Volunteer to monitor nesting turtles in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka.

The Great Projects

The Great Turtle Project

: The Great Projects

Where: Kosgoda, Sri Lanka

Focus: Monitoring turtle nests and working at the hatchery.

When: All year round (August – November not recommended) | Project starts every Sunday

Peak Season: February to April

Duration: 1-12 weeks

Suitability: Min. age 7

Cost: Available here

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Monitor local sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting-sites. Since 1988, the Great Turtle Project has released over 94,000 hatchlings into the sea – Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley.
  • Take part in the day-to-day running of the hatchery centre and daily care of resident turtles, including cleaning the turtles’ shells.
  • Maintain and clean the project area and beach to make sure the nesting sites remain as healthy and safe as possible to give the turtles the best chance of survival.
  • Clean and construct the hatcheries, ensuring the tanks and hatchery are clean.
  • Feed the turtles by cutting up and preparing their food (predominantly tuna).
  • Release turtles into the sea, ensuring predators such as birds are scared away.
  • Bury the eggs brought by vendors to safeguard them for hatching.
  • Teach English to local communities.
  • Lend a hand with tourists touring the hatchery.
  • Be lucky and spot a blue whale.

When to go

All year round: Turtles are rehabilitating at the sanctuary, either due to being injured/rescued, or as part of the head starter programme or for teaching purposes.

Late November to April: Nesting season with eggs taking 7 weeks to hatch.

January to early June: Hatching season.

February to April: Peak hatching season – the most popular time to visit the project.

August to November: Not Recommended.

The base

Accommodation: Volunteer house on the project site.

Sleeping: Basic twin or triple rooms, includes modern toilets, showers and running water,

Food: All meals provided.

Working Week: 5 days a week.

Number of volunteers: 10 max.

Support: 24-hour in-country volunteer support.

Transport: Pick up is from Colombo International airport and transfer to the project site (roughly 3 hours’ drive away).

The next step

Visit The Great Projects for more information and to book. Please say that you heard about this project from Sea Fans.


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