volunteer in maldives


Volunteer in Maldives on our sea turtle and Marine conservation program which is operating from Atoll Marine Centre. Here we rescue turtles from the illegal pet trade and those who have been injured from ghost nets, rehabilitate, and reintroduce them back to the wild.

As a volunteer, you will be an integral part of our team, working with our Marine Biologists on the day to day running of the Marine Centre and turtle husbandry activities, from cleaning and feeding, to assisting with administrating medical treatment. Volunteers also have the opportunity to gain experience in coral gardening, data collection and community outreach. Volunteers will receive training in fish/coral species identification and gain first-hand practical experience in international marine conservation for a local run NGO.

This programme is perfect for budding conservationists who want to gain practical skills and field experience, or for volunteers who simply love sea turtles and want to interact with them in a sustainable way.

As a volunteer in our Marine Conservation Programme in the Maldives, you will not only get to experience true island life as it is lived in the Indian Ocean. You will also get a chance to work closely with other ocean enthusiasts, both international and local, at our Marine Centre. Every project is important to us and the community in different ways and while you are here with us, you will play an integral role contributing to the longevity of the marine programme.

Other elements of the project include teaching the local populace about the importance of turtle conservation, conducting awareness campaigns in the community and hosting sessions with tourists from nearby resorts to raise further awareness about turtle conservation.

Our marine programme and projects are extensive, and relies on volunteer support to achieve all our conservation aims.  The cleaning and feeding of our turtles requires time and energy, and without the help of volunteers we would struggle to do this every day! Monitoring work is time consuming and extensive so we require all the help we can get in maintaining our coral frames and surveying local reefs.

Volunteer in Maldives Gallery

What is involved

Volunteers will work closely with our two resident marine biologists. Daily tasks are varied and may include:
▪ Hands on turtle husbandry experience including cleaning and feeding the rescued turtles
▪ Assist with administrating any medical care
▪ Conducting reef surveys on atoll islands
▪ Practical coral regeneration experience including monitoring coral frames and collecting
▪ Organizing and assisting with community beach cleans and marine awareness sessions.

As a Sea Turtle Conservation volunteer in Maldives, you will get to work with a team of dedicated enthusiasts who work hard to save the turtle population in this area! We run a well-established turtle centre here on Naifaru island, and have many turtles which are under our care. We receive turtles from a number of different sources. Some are rescued from people trying to sell them as pets to tourists and locals alike. Some are donated to the centre by locals who have purchased them as pets; usually as hatchlings. Some are rescued from the ocean after being discovered injured by locals or by nearby resorts.

Injuries are usually sustained from entanglement in ghost fishing net, or are suffering from buoyancy syndrome from internal problems such as ingestion of plastic, which can then result in being hit by boats. Once a turtle is brought to our Marine Centre you, as our turtle conservation volunteer, will be helping with the general care of our turtles. This includes everything from daily feeding, cleaning of turtles and tanks, swims in the ocean for rehabilitation, and our favourite part;
turtle release!

Our coral restoration efforts in the Maldives have been running for a number of years. In 2016 there was a mass bleaching event here in the Maldives as the result of an El Nino year. An El Nino is a natural phenomenon resulting in a sudden rise of sea temperatures, caused mass coral mortality. This resulted in the death of a large proportion of the coral here, around 60%. While reef systems can recover from these disturbances, recovery on the inhabited islands is hindered by certain anthropogenic factors.

Reclamation of a large piece of land to accommodate the increased population pressure on the island and construction of a new harbour has both affected coral heath directly and indirectly. Large portions of Naifaru’s reefs are battling to recover and we aim to give them a helping hand.

As a volunteer, you may be sent on small expeditions to local islands and reefs to collect naturally broken coral fragments and bring them back to Naifaru to be processed and attached to frames where they can grow into strong corals and help replenish the reefs and general biodiversity around the island. Frames require monitoring and maintenance.

Some details

2023 2023 2023 2023 2024
January April July October
Every Month- Friday Arrival is possible
6, 13, 20, 27 7,14 7, 14, 21, 28 6,13, 20, 27
February May August November
3, 10, 17, 24 5, 12,19, 26 4,11, 18, 25 3,10, 17, 24
March June September December
3 , 10, 17, 24, 31 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 1,8,15, 22,29 1, 8, 15

What your first week looks like

Arrival day

Career Break Volunteer in Maldives
Your arrival weekend will be relaxed. We will pick you up from your hotel in Male and transfer you to the island via speed boat. Depending on your time of arrival, our team will meet you and give you a local orientation so you can get to know the area you are living in. The next day you will be given health and safety briefing, culture orientation and project training before we take you in for your program.


volunteer in maldives
Your project coordinator or a member of the team will be taking you to the project and after introductions you can get started. All your meals breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. In the evenings most volunteers spend it swimming on the islands, relaxing at the accommodation or preparing for projects.


Volunteers enjoying time together in the Maldives
During your free time on the island, we encourage volunteers to get in the sea as much as possible. We snorkel around our island’s reefs most afternoons, play cards, play volleyball, go crab catching, have movie nights, and through it all, make lifelong friends. We have a wonderful little community here and there are some fantastic sights and scenery to take in as you walk around our island.

Weekend activities


Snorkelling in Maldives
During your free time you can enjoy snorkelling around the coral reefs of the island

BBQ Parties

BBQ in Maldives
Our team organises BBQs from time to time for volunteers to enjoy.

Private Island Visits

Private Islands of Maldives
Feel like Robinson Crusoe and explore the many uninhabited private islands around.

Boat trips

Maldives Marine Conservation Program
Get on a boat trip into deep sea where you can get to see dolphins and giant manta rays!

Testimonial Videos

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