Entries in #gapyear (7)


Adventure Hill  Climb

At 4am, the camp started to murmur and a flicker of light shone where each inmate’s head moved sluggishly to get ready. We raided the food hut for bananas and oranges as it was too early for the regular sabeda to be cooked.

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Crazy  Carnival

Last week we found out that Frontier had been lucky enough to get invited to their first Malagasy festival! Throughout the week we had many dance practices at the neighbouring village. Brushing up on our Malagasy dances moves.

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I Would Recommend This Experience To  Anyone

Myself and two friends arrived in Antananarivo the night before getting to camp. Antananarivo is one of the more dodgy cities I’ve ever visited with our hotel being inside a compound with a mob of guards outside. After assessing the situation we decided to stay inside until our flight the next day. After a long sleep we got a taxi back to the ever chaotic airport.

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Wildlife On The Madagascar Camp

On Frontier camp, the rainy season has well and truly set in and we have seen a rise in many species that we hadn't yet sighted around two months ago when I arrived on the Forest project.

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A Whirlwind First Three Weeks

So far I've been in Nosy Be for just over three weeks. I came out here looking for adventure and boy is that what I got!

Black Lemurs | Georgia LorentiFirst, off my bag arrives five days later than I did. Secondly, I meet some of the most amazingly different people I've ever met in my whole life! There are people here from all over the world and its fascinating listening and learning all about everyone. The first few days I spent here were exhausting. My body took a while to acclimatise from 3 degrees winter weather in West Yorkshire, to 36 degrees tropical weather in Madagascar. Once I'd settled into the routine my bag arrived. I've never been so excited for something of my own in my entire life! My word did it make me appreciate everything I have after spending a few days wearing someone else's pants!

The forest is absolutely incredible. You can be looking at a tree forever whilst someone is pointing at a branch shouting "It's right there. Are you blind?" Then suddenly, as if by magic, your eyes focus on the smallest of geckos. The magic of walking through the forest in the pouring rain is indescribable. It's absolutely mesmerising seeing a troop of black lemurs huddled together snacking on mangoes. The first time I encountered these fascinating animals was purely by chance as we were on our way back from a reptile transect when someone shouted "look up!" There were roughly ten lemurs all swinging from branch to branch high up in the canopy of the forest. It's fascinating as there are usually two lemurs that distract us, acting as lookouts, while the rest of the group moves on. It's a brilliant tactic and one that never ceases to amaze me.

As magical as the walks are, they are equally exhausting, especially in the heat of the day when the mosquitoes are biting you left, right and centre. It's at times like these when I merely ask how much longer the transect or what time are we due back at camp. Not long after asking these questions, I was given the nickname Moaning Myrtle. I love this moniker and it is totally appropriate. The fact that we all laugh about it just shows what fantastic people you meet whilst travelling. I love the variety in ages and the fact that there's not just gap year people, but also those wanting work experience in this particular group. Meeting people like this only makes you want to enjoy it more and helps you to make the experience worthwhile for everyone, including yourself.

My experience has varied from passing species tests and recognising loads of different animals on transects to snorkelling for the first time ever on the island of Tankely. We've also been to Nosy Komba and all bought Komba pants, which are typical traveller style trousers. The must haves if and when you go abroad. The adventure only continues to get better, for example, during the heavy rains we had to cross white water rapids and then climb along the top of this very high wall. It was no wider than your two feet and had a raging torrent of water sweeping beneath.  I've never felt so alive and conquered all of fears in just one day! It goes without saying that the jungle experience is beyond incredible and I keep learning new things. I feel like I'm recognising lots and helping to collect reliable data for the conservation project.

Lemur Hunt | Georgia LorentiBeing here has seriously opened my eyes to the problems deforestation can create. I've also seen some species that thrive in newly cleared areas, and which species can only survive in primary forest. This Friday we will be taking part in an environmental awareness day, which involves us working with the local community and explaining what we are doing here and why conservation is important. It also allows us to help suggest new ideas for them to use natural resources without damaging the environment. Helping to create a sustainable future for generations to come!

Adventure Hill | Georgia Lorenti 

By Dottie Martin,- Wildlife Conservation Volunteer (Forest)


Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!