Seychelles - Scuba Dive for Research and Conservation
Spend your days exploring the underwater world of the Seychelles. Scuba dive with whale sharks and learn about coral reefs, sea turtles, and other marine life as you collect data and contribute towards marine conservation.
|Location of Project||Cap Ternay Island, Seychelles|
|Project Length||4, 8 or 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Seychelles International Airport, Mahé Island|
|Volunteer Work||Coral reef monitoring, aquatic conservation and research|
|Number of Participants||Up to 24 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 65|
|Accommodation||Clean and simple mixed dorms|
|Food||3 meals a day, prepared by the volunteers|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Airport pickup and drop off|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Orientation||All necessary training and introductions are provided upon arrival|
|Certification||PADI Open Water Advanced Certification and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality|
What's Not Included
The Seychelles is an island country composed of at least 115 different islands. It is located in the Indian Ocean about 1500 kilometers east of mainland Africa and northeast of Madagascar. The tropical islands of the Seychelles offer a vast array of natural beauty, white sand beaches, an abundance of fauna and flora, and coral reefs that line islands.
The islands of the Seychelles are grouped into outer and inner islands. The inner islands are made of granite and are the tops of underwater mountains. The inner islands are home to huge variety of tropical fish, stingrays, and sea turtles. The outer islands are low laying coral cays and atolls, they make up about half of the land area of the Seychelles but contain only 2 percent of the population. The outer islands are famous for steep underwater wall drops, underwater canyons, and coral reefs.
The Seychelles offer a unique blend of many cultures, as people from Africa, Europe, and Asia have come to the islands leaving their unique mark. The special island culture of the Seychelles is experienced through their music, dance, architecture, and food. The Seychelles are home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll in the world, and the Vallée de Mais Nature Reserve.
About the Project
Travel to the Seychelles, an archipelago far away from everything, and spend your days underwater diving with whale sharks and collecting data on coral reefs, sea turtles, tropical fish, and plankton. Volunteers on this project will work closely with partners on marine conservation projects, providing the local government with information on the coral reefs, behavior and nesting patterns of sea turtles, and the migration patterns of whale sharks, the world's largest fish.
Most of the time on this project will be spent underwater, scuba diving. Outside of normal work, volunteers will have the opportunity to go on dives, exploring the wildlife of the underwater world looking for whale sharks and manta rays, and swimming with dolphins. Volunteers can visit the breeding areas of the green turtle, the hawksbill, and the endangered giant tortoise.
While participating in this project volunteers learn how to identify many species of tropical fish and coral, while scuba diving amongst deserted tropical islands. PADI Advanced and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver training are provided, as well as the opportunity for many other diving courses. Volunteers will undergo intensive training on this project to master the ability to perform scuba dives with the purpose of performing scientific research as well as intensive marine education to learn how to carry out marine surveys, all without disturbing the environment.
Volunteer Work and Contributions
It is important to note that volunteers on this project are required to have a good level of fitness, as well as their PADI Open Water Dive Course. If you do not already have your PADI Open Water Dive course one can be arranged prior to the start of the program through one of the local dive centers in the Seychelles.
The work you will do on this project will contribute to the development of local awareness and environmental education programs. You will be assigned to a study focusing on either fish or coral during your stay on the project. Your duties as a volunteer may include:
- Coral reef monitoring
- Weekly surveys of plankton
- Invertebrate fish monitoring
- Weekly scuba dives to record in-water turtle behavior
On this project you will work six days a week with one day off, usually Sunday.
Please note that as you should expect to have five to ten dives per week, scuba diving is heavily weather dependent, so you will need to keep a flexible attitude. When you aren't scuba diving you will spend time with other members of your crew enjoying the beach, eating, and socializing.
Take your volunteering experience one step further!
Through the Internship Certification Program, you’ll have a personal mentor who will help you develop leadership skills, routinely assess your progress and provide a professional reference upon completion of the program.
Take part in the Biological Survey Techniques Course for in-depth training that will allow you to effectively plan and execute your own field surveys in the future.
Please note that there is an additional cost for these programs.
Accommodation: volunteers stay in simple and clean mixed-sex dormitories. Bathrooms are also shared and volunteers share the cleaning and other duties as required around the project base.
Food: 3 meals a day are provided and food is mostly vegetarian, with fish or meat available about once a week. The preparation of meals is done by volunteers. The food is simple with breakfast being porridge with fresh fruit and lunch and dinner being rice and beans, pasta, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Internet: there is no Internet available on the project base. Volunteers typically use Internet cafes which you will have access to about once a week.
Laundry: you can bring biodegradable laundry soap to wash your clothes by hand while on the project base.
While in the Seychelles, the possibilities for experiencing island life are endless. While there are over 100 islands in the archipelago of the Seychelles there is a lot of exploring you can do close to the project base on your days off. Mahé Island is the largest granite island in the Seychelles and also home to the capital of the Seychelles, Victoria. The bay of Beau Vallon, on Mahé, is also a great destination for a day trip to swim or snorkel in the crystal clear turquoise waters. The island of Mahé is surrounded by white sand beaches, has large granite cliffs that plunge into the seas below, and is covered in forest mountain terrain. Coral reefs encircle the island and a huge number of fish and invertebrate life are seen just offshore. Whale sharks and manta rays are often seen very close to the shore.
Traveling further around the Seychelles provides endless opportunities, as there are many islands to explore. Praslin, northwest of Mahé, the second largest island in the Seychelles, is a great destination for exploring. Praslin is covered in tropical forest and surrounded by beautiful beaches, most notable are the bird species found on the island, including the endemic Seychelles Bulbul and Black Parrot. Only 1 kilometer northwest of Praslin is Curieuse Island. Curieuse Island is covered in tropical forest and has many beautiful trails for hiking and exploring on day trips. The island is home to about 150 giant sea turtles and has even fewer permanent human residents.
A visit to the island of La Digue is a lot of fun as the island is only 10 square kilometers, making it small enough to travel around the island on a bicycle. It is important to note that if you are traveling between the islands of the Seychelles you need to take your time and adopt the island pace of life as travel distances are long and it takes time.
- Minimum age 18
- Good level of fitness
- PADI Open Water Dive Course
- A basic comprehension of the science topics you will be studying
- Ability to work in a group