. However since this is a field research project, from time to time certain aspects will change between the planning stages and the project delivery. These can include (but are not limited to) details of the accommodation, survey methods and transportation between sites. We will inform you of any significant changes and will provide a suitable alternative to the original project. Such changes will not constitute being offered a refund when a suitable alternative is made available.


If you want to transfer your booking to the following year or to another named person who does not currently hold a booking with Operation Wallacea then you need to obtain prior approval from the Opwall office. In the event that you make your decision to transfer after 1 January in the year of the expedition, then you need to pay an additional 10% to secure the transfer. If the decision is made before the 1 January in the year of the expedition then no further payments beyond the 10% deposit are required. No transfers are allowed after 1 April in the year of the original booked expedition. Only one transfer to a future year or of the named person per application is allowed and once that transfer is made then all monies paid would be forfeited in the event that the completer of the form wanted to cancel.


If you decide to move on to another project or expedition, you can do this free of charge, capacity allowing, until 1 April of the year of your expedition. You will be asked to fill in a new booking form to confirm the change of project. If the project or expedition you want to move to is longer you will be invoiced for the difference in price. If it is shorter, your payment schedule will be adjusted to take the new total amount payable into account. If, following you confirming that you wish to change your booking, you should decide to cancel, cancellation charges will apply in line with your original booking rather than the new booking.


Please note that when you have read the booking conditions above and completed the booking form, and when a confirmation invoice has been issued by or on behalf of us or the relevant supplier, you enter into a binding contract which will be governed and interpreted in accordance with the law of England and Wales. As a member of the Association of the Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT), an Association approved by the BIS, Operation Wallacea Ltd has provided a Bond to meet the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. In the event of the Company’s insolvency this Bond provides security for all non-flight inclusive packages provided by Operation Wallacea Ltd. In the above circumstances, the following will apply:

  • A refund of your package pre-payments if you have not yet travelled; or
  • Transport costs back to the start point of the expedition and a refund of the unused portion of the package price if you have already travelled


Operation Wallacea has insurance in place to provide medical and repatriation cover up to £1million for all participants on the expedition. This insurance does not cover other insurable costs such as cancellation and curtailment of your expedition due to your ill-health, flight and travel delays, loss of personal baggage or theft of possessions etc. It is a condition of your booking with Operation Wallacea that you take out travel insurance to cover these items.


  • Costs of flights and transport to and from the start and finish points of each expedition
  • Accommodation and food costs before or after the expedition start and end dates
  • Additional insurance cover beyond the £1 million expedition medical and evacuation insurance cover provided by Opwall
  • Costs of additional elective training (e.g. canopy access course, dive training beyond PADI Open Water)
  • Dive equipment rental
  • PIC cards and PADI training Manuals (or BSAC equivalents)
  • Local taxes
  • Park or Reserve entrance fees
  • Visa costs
  • Vaccination or prophylactic medicine costs

Constituent Parts

MA001 – Madagascar wildlife and culture course

A series of lectures and practicals in the field to demonstrate different ecological survey techniques being used and how data from the surveys can be analysed.  The course also introduces some of the endemic species and habitats likely to be encountered on the expedition and describes some of the conservation strategies being used in Madagascar.

MA003 – PADI Open Water

This course involves a combination of theory lessons, confined water dives and open water dives to gain an official scuba diving qualification. This course must be completed if not already dive trained and wanting to dive on the project.

Additional dive training beyond Open Water level is available and can be fitted around your work on other projects so you do not need to specify the additional courses on your options list. Courses include Advanced Open Water Diver (US$220) or Rescue Diver with EFR (US$400 – includes Emergency First Response). The price includes the necessary manual and registration card. Extra courses may not be available at all times and enrollment may depend on the number of people wanting the training. In order to guarantee availability you should let Opwall know at least 8 weeks prior to your arrival on-site.

MA004 – Indian Ocean reef ecology course – diving / MA005 Indian Ocean reef ecology course – snorkelling

This course consists of lectures and twice-daily practicals. Designed to train you in some of the survey techniques used in the marine environment to assess the status of reefs and their associated fish communities. Techniques covered include stereo-video and underwater visual census surveys for fish communities, line intercept surveys for coral cover and analysis of these using video, belt transect surveys for macroinvertebrates and quadrat surveys. The course also teaches identification of some of the commoner species encountered.

MA002 – Dry forest and wetlands biodiversity assessment

This option involves helping a large team of academics and specialist field biologists completing annual surveys of a range of target taxa. The teams are based at the main camp in Mariarano or in one of the even more remote satellite camps. Activities include:
• Completing herpetofauna sample routes both by day and night for snakes, chameleons, geckos and frogs.
• Boat based spotlight surveys for crocodiles are also being completed and there are specialist scientists working on colour change in chameleons.
• Nocturnal lemur ecology and behaviour surveys are being completed using an extensive live trapping programme.
• Bird point count surveys and mist net surveys are also being undertaken as well as boat based surveys for the wetland birds.
• Butterfly and damselfly surveys using pollard counts are also being completed at each of the sites.
• Forest structure and composition is surveyed through a number of 20m x 20m forest plots with various indicators of forest physical parameters recorded including diameter at breast height (DBH) of each tree, canopy cover and sapling density.
• Volunteers can rotate between these survey groups throughout their stay and will get to see much of the dry forest and wetland fauna of Madagascar.

MA006 – Reef fish and coral monitoring

The team will be gathering data on the Nosy Be reefs using a stereo-video system developed by the University of Western Australia. This system allows a surveyor to swim along transects and video the fish encountered. Then in the lab, by playing back the two video images on a single computer screen using specialist software, not only can the images be freeze-framed to accurately identify all fish encountered, but also size estimation can be done to below 5% error. Benthic communities on the island reefs will be surveyed by laying 50m tapes along depth contours. A surveyor swims along the tape holding it in their left hand and using a video under their other shoulder, filming the tape and adjacent corals. Coral cover and community structure of hard and soft corals are then assessed from lab based analysis of the video footage using the continuous method. In addition, invertebrate belt transects will be used to monitor the populations of key species including sea urchins. Volunteers on this project will be helping with laying transects, collecting data in the water, and completing the video surveys, but will also be heavily involved in the analysis of the images.