The wide shallow rivers of West Madagascar are home to more than 1.5 million people but remain remote from the big towns and are virtually or completely inaccessible for 3-5 months of the year.

HoverAid work in Madagascar all year round. We work with remote communities along three major river systems in west Madagascar.

Our newest project location is in the North, in Maevetanana. About five hours drive from the capital city, Antananarivo, this town is on the Ikopa river, where an NGO called IMPACT have a base. IMPACT are working with communities along the river and have asked us to partner with them to provide medical safari clinics, water projects and in the not too distant future, community education projects. Previously it would have taken them a three day walk, or two days in a canoe to get to the village; with the hovercraft we can get them there in under three hours.

Over 40,000 people live along the Manambolo river, in an extremely isolated part of the country, where the few roads that do exist, become impassable in the wet season. HoverAid works in Ankavandra, the main town in the region.

Further south, HoverAid is based in Beroroha on the Mangoky river, where over 130,000 people live along the main river and many tributaries, with practically no access to health care.

HoverAid regularly takes teams of doctors to villages along the rivers, as part of our Madagascar Medical Safari clinic programme.

Working in conjunction with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), we also take doctors to Anjabetrongo in the South West, and Ampasinambo and Marolambo in the East.

We have also worked in Papua New Guinea, Nicaragua, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia and would love to be able to work in other countries too. We are keen to expand our portfolio of project countries, but at present are focusing on doing Madagascar well.


HoverAid UK has been a registered charity since 1991. Our work falls into three broad areas which fit in with the overall vision and mission:

  • Hovercraft operations, training, and development
  • Fundraising
  • Advocacy and research

Hovercraft have long been associated with the UK. The leading commercial companies for medium and heavy lift hovercraft, as well as the majority of the most successful racing hovercraft manufacturers are also located here in the UK. The River Rover MK4 design, used in Madagascar today, was developed and built by HoverAid, specifically for use in the developing world. HoverAid UK can draw on 35 years of experience, operating hovercraft in remote and challenging environments, in the development of the next generation of lightweight, diesel-powered hovercraft.

The Bishop of London drops in at the New Wine conference Within the HoverAid family, the UK role is to support operational use of hovercraft in Madagascar and seek to expand their use into further countries on a permanent basis. HoverAid UK oversees the training of local hovercraft pilots, monitors safety standards, and regularly provides staff and volunteers for short and medium term placements in Madagascar.

HoverAid UK coordinates volunteer doctors and health workers, who wish to join the Mad Medical Safari projects in Madagascar. In addition HoverAid UK provides expert advice and input into the long term research of the developmental needs of remote communities.
HoverAid UK undertakes fundraising activities including appeals, to support operational work in Madagascar and in other countries in an emergency capacity. For more information on joining in – see our get involved page.