Program Details

  • Program Type: Volunteer
  • Location: Seychelles
  • Starting Price: EUR 3,145.00

Travel to the Curieuse Island and join one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in the Seychelles.

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Location: Curieuse Island, Seychelles

Duration : 4 to 12 weeks

Travel to the Curieuse Island and join one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in the Seychelles. Take part in critical research and conservation research within a national park and help support the creation of conservation policies. Live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world as you work with endemic flora and fauna while also contributing towards the long-term survival of endangered species such as the hawksbill turtle.  

You also have th opportunity to get your PADI Advanced and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver qualification as a member of an expedition working on critical marine conservation projects in the pristine islands of the Seychelles. Your participation in marine species research will contribute towards providing data to the local government on various conservation initiatives.

Island Conservation Expedition (Curieuse Island)

Join a team of international volunteers as an expedition member and volunteer, assisting on priority conservation projects. You will work with an abundance of flora and fauna whilst living the island life, surrounded by the striking azure waters of the marine park.

Work with the critically endangered sea turtles which nest on the island; study nesting success in Hawksbill and Green turtles, collect data such as tag numbers, carapace (shell) measurements and number of eggs laid or carry out nest excavations to measure hatching success. Help us track down Sickle-fin Lemon shark pups for our catch-and-release project, gathering population and growth rate information on this understudied species. Record the rate of coastal erosion with our beach profiling surveys. Collect growth and reproductive data for the endemic and unique Coco de Mer palm tree. Assist in our annual census of the island’s Aldabra Giant tortoise population and keep tabs on the growth rates of hatchlings and juvenile tortoises in the nursery. Get muddy in the Curieuse Mangroves, collecting salinity and temperature data, or recording which Bird species are found there.

If you are looking to learn more about conservation, contribute to a meaningful project and want to spend some time in an incredible location, you don’t have to look any further. Our monitoring program and work schedules change seasonally; which projects are available will depend on the time of year you visit.

Project Details

On this expedition, you will focus on several key conservation efforts within and around the Curieuse Island National Park which may include the following:

Lemon Shark Project 
The mangrove system on Curieuse Island is an important nursery ground for the sicklefin lemon shark (Negaprion acutidens). GVI Seychelles is conducting a capture and release study of the shark population using P.I.T. tags and acoustic tracking. Presently, very little is known about these creatures and we hope to answer many questions such as what time of the year do they pup, what is the survival and growth rate and in which areas are they found.

Bird Monitoring

Our NGO is undertaking a baseline study of the bird life that is found on Curieuse Island. Regular bird surveys record species that are utilising different parts of the island with new sightings sent to the Seychelles Birds Record Committee.

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 our team is now conducting a growth study of these charismatic palms.

Mangrove Distribution Surveys
Curieuse Island has the largest remaining area of mangrove forest left within the Seychelles inner granitic islands. GVI Seychelles is conducting a mangrove distribution survey in relation to hydrology, temperature, salinity and tidal inundation.

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. We conduct an annual census of the tortoise population and records key measurements on growth and distribution.

Hawksbill Turtle Surveys
Curieuse Island has some of the most important hawksbill turtle nesting beaches within Seychelles. Throughout nesting season, we conduct patrols of the beaches, recording data on nesting turtles and tagging females.

In conjunction with the Seychelles National Parks Authority, you may also find yourself participating in various educational campaigns and activities including mangrove replanting, endemic flora re-vegetation, beach cleans and environmental education classes.

Marine Conservation Expedition (Mahe Island)

You 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.

Scuba Diving Requirements

You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent.  For non-divers wishing to attend, we can recommend local dive centers that will help you qualify before your intended start date.

Project Details

The aims and efforts of the expedition have been agreed upon in conjunction with the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, local government agencies and non-governmental organisations to include:

  • Coral reef monitoring and recovery research
  • Whale shark migration observations
  • Invertebrate fish surveys
  • Sea turtle nesting surveys
  • Plankton sampling research
  • Helping to train local partners
  • Development of an environmental education and awareness program

You should keep in mind that projects conducted are dependent on the season and the priorities always remain with our local working partners.

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  • Eilidh Johnston, (United Kingdom) Island Conservation Expedition

    I gained invaluable field surveying experience which helped to solidify what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I have applied to university to study Environmental Science and hopefully pursue a career in environmental research.

  • Lynsey Wheater, (UK) Marine Conservation Expedition

    I had a brilliant time, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and I loved all the diving/Coco de Mer surveys and turtle walks. There was so much variety and a lot to learn – I would definitely go back. This experience has made me change my career to what I love and I’m currently now looking for marine research/science work throughout the world. The GVI experience has made me reconsider what I want from life


  • Pre-departure support and discounted services 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • For the Marine expedition project : Use of O2 equipment workshop, First Aid & CPR training Diving compressor training workshop, PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality, National Park fees and permits

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Activities & excursions
  • Personal spendings

Terms and conditions for volunteers

  • Up to date CV/ resume
  • Copy of return flight itinerary
  • Police clearance
  • Basic level of English; understanding and speaking
  • Acceptance subject to availability of position

Payment & Cancellation

The non-refundable deposit payment is due within 48 hours of notice of acceptance onto the program. Deposits are currently €300(or equivalent) or €900 (or equivalent) for Programs costing €5000 (or equivalent) or more, or for Programs with a duration of 90 days or more.

For Programs with a deposit of €300 or equivalent 50% of the balance will be due 16 weeks before departure and the outstanding balance must be paid by the Participant no later than 10 weeks prior to departure. For Programs with a deposit of €900 or equivalent 50% of the balance will be due 20 weeks before departure and the outstanding balance must be paid by the Participant no later than 12 weeks prior to departure.

For Programs with a deposit of €300 or equivalent the Participant will be entitled to cancel at any time up until 16 weeks before departure. For Programs with a deposit of €900 or equivalent , the Participant will be entitled to cancel at any time up until 20 weeks before departure. In the event of timely cancellation, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of the deposit, but will be entitled to a refund of any other monies paid. All refunds are subject to an administration fee of €15, or equivalent. In the event of cancellation after the deadlines above, the Participant shall not be entitled to a refund of any monies paid.

national-geographic-logo.jpgOur partner on this programme is the Seychelles National Parks Authority. Data collected from your efforts will be passed to the Seychelles Ministry of Environment and participating NGOs to be used in creating local conservation policies and shared worldwide with other conservation teams and efforts.

In conjunction with our partners, we are one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection in Seychelles. We help local organisations execute projects that they do not have the manpower to do alone.

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