The Great Turtle Project

Take part in the Great Turtle Project in Sri Lanka as a turtle volunteer and have a hand in the conservation of the country's beautiful sea turtles

From £599.00

  • Up to 10 Persons
  • All Meals Included
  • 7 - 84 Nights
  • Marine Wildlife,Turtles
  • Every Sunday
  • Minimum Age 7

Project Details

Activities

On this project you will be essential in the daily care and preservation of the turtles. Working with turtles here (green, olive ridley, loggerhead and hawksbill) will incorporate you into a wide range of tasks, including:

Caring for turtles that live at the centre
Caring for turtles that live at the centre
At the centre there are four species of turtle resident (predominantly green but also loggerhead, olive ridley and one hawksbill) and your principal role as a volunteer is to take care of these.
Maintaining the project area and beach
Maintaining the project area and beach
This is a major part of the work here; as you will need to make sure the nesting sites remain as healthy and safe as possible to give the turtles the best chance of survival.
Burying the eggs brought by vendors
Burying the eggs brought by vendors
This is another essential part of the project work. Vendors often bring eggs to the centre and these need to be buried as soon as possible in order to safeguard them for hatching.
Cleaning and constructing the hatcheries
Cleaning and constructing the hatcheries
Keeping the area clean is essential in keeping the turtles healthy. As part of the rota you will be responsible for ensuring the tanks and hatchery are clean. You’ll even get to clean the turtle’s shells!
Feeding the turtles
Feeding the turtles
This will of course be a daily task and you will be involved in cutting up and preparing the food (which is predominantly tuna) before feeding it to the turtles.
Turtle Release
Turtle Release
This is often the volunteer’s favourite activity – particularly when releasing the babies back into the sea! You will often need to be on hand to scare away predators such as birds.
Teaching English to local communities
Teaching English to local communities
English teachers are scarce in Kosgoda and so English-speaking volunteers are always greatly valued by locals who are keen to learn. Volunteers spend some afternoons interacting with the community, teaching conversational English.
Hatchery Tours
Hatchery Tours
In order to help to educate people about the importance of preserving the sea turtles in Sri Lanka and the work of the project itself volunteers often lend a hand with tours of the hatchery.

Itinerary

Please note itineraries are subject to change and what follows is simply a rough guideline.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
Arrive into Colombo airport and transfer to the project site. The evening comprises of an orientation which will cover important information regarding the volunteer project itself and is a chance to get any questions answered you may have.
Day 2-13 - Project Days:
After an Introduction to the sea turtle conservation project and staff, a work schedule is devised and then it is time to start the volunteering activities. You will take part in a variety of tasks and activities and be involved in the day-to-day running of the project and the turtle conservation efforts. These will include hatchery building and beach clearing. Weekends are free for you to spend as you wish.
Day 14 - Final Day:
Today will be your final day. After fond farewells you will be transferred back to the airport in Colombo for your return flight home or to commence your independent travel plans.

Dates, Availability & Price

To secure a place on this project a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.

Select a duration below to see the available start dates. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!

Duration Price
Please choose a trip using the select menus to the left.
Price:

*Rates other than GBP are estimates based on today's exchange rates. All payments are made in GBP.

Updates & Outcomes

By far the most dangerous predators of turtles are humans as turtles and their eggs are valuable commodities. Hundreds of thousands of eggs are stolen from beaches here every year, and shells are used for ornamental purposes such as hair slides and combs - its rarity ensures high demand. In Sri Lanka, where poverty is widespread, sea turtle nests and turtles themselves are robbed of their eggs and shells by poachers for sale on the black market.

The overall aim of the sea turtle conservation project is to monitor local sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting-sites. Making the public aware of the turtle's precarious position in terms of endangerment is essential in the fight to protect them. If local people learn of the turtles as an essential part in their ecosystem, it is hoped that they will eventually cease to be seen as simply a money-making opportunity.

So far since 1988, the Great Turtle Project has released over 94,000 hatchlings of the hawksbill, green, loggerhead and olive ridley species, and staff are entirely dedicated to keeping this number rising.

A Day In The Life Of A Great Turtle Project Volunteer

A Day In The Life Of A Great Turtle Project Volunteer

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a turtle volunteer looks like? Well you can wonder no more as our blog talks you through an average day in the life of a volunteer on the Great Turtle Project in Sri Lanka. Read up and see whether you will be inspired to help the turtles.

Read More

Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

The accommodation on this project is a volunteer house on the project site. The rooms you will be staying in are basic but clean and are based on twin or triple rooms. The accommodation also includes modern toilets, showers and running water.

Meals and Beverages

Meals and Beverages

Whilst on site you will be provided with three meals a day and bottled water served by the house keeper in the volunteer house. Breakfast consists of fresh fruit, bread and jams and eggs, lunch can be chosen from a menu containing items such as BLT, soup, omelette and dinner will typically consist of Sri Lankan dishes like curry (fish or chicken) and rice, vegetable dishes served buffet style.

Fitness & Skills

Fitness & Skills

This project does not involve much in the way of physical labour, but you will usually be working in fairly humid conditions. Therefore, you should have a basic level of fitness to take part. No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. However, you must be prepared to work alongside other members of the team, and to bring an upbeat, positive attitude to the endeavour as a whole.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history. We recommend that you consult with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would also recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.

Project Details

When Is The Best Time To Volunteer?

Due to the seasonality of turtle nesting and hatching this project definitely has a preferred time, however, there are turtles at the sanctuary all year round.

Nesting season is from November to May and as they take 7 weeks to hatch, hatching season is from January to July. Peak hatching season is between February to April, which means this is the most popular time to visit the project.

If you're ideally looking to travel between August and December, you may want to check out our Costa Rica Turtle Conservation Experience as an alternative.

Getting There

You will need to arrive into Colombo International airport between 9am - 5pm on the start date of your project, where you will be met by a project representative and transferred to the project site, roughly three hours' drive away.

If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.

Visa Requirements

All travellers to Sri Lanka WILL need a visa to enter the country. Short stay visas of thirty days can be obtained online via the Electronic Travel Authority found here. These can be extended for up to three months once in Sri Lanka from the Department of Immigration & Emigration. However, it is advisable to contact the Sri Lankan High Commission in your country of origin at least one month before travel. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months before travel.

Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). The exchange rate is around 1 LKR = 0.004 GBP, 0.007 USD, 0.005 EUR. Please note exchange rates are subject to change.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Detailed orientation
  • Volunteer project activities
  • On site project coordinator
  • 24 emergency contact in the UK
  • Bottled water
  • Wi-fi internet access
What's not included?
  • Any flights
  • Travel insurance to include cover for repatriation
  • Visas if required
  • Soft drinks, wines and spirits
  • Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary

Speak To A Travel Expert

Enquire and receive this project's Guide for Free!

Give Us A Call

Harriet

+44 208 885 4987

If you have any questions about this project or would like help finding the perfect project for you then please feel free to give us a call or send us through your enquiry and we will be happy to help.

Nikita & team.

Project Reviews

Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 9BX
United Kingdom
Opening hours: 9am–5pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

Australian Office
The Great Projects,
39 Cairngorm Street,
Carrara, 4211
Australia

T: +61(0) 755020457