Sea Turtle Conservation

Take part in the Great Turtle Project in Sri Lanka as a turtle volunteer and have a hand in the conservation of the country's beautiful sea turtles!

The overall aim of this sea turtle conservation project is to monitor sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting sites in the Kosgoda region of Sri Lanka. Working with turtles here is carried out by staff and volunteers and it has been hugely successful since the project's inception in 1988. The praise-worthy achievements of this project are largely due to the continued support it receives from teams of volunteers. The turtle conservation work relies upon the involvement of truly dedicated people, and you like every turtle volunteer can help play an integral role here.

About the Project

This incredible project, situated in the Kosgoda region of Sri Lanka has been established for over 20 years and is still continuing its brilliant work in the field of sea turtle conservation. The overall aim of this project is to conserve the local nesting sites in the area and to increase turtle populations by raising and releasing baby turtles. This also involves increasing public awareness of the increasing endangerment of this amazing species, and the importance of their protection. One of the most important ways this is achieved is through the development and maintenance of hatcheries, where turtle eggs are relocated to hatch safely, away from predators before being released into the sea at night-time. The weaker turtle babies are held back from release for a ‘head-starting’ process, so that they are given the best chance of survival. With sea turtles facing threats from a variety of sources, including natural predators, poaching and hunting by locals looking to make money from the sale of their meat and eggs, their conservation is of prime importance. This project aims to increase the survival of turtles from the laying of eggs to the release of hatchlings into the sea. Therefore every nest-ground, every egg, every hatchling and every turtle is crucial to the survival of the species. The project also helps maintain the local beaches, ensuring they are ideal for turtles laying eggs.

Please note, although this project runs throughout the year, turtle nesting season is from November - April and hatching is from January - June. Outside of these times, your main focus will be caring for the turtles that live at the sanctuary and the teaching program.

Prior to Arrival 

You will need to arrive into Colombo International airport between 9am - 5pm on the start date of your project, where you will be met by a project representative and transferred to the project site, roughly three hours' drive away.

First Day

Arrive into Colombo airport and transfer to the project site. The evening comprises of an orientation which will cover important information regarding the volunteer project itself and is a chance to get any questions answered you may have.

Regular Days

After an Introduction to the sea turtle conservation project and staff, a work schedule is devised and then it is time to start the volunteering activities. All who take part in this project (including families) will be able to get involved with a variety of tasks, caring for turtles that live at the centre, maintaining the project area and the beach, burying eggs brought by vendors, cleaning the hatcheries, feeding the turtles and releasing them back into the wild. 
At the centre there are four species of turtle resident (predominantly green but also loggerhead, olive ridley and one hawksbill) and your principal role as a volunteer is to take care of these. Maintaining the project area and beach is a major part of the work here too; as you will need to make sure the nesting sites remain as healthy and safe as possible to give the turtles the best chance of survival. Burying the eggs brought by vendors is another essential part of the project work. Vendors often bring eggs to the centre and these need to be buried as soon as possible in order to safeguard them for hatching. 
Keeping the area clean is essential in keeping the turtles healthy. As part of the rota you will be responsible for ensuring the tanks and hatchery are clean. You’ll even get to clean the turtle’s shells! Feeding the turtles will of course be a daily task and you will be involved in cutting up and preparing the food (which is predominantly tuna) before feeding it to the turtles.
Releasing the turtles is often the volunteer’s favourite activity – particularly when releasing the babies back into the sea! You will often need to be on hand to scare away predators such as birds.
Volunteers will also have a hand in the education of the local communities, through hatchery tours and work in local primary schools. The achievements of this project in the last 20 years have had an astoundingly positive effect on the numbers of sea turtles in the area, but the battle is not over yet. 

Last Day

After fond farewells you will be transferred back to the airport in Colombo for your return flight home or to commence your independent travel plans.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Please note that this is only a rough guideline, and the itinerary may be subject to change depending on the needs of the reserva.

Volunteers are essential in the continuation of daily care and preservation of the turtles. All who take part in this project will be able to get involved with a variety of tasks, caring for turtles that live at the centre, maintaining the project area and the beach, burying eggs brought by vendors, cleaning the hatcheries, feeding the turtles and releasing them back into the wild. Volunteers will also have a hand in the education of the local communities, through hatchery tours and work in local primary schools. The achievements of this project in the last 20 years have had an astoundingly positive effect on the numbers of sea turtles in the area, but the battle is not over yet. Volunteers who have a hand in this project will leave having had a personal, positive impact on the future survival of Sri Lanka’s sea turtles.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Other Skills
No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Sri Lanka? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Great Projects

Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation

Free-time activities

On the weekend you have free time to explore the surrounding area, just a bus ride away from some amazing beaches.

Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking

Services

What's included?
What's included in the price of the project?
Airport transfers
Accommodation
All meals
Detailed orientation
Volunteer project activities
On site project coordinator
24 emergency contact in the UK
Bottled water
Wi-fi internet access
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

You will need to arrive into Colombo International airport between 9am - 5pm on the start date of your project, where you will be met by a project representative and transferred to the project site, roughly three hours' drive away

Accommodation

The accommodation on this project is a volunteer house on the project site. The rooms you will be staying in are basic but clean and are based on twin or triple rooms. The accommodation also includes modern toilets, showers and running water.

Dorm Room Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Whilst on site you will be provided with three meals a day and bottled water served by the house keeper in the volunteer house. Breakfast consists of fresh fruit, bread and jams and eggs, lunch can be chosen from a menu containing items such as BLT, soup, omelette and dinner will typically consist of Sri Lankan dishes like curry (fish or chicken) and rice, vegetable dishes served buffet style.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs
2 weeks (min. stay)
$755
3 weeks
$929
4 weeks
$1103
5 weeks
$1277
6 weeks
$1451
7 weeks
$1625
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2495

You can volunteer at the project site in Kosgoda/Sri Lanka between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$293/week
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 The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Sri Lanka

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Sri Lanka. Please check the visa regulations for Sri Lanka.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Sri Lanka.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Bandaranaike International (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.
Vaccine Checker
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.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Sri Lanka upfront.
Kosgoda, Kosgoda, Sri Lanka