Programme: Marine Conservation Expedition Curieuse Island Our volunteers will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef research, invertebrate surveys, whale shark migration observations, in-water turtle surveys and turtle nesting research.
This programme runs for 4, 8, or 12 weeks and begins January 09, February 06, March 05, April 02, April 30, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 20, September 17, October 15, November 12 2016.
Programme: Wildlife Conservation Expedition Curieuse Island Join one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in the Seychelles contribute to priority conservation projects
This programme runs for 4, 8, or 12 weeks. Contact us to find out the dates and start planning your adventure!
Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included). During your project dates your accommodation and food are included in the project cost. The base is located on Curieuse Island, surrounded by waters rich in marine wildlife. The island is situated in a protected National Marine Park and we are the only international organisation allowed to operate there. Accommodation is basic and you will be sharing in mixed dorm rooms with bunkbeds. There is limited running water and you can expect bucket showers. Food is basic (rice, pasta, potatoes with fresh veg orders once a week). Volunteers take turns preparing the daily meals in the communal kitchen. There is very limited mobile reception and volunteers are allowed to bring their laptops, however charging times are limited and priority is given to communication equipment.
Does the project require any special preparation? For the Marine Conservation Expedition, 4 Week volunteers need to have their PADI Open Water Qualification (or equivalent) before their start date. They will do their PADI Advanced qualification in the field. If you are volunteering for longer than 4 weeks you need not be a qualified diver. Volunteers will be assigned either fish or coral and will be required to learn the relevant species before getting to the field.
All volunteers are encouraged to learn more about local history, culture and customs before travelling. All training will be taught in the field.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. For the Wildlife Conservation Expedition, volunteers will focus on several key conservation efforts within and around the Curieuse Island National Park. Volunteers may be involved in the following:
Turtle surveys (Sept-Mar) involving beach patrols and monitoring of nests. In water snorkeling may also be done.
Coco de Mer surveys which record information on male/female species. Volunteers visit Valle de Mer on Praslin island and get the chance to meet Chris Kaiser, consultantand researcher of the endemic species.
Giant Tortoise census of the population living on Curieuse. These animals are hunted and eggs taken to either eat or sell on as pets. Volunteers get involved in assisting rangers with tracking and monitoring as well as the counting of any new nests and eggs laid.
Mangrove census in an attempt to rehabilitate the plantations destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami.
Volunteers conduct bird surveys during hikes around the island, using both sight and sound surveying methodologies.
The aims and efforts of the Marine Conservation Expedition have been agreed upon in conjunction with the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, local government agencies and non-governmental organisations. Volunteers may be involved in coral reef monitoring and recovery research, whale shark migration observations, invertebrate fish surveys, sea turtle nesting surveys, plankton sampling research, the training of local partners and running marine awareness education programmes and awareness campaigns. Volunteers should keep in mind that projects conducted are dependent on the season and the priorities always remain with our local working partners.
Both expeditions require a full time commitment. Depending on the length of stay, volunteers can expect to have a few free weekends to explore the surround islands.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteers need not have any specific skills just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be comfortable and confident swimmers and be physically fit and healthy. As a result of the basic living conditions volunteers need to be flexible and able to work well in teams and people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness. Please inform staff if you feel unwell at any time. The nearest medical facilities are located Victoria on Mahé Island. We have emergency procedures for all foreseeable events, the staff are first aid trained and you will receive a safety briefing on arrival. We have a small safe on base for money and passports. The biggest risks result from weather related hazards.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features). Volunteers are welcome to organise side trips for their free time or pre or post their project experience. All associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into the volunteer's own budget. Volunteers may have the opportunity to visit the islands of Praslin and La Digue. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai (a world heritage site) thought, by early explorers, to be the original “Garden of Eden”. La Digue is the picture perfect tropical island, small and intimate with quaint guest houses and arguably the most beautiful beach in the world – Anse Source d’Argent. Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, the smallest capital city in the world. Volunteers often visit to use internet cafes, do a little shopping, or visit the market to soak up the local atmosphere. Public transport is cheap and frequent and all parts of Mahe can be explored easily by catching a bus. Many volunteers spend happy times bouncing around the island roads on buses taking in the beautiful scenery whilst enjoying the company of locals going about their daily business.
With 115 islands in the Seychelles group stretching over 800 miles, the possibilities of exploring this tropical paradise are endless. The inner-islands, situated closer to Mahe are easily accessible by fast ferry. Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity and Sister, to name a few, all have their own unique charms with hotels and guest houses within most people’s price range. The outer islands such as Desroche, Bird, Dennis, Farquar and the Amirantes group are harder to get to and can only be reached by small plane or charter yacht. Most have small exclusive resorts which can be extremely expensive, but the marine environment and bird life at these outposts of civilization have been barely marked by the hand of man, and as such are in a pristine condition rarely found anywhere in the world today.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive). Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.
For the Marine Conservation Expedition, volunteers complete an initial training phase where they learn to accurately identify locally targeted fish or coral species. Training will involve snorkel and dive point outs with field staff, as well as learning benthic coral and invertebrates.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate). What's included:
Pre-departure support and discounted services:
24-hour emergency phone
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
Long term experienced staff
All necessary project training by experienced staff
All necessary project equipment and materials
24-hour in-country support
Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
Community work workshop
Certification and summary of training and experience received
Weekly evaulation with your mentor
First Aid & CPR training
PADI Rescue Diver and PADI Dive Master certifications (not including PADI professional fees)
Use of O2 equipment workshop
Diving compressor training workshop
Coral reef ecology
First Aid & CPR training and certification
Confidential professional reference
PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
PADI Advanced Open Water
Transfer to base location
Teamwork and leadership experience
Leading biological surveys course
Work placement (if successful on training period)
What's not included:
Medical and travel insurance
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
PADI Open Water
Food during work placement
Additional Information. Volunteers enter the country using a tourist visa stating reason for entering as ‘for Tourism’. For most nationalities this visa can be obtained upon arrival. We advise volunteers check with the immigration authorities of they countries they are visiting, or see www.cibt.com for visa application advice and information. Volunteers need to ensure they have an onward plane ticket as they will not be allowed into the Seychelles without one. Upon entry volunteers will either be given a one week or one month visa. Do not worry, our field staff will extend this visa to cover the duration of your trip to a maximum of three months. If on a 12 week expedition please ensure you do not exceed the three month limit by arriving too early or remaining in country following the programme. Should you exceed the three month limit, Seychelles Immigration will require you to pay $400 (USD) for a visa extension.