PADI Marine Conservation Expedition

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Agency
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founded in 1997
Natalie
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Coordinator | Natalie
Coordinator | Natalie

High­lights

Enhancing your scuba diving skills with daily dives (weather permitting).
Conducting underwater surveys in the warm waters of the Pacific.
See coral reefs up close and discover a myriad of fascinating marine creatures to study.
Spending time getting to know the local community.
Cultural immersion in the Fijian way of life.
Learn to dive in the warm waters of Caqalai, while directly contributing to conservation efforts in the region. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
50+
Caqalai Island plays host to a diverse mix of marine conservation projects, which participants will experience while living an island-style, communal environment with fellow participants and GVI staff. The island is on the edge of an expansive reef system, which provides volunteers and interns with the opportunity to see extensive and exclusive underwater life, generating a vastly in-depth, explorative experience as a whole.  

On this program, you will learn all about coral reef ecology and conservation issues facing tropical marine organisms and the communities that depend on them. Participants typically spend time in the water every day, in what can only be described as a vibrant marine ecosystem. There is a possibility of seeing endangered species such as sharks, rays, humphead wrasse and whales while participating on the program. While on dry land, you will also likely spend some time in the community helping with environmental education in our partner schools.


You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition in the water and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent. Non-divers can join for 8- and 12-week durations, and we will supply you with all the training you need to be certified up to PADI Advanced Open Water. The 4-week duration is only open for divers already qualified to PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent. For non-divers wishing to attend for 4-weeks, we can recommend local dive centers that will help you qualify before your intended start date. 

Typical day

Dive qualified volunteers will be trained in invertebrate, benthic  or fish target species and life forms dependent on your duration.
Once fully trained in species identification, volunteers will be taught several survey techniques allowing them to become a member of the data collection survey team building an inventory of marine species in Moturiki waters.

Marine expedition volunteers will also have the chance to assist in delivering lessons focussed on environmental awareness in two schools on Moturiki Island and will participate in community based work giving workshops and helping to improve water security (rain water harvesting infra structure, compost toilets).

The project runs Monday to Friday and days are busy with presentations, dive training, point out snorkels, dives, data collection snorkels and dives, running alongside the daily chores required to keep the base operational. Once volunteers have completed their training in their allocated area, they are welcome to become survey ready in another.

Research is shared with local communities as an aid to make informed decisions about the management of their marine assets. The data is also shared with our in country partners the Fiji Locally Management Marine Area Network (FLMMA) and the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), the Ocean Conservancy and the Great Fiji Shark Count

Free-time activities

You will be based on Caqalai island, approximately 1 hour by boat from the Viti Levu Mainland and a further 45 minutes to the capital, Suva. You will be working on nearby islands and coastal reefs around the base. In order to travel independently around the area on your days off you must prebook water taxis with the staff; there is usually a water taxi each morning and afternoon to and from the mainland. Costs will vary based on destination, but would normally be between $60-150FJD return

You will have time off and be free to travel in the local area on the weekends, usually from around 14:00 Friday, coming back to base by 17:00 on Sunday. In this time you could do daytrips such as visiting the old colonial capital Levuka, on nearby Ovalau, or trekking up the mountains there. You can also go snorkelling or scuba diving, relax for a night or two in a nearby resort or go further afield on Viti Levu. Before and after your program there are countless attractions that can be reached after a day or two of travelling. You could visit the Dolphins at Moon Reef, take a ferry to Taveuni - 'the garden of Fiji' or explore the interior of Viti Levu - the possibilities are endless!

Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
Medical Form and PADI Medical Form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers joining for 4 weeks must be PADI Open Water or equivalent.
Competent Swimmer (200m). Volunteers will normally be diving or snorkeling twice daily.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Global Vision International (GVI)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Community work workshop
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Diving compressor training workshop
  • First Aid & CPR training
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
  • PADI Open Water (for 8 and 12 week volunteers) and Advanced Open Water
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Transfer to base location
  • Use of O2 equipment workshop
  • Welcome meeting
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal dive kit, e.g. mask, fins, wetsuit, timer etc.
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Airport Pickup at Nausori Airport

Most volunteers arrange international flights to arrive at Nadi International Airport and then a connecting flight to Suva the day before the Program starts.

GVI offers an airport pick up at Nausori Airport, Suva on the Friday prior to project start for the 2 flights below:
•    Fiji Airways (FJ7) Arrival: 09:00 AM Nausori International (SUV)
•    Fiji Airways (FJ21) Arrival: 07:00 PM Nausori International (SUV)

You will be greeted by a member of staff who will wear a light-blue collared shirt and transport will be arranged to drop you at South Seas Hostel in Suva. If you choose to stay elsewhere, you can easily get a taxi from South Seas to your accommodation.

If you choose to arrive on a different flight, you will need to make your own way from the airport to the centre of Suva, a taxi will cost around FJ$30.
The Nadi to Suva trip can also be completed by taxi, approx. FJ$250. You must be in Suva before 11:00am on Saturday.

Accommodation
Accommodation on base is in shared (mixed sex) facilities with shared bathroom facilities. Flush toilet facilities are available, and participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. Ground water is pumped for other ablutions. Careful water conservation is necessary and water may be rationed during droughts. Basic flush toilet facilities and cold water showers are available.
Participants share daily duties to ensure the smooth running of base, including cleaning, cooking, kitting up boats, tidying the grounds and other chores
Bungalow
Food & Beverages
Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet: meat is usually provided on base twice per week. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or toast. Lunch and dinner are a mixture of lentils, beans and vegetables with pasta, rice, noodles, roti, cassava or dalo.  Please note, Caqalai is a dry base, no alcohol is permitted on base.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Nausori Airport (SUV) in Suva. We assist you to find cheap flights to Fiji.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Fiji provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Fiji you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Fiji.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Guaranteed departure dates, selected start dates:


  • 2019
  • 06 Apr 2019
    04 May 2019
    01 Jun 2019
    29 Jun 2019
    27 Jul 2019
    24 Aug 2019
    21 Sep 2019
    19 Oct 2019
    16 Nov 2019
  • 2020
  • 11 Jan 2020
    08 Feb 2020
    07 Mar 2020
    04 Apr 2020
    02 May 2020
    30 May 2020
    27 Jun 2020
    25 Jul 2020
    22 Aug 2020
    19 Sep 2020
    17 Oct 2020
    14 Nov 2020

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
4 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in EUR (USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
€3,375 ($3,814)
8 weeks
€4,875 ($5,509)
8 weeks
€4,875 ($5,509)
12 weeks (max. stay)
€6,375 ($7,204)
Average fees
€688 ($777) /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Global Vision International (GVI) will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Global Vision International (GVI) during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Global Vision International (GVI) cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Global Vision International (GVI).

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  Oceania Melanesia Fiji  Suva, Caqalai Island

PADI Marine Conservation Expedition

Learn to dive in the warm waters of Caqalai, while directly contributing to conservation efforts in the region.

$688/week

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