ISLAND CONSERVATION

Quick Facts

from £1,545£4,195

ISLAND CONSERVATION

Live on the sun-drenched Curieuse Island in the Seychelles and spend your days in the forests, on the beaches and snorkeling in the warm Indian Ocean waters, conducting valuable research on tropical plants and animals, including the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle, native Giant Tortoises and rare Coco de Mer trees. 


Project Highlights

Live within a National Park on a tropical island where Giant Tortoises outnumber people!
Assist the Seychelles government and local NGOs with critical conservation and research.
Get up close and personal with the island’s amazing wildlife: watch as a female Hawkbill turtle crawls out of the sea to lay her eggs, help sea turtle hatchlings on their journey to the sea or release a baby shark after collecting valuable measurements.
Take a minute to unwind in the company of the island’s gentle Giant Tortoises or relax with a swim in the Indian Ocean at the end the day.
Snorkel in crystal clear waters alongside coral, fish, turtles, eagle-rays and reef sharks, and if you’re lucky, spot dolphins from the boat!
Experience breath-taking sunsets while making life-long friends and having an amazing and unique adventure amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Live on a remote tropical island, in rustic accommodation just footsteps from the beach.

the destination

The Seychelles Archipelago is made up of 115 islands located in the warm Indian Ocean. Curieuse Island is the 5th largest of the inner islands and is a short ferry ride from the islands of Mahe and Praslin. The Seychelles is a colourful and vibrant island nation, famed for its tropical marine life and iconic granite rock formations. For many people, a holiday here is an opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy the fantastic food, beaches, and culture. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations in the world to get involved with priority conservation efforts. Whether it’s part of a gap year program or a shorter stay, you will discover a piece of paradise.

As a volunteer, you will live on the three square kilometre, unspoiled island of Curieuse. Life is simple and rustic on this remote island, where the warm Indian Ocean is your backyard. You will live in basic dormitory style accommodation with shared bathrooms as well as shared cooking and cleaning duties. There is cold running water for showers and bottled water for drinking. Facilities will be more basic than you are accustomed to so please travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions.

Meals are prepared by volunteers on a rotational basis. Food is basic but nutritious, and primarily vegetarian with optional fish or meat available once or twice a week. Breakfast could be porridge with fresh fruit, or occasionally pancakes or cereal, and lunch and evening meals may include pasta, beans, rice, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, etc. The weekends are yours to explore and there are plenty of eateries on the neighbouring islands of Praslin, La Digue, and Mahe.

Local SIM cards and pay-as-you-go credit can be bought in Seychelles and the signal is good in most areas. There is no WiFi on the island, but communications are available for emergencies.

The Seychelles’ climate is generally warm without hot or cold extremes. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. There are two main seasons - The Southeast Monsoon season from around May to August is cooler with a steady breeze and little rain, while the Northwest Monsoon between the end of November and March is typically windy with sometimes heavy rain, especially in December and January. Between the monsoon seasons around April and October, the weather is usually very calm, hot, and dry.

PROJECT IMPACT AREAS

GIANT TORTOISE CENSUS

Giant Tortoises were relocated to Curieuse Island in the 1980s as part of conservation efforts to protect the species. Over the last thirty years, the population has reproduced successfully and spread throughout the island. An annual census of the tortoise population is conducted to record key measurements on growth and distribution. The tortoise census is conducted primarily during the months of April to September.

LEMON SHARK PROJECT

The mangrove system on Curieuse Island is an important nursery ground for the Sicklefin Lemon Shark (Negaprion acutidens). A capture and release study of the shark population is currently underway to learn more about these lesser-known creatures. You will help collect data to answer questions such as what time of the year they pup, what is the survival and growth rate, and in which areas are they found. The peak shark tagging season is from September to March.

COCO DE MER SURVEY

The endemic Coco de Mer has the largest seed of all living plants and is found only on the islands of Praslin and Curieuse. Following on from a successful census of the trees covering Curieuse Island the team is now conducting a growth study of these charismatic palms. Census work is carried out year-round, but more effort is expended during the months of April to September.

HAWKSBILL TURTLE SURVEYS

Curieuse Island has some of the most important Hawksbill turtle nesting beaches within Seychelles. Throughout nesting season, beach patrols are conducted, recording data on nesting turtles and tagging females. Year-round, weekly patrols of the beaches are conducted to monitor the beaches for signs of nesting activity and mark nests when located. The peak Hawksbill season runs from September to March, although some nest excavations continue into April.

MANGROVE DISTRIBUTION SURVEYS

Curieuse Island has one of the largest remaining areas of mangrove forest left within the Seychelles inner granitic islands. You will help investigate seedling recruitment and mortality, and further determine species distribution across the mangroves. Mangrove surveys are conducted in February and August.

Recent Reviews

Other Activities

Relax and explore around base. Over weekends you can catch up on some well-earned sleep, relax on the beach just a short walk from your accommodation or head out on a hike up Cap Matoopa which has spectacular views of Cap Ternay bay.

The most popular tourist area on the main island of Mahe, Beau Vallon offers a massive stretch of beach with hotels, guest houses, souvenir shops, and restaurants that offer something for everyone. The area also hosts a night market most weeks.

With 115 islands in the Seychelles, the possibilities of exploring this tropical paradise are endless. The inner islands situated closer to Mahe are easily accessible by ferry. Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette and Felicity, all have their own unique charms with hotels and guest houses available if you want to stay the night. Praslin Island is easily accessible for a day visit, where you can explore the Vallee de Mai world heritage site and spend time at the best beach on the island: Anze Lazio.

dates and rates

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

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Please note that an additional GB£20 | US$25 | EU€20 | AU$35 is added to the program fee as a mandatory contribution to the African Impact Sustainability Fund.

project fee includes

  • Airport pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Shared accommodation
  • 3 meals a day
  • 24 hour in-country support with experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and training, including First Aid, CPR and wildlife research training

project fee excludes

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa-related costs
  • Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
  • Items of a personal nature, including souvenirs, snacks and soft drinks
  • Laundry
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund