WHY we need you in Sri Lanka
HOW can you help?
WHAT can you do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: TURTLE CONSERVATION
LOCATION: AMBALANGODA, SRI LANKA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
This project is situated on a beach in Ambalangoda, a small town in the South of Sri Lanka. This conservation project is one of only 9 wounded turtle conservations in the country. Our project is certified by the Sri Lankan government and offers volunteers the chance to help with this valued and endangered species.
You will focus on the rehabilitation of wounded turtles whether by humans, rubbish or other waste. There are many turtles along the coasts of Sri Lanka that are found hurt and without the ability to survive on their own.
Out of 7 species of turtles that live in the world, 5 of those species live in the Indian Ocean. You will be helping to care for 4 different species of turtles– Loggerhead (the rarest), Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley. There are around 33 disabled or wounded turtles living in the centre, as well as being able to hatch hundreds of turtle eggs in a separate centre, which will be released to the ocean. With your help, the project aims to give these incredible animals an opportunity to survive in a safe and healthy environment. Sea Turtles are known to live for around 150 years.
Ambalangoda is a coastal fishing town located in the Galle District, in Southern Sri Lanka. This small town has a very local feel, with markets, supermarkets, banks and several shops to eat out at. Ambalangoda is known as a Buddhist town, with most of the locals following this religion. It has some pretty golden beaches that are not frequently visited by tourists, giving it a real authentic feel. The area is also known for puppet shows, moonstone, antique furniture and devil dancing.
- Assist in the conservation of turtles by directly taking care of them and their environment
- Create more awareness amongst fishermen and local people regarding turtle conservation
- Help release hatchlings back into the ocean
- Clean the tanks & centre, prepare food, feed the turtles and clean them
Food & Accommodation
Accommodation is included for the duration of your volunteer program. The volunteer house is conveniently located in Ambalangoda, which is just a few metres from the ocean! It’s a 10 min walk to the nearest supermarket and ATM in the town centre. You’ll share rooms with 4-10 other volunteers of the same gender with a shared toilet per room. A fridge, safety deposit boxes (bring own padlock), lockable rooms, showers, bed linen and fan are included with volunteers expected to bring their own towel. Laundry facilities are available at a small fee. The centres do not have Wi-Fi. Most volunteers will purchase a local data plan and connect this to their personal devices.
3 meals per day are provided during weekdays and 2 meals per day on weekends. Safe filtered drinking water is provided along with tea and coffee. You can expect meals with rice, coconut, spices, roti, lots of vegetables & sparing amounts of meat.
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
If you have a passion for the environment or would love to learn more about what we can be doing to save these precious animals, then this project is a great fit for you. For anyone who loves animals and being outdoors, close to the ocean, you will love this project!
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
At this location there is no mandatory orientation day offered.
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bandaranayake International Airport (CMB). You must arrive between the hours 05:00 to 21:00 on Sunday.
If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.
If arriving during the week, or on Saturday, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
From the airport to the Kandy accommodation, it takes around 3-4 hours by road and to the Ambalangoda accommodation, around 3 hours.
Monday to Friday
The activities will vary according to beach weather conditions and the number of volunteers on the project. Your daily activities will be cleaning the turtles and their tanks at the turtle conservation centre. It’s vital for the turtle’s health to have a clean and hygienic environment. This project will teach you valuable advice on how to care for the turtles and identify each species.
Typical activities during the week would include,
- Feeding the turtles (every other day)
- Cleaning the tanks
- Cleaning the turtles
- Cleaning the beach from rubbish
- Helping with the weekly release of over 100 turtle hatchlings into the ocean (depending on weather and season).
Here are a few things you can do in Sri Lanka!
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are situated around 5. km to the West of Kandy. Once being only for the Kandyan royalty, they are now open to the public to wander around at their leisure. There’s 60 hectares of beautiful garden to explore, where you will see a huge Javan fig tree, pretty orchids and even monkeys!
Knuckles mountain range
This stunning mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts many walking trails. You will find small villages, beautiful waterfalls, numerous native wildlife and rice fields. This is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and adventurous hiking trails.
Sigiriya (Lion Rock)
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient rock is situated around 91km North from Kandy and is very popular with tourists, who can climb up to the top for some seriously stunning views. Along the way you will see antient rock carvings and paintings on the walls of this sacred rock. It will take roughly just over an hour to climb up.
Yala National Park
Located on the South coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning park hosts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Not only that, you can also spot elephants, monkeys, birds, buffalo and more. There are numerous tours in Yala, from day tours to over several days of safari.
Around 91km South of Kandy you can climb to the top of this sacred sight, just as the locals do for pilgrimage. It’s a bit of a trek up in the dark but totally worth it to see the sun coming up over the clouds, mountains and lush forest. You will be greeted by stunning views to reward your efforts!
Hortons Plains National Park
You can trek through this beautiful national park to ‘World’s End’, a 9.5km round loop trail, taking around 3 hours. This is a pretty easy walk, but you will be greeted with amazing views out over the countryside and above the clouds! It’s best to visit here early (before 10am) as the clouds can roll in after that and block the incredible views.
Udawatta Kele Reserve
Situated near the Kandy lake, this nature reserve is complete with monkeys and birds- fantastic for wildlife and nature lovers. Here you will find wooded forests, over 400 species of plants and 70 bird species. You can trek through the forest for a relaxing break away from the city.
Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are both popular places to visit a tea plantation, for a refreshing taste of some of Sri Lanka’s best fresh tea! Not only do they produce great tea, the landscape is stunningly green, with endless hills rolling off into the distance.
Assisting in the conservation of these turtles is our highest priority. As not to harm the turtles, smoking, drinking any sort of liquids, and using sunscreen or chemicals where parts of the skin touch the water or turtle, is strictly forbidden during project hours. Volunteers with open injuries on their hands will be asked to avoid work with the turtles, as infections can occur. The coordinators are very educated in caring for these animals, so we ask that you follow each instruction, to provide the best care for the animals.
- Volunteers below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
- Volunteers above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.
With a population of 20 million, the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon is a tear drop shaped island off the south eastern coast of India. Steeped in over 2000 years of history, the culture is unique to Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.
Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people” is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.
Sri Lanka has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and given it’s size it’s easy to experience them all in a short period of time. From the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, to the colonial architecture of Colombo, to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, to lush natural forest, picturesque cities, thousand year old temples, and ancient civilation ruins there are really so many reasons to visit this amazing land.
Sri lanka has a tropical climate with distinctive wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary and it can get much cooler in the mountains than it can on the beach.
On average temperatures in Sri Lanka vary from 28- 32 degrees, but in the mountain regions this can go to as low as 16 degrees.
From mid-April to September the Southwest moonsoon rains come, affecting the West, Southwest coastline and the Hill Country. On the East coast, the monsoon rains start from November to March but are not quite as severe.
December to March are the best months to visit the West or South coastline and the Hill Country. For the East coast or the North, the best time to visit is from April to September.
Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.
Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.
There are many festivals in Sri Lanka. Here are the dates for some of them!
- January: Duruthu
Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.
- April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).
- June: Poson Festival
Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
- October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings.
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