Save the turtles on an island paradise
The turtle, a species which dates back over 100 million years, is slowly disappearing all over the world. Working with a small organisation you are intimately involved in monitoring the behaviour of large leatherback and green turtles, an important task to reverse this tragic trend. Each day you will observe the movements of turtles both at sea and coming up the beaches to lay their eggs - and the work that you do will contribute to a worldwide effort to save this dying species.
There is also the opportunity to help restore a mangrove forest, essential for the protection of the coastline , and to assist with the development of a thriving community conservation project, working closely with the locals to protect their environment.
This is all put together against a backdrop of the beautiful island of Koh Phra Thong, an extraordinary location with crystal blue water, a snorkelerís paradise, and spectacular unspoilt sandy beaches.
What will I be doing?
Your day will start with a walk along the stretch of golden sand beach, monitoring the nesting beaches as the sun rises over the sea. Breakfast is taken on the outskirts of the jungle, where you will be monitoring the behaviour of the turtles out at sea. Your afternoons are spent on various projects, from preparing display material for the conservation and community centre to helping protect local mangrove forests.
The turtle season is from December to April and during that time volunteers patrol the beach for turtle sightings to protect nests and observe turtles hatching and moving down to the sea.
The conservation centre promotes environmental awareness and provides facilities to carry out small, focused research on turtles. A database of species composition, habitat use and conservation status is created, and shared across the world. There is now an active programme running with the local population which has been so successful it has led to the formation of local conservation groups. Volunteers get involved in this work and might contribute to workshops involving youth groups and university study tours.
You fly into Phuket airport on any day of the month. Here a taxi will meet you and drive you down to the port (4 hours) where you will be met by a boat to take you over to the island.
Accommodation and Food
You will stay with a family in the village which gives a tremendous opportunity to interact with the incredibly warm local people and share their way of life.
All meals are provided by a local resident and you will enjoy excellent freshly cooked local vegetarian dishes.
Cost and what support is provided?
This project operates between December and April - the nesting season of the turtles. The total cost of the placements starts at £878 for two weeks (extra weeks are £290 per week). Flights are excluded but can be arranged at favourable rates. A shorter one week option is available for £628.
What is Provided?
- Collection from Phuket airport, where you will be transported down to the port for the ferry over to the island
- Boat transfer to and from Koh Phra Thong at the beginning and end of your stay.
- Clean, comfortable accommodation with a family.
- Three cooked meals a day provided by the local community
- Full briefing on what to expect from the placements either face to face or by phone, as appropriate.
- Pre-departure advice covering medical and safety features.
- Full volunteer information package on arrival
- Help and advice 24/7 from our UK office
- Visa advice (which will vary depending on length of stay).
- Free access to InterHealth's Travel Health Advice Service
- Free myTsafe secure document storage account - worth £25!
What do I need?
- A full passport valid for the duration of your stay.
- Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel).
- Cost of changing your return flight date if you need to.
- Independent travel costs and return to the airport.
- Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow maybe £25 per week depending on lifestyle)
- No visa is necessary for under 30 days from UK and most western European countries. Advice given on longer stays.
- No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hep A&B jabs are up to date.
- Flights to Phuket. We can help organise these- just ask!
One more thing...
The giant leatherback turtle dates back 100 million years and can grow to up to two metres in length!