Gili Shark Conservation

Shark Conservation Assistant Research Diver

Gili Air, Indonesia show on map

Our mission is to promote shark conservation and conduct citizen scientific research essential for effective marine conservation management worldwide. Support us now!

The Program

Gili Shark Conservation project is a small conservation and data collection program seeking hardworking and enthusiastic people who want to live in paradise while making a difference on their holiday. It is the first of it’s kind in the Gili Islands, and takes an active role in conservation issues in Indonesia’s three Gili Islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air.

This dive intensive program is located on the quiet and relaxed island of Gili Air. As a participant with Gili Shark Conservation, you will spend time alongside experienced underwater researchers and learn about the fragile ecosystem and its many living organisms. It combines a nice balance between learning and play while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this jewel in the Gillis.

There are many ongoing projects including roaming survey dives, BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) data collection, photographic identification of our resident sharks and turtles, island wide shark and ray abundance surveys beach and underwater clean ups, community days with the local schools, and environmental events and workshops to help the Gili Matra Marine Reserve and the environment of Gili Air. 

The Locations

We spend most of our time in 2 locations, at the project villa and at the dive shop. Villa Nangka is located in the middle of the island in a quiet tropical garden with shared accommodation, office space, and pool. We also spend our mornings at Oceans 5 Divers shop on the south side of the island, around a 10 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride from your accommodation. Oceans 5 Dive Resort is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort. 

Included Services

Program fees include shared accommodation in one of the premiere villas on the island, 3 delicious meals a day (during project days),  dive courses from PADI Open Water Diver course all the way to PADI Rescue Diver rating, diving fees and equipment rental (except for a dive computer), in-country transfers from airport or hotel in South Bali or Lombok, and much more! Our goal is to make sure your trip is covered so you don't need to worry about the hassle of traveling.

For decades, Indonesia has been ranked as the number one shark fishing nation in the world. The overfishing has resulted in a greatly reduced number of sharks in the local waters. Make a real difference in conservation through research and data collection and through local awareness events to help save the sharks of Indonesia! 

Living on Gili Air

There is never a dull night on Gili Air. You can enjoy a fresh organic meal while watching the sunset over Bali’s famous volcano, or go watch the local reggae band play under the stars. There are plenty of daytime activities in the area that you can enjoy on your weekends including waterfall hikes, surfing and kite surfing, an assortment of water sports, or just hang out on the beach. Bali is only 40km (25 miles) away and can easily be visited on your weekends.

Gili Air is a small and safe island with no cars or motorbikes. Everyone rides on bicycles or on the locally run horse carts. This means the air is clean and the island is quiet! It only takes 1 hour to walk around the entire island and only 10 minutes to bike to the opposite side. The accommodation is located in a quiet area of the island but only a 5-minute bike ride to the dive shop and 3-minutes from the main village where you will find the local market and all your amenities. You can buy everything on the island from shampoo to fresh fruit. If you are looking for something more specific you will be able to find it in the new western shopping mall located an hour away in the main city called Mataram.

Local Specialities

The local cuisine is an assortment of rice and noodles with fresh vegetables and free roaming meats. And of course a lot of chili sauce! There is a variety of different kinds of restaurants on the island both local and foreign. All meals are provided at the project, but we recommend trying out some of the amazing food on the island.

You will also have the opportunity to learn to speak the basics of the local language of Bahasa with weekly language classes with a local Indonesian teacher.

We are very close to the equator and it can be very hot, usually between 28-35 degrees Celsius. There is no air conditioning available but there is a pool to cool of in, a fan provided for each bed and the sea breeze can be felt across the island. This is a remote island where you should expect rolling blackouts and power shortages. But it’s all part of the adventure!

Typical day

In the first week, our shark warriors will be apart of an intensive training period for both scuba diving and scientific methodology training. This includes orientation to the island and the project, fish identification, BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) methodology, shark conservation course, scientific diver specialty course, and much more. 

We have a 5-day project schedule. 4 days a week you take part in 2 survey dives and BRUV drop and retrieval in the morning and either data analysis/input, lectures, or workshops in the afternoons. 1 day a week we organize community days including beach and underwater clean ups with Gili Cares Foundation, or going into our local school to help in the classrooms. 

A typical day could have the following schedule

  • 7:30 am: Breakfast
  • 8:30 am: Meeting at the Dive Shop
  • 9:00 am: Survey Dive 
  • 11:00 am: Break
  • 11:30 am: BRUV Drop/Photographic ID dive
  • 2:00 pm: Lunch
  • 3:00-5:00 am:  Data Input and Analysis/Community Day and Workshops!

Details on Arrival

Arriving in Bali 

Our private driver will pick you up from the airport. If you arrive before 11AM you can travel to Gili Air the same day. Our driver will bring you to the port in Serangan and from here you can jump on the boat to Gili Air. If you arrive after 11AM we recommend you to book a hotel for the night in Sanur. Our driver will pick you up the next and bring you to the port from where the boats are leaving to Gili Air. The boat will make 3 stops in total, 1 stop in Lombok, 1 stop in Gili Trawangan and 1 stop in Gili Air. It depends on the other customers in which order they make the stops, so make sure you jump off on the right island One of our team members will pick you up in the harbor and bring you on a horse cart to Villa Nangka – your new home away from home.

Arriving in Lombok 

It doesn’t matter what time you arrive in Lombok you can always make it the same day to Gili Air. Our private driver will wait for you at the airport and bring you to Teluk Nara. From the airport its around 1.5 hour drive depending on the traffic. In Teluk Nara a private speedboat is waiting for you and will drive you to Gili Air in 10 minutes. One of our team members will pick you up in the harbor and bring you on a horse cart to Villa Nangka – your new home away from home.

All the cost for your transportation is included in your package so you don’t need to pay for anything. Please send us a copy of your flight itinerary so we can organize your pick and transfer.

Free-time activities

Our project week runs Tuesday-Saturday allowing you to explore the Gili Islands, Lombok, and Bali on your weekends.

With both tourist attractions and off the beaten track destinations close by you will always be planning your weekend adventures. The Gili Islands are a dive destination, however yoga and a variety of water sports as snorkeling, stand up paddleboard, surfing, subwing, and many more are a key component to the lifestyle in Gili Air. Gili Trawanagan is a busy tourist island with shopping and lots of nightlife. Gili Meno is the quiet ‘Honeymoon Island’ with the best white sand beach.

Water Sports

Program 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 (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Dive medical
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
You need to be able to swim and be comfortable on boats.

All other skills are welcome! We encourage our participants to give back any way they can.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 16:00

Suitable for


Included Services

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Quality Assurance
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Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Gili Shark Conservation cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Gili Shark Conservation.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Gili Shark Conservation (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 Gili Shark Conservation
  • Your PADI Open Water Diver Course or you next level of certification ( PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course or PADI Rescue Diver Course). 
  • 8 dives a week including rental equipment and guides
  • Shared accommodation in a beautiful secret hidden getaway with pool and WiFi: Villa Nangka
  • Our private driver will pick you up from either the airport in Lombok or Bali
  • Return boat ticket from Bali / Lombok to Gili Air
  • 3 meals a day during project days (Tuesday till Saturday)

Airport Pickup at Ngurah Rai International Airport

Airport pick up and shuttle to either Serangan harbor or Padang Bai (the main harbor for the Gili Islands) and 2 hour boat ride to Gili Air is included in your program fee.

Boats leave from Bali multible times a day from 9am - 3pm. 

A staff member will be waiting for you at the harbour of Gili Air to escort you to you're new home at Villa Nangka. 

If you arrive past 10AM in Bali you will have to book into a hotel from where our driver will pick you up first thing in the morning and take you to Serangan harbor or Padang Bai.


Villa Nangka is a unique boutique hotel located at the heart of Gili Air.  As soon as you walk through the gate, you notice the spacious set up (2000m2) and you will feel the tranquillity. In the middle of the tropical garden you find a fully equipped open kitchen and outside dining area overlooking the 12 meter swimming pool.

The Villa has fresh hot & cold water shower, a spacious living room, a terrace and a balcony overlooking the swimming pool and two dorm bedrooms (maximum 4 guest in one bedroom). The bedrooms are exclusively reserved for guest of the Gili Shark Conservation Project.

The owners of Villa Nangka, together with their wonderful staff, will make sure your stay will be a memorable and unforgettable one!

Dorm Room Hotel
Food & Beverages

  • Breakfast - continental breakfast. eggs, toast and pancakes are available every day in the communal kitchen. 
  • Lunch - always different! Wraps, pasta, fresh salad, mixed rice dishes, and sandwiches are always on the menu. Provided during project days, Tuesday till Saturday.
  • Dinner - you can receive an optional weekly dinner allowance and enjoy the many international and local restaurants on the island. Provided during project days, Tuesday till Saturday.
  • We cater to all dietary needs.

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 Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
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 Indonesia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Indonesia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Indonesia.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Gili Air/Indonesia between 2 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Gili Shark Conservation 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 Indonesia.
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 {} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Indonesia  Gili Air, Gili Indah

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