- Make a difference to the conservation and care of sea turtles in Sri Lanka
- Volunteer at a turtle hatchery!
- Help conserve the nesting sites of sea turtles
- Get involved in community outreach projects and vital beach clean ups
- Live with other volunteers in a comfortable villa, just 5 minutes from the beach!
- Relax on the beach or explore Sri Lanka during your time off!
Head over to southwest Sri Lanka and volunteer at a sea turtle hatchery in Galle on this fantastic volunteer project. Help the local team conserve sea turtle nesting hatcheries, monitor mother turtles who come to the beaches to nest, assist with the care of sick and injured turtles, get involved with beach clean ups, take part in community outreach projects and assist with vital day to day general maintenance of the hatchery area. You’ll stay with fellow volunteers in shared volunteer villa just 5 minutes from the beach! Plus, during your time off you’ll be able to explore more of Sri Lanka, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun! Don’t miss this great opportunity to make a difference and have fun in Sri Lanka!
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What to Expect
When you arrive into Colombo, you will be met at the airport and taken to your volunteer accommodation. You will be staying in shared volunteer dorms in a villa that is located just 5 minutes from the beach.
You will volunteer from Monday to Friday, working 2-4 hour shifts in either the morning or the afternoon. Your weekends are free to relax and explore. You can chill out on the beach, wander around the historic area, or join one of the optional excursions which are organised by the local team.
Day in the Life
During your time in Sri Lanka, you will help out with a range of tasks and duties, which vary depending on the time of year and the needs of the project. A typical week of volunteering will usually be split into 3 sections:
•3 days of volunteering in the hatchery
•1 day of beach cleaning
•1 day of community outreach
Typical tasks in the hatchery might include filling tanks with fresh ocean water, cleaning tanks, feeding sea turtles and giving medicine to sick or injured turtles.
Beach clean-ups ensure the nesting sites are accessible and safe for mother turtles, and the hatchery can continue to function effectively.
Outreach work with the local community spreads awareness about sea turtles and teaches local rural communities about the importance of conservation.
During nesting and hatching season, you may get involved with observing and protecting eggs and releasing baby turtles into the ocean. You might even spend a night camping on the beach, watching the baby turtles as they emerge from their eggs and take their first tentative steps on the sand (usually occurs between December and March)!
As well as your volunteering duties you may also have the opportunity to take part in a number of activites which may occur whilst you are at the project, such as:
- Weekly yoga class from an experienced yoga teacher
- Weekly movie night on large screen projector
- Monthly guided bike tour around the local paddyfields and countryside
- Monthly special Sri Lanka BBQ dinner
- Monthly cultural visit to Buddhist temple
Purpose & Aim of the Project
The primary aim of the hatchery is take care of the overall well-being of the sea turtles in the local area and increase the turtle population through various conservation efforts. The hatchery supervises nesting beaches and aims to protect eggs and young sea turtles from poachers, predators and dogs. The project also monitors mother turtles who travel to the nesting beaches to lay their eggs and care for baby turtles once they have hatched, with an aim to releasing them into the ocean once they are strong and healthy.
This project is perfect for anyone and everyone. Whether you’re looking for a career in conservation and want some experience, or just want to get involved in a worthwhile project in a beautiful area, then this project is for you! You will work with the local team and gain a unique insight into how marine conservation operates. You will also gain experience handling and caring for sea turtles, which will certainly make your CV stand out if you’re interested in working with animals in the future.
- Airport transfers within stated hours
- Accommodation at shared volunteer villa
- 3 meals a day
- Project training
- Turtle conservation volunteer project
- Donation to sea turtle hatchery
- Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
- Weekly movie night
- Monthly bike tour of local villages
- Monthly garden BBQ
- 24/7 Emergency support
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks and snacks
- Optional activities and excursions
The accommodation you will stay in a a volunteer house in southern Sri Lanka's Unawatuna district of Galle. The volunteer house overlooks Unawatuna beach which is just a 5 minute walk away and the historic city of Galle is a 15 minute tuk tuk ride away.
There are 11 ensuite bedrooms with a maximum of 6 per room, although most rooms are are only 4. Rooms are single sex, but private room upgrades are available at extra cost. The house has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool. The house is covered by CCTV and is located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. Hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge which is payable locally.
Please note that during busy seasons you may be housed in a secondary volunteer house located a 10 minute tuk tuk drive from the main house. The house holds up to 14 people and free transport to and from both houses is provided for volunteers. All volunteers will be able to use facilities at both houses.
3 meals a day are provided at the volunteer house. These will be prepared by the in-house chef using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Breakfasts usually consist of pancakes, eggs or fruit. Lunch and dinner is often Sri Lankan curry with vegetables, pasta, soups, wraps or fresh salads. You will need to purchase any additional snacks yourself, and there is storage for your food in the kitchen.
You should arrange your flight into Colombo International Airport between the hours of 8am and 5pm on your programme start date. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation near Galle. If you arrive outside of these times (and if your flight is delayed so you arrive after 5pm), you will need to pay for a private transfer, please contact us for details.
Your project finishes on your programme end date, please arrange your flights to depart from Colombo International Airport between 10am and 7pm. A departure airport transfer is included between these times however if you flight departs at other times no transfer will be included but can be arranged locally; please ensure that you allow plenty of time for your journey back to Colombo and check-in at the airport.
The minimum age to participate in this volunteer experience is 18 years; this is an open-aged volunteer programme so you are likely to meet other volunteers of varying ages on this project.
You will need to get a visa before arrival for Sri Lanka with a UK passport. You can apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization visa online (ETA) through the offical Sri Lankan ETA website.
We recommend you check the latest visa regulations with the Sri Lanka Embassy.
If you intend to stay for longer than 30 days, you will need to make an appointment with the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UK to apply for a 90 day visa. You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
How Long Can I Volunteer For?
On this project you can volunteer from 2 to 4 weeks.
Where Will I Be Staying?
You will be staying in Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. This town is a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site, with plenty of historic areas to explore and beaches to relax on. It is also near to other beautiful areas such as Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna which you can explore during your time off.
What Can I Do During My Time Off?
During your time off, you can relax in Galle or explore some nearby beaches. You could also join one of the optional activities or excursions that are organised by the local team. Previous excursions have included whale watching and rainforest hikes. Alternatively you may like to use your weekends to venture further afield and discover more of what Sri Lanka has to offer - from the beautiful hill country town of Ella which is surrounded by tea plantations, to Kandy - one of the most spiritually important towns of the buddhist world which is home to the temple of the tooth relic, to stunning beaches and much much more.
Why Type Of Food Should I Expect?
3 meals per day are provided at the volunteer house and are included in your programme. This will generally be local Sri Lankan dishes such as rice and curry, sambol, bread, fruit and vegetables.
What Type Of Clothing Should I Wear?
Sri Lanka is a very conservative country and you are asked to dress appropriately. Whilst volunteering please ensure that your shoulders, chest and mid-riff are covered and shorts/skirts should be knee-length or longer.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.