from $2,695 – $4,995
Travel to the crystal–clear waters of the Seychelles in the warm Indian Ocean and contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef, fish, and invertebrates, while assisting with the development of an environmental education and awareness program.
Complete your PADI Advanced and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver courses and learn how to identify fish and coral species in the Indian Ocean while diving in warm tropical waters.
Assist the Seychelles government and local NGOs with invaluable research. You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data on coral reef research, invertebrate surveys and turtle breeding areas.
Share your passion for the marine world with local children through an environmental outreach and awareness program.
Enjoy fun-dives searching for the incredible ‘mega-fauna’ in the area, such as sharks, rays, and dolphins.
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 and work from an iconic tropical island, in rustic accommodation just minutes from the beach.
Mahe Island is the largest island of the Seychelles Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. This colourful and vibrant island nation, famed for its tropical marine life and iconic granite rock formations is synonymous with luxury beach getaways. The locals are a blend of race, culture, and religions with a history steeped in African, European, and Asian descent. Their vibrant culture can be seen throughout the art, cuisine, music, dance, and architecture of the local island life. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations in the world and offers the perfect backdrop for those looking to actively help preserve its critical marine ecosystems. Whether it’s part of a gap year program or a shorter stay, this is a once in a lifetime experience.
During your placement, you will be living in Baie Ternay Marine National Park, a 3-minute walk from the beach. The building was originally a school that has been transformed into an eco-friendly research base with classrooms for presentations, a recreation room to relax after a day of diving, giant hammocks for more relaxation, and a large grassy area with benches for eating or studying. You will stay in dormitory-style accommodation with shared bathrooms and will share cooking and cleaning duties.
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. Thursday night is barbeque night. 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 in the towns on the main island of Mahe, as well as on the popular islands of Praslin and La Digue.
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 at the base, but communications are available for emergencies. Most volunteers take the short trip into town to use an internet café at the weekends.
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
CORAL AND FISH SURVEYS
Shortly before your start date, you will be assigned either fish or coral to study and focus on during your time in Seychelles. Your knowledge and identification skills will be put to the test during your first few days and you’ll complete your PADI Advanced Open Water certification to build your confidence in the water, enabling you to collect accurate data while out on dives. Data on abundance and biodiversity will be collected to assess the overall recovery of fish life on the reef. To better understand the health and diversity of the reef, coral reed cover is monitored in the first half of the year and coral recruits (juveniles) in the latter half of the year. Everyone will also conduct a separate monitoring technique of Coral Watch, a worldwide coral monitoring methodology, which looks into the levels of bleaching that is occurring on corals.
COMMERCIAL MARINE SPECIES SURVEYS
Unsustainable fishing is also a threat to the health of the Seychellois marine life. You will provide support to the Seychelles Fishing Authority by monitoring the abundance of commonly harvested species like octopus, lobster, and sea cucumber while out on dives.
MARINE MEGAFAUNA SIGHTINGS
Incidental sightings of marine megafauna like tiger sharks and manta rays, occur frequently during dives, and this information is noted and passed on to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) Seamap, an online database designed to keep track of various larger marine species around the world.
OCEAN CLEAN-UPS AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
All volunteers get involved with monthly dives to clean up the reef. The data goes to Project AWARE who are monitoring the levels of trash that are being found at dive sites around the world. You will also be involved in environmental education initiatives within the local community, with the intention to raise awareness about the vulnerability of marine ecosystems and share how small actions can make a big difference.
“The diving and environment were absolutely fantastic. Learning new things and gaining knowledge and experience in a completely new field. Meeting new people from a variety of nations and sharing new experiences together. Overall just trying something new and learning from positive passionate staff who clearly love what they do and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with the volunteers.”
Finbarr O’Mahony, Ireland
Marine Conservation - Seychelles
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.
project fee includes
- Airport pick-ups and drop-offs
- Shared accommodation
- 3 meals a day
- 24 hour in-country support with experienced staff
- PADI qualifications; Advanced Open Water and Coral Reef Research Diver Speciality
- Workshops, including Coral Reef Ecology, Community Work, Diving Compressor Training, First Aid, CPR and O2 Equipment
- Full training and all required resources to make an impact
- National Park fees and permits
project fee excludes
- Medical and travel insurance
- Visa-related costs
- PADI Open Water (Must be qualified before joining the project)
- Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity
- Items of a personal nature, including souvenirs, snacks and soft drinks
- WiFi – it’s pretty slow here anyway!
- Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund