Sri Lanka – Family-Friendly Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation

This program is now open to international volunteers!

 

Travel to beautiful Sri Lanka to volunteer for sea turtle conservation!

 

Family Price Details:

  • The Total Project Cost is for one family member.
  • One adult can supervise a maximum of three children under the age of 18.
  • Families will receive private en-suite accommodations

 

Program Highlights:

  • Contribute directly to the conservation of endangered sea turtles along the coast of Sri Lanka
  • Ethical wildlife volunteering and interactions
  • Live in close proximity to world-class beaches
  • Enjoy weekly rooftop yoga sessions, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues
  • Families will work in their own, private section of the hatchery
  • Private apartment or private rooms in a volunteer house
  • The local staff will be happy to help you arrange day excursions for an additional fee, such as elephant safaris and whale watching experiences

 

Your schedule at a glance (Minimum one-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Saturday: Arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). A team member will be waiting to pick you up for transfer to the volunteer villa. Meet and greet with fellow volunteers.

Day 1, Sunday: Volunteers will receive a tour of the area, and orientation if it was not given on Saturday. Enjoy the rest of the day by exploring local beaches with fellow volunteers or joining an adventure! ( See “Travel Highlights” below for recommendations!)

Days 2-6, Monday-Friday: Rewarding volunteer work. Three days each week, volunteers work in the hatchery, which is about an hour away from the volunteer villa. Tasks include feeding and cleaning the turtles, moving turtle eggs into the hatching area, caring for disabled turtles, cleaning tanks and more. One day a week is Environment Day, where volunteers will take part in beach cleaning activities in Galle. The remaining weekday is Community Day where volunteers either educate local school children or rural women about sea turtle conservation or work on a special, related project. During nesting season (November-May) there are two night patrol camps each month where participants camp out on the beach and protect the nests. Please note that this schedule may change at any time.

Day 7, Saturday: Departure day for volunteers staying just one week. Free time for volunteers who are extending.

Remaining Weeks: The following weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on Saturdays.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Galle, Sri Lanka

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 4 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work: Marine and wildlife conservation

Age Age: Families with children aged six and up are welcome.

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 15 international volunteers

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Private room in a shared volunteer house

Food Food: Three meals per day are provided

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days

Orientation Orientation: Upon arrival, volunteers will receive a walking tour and introductory training presentations.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, online ETA visa (around $35), travel health insurance, personal expenses

Galle is a beautiful area in southern Sri Lanka that is surrounded by lush greenery and is in close proximity to world-class beaches! Many of the nearby beaches are prime surfing spots and others are more relaxing. There is even a turtle lagoon nearby. Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient religious buildings, museums and more. Galle is also quite trendy, and is home to cafes, specialty shops and boutique hotels.

 

Sea turtles in Sri Lanka are an endangered species. The species is threatened by human poachers as well as predators. The Sri Lankan government has approved the creation of hatcheries in order to conserve this species.

Volunteers on this program spend 60% of their time working in the hatchery, and the other 40% is spent on activities such as beach cleans
and creating awareness within the local community. During nesting season (November-May) there are two night patrol camps each month where participants camp out on the beach and protect the nests. Please note that this schedule may change at any time.

Typical hatchery tasks may include:

  • Cleaning the turtles
  • Preserving turtle eggs by burying in the hatchery area
  • Cleaning the tanks
  • Applying medicine to turtles in need

 

Please note: Depending on the age and abilities of the kids, the local project coordinator and hatchery staff will assign tasks accordingly. Due to cultural norms of Sri Lanka, participants are required to remove any body piercings and cover all visible tattoos while at the project site.

Internet icon Internet: Each volunteer may use up to 5 GB of WiFi in the volunteer house during their stay.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry services are available for an additional fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Families will stay in a private room in the volunteer house. There is a private pool for use. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time.

Food icon Food: Three meals per day will be prepared by the house chefs, using local, fresh ingredients. Tropical fruit is available during every meal and there is a salad bar set up during most lunches and dinners. Vegan, nut-free, gluten-free and lactose-free diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Tea, coffee and filtered water are available 24/7.

 

  • Only fully vaccinated participants (18+) can enter Sri Lanka (2 weeks after the recommended dose).
  • Online ETA entry visa. We will send you full instructions following application.
  • Police clearance form for adults
  • Proficiency in English
  • Minimum age of six for children
  • Good physical fitness
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Willingness to work hard and get your hands dirty

Volunteers can enjoy weekly evening yoga session on the rooftop, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues! Additional travel adventures are available for an extra fee, and a few recommendations are listed below.

Adventure Tour (Highly Recommended):
Extend your stay in Sri Lanka by participating in a seven-day Adventure Tour! This adventure tour includes a game drive, visits to waterfalls, a long train ride, an overnight stay at a riverside eco lodge, visit to temples, a village walk, visit to a spice grove, a visit to Lion Rock, time in the local market as well as a trip to Negombo Beach!

Additional Recommendations:

  • Elephant safari
  • Rainforest hike
  • Surfing lessons on nearby beaches
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking class
  • Fort Galle visit

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?