Sri Lanka Turtle Conservation
Culture, turtles and beaches!
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Group Size: Avg 5-20
Trip code: SRTC
Duration: 2 - 3 weeks
Head over to beautiful Sri Lanka and help out with a vital turtle conservation project on the sparkling south-west coast! Feed turtles, help maintain the hatchery facilities, look after turtle nesting areas, and more on this incredible hands-on wildlife experience! You'll gain fantastic conservation experience and enjoy stunning encounters with these wonderful creatures. Volunteer for around 2-3 hours per day and spend your free time and weekends exploring the rest of this incredible country!
- Make a difference to marine conservation in beautiful south-west Sri Lanka
- Feed turtles and assist with the cleaning and maintenance of the hatchery tanks
- Clean nesting beaches and educate the local community with vital outreach programmes
- Stay in a vibrant volunteer house with your fellow volunteers
- Enjoy free weekends to relax and explore Sri Lanka!
Spend 2 weeks or longer helping out at a fantastic turtle conservation project on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka. The project collects eggs and houses them in special hatcheries away from the threat of predators, as well as caring for injured turtles and raising awareness about turtle protection. You'll also help maintain nesting sites, clean up beaches and maintain the hatchery facilities. You’ll make a real difference helping the project achieve its aims during your time in Sri Lanka!
As a volunteer, you will typically volunteer for around 2-4 hours a day. You will get involved with a range of vital conservation tasks. Duties will vary depending on the needs of the project at the time of your visit, but a typical week of volunteering might look like this:
3 days per week – Hatchery Volunteering: Hatcheries are vital to protect sick and injured turtles and to ensure hatchlings survive during their early stages. Typical duties around the hatchery include:
- Cleaning the turtles' tanks
- Refilling the tanks with fresh seawater
- Feeding the turtles
- Cleaning the project premises
- Caring for the nesting area
1 day per week – Beach Cleaning: You will clear rubbish and waste plastic from local beaches to protect marine wildlife and ensure a safe and sustainable environment for mother turtles. This is an important part of conservation efforts in the area.
1 day per week – Community Engagement: Another important part of this project is educating the local population about conservation and protection of wildlife. During your time on the programme, you will get involved with conservation presentations, school visits and other awareness campaigns (depending on the needs of the project).
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
Your weekends are free to chill out or explore. You will be staying in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle, which is perfect for exploration and relaxation. You are ideally located to visit incredible beaches up and down the coast. The local team also organise optional trips to other parts of Sri Lanka. Previous optional excursions have included whale watching in Mirissa, hiking in Sinharaja, cooking classes and bicycle trips.
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Cheapest flights between London and Colombo for the next 6 months
Most expensive: £1,495 April, 2023
Arrive at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your stay.
There will be 2 shared airport transfers every Saturday (one in the morning plus one in the afternoon/evening) as follows:
A morning transfer will cover flights arriving between 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Our driver will arrive at the airport by 6:00am and will meet all participants who arrive between 6-10am and then collectively take the group to the volunteer house in Galle after the last person has arrived within this range. Those arriving earlier than 6am will have to wait in the arrivals area of the airport where they can sit in the air-conditioned lounge, get a local SIM card organized and even have some refreshments at the onsite food court/bakery if they choose. Our driver will also provide every participant with a complimentary bottle of drinking water.
Afternoon/Evening Transfer will cover flights arriving between 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM. The same conditions will apply as the morning transfer described above, except for the change of time.
If your flight arrives after 6:30pm or on any other day which is not a Saturday, a private transfer can be arranged for USD 100 or you can make your own arrangements.
Departure transfers are not included, but can be arranged as above for additional cost if required. Alternatively, you can book this locally once in country.
Accommodation at a shared volunteer house is included for the duration of your stay. The accommodation is in southern Sri Lanka in the Unawatuna district of Galle. The volunteer house overlooks Unawatuna beach and turquoise waters of the Indian ocean. The beach is a 5 minute walk away and the historic city of Galle is just a 15 minute drive.
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 is split over 4 floors and 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. The house has hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge payable locally.
Home-cooked meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be a mix of Sri Lanka food and western food Typical dishes include:
- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
- Fresh salads
Please let a travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements, as most can be easily catered for with local ingredients.
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.
This is an open-aged trip for those over the age of 18, suitable for travellers who wish to make a difference as a volunteer.
This programme is suited to passionate, creative, caring and confident people who wish to make a difference and have a rewarding travel experience. You should have a flexible, mature attitude and be open to cultural difference. This is a cultural not a party trip, so you should be willing and happy to entertain yourself in your free time.
This programme does not require you to have any prior experience or qualifications (although any you have is beneficial); you’ll receive advice in orientation upon arrival and are provided with guidelines and the daily support of a volunteer co-ordinator at each of the projects.
All tourists visiting Sri Lanka can apply for a 180-day visa through the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) website. The fee for this is 50 USD. You can also obtain an on-arrival visa in Colombo Airport at a cost of 60 USD, but this visa will only be for 30 days. If you are planning to stay in Sri Lanka for longer than 30 days, we recommend that you apply for your visa in advance, so you don't have to extend your visa with the Immigration Department during your stay.
It’s your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. Visa rules are subject to change without prior notice, so please do check visa requirements at the time of your trip.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.