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Sea Turtle Rehabilitation and Rescue Center

Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

Agency | GoEco

Help rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles in Sri Lanka that are affected by the fishing industry.

About the project

This project is located close to the local fisheries port in the quaint Oceanside town of Ambalangoda. Fishing is one of the major industries in Ambalangoda and there is increasing concern for the sea turtle populations that are affected. The two main issues that sea turtles face are human consumption as turtle eggs are a delicacy in Sri Lanka, and harm caused during net capture which leads to their inability to survive in the wild.
The center's goal is to rescue and protect these sea turtles. They work closely with the Sri Lankan Wildlife department who sets all the rules and regulation for all the conservation programs. The department has awarded them a license to care for the disabled turtles and they are currently the only organization in Sri Lanka to have this right. Often the disabled turtles come through the Wildlife department and their main veterinarian gives the center's local veterinarian instructions on how to take care of each turtle.

About the location

Sri Lanka is a small island country south east of India in the Indian Ocean. The geography of Sri Lanka is remarkable as you can be in alpine jungle one day, on top of a mountain overlooking tea plantations the next, visiting ancient historical sites with giant Buddha statues carved out of rock, and then be on the beach swimming in the warm waters of the Indian ocean. The people of Sri Lanka are warm and inviting, ready to share their country and open their hearts to those who come to visit. A trip to Sri Lanka is like none other and your heart will open to the land and the people who live there.

Volunteer tasks

On this project, you will work closely with local partners in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured sea turtles. This is achieved through both direct care of injured and disabled turtles, as well as enhancing awareness among fishermen and local communities, and releasing baby hatchlings into the sea.

You will spend much of your days on the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site. These include 4 of the local species of turtles: Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley Turtles.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Feeding the turtles
  • Cleaning their water tanks
  • Taking the turtles out of their tanks to spend time with them on the beach
  • Collecting turtle eggs and bringing them to a safe location for them to hatch
  • Re-releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea
  • Giving talks to educational and tourist groups who come to visit the project
  • Beach maintenance
You will work Monday through Friday with weekends off and sufficient free time to enjoy the beach and to explore many of Sri Lanka’s exciting tourist destinations.

Please Note: Volunteers may not use sunscreen or any other chemicals on parts of their skin which touch the water or turtles. Participants with open injuries in their hands also should not work with the turtles directly, as infections may occur.

Cultural Note: Due to cultural norms of Sri Lanka, participants are required to remove any body piercings and cover all visible tattoos while at the project site.

Orientation Week (Included):
This is the first step towards a great stay in an exciting new country! It's an action packed and fun-filled week in Kandy that is dedicated to introducing you to Sri Lanka and all its cultural aspects with a firsthand, live-in experience. You will also have time to meet local people, taste the local cuisine, and get familiar with Sri Lankan customs. 

Free-time activities

A visit to the cultural triangle is a must; you can visit many of the country's UNESCO World Heritage sites here. The cave temples of Dambulla offer not only views all the way to Sigirya but giant Buddha statues carved from stone over 2000 years ago and housed in ancient caves on top of a mountain, towering 160 meters over the surrounding jungle. Sigirya, the ancient mountaintop palace that dates back more than 1500 years is a great day trip, you will climb thousands of stairs to reach the top but it is worth it for the 360 degree view of the jungle below, the rock paintings of beautiful maidens half way up the climb, and the ruins of the giant lion statue that once guarded the entrance to the upper palace. Visiting the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa are great highlights of this part of the country. Visiting these sites will give you a glimpse into life in ancient Sri Lanka and the importance of Buddhism in its culture. In these sites you are able to see some of the most spectacular Buddha statues and Pagodas that have been discovered in this part of the world.

Finally, don’t forget about all the fun you can have on the beach including surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and whale watching. Sri Lanka offers all tourist opportunities for a fabulous vacation. Ambalangoda is Sri Lanka’s home to the ancient art of mask making and a visit to the mask museum is a must while you are there. From Ambalangoda you are close to Galle, another UNESCO World Heritage site and other beach towns worth visiting for their crystal clear warm waters and local culture.

Program Add-Ons (Not Included):
During the weekends or after the volunteer placement you can join one of the following program add-ons (book following registration). 

Tropical beach week: Spend an entire week on some of Southern Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches. The mornings are packed with exciting activities such as a river safari on the Madu Gaga where you may be able to sight a few crocodiles, a trip to Cinnamon Island to see some island temples and mangroves. You will also visit the Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and see South Asia’s largest sleeping Buddha statue. Your outings for the week also include a trip to the mask factory and the museum. You will have the afternoons and evenings off to spend at the beach. 
Yoga and meditation week: Indulge in a week designed to relax the body and soothe the mind. This week combines Yoga and Meditation with Ayurvedic treatments. This week will teach you the basics of Yoga and Meditation and also educate you about the human body.The techniques taught here form the basics of Yoga and Meditation, as with any form of exercise it is not a magic formula. The benefits of it can be reaped only by continuously practicing it and a conscious change in lifestyle.


Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
Proof of Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Good physical fitness
Ability to work in a team
Willing to work hard and get your hands dirty
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GoEco.
Services by GoEco
Included in the fees are:
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Airport Pickup on arrival
  • Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
  • Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport Pickup at Bandaranaike International Airport

Airport Pickup on arrival 


During the orientation week you will stay at the Volunteer house in Kandy comprised of 2 dormitories with a capacity of 4-10 people per room. Private rooms and matrimonial rooms can be requested for an extra fee, depending on availability. There is also the option of staying with a local Sri Lankan family (homestay accommodation) in Kandy for an additional fee. The prices for all upgrades are available upon request. During the volunteer portion, you will stay at the volunteer house, which is located on the beach and is a 5 minute walk from the project site and town. You will share a room with 4 to 10 volunteers, which includes a shared bathroom and shower as well as a lounge area and beautiful garden to relax in. Please note that there is no air conditioning in the standard accommodations, but fans are provided. Private rooms or homestays are also available for an additional fee. Families must reserve private accommodations for a supplementary fee.

Laundry services can be arranged for an additional fee.

Internet cafes are available about a 5 minute walk from the accommodations.

Dorm Room Guest Family Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Local vegetarian food is served on site for the volunteers, with three meals a day on the weekdays and 2 meals a day on the weekends.

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 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.
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)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
9 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Ambalangoda/Sri Lanka between 2 weeks and 9 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco 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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Asia Southern Asia Sri Lanka Ambalangoda, Ambalangoda

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