Turtle Conservation Sri Lanka

Help on our turtle conservation volunteering project in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka. Situated right on the beach, assist at the turtle conservation centre in caring for, cleaning and protecting these incredible animals. Help educate the local community on the importance of conservation and if you’re lucky, get to release baby hatchlings back into the ocean!

Project Photos

Photos of Accommodation

Scenic Photos Ambalangoda

Program Description

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.

The turtles

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 30 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.

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.

Program Duration & Availability

Min duration (weeks):1

Aims & Objectives

To assist in the conservation of turtles by directly taking care of them and their environment, creating more awareness amongst fishermen and local people regarding turtle conservation and by releasing baby hatchlings into the sea to increase population numbers.


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).

Starting Dates

During 2019

This program starts every week.

During 2020

This program starts every week.

Volunteer Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:-

Maximum age:-

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: On Signup

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

  • Volunteers below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Volunteers above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment

There is no specific additional equipment.


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.

Accommodation & Food

About the Accommodation

You will stay at our volunteer centre, located just a few metres from the ocean! After your daily activities, volunteers can chill out at the relaxing beach.

There is a refrigerator at the house, where you are welcome to store food and beverages. Safety lockers are available to store your belongings. Please bring your own padlock.

Available Room Types

  Standard Room
All meals included Yes *
Free beverages Yes **
Persons per room 4-10
Wifi in public areas No
Laundry facilities Yes ***
Safety box Yes
Lockable rooms Yes
Hot shower No
Private bathroom No
Bed linen Yes
Towels No
Air conditioning No
Fan Yes
Mosquito protection No

* Three meals per day during weekdays and two per day on weekends
** Water, tea, and coffee
*** At an additional fee

Food Arrangements

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are mainly tasty Sri Lankan food, consisting of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can eat out at any of the local restaurants nearby.


The volunteer house is located a 10 minute walk away from the town centre, where you can find anything you might need, such as ATM’s and supermarkets.

Mandatory Orientation Day

At this location there is no mandatory orientation day offered.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

In and around Ambalangoda you can visit Sailatalarama Vihara, a temple sitting on a dome like hill, with views over to local spice plantations. Here, sits the statue of a 35m long Buddha. You can also visit the tsunami museum, along the main road running alongside the beach. This can be an upsetting visit but shows you the impact the 2004 tsunami had on Ambalangoda. Also nearby, by public bus, is the backpacker town of Hikkaduwa. You will find nightclubs and beach bars here, along with many souvenir stalls for tourists. This can be a nice day trip during your time off. Further along is the coastal town of Galle, with its old fort and colonial buildings. This is a pretty town with a lighthouse, museum and plenty of western cafes.

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.

Adam’s Peak

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.

Tea Plantations

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.


From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

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