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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Most expensive: £1,058 December, 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 one of three shared volunteer houses is included for the duration of your stay. All accommodations are within 100m of each other in the Unawatuna district of Galle in Southern Sri Lanka. The volunteer houses are all within 5 minute walk of Unawatuna beach and turquoise waters of the Indian The historic city of Galle is just a 15 minute drive.
There is 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 main house is split over 4 floors and has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool, which are available to all guests regardless of volunteer house. The accommodations are located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood. The houses have hot water and wifi included.
Home-cooked meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served at the main volunteer house 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.
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.