Israel - Coral Reef Conservation
Volunteer for a unique coral reef conservation project in the Red Sea and help preserve one of the richest marine environments on Earth. Work with a professional staff and other like-minded volunteers while getting to know one of Israel's best beach towns, Eilat.
|Location of Project||Eilat (about 350 km from Tel Aviv)|
|Project Length||Min 2 weeks - Max 4 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion or Eilat|
|Volunteer Work||Assist in preserving the coral reef in the Gulf of Eilat|
|Number of Participants||1 - 2 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 40|
|Accommodation||Dormitory room in the Arava Hostel|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Orientation||GoEco volunteer and travel orientation in Jerusalem|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
|Health Insurance||Comprehensive health insurance for volunteering in Israel|
What's Not Included
Located at the northern tip of the Red Sea in the south of Israel, Eilat also shares borders with Egypt and Jordan. The beaches, nightlife, arid climate and desert landscapes make Eilat a very popular destination for domestic and international tourism. The Gulf of Eilat is also a major destination for diving and snorkeling due to its fantastic coral reef and marine life.
About the Project
Out of 11 kilometers of Eilat beach in Israeli territory, 1,200 meters have been declared a nature reserve. The Coral Beach Reserve was one of the first nature reserves to be declared in Israel. The Coral Beach Nature Reserve offers a spectacular combination of corals creating colorful underwater ‘gardens' with butterfly fish, parrot fish, Julie fish, nocturnal fish, and many other species, along with sea lilies, giant shells, and much more. The heart of the reserve is a coral reef of some 1,200 meters long that spans parallel to the beach. It is one of the most densely populated' coral reefs in the world and the only one in Israel, and you will have the opportunity to help preserve this endangered coral reef.
Orientation in Jerusalem
Your volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at a fantastic hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great base to meet fellow volunteers and travelers and includes the following:
- Volunteer preparation and travel directions to your program
- Expert advice for traveling in Israel during and after your volunteer placement
- Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
- Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant nightlife
- 1 night shared dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)
The GoEco orientation will begin at 10:00 AM on the start date. The next morning, you will travel to your project with public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and the project will be provided upon registration.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
You will become an integral part of the staff that aims to protect the fragile Coral Reef Reserve from countless threats. The work you will do is heavily dependent on which season it is in the country. During the high season (summer) much of your work will center around preparing the beach for tourists. It is of the utmost importance that the beach area remains trash-free so that floating debris does not disturb the ecosystem.
- General maintenance
- Beach cleaning
- Beach observations
- Inform visitors about the beach rules (swimming areas, use of snorkeling gear, etc.)
- Water buoy maintenance
- Assisting park rangers
In order to volunteer at this project, you must be an advanced swimmer. A huge amount of the work being done is in the water and you will need to be able to cope with tides, waves and currents, although usually they are not strong.
A typical day: You should expect to wake up early and be ready to start working around 9am. You will help the rangers prepare the beach in the morning and then start with a special project. Your day will finish around 2:30pm, leaving you plenty of free time to enjoy the beach, snorkel, scuba dive or take a break from the heat.
*Please note that volunteer activities and schedules can change at any time based on the needs of the project.
You will work 5 days per week and have Friday and Saturday off.
Accommodations: You will stay in the Arava Hostel in a single gender dormitory room with up to 6 people. Your room may be shared with other guests at the hostel who are not volunteering with GoEco. The rooms include beds, linens, and air conditioning. There are shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen for cooking. You can also enjoy the sun terrace with lounge chairs, BBQ area and picnic benches. Internet, snacks, drinks, lockers and safety deposit boxes (please bring your own locks) are available for an additional fee. The hostel is just 5 minutes from the center of Eilat and 10 minutes from the beach, boardwalk and clubbing area.
Food: You can purchase breakfast, snacks and drinks at the hostel. There are plenty of markets nearby where you can buy groceries and you have full use of the kitchen at the hostel. If you wish to eat out, there are a variety of inexpensive options in the area.
Internet: WiFi is available at the hostel.
Laundry: Washing machines are available for an additional fee.
Important notes: Each work day you will need to take a 20 minute bus ride to the reserve and back (cost about US$4/day).
Thanks to the relatively small size of the country and the convenient public transportation options, seeing and doing things outside of the Negev Desert is easy. You can experience the spectacular amount of salt in the Dead Sea and slather yourself in the healing mud. Travel further north and enjoy the Tel Aviv’s beaches, nightlife, museums and architecture as a large section of the city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In the northern most section of the country you can visit the Sea of Galilee and the Galilee region, home to many historical and religious sites.
- Minimum age 18
- Basic English or Hebrew
- Good physical fitness
- Advanced swimmer
- Phone interview
- Able to endure hot climate
- Motivation to work for nature preservation
- Full travel & medical insurance
- Must bring a water-proof rash guard with long sleeves to wear during work in the water