The Mighty Roar

Assistant in Sea Turtle Conservation

Akurula, Sri Lanka show on map

Do you want to play a vital role in saving critically endangered sea turtles? You will get hands-on experience with this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Over the past 20 years, our hugely successful and praise-worthy sea turtle hatchery has significantly contributed to the global efforts of protecting and conserving endangered sea turtles. Last year alone saw us release over 8,000 baby sea turtles into the sea as well as over 30 older females.

Sea turtles have roamed our seas for over 200 million years and were present on Earth well before us. All species of sea turtles are endangered and we need to do our part to help preserve their future.

With five of the seven different sea turtle species (Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback) being regularly found along the coast of Sri Lanka, there is no better place to volunteer to ensure these amazing animals have the best chance of survival.

Every nest, every egg, every hatchling and every turtle released is crucial to the survival of the species.

Sea turtles are at risk at all stages of their lives, both from natural and human pressures. Sea turtles come onto the beach during the night to bury their eggs in the sand. After an hour or two the female will then return to the sea leaving the eggs vulnerable to predators.

With fishing being one of the major industries in the area, sea turtles are often found in commercial fishing nets. Here they can become injured or lose limbs and are then no longer able to survive in the wild. Along with illegal trafficking, loss of habitat and pollution there is also a growing demand for turtle meat, eggs and even their shells.

Our specially constructed hatchery aims to prevent further population declines by providing a safe haven for injured sea turtles and to ensure viable and secure nesting areas.

Injured and disabled turtles are brought to our sanctuary where they are able to get the rehabilitation and care they need. If possible, once they are strong enough they will get released back into the wild.

Local fishermen are paid to bring eggs that they believe to be in danger to the hatchery where they can be re-buried and will be safe. With each sea turtle laying anywhere up to 100 eggs, each and every nesting site is vital to our conservation efforts.

Just because you are volunteering does not mean you have to live the basic life! Our spacious and comfortable volunteer accommodation is the ideal setting to be staying at during your time with us in Sri Lanka.

Just a stones throw away there is a quiet beach where you can sit and relax. The golden sand beach is lined with palm trees where you can swim in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean – if this is not paradise I don’t know what is!

Depending on numbers, you could be sleeping with up to 2 other volunteers in spacious bedrooms with nice comfy full size beds with mosquito nets and modern en-suite bathrooms. Most rooms have air conditioning and a small balcony where you can look over into the jungle with some even being able to see the sea!

You can sit back and relax in one of the communal areas where you can socialise with the other volunteers and play some card games. There is plenty of room outside to where you can even eat your meals under a traditional shelter looking up to the dark starry night.

Our volunteer accommodation is ideally located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa where you can experience the best of both worlds and is only a short drive away from the historic town of Galle! Both towns have excellent bus and train links where you can explore more of this beautiful country.

Charith and the team will go through all of the health and safety information as well as show you all of the local amenities in nearby Hikkaduwa. 

Typical day

You will spend your days on the beach and within the project site caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and also ensuring the hatching process is going smoothly. You will be typically volunteering from 8:30am to 12:00pm Monday to Friday. During the week you may do the following:

Caring for the turtles
At any one time there will be several turtles within the sanctuary that need daily care. You will be responsible for cleaning their shells, preparing their food and feeding them (mainly tuna).

Releasing turtles
By far the most popular and best activity, you will get the chance to release newly hatched babies into the sea. This rewarding activity is of course why we are all here and there is no better experience than knowing you have contributed to the wild sea turtle populations. For the best chance of survival, the babies are released in the early evening where you will need to be on hand to scare any predators off such as birds.

Although seasonal, all volunteers have so far had this amazing opportunity.

Cleaning and refilling the tanks
All of the tanks within the sanctuary need to be cleaned on a weekly basis. This mundane but important task is essential to keeping the sea turtles happy and healthy.

Afterwards, you have the big job of refilling the tanks from the sea. Unfortunately, there is no easy or quick way for this! You will be filling large yellow containers from the sea and transporting them back to the sanctuary by a traditional tractor.

Maintaining the hatchery
To ensure the best chance of hatching the eggs, you will need to make sure that all nesting areas are clean, healthy and safe. Any eggs brought to the hatchery need to be buried as soon as possible and then labelled correctly.

Fishing
One day per week will see you knee depth in the sea trying to catch some fish to feed the sea turtles. Using a traditional fishing stick, you will be taught how to fish along with the best practices and there will of course be a competitive touch to it!

Cleaning the beaches
On regular occasions we will organise a mass beach clean. With the lack of bins and not knowing that they are damaging the environment, locals often leave some litter behind as well as the sea washing things up. Ensuring that the local beaches are a clean and safe environment will encourage female turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs.

Vocational activities
Generally, every Friday will see you doing something different! From coconut weaving to make shelters, making the strongest ropes ever from the coconuts through to making traditional fishing sticks and teaching in the local fishermen community.

Night beach patrols
On request, you can patrol the nearby beaches during the late evening to help deter any potential poachers and predators. You may be lucky enough to see some turtles coming up to nest, but if not you will still get to enjoy the starry night listening to the waves break walking along a stunning coastline!

Raising awareness
During your time here, you will learn all about these fascinating animals and you may even get the chance to put your newly gained knowledge to test with providing tours for the locals and tourists. Educating the locals is a vital part to the conservation of sea turtles. Hopefully, once people have learnt all about them they will help spread the word on their importance and take more care when out on the beaches. This generally only applies to longer term volunteers.

Teaching
During your time on our sea turtle conservation programme, you can choose to help out in our local pre-school as often as you want for no additional fees. 

Weekends are free days where we actively encourage you to go and explore this beautiful country. We can help arrange all kinds of trips to national parks, to sandy beaches where you can party or to famous religious landmarks.

Details on Arrival

1st and 3rd Saturday of every month.


Please make sure you arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) on Saturday.

Day 1 (Saturday) – Arrival

A member of our local team will be waiting for you in arrivals holding a named sign. If your flight lands before 6pm, you will be taken straight to our volunteer accommodation, approximately 2 hours away. If arriving after this time, you will make your way to our accommodation in Wattala to get some much-needed rest. The following morning you will then head down to our accommodation to meet everyone else.

Free-time activities

We offer weekend trips on safari or to the Maldives, where you can sight see, swim, snorkel and explore.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Diving/Snorkling
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
Background check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 12:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

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Resolution Support
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by The Mighty Roar.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
The Mighty Roar (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by The Mighty Roar

Included in the fees are: accommodation, all meals, airport transfer pick up, private transport to projects, 24/7 support

Airport Pickup at Bandaranaike International Airport

Airport pick up is included in the fee. Return airport transfers are not. The transfer time is 2 hours.

Accommodation

Just because you are volunteering does not mean you have to live the basic life! Our spacious and comfortable volunteer accommodation is the ideal setting to be staying at during your time with us in Sri Lanka.

Just a stones throw away there is a quiet beach where you can sit and relax. The golden sand beach is lined with palm trees where you can swim in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean – if this is not paradise I don’t know what is!

Depending on numbers, you could be sleeping with up to 2 other volunteers in spacious bedrooms with nice comfy full size beds with mosquito nets and modern en-suite bathrooms. Most rooms have air conditioning and a small balcony where you can look over into the jungle with some even being able to see the sea!

You can sit back and relax in one of the communal areas where you can socialise with the other volunteers and play some card games. There is plenty of room outside to where you can even eat your meals under a traditional shelter looking up to the dark starry night.

Our volunteer accommodation is ideally located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa where you can experience the best of both worlds and is only a short drive away from the historic town of Galle! Both towns have excellent bus and train links where you can explore more of this beautiful country.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

All meals are provided at the volunteer house and are included within the programme fee. Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week and include many traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. You can expect some of the following meals:

Breakfast – Toast, string hoppers, fresh fruits, tea, milk
Lunch – Rice, vegetables, chicken, fish
Dinner – Noodles, rice, pasta, hoppers

We can cater for: Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free

Internet Access
Good 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 Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. We assist you to find cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
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 Sri Lanka provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Sri Lanka you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Sri Lanka.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$493.00
2 weeks
$524.00
3 weeks
$738.00
4 weeks
$951.00
8 weeks
$1,807.00
16 weeks
$3,517.00
24 weeks (max. stay)
$5,229.00
Average fees
$355.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Akurula/Sri Lanka between 1 week and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Mighty Roar will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Sri Lanka.
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 {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia Southern Asia Sri Lanka  Akurula, TMR Accommodation

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