Sea Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka
Conservation volunteering is a great way of gaining knowledge and confidence, discovering a new place and getting to know a new culture, whilst doing your bit to save the environment at the same time. Our sea turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka focuses on rehabilitating the endangered sea turtles, whose numbers have dramatically depleted over the years. And when you think about how long these turtles have roamed our planet, long before humans were around, it seems unfair that we could now outlive them.
Sea turtles have been on earth for almost 200 million years but today, almost every species is considered endangered. From poaching and hunting, only eight species remain and five of these regularly visit our island base in Sri Lanka; the Green turtle, the Hawksbill turtle, the Loggerhead turtle, the Leatherback turtle and the Olive Ridley turtle. Our unique turtle conservation program works to rehabilitate and protect these turtles and works in accordance with Sri Lanka’s Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.
This conservation program engages volunteers of all ages and will provide you with a hands-on educational experience, with the most stunning beach setting to create your own little paradise.
On this program, you will assist local conservationists in caring for six species of sea turtles in Sri Lanka. Your experience will be extremely hands on and you will get a once in a lifetime chance to work so closely with these beautiful creatures; your jobs will include working in a local hatchery, beach clean-ups and management, daily maintenance of the turtle hatchery, caring for turtles and daily feeding, safeguarding and caring for hatching eggs, and releasing turtles into the wild. One of the biggest highlights of our sea turtle conservation program is getting to release baby turtles back into the sea and giving them a new, safe and positive start to life! It’s something you will never forget!
You will have the opportunity to get involved in community outreach where you will help to spread the awareness of protecting marine wildlife, helping young kids and local communities recognise the importance of a balanced ecosystem. In the mornings (or sometimes afternoons) you will get opportunity to work in local primary schools to teach English to local community children. This is entirely optional and will be arranged upon request!
You will be living like a true local and get an opportunity to really get immersed into the Sri Lankan way of living. On the weekends you can explore the beautiful country of Sri Lanka and visit the beaches for Surf lessons or go diving.This program is suitable for families, solo travellers, students, friends and marine conservation enthusiasts.
All The Details
Galle, Sri Lanka
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- Pre-departure guide – to prepare you for your trip
- Pick-up from Colombo Airport
- Accommodation in our volunteer house
- Experienced bilingual local staff team
- All Meals – traditional Sri Lankan Cuisine
- Location orientation – showing you the ATMs and amenities
- Project training with the local Program Manager
- 24 hour support in your location for emergencies
- Working and living like a true local in SriLanka and contributing to rewarding projects
- Donation to sea turtle project
Whats Not Included in your program fee :
- Airport Drop
- Flights to the program destination
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Personal shopping and gratuities
- Local excursions
- Project Travel Cost (budget £1 a day for this)
Rishad and Falik are part of our core operations team in Sri Lanka. Both locals from Galle are passionate and extremely knowledgeable of the local area and are instrumental for helping the volunteers, organising projects and development. Falik has lived in the UK and has wonderful people skills and is a champ at cricket. Rishad’s eye for detail and work ethics will ensure things get done and your experience is beyond amazing!
Melisa Cané, Sri Lanka Volunteer Coordinator
Melissa grew up in Argentina and started volunteering as a teenager for local organisations and events. Having started traveling the world at the age of 20 she didn’t stop volunteering and getting involved with the local communities and interesting projects. Melisa loves nature, wildlife, staying healthy, concious travel and immersing in new cultures. Sri Lanka is her latest passion and she will help you make the most of your time abroad (and take you to the best surf and beach spots!)
Reaching Sri Lanka and other bits
- The nearest airport for this program is Colombo International Airport (CMB)
- If you wish to book flights fill in this form
- We recommend you apply for E-Visas before you arrive but you can also get this on arrival.
- Travel Insurance is compulsory on this program.
- Vaccinations are important. We recommend you visit your local travel clinic to find out what vaccines you should take.
- We work with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for travel to Sri Lanka. Goto www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo to find out how best to avoid trouble when abroad. Packed with essential travel advice and tips, the website also offers up-to-date country information.
- We understand it can be difficult to pay for your flights, program fees and other travel costs. Many fundraise for their journey. If you need ideas and a platform for fundraising ideas Click Here
- For support on any of the above email us email@example.com
What your Day looks like:
07:00 to 08:00 AM Breakfast everyday at your homestay. Depart for the sea turtle hatchery /teaching programs
08:30 to12:30 PM: Working with the sea turtle hatchery. You will be involved in one or more of these activities such as giving tours, sweeping or tidying and cleaning sea turtles, feeding sea turtles, burying the eggs, digging up, checking hatchery dates. You will also be involved in releasing baby sea turtles (frequency depends on number of hatchlings).
12:30 to 14:30PM: Lunch break and time to relax or go back to the turtle hatchery.
Some mornings: Outreach program for education. You will be at the teaching English or educational games and activities for them.
Please note that the above is subject to change depending on activities that are going on with turtles.
Weekend trips are not included in the program but if you’re looking to explore further afield, some of Sri Lanka’s most popular destinations include the capital of Colombo, the city of Galle, the picturesque city of Kandy or Yala National Park for spotting elephants and leopards.
What Happens When I Arrive?
Living Arrangements for Volunteers in Sri Lanka:
We encourage community living so that our volunteers can get an immersive travel experience and really learn to live like a local; so you will be placed in shared accommodation in the Galle area. Your volunteer house will have wifi and bathrooms are shared.
Your meals will be provided every day and will be delicious home-cooked Sri Lankan cuisine but don’t worry if you have any special dietary requirements as most of these can be easily catered for with the local ingredients.
All project travel will be organised on your behalf or you will be located close enough to your volunteering base to be able to walk to and from your accommodation.
If you would like private room or air conditioning please get in touch with us. There will be an extra charge for this.
Health and Safety :
When you join our programs you can be assured we have carried out Risk Assessments to identify potential safety and health risks on projects and in the community. We share this information with you in our pre departure documents.
Volunteering Journeys Foundation:
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Volunteering Journey’s Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities in the places that we work in. 100% of each donation goes directly to support our projects. Go to our Donation page if you want to support or fundraise for our Sri Lanka Program.
Why Our Volunteers Love Us!
‘My experience in India was absolutely fantastic. Having never done anything like this before, Volunteering Journeys made sure I settled in well and supported me throughout my time. Being placed with an amazing family gave me the chance to experience Indian culture first hand. I was part of the Disabled Childcare Programs for two weeks. Although short, I felt the time I spent was so valuable for the children. If this is something that you are interested in I would 100% recommend it. The memories, friendships and experiences you will develop will be ones that you will never forget.’
‘The teaching experience was second to none. I was overwhelmed by the respect and politeness all the children have, which made it some much easier to work with them, even with the language barrier. The amazing thing about the schools I visited was that all the children are like little sponges, they absorb everything you say, teach and do! It’s quite outstanding how much they gain from just a small conversation in the playground or in the class room.
So in general if you are questioning whether you want to volunteer and you don’t know what company to go with, it has the be Volunteering Journeys. You will be well looked after, gain an immense experience and make friends for life!!!’
‘I took a short sabbatical from work in November 2013 and decided to come to India. I was helping at a small school in Fort Kochi, teaching English, Maths, Science and the odd nursery rhyme. The school where I volunteered had amazing teachers and the kids were great. Ridhi and the team organised everything brilliantly – from cycling tours to the backwaters, to hosting me with a family that made my stay feel like home. If you’re going to volunteer in India then I highly recommend Volunteering Journeys’
“J’ai passé deux mois formidables à Kochi en travaillant comme volontaire avec Volunteering Journeys. Deux mois de ma vie que je n’oublierais jamais. J’ai rencontré des gens incroyables et participé à des projets qui me tenaient vraiment à coeur. J’ai pu voir l’aboutissement de mes efforts et le sourire sur le visage des enfants. Une expérience magique que je recommande à tous. Merci Rainbow”
‘I spent 3 wonderful weeks with the Volunteering Journeys team in Kerala, it marked the beginning of almost 2 months adventuring through India, and I can say without a doubt it was one of my favourite experiences of my time spent in incredible India! From the moment my plane landed and I was greeted by a friendly face and whisked away to a wonderful home, the local staff were incredibly welcoming, helpful, supportive and great fun to be around!
I spent my time volunteering in 2 local schools, assisting with English studies. The enthusiasm and joy with which the children approach their days will ensure you never want to leave!I cannot recommend Volunteering Journeys highly enough, it was such a joyful introduction to India – it’s culture, people and crazy beautiful way of life. You will leave with some fond memories and firm friendships’
‘I volunteered by teaching English both at a school and at an all girls’ orphanage for two months. It has been the best experience of my life so far. I really got to know the children I was teaching and seeing the children’s English improve over my time was an incredible feeling. From being introduced to yoga to tasting delicious flavoursome Indian cuisine and living in “God’s own country”, has left me eager to return. I have made friends across the World who made my time spent in Kerala unforgettable. I highly recommend volunteering with Volunteering Journeys; Kerala is beautiful and you will gain fun memories.’
‘I spent two weeks running an art workshop which was absolutely fantastic. The children were so enthusiastic and bustled about with paste and paint, putting together the most amazing creations. They were not used to producing collaborative work and were thrilled when their individual efforts achieved a glorious whole. Their personalities really shone through and I became very fond of them in the short time I was with them. Thank you to Volunteering Journeys for enabling me to have such a wonderful experience!’
‘There is some kind of magic that happens when you’re in India. The climate, the people, the warm welcome, the happiness in every person, the culture, it’s simply inspiring. On top of that having a group of friendly, thoughtful organizers guiding me through the program made my time volunteering with Volunteering Journeys one of the most memorable moments in my life.
If anyone reading this is considering becoming a volunteer, don’t hesitate, become a volunteer. It will be the most rewarding experience and adventure of your life. I assure you that you will have a vital impact on the community, the place and the children. I would recommend Volunteering Journeys without hesitation. Well organized and hassle free adventure. You get help and guidance with everything you need. Kerala was my destination. Safe, beautiful and very friendly. Just do it and have an adventure of your life!’
“Volunteering at the schools was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Once again the friendships you create are irreplaceable. Admittedly, the first few days were scary, in the sense that my partner and I were only 18 & 20 yrs old and we were teaching women and children a language that was not their first. However the persistence and willingness of Indians is not to be tested. Each of our students put in 100% and naturally we became very personal with everyone and these women and children taught us much more. We came out of this experience with more than we had ever anticipated. It can’t be put into words just how much we learnt from volunteering. Ever aspect of our lives and mindset has changed.”
‘I think it was quite an eye opening experience to kind of see how people live and enjoy their lives very differently to what we do probably in UK. Even though comparatively they didn’t have as much, the children still came to school with a smile on their face and they were really keen to learn. They were ever so happy and always had a smile on their face regardless of the circumstances that they are living in, and I think that was an amazing experience for us to take back. We have comparatively much more wealth in the UK and we have much more available at our fingertips. Yet we were quite not so happy’
‘We decided to volunteer as part of our family vacation. It was the perfect balance: making a contribution but not being asked to do too much, with Volunteering Journeys staff with us every step of the way to help, support, clarify, etc. I was also impressed that they didn’t feed us a line about how we were changing the world in a week; I knew going in that *we* would be the ones most changed, and the staff’s perspective’s was the same: we were making an impact by showing we cared and sharing experiences, which hopefully meant something to a lot of people.’