Sri Lanka – Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation

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

Program Highlights:

  • Contribute directly to the conservation of endangered sea turtles along the coast of Sri Lanka
  • Ethical wildlife volunteering and interactions
  • Engage with the local community to raise awareness for marine conservation
  • Live in close proximity to world-class beaches
  • Enjoy weekly yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours, monthly barbecues and Buddhist temple visits.


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

Arrival Day, Saturday: Airport pickup according to scheduled flight and shared transfer to volunteer villa. Meet and greet with fellow volunteers.

Day 1, Sunday: Volunteers will receive a tour of the area, and orientation. 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 per week is Environment Day, when volunteers will take part in beach cleaning activities in Galle. The remaining weekday is Community Day when volunteers educate either 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.

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

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

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!



Location icon Location of the Project: Galle, Sri Lanka

Project length Project length: Minimum 1 week – Maximum 12 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Turtle conservation

Age Age:  17-65 is the recommended age range. Those over 65 may still apply. This program welcomes families with children aged six and older!

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


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in a volunteer villa.

Food Food: Three meals per day are provided.

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers: Shared airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days at specific hours. Upgrades to private transfers are available for an additional fee.

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, upgrade fees to private airport transfers can be between $70 – $100 per transfer if required (shared airport transfers are included at no extra fee).

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, exclusive shops and boutique hotels. The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity.

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 protect this species.

Volunteers on this program spend 60% of their time working in the hatchery and the other 40% on activities such as beach cleanups and creating awareness within the local community. During hatching season (December-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 include:

  • Cleaning the turtles, the tanks and the general hatchery area
  • Feeding the turtles
  • Preserving turtle eggs by burying them in a protected area
  • Filling the tanks with fresh sea water to mimic their natural environment
  • Rehabilitating injured and sick turtles
  • Releasing healthy baby turtles in the ocean
  • Special projects from time to time such as awareness campaigns, mangrove panting, etc.


Cultural Note: 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:

  • Main Volunteer House: The main volunteer house is the hub for all volunteer programs and activities. This main house offers single-gender rooms in a volunteer villa overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean. The villa has 11 bedrooms with fans, 11 bathrooms and showers with hot water. Rooms are shared with a maximum of 4 volunteers per room. There is also a private pool on site for all volunteers to make use. The house has eco-friendly features including solar heating panels. There may be up to 52 volunteers in the house at a time. Private rooms (single or double) and AC rooms are available for an extra fee.
  • During the busy months: The main Volunteer House may be fully booked. In these cases, volunteers will be accommodated at one of our partner Guesthouses within walking distance: Summer Garden Beachfront Guesthouse & Blue Eyes Inn. Both guest houses are close to the Main House (less than 100 metres away), and all volunteers will have the same access to the main volunteer house as normal for meals, free time, common areas, pool, roof top etc. Your accommodation assignment will be confirmed at the time your volunteer placement is approved.


Food icon Food: Three meals per day will be prepared by house chefs, using local, fresh ingredients. All meals for volunteers regardless of which accommodations assigned to your placement, are served at the main house. 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 throughout the day.

  • Only fully vaccinated participants can enter Sri Lanka (2 weeks after the recommended dose).
  • Online ETA entry visa. We will send you the full instructions following the application.
  • Minimum age of 18. Also suitable for 16- and 17-year-olds with parental consent.
  • Police clearance form
  • Proficiency in English

As a volunteer, you will enjoy weekly evening yoga sessions, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours, monthly special Sri Lankan BBQ and Buddhist temple visit! The volunteer villa is less than 100 metres from Unawatuna Beach, which is one of the most prominent beaches in all of Sri Lanka. Surfing, diving, snorkelling, beaching, etc, are all available in proximity. Additional travel adventures are available for an additional fee, see 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 across beautiful tea gardens and local villages, an overnight stay at a riverside eco-lodge, visits to Sri Lanka’s most famous Buddhist temple in the historic city of Kandy, a village walk, a visit to Sigiriya Lion Rock, spend time in a local market and a trip to Negombo Beach!


Additional Recommendations:

  • Wildlife safari at Yala National Park or Udawalawe National Park (instead of elephant safari)
  • Rainforest hike to Sinharaja Forest Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Surfing lessons at nearby beaches
  • Scuba diving (PADI certification available)
  • Whale watching (during the season)
  • Cooking classes
  • Galle Fort visit (a UNESCO World Heritage site)

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?