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A Gapforce volunteer on a swing by the beach A Gapforce volunteer on a swing by the beach

Bahamas Marine Conservation with Gapforce

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Summer on Andros

i had the most amazing experience on this conservation trip to Andros! everyday held something knew and we were kept busy doing various activities that were the opposite to boring, the diving especially was unbelievable and learning about the island and all the fish was really interesting. it was also nice to get away from all the luxury and experience living in beautiful remoteness. All i can say is that my time was not at all long enough!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Bahamas 2015

This trip is utterly faultless. I have never been the company of such amazing people doing things that I love. The staff on the phase were brilliant with a huge font of knowledge about the oceans and environment surrounding us. The equipment we used was top of the range, and I felt safe when in the water. The sea life that I was so lucky to see was amazing, from Caribbean reefs sharks to Loggerhead turtles, the Bahamas had it all. Andros, being such a remote island, had a create sense of community, with locals being friendly and generous with their possessions. The social life was great with 'Timmy's bar' being a 30 second walk from the house. We also went to such events like the Islands regatta which was a great way of embracing the culture that Andros so strongly expressed. The living conditions were great taking into account the remoteness of the Island. If you like rice and noodles this trip is the one for you. Overall I had the best 5 weeks and couldn't have asked for better people to spend it with.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

An encounter with a Caribbean Reef Shark

It was afternoon by the time the second group set out to go diving. The sun was shining, and see sparkled in the afternoon sunlight. It was hot and humid, and clouds were lining the horizon. We kitted up and loaded everything into the motorboat, and as we undid ourselves from the boje, four very excited volunteers were lying on the front deck. As we approached the dive site (I believe it was Aladdin's) the wind was tousling our hair and a sudden feeling of happiness erupted in everyone. A smile spread across my face as I felt a deep inner enjoyment and content. The sea was calm so we threw in our BCDs and hopped in with our fins and masks to put everything on in the water. As everyone swam to each other Chloe gave the signal and we slowly descended. You felt almost as if you were floating, weightless. The warm water encased you as you started swimming with only board shorts and a rash vest. As we rounded up around Chloe we all got our dive slates out and began the coral point out. Everyone seemed very confident after the last lecture in the morning and some hours to practice. Chloe showed her amazement and joyfulness by giving us energetic thumbs up ever time we identified a given coral correctly. Like this half an hour drifted by seamlessly. I was just watching Chloe when I saw her eyes focus on something in the distance. I swivel around and am astonished to see a Caribbean Reef Shark swimming by silently. You could see the awe stricken faces of all volunteers, and the coral point out was momentarily forgotten as we all watched with wonder this amazing creature of the ocean. As it started to swim away we went after it in hot pursuit until it disappeared in the distance and blended in with the turquoise blue of the warm water. As we ascended to the the safety stop Theo and Lukas were finally able to fool around, they played around by snatching Chloe's fins and taking off her boots. This ended up being a mad chase in circles until the three minutes were over and we were able to surface. As we inflated our BCDs we all erupted in laughter and Chloe had big smile on her face when she said: "You guys were awesome. You knew your corals inside out, and that dive really made my day!" We finished up that great dive with jumps off the boat and a swim around before we headed back home to camp.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Hand over the next Bahama-Mama

What a thrill to live feeling so free from what we deem reality and be part of the conservation for our sea. Leaving behind a world of luxury and learnin that protection of our earth is key. I felt so lucky have had amazing people by my side that encouraged all to leap forward with a positive stride. Thank you james chloe and sam for being the best team in all the land!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Truly Incredible

I cannot find any thing negative to say about this program, from the amazing location, incredible diving and wonderful staff members the two months I had the pleasure to spend on the island of Andros was easily the best two months of my life. What the camp lacks in luxury it more than makes up for in location and being surrounded by amazing people and having amazing experiences daily means any missed creature comforts are very quickly forgotten. The diving, the main attraction to the course, is beautiful, being surrounded every dive by exquisite fish and crazy corals is breath taking at first, however after lectures on fish and corals it soon amps up the experience ten fold being able to ID what you are sharing the warm, clear water with. Overall it was an unforgettable experience that I cannot recommend any more to any body considering it, do it, you won't regret it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

What paradice actually is....

This program was utterly faultless, I had the most fantastic time being taught both marine conservation and how to dive by some of the most professional instructors who also had the unique ability to make every moment unbelievable fun. The volunteers and staff are in my experience some of the most fun loving, hard working and kind people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The location is genuinely second to non and although the accommodation might not be a five star hotel its homely, comfortable and one massive bundle of partying and fun. The diving is beautiful and there are more fish and corals than you could shake a stick at. The visibility is fantastic, 30m was the average distance you could see clearly on each dive. The gear we used was fantastic and I felt totally safe while having a great time and learning a lot. All in all I suggest anyone who is reading this should stop considering the course and get yourself on it. I did and it was the best decision I ever made.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best month of my life!

The phase was genuinely the best time of my life, as we had an amazing group of volunteers who all bonded perfectly, and staff who got along with everyone. The island itself was enough reason to make me love the whole thing, but the organisation by the staff to get us at least one dive a day in some of the clearest, and most perfect waters imaginable just added to that. Whether you're an experienced diver like myself, or a complete novice then this is the perfect course for you. You can learn to dive in amazing conditions and see an unparalleled variety of marine wildlife just 20 metres from the house! And if you have dived before, whether it's in clear blue waters or in the murky lakes of England (like I was unfortunate enough to learn in) then it's still an amazing experience in itself. I would highly reccomend anyone and everyone to try this out for themselves, even if it's for two weeks, it will be the best fortnight of your life! Not just because of the diving, but the setting in which you are staying. There is so much else to do other than scuba dive, like visiting the blue hole lagoons, which are straight up amazing, and a lovely break from the normal routine on camp. If you do anything on your gap year, and you're even slightly interested in the oceans or scuba diving, I cannot push this option more than anything, as it has truly made my gap year the most memorable!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Greenforce July 14

This trip has changed my life. Before discovering it I was at a loose end with no real direction, now at the end of my 12 weeks here, all that has been changed, I feel inspired and I am so grateful. I have had some wonderful, once in a life time adventures, which I couldn't have experienced anywhere but here and with the people that shared and helped create them. Since arriving as a complete novice, I have learned to scuba dive, and I am amazed at the confidence that I now feel when in the water, I really believe that it is the result of the fantastic efforts made by the staff. As with all things in life, I don't think this trip would suit everyone, but for someone like me I can't fault it. Every day has brought new experiences and taught me new things.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Greenforce Bahamas 2014

This trip has definitely been the one of the best experiences of my life so far! The diving was incredible, we saw sharks, turtles, rays and loads more amazing marine life. All of the staff on the project were very friendly, helpful and fitted in just like anybody else which was really nice to see. I met some amazing friends for life and would recommend this trip to anybody! I just wish I was still there...

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    10

Greenforce Bahamas 2014

Had an excellent time learning the AGRRA fish list, being educated about the corals around the island of Andros and learning about the current state of the ocean and the efforts made all around the world to protect and conserve it. The social life was brilliant with themed nights every Saturday and the trips out to various places on the island were highly anticipated. The dive instruction was brilliant, extremely proficient and I learnt to be a conscious and competent advanced qualified diver in a matter of weeks. The living conditions were good given the development of the island itself and the tight squeeze into the accommodation created a close knit/team atmosphere. The medical facilities however were not brilliant, having to spend lots of money to obtain ear infection antibiotics - a rather common condition of divers - that weren't available on site. The remoteness of the trip was an extremely enjoyable characteristic for me however it wasn't advertised as such on the website which may have been an issue for some volunteers. My overall experience has been thoroughly enjoyable and I loved pretty much every minute of it!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

6 Fabulous Weeks on Andros, Bahamas

Before I came on the Greenforce Bahamas volunteering expedition I had never scuba dived before. I got some really amazing training and now feel completely comfortable diving at all of the sites we have gone to including the tongue of the ocean, oceanic blue holes, and many other coral reef environments. On top of that I made some friends here that I truly feel that I will have for the rest of my life. We all got to bond through our experiences diving and providing valuable information on fish and coral for AGRRA and BNT not to mention in living together day in and day out. It was truly an unforgettable experience and I would recommend it to anyone.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

My Greenforce Experience

I would highly recommend this expedition to anyone interested in marine life, diving, and just the environment in general. My knowledge and awareness of marine life and the current state of the ocean has expanded greatly and I plan and passing on this knowledge to people I meet back home. The staff and other volunteers were very accommodating and accepting of people from different backgrounds which helped in creating a strong communal environment. I will remember this trip and all of the friends I have made during the expedition for the rest of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Greenforce Bahamas

This has been my first volunteering experience and adventure abroad and it has been absolutely incredible and has exceeded many of my expectations. I have learnt many things about myself but also about diving and important skills that I can utilize in the future. The staff have made this experience a pleasure, making me feel welcome and giving the camp a home away from home feeling. I am particularly grateful for Chads support and encouragement whilst teaching me to dive from a novice to advanced. This has been the best summer of my life, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I would definitely return and would recommend others to come here too.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Welcome to Inner Space....

I came to this project as a graduate of Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management (BSc), and came with my PADI Rescue Diver qualification!

When I arrived I was greeted by so many smiley, happy welcoming faces from both volunteers and staff members. These people will become your family during your time here!!

The science and conservation lectures and practicals that you will experience on this will be amazing! the lectures consist of the AGRRA priority species lists - fish species, mega fauna and benthic organisms. The lectures also identify key aspects and issues that this island faces, such as the invasive species Lion fish and conservation idea.

Upon passing your species ID tests both on land and in the water, you begin to survey! Surveying is so much fun and gives you the feeling that you are contributing massively to the sustainability and preservation of the fish populations and the health of the ecosystem. All the data that is collected is sent to BNT (Bahamas National Trust) for processing and analysis.

The diving here is gorgeous! So much beautiful marine life, reef fish, Sharks, Dolphins and Turtles! The water is almost always beautifully clear (meaning amazing visibility when diving) and the temperature means that it is comfortable to dive in swim suits!

There is also opportunities to further your diving education with the on site camp diving instructor, this is well worth consideration as the cold training quarries in England are nothing compared to the abundant ecosystems of Andros!

The social life is such a laugh! You live, learn and laugh with your new family on camp everyday! On weekends we have a few cheeky drinks which usually ends up in giggles and a lot of hugging!

There are many experiences that I will take away from this project that will stay with me for my life time, I dove with my first shark here - such beautiful and majestic creatures! You certainly do not want to miss out on that opportunity!

As some friendly advice, ensure that you do your research on any abroad project that you sign up for. Sometimes things are not always as they seem!

I would recommend this experience highly to people for all walks of life with all kinds of ambitions and career prospects! You will have so much fun and fall in love with the ocean - I guarantee it!

Have fun guys, make your dreams come true!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Greenforce Bahamas July Phase 2014

Living on Andros for the last 10 weeks has been extremely fun and life-changing, and will stay with me for a very long time - I learnt an awful lot about myself, being in such close quarters with different people for this amount of time, and has helped me so much in many ways - I've made some amazing friends here who I will be sure to keep in contact with and meet in the future, the diving has been breathtaking; swimming with sharks, dolphins, turtles and rays has been insanely different and I am so grateful and lucky I could have such an opportunity!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My experience

This experience was definitely one to remember. Not only did I learn the importance that the oceans have on us as people but I learned a lot of life lessons that will stick with me forever. The staff was very welcoming and willing to help you with learning the numerous fish species and corals. Living on a remote island with no air conditioner, water and electricity outages made me learn to appreciate the simplicity of life and to not overuse things. I took many things home such as keeping fish products out of the house (except lion fish of course), having a compost bin, recycling, and just simply making people aware of what's going on. I grew up as a person on this trip and even though my experience was cut short due to personal issues I want to send many thanks to everyone who was apart of this experience with me to Chad, chelle, Sarah, rach, the volunteers, elle sand man and stripey. I recommend this to everyone and anyone who wants to help!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    6

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

My Experience

My experience overall was excellent. When I arrived in Andros I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised when met by the overwhelmingly nice volunteer group and supportive staff. Although some parts of the journey were bumpy, I don't have any regrets about participating, and if asked to do it again, I would be on the next flight to Andros!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Impact

    7

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Bahamas Greenforce July-September '14

This volunteer project has been one of the best experiences in my entire life. I found almost every aspect of it enjoyable ranging from the location and accommodation to the people I shared the experience with. I found the staff incredibly helpful and professional throughout all of diving training and really supportive of any problems I encountered both in the water and out. Yet despite the student-teacher attitude while learning you could also speak and act towards them as a friend which I found most welcoming and truly appreciate during the few occasions things got too much for me. Overall, I would highly recommend this project to anyone who seeks to gain experience of the real working and diving world and at the same time feel part of a family

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Living The Dream In The Bahamas

I've had the most wonderfully, unique experience on Andros with the Greenforce Team. Living in a rustic, little beach-house in a beautiful, ramshackle settlement of the Bahamas unexplored backcountry alone has been truly amazing. But with it's curious locals, cute little hamlets, empty beaches, bizarre blue holes both inland and oceanic, stunning reef topography - of the third largest coral reef in the world and beyond that the continental shelf that drops into the Tongue of the Ocean - as far as adventures go it's incomparable.
But to add to all that the Greenforce Team have done a phenomenal job. The daily challenges they face in running such an expedition on a remote island is astounding. Their vast knowledge and experience has opened my eyes and given me a greater appreciation and understanding of the oceans complex and beautiful structure, of which I'm so thankful for.
With the Chief Marine Scientists Sarah's wealth of knowledge in aquatic life, patience and attention to detail when teaching us all we needed to know for our surveys. To Chad and Warren's fast experience as instructors and passion for the ocean, training us all to be better, respectful and safer divers. Coupled with Warren's friendly, open and caring approach as a leader - I couldn't have asked for more.
I've met some amazing people and made lifelong friends. I feel truly bless and fortunate that I choose this expedition.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Impact

    5

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Greenforce Bahamas July Phase 2014

Overall a wonderful experience, you really do get used to the living conditions in 'the real' Bahamas. Good community feel, locals are friendly and the site is fantastic, dead on the beach and 20 minute boat ride to the dive sites. Great science dives, learned some useful skills with fantastic science leadership. Staff were friendly and approachable and ran the camp extremely well, through the good times and the hard! Made some lifelong friends from all around the world A phenomenal place for your first step into the diving world. Would definitely recommend! Well worth the money.