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).
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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You should arrange your flight to arrive into Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on day 1 of your trip (always a Saturday). You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in southern Sri Lanka near Galle.To receive your airport transfer you must arrive between 7am and 5pm. If you arrive outside of these times, an extra charge will apply. Please contact us for details.
Your trip will end on a Saturday. A return airport transfer is only included if your flight leaves on your end date between 10am and 8pm. For all other times the airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange. .
Simple accommodation at a shared volunteer house which is 10 minutes tuktuk ride from Galle Fort is included for the duration of your stay. The accommodation is in southern Sri Lanka between Galle City and the beach town of Unawatuna. The volunteer house is located about 45 minutes away from the hatchery, and 15 minutes away from the beach cleaning and community projects.
Galle is a busy port town with amazing colonial Dutch buildings in vibrant colours which lends itself to the beachy vibes. The rooms are single sex bunk bed rooms with 4-6 people per room. Homestays will be basic, but nearby volunteer centres will provide internet access and mobile phone signal. There are CCTV cameras at the front of the property for security.
Home-cooked Sri Lankan meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Typical food includes:
- Red rice and sambol
- Bread and fruits
- Rice and curry
Please let a travel advisor know if you have any dietary requirements, as most can be easily catered for with local ingredients.
There is also local shops within 15 minutes walking distance where volunteers can purchase drinks and western snacks as well as plenty of cafes and restaurants in Galle town.
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.
A visa is required for entry to Sri Lanka and must be obtained before you go (at extra cost). You can no longer get a visa on arrival. A short stay visa (for up to 30 days) can be obtained online, through the ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) or through the Sri Lankan High Commission before you travel. When applying for this programme you should apply for a visitor’s visa, with your reason for visiting given as ‘travel’ only.
If you intend to stay for more than 30 days in Sri Lanka you will need to apply for a 90-day visa through the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka and make an appointment with the Sri Lankan embassy in the UK (fees apply). Once you are in Sri Lanka you can extend your visa while you are out there if necessary.