Island Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles
- Experiences | Vol and Intern
- Conservation Careers
- Curieuse, Seychelles
2 months ago
- Conservation Careers
Island Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles
- Experiences | Vol and Intern
- Conservation Careers
- Curieuse, Seychelles
2 months ago
- Conservation Careers
Contribute to island conservation efforts and experience an unspoilt island paradise AND get career training from Conservation Careers!
Travel to Curieuse Island and join one of the leading marine and terrestrial data collection organisations in Seychelles. Take part in critical research within the Seychelles 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.
Curieuse Island and its surrounding waters are a national park, managed by our principal in-country partner, Seychelles National Parks Authority. Our beach-front camp is located on the white sand beach of Anse St Jose and overlooks Praslin (Seychelles’ second largest island), just a short boat ride away.
Join a team of international volunteers as an expedition member and volunteer, assisting on priority conservation projects. You will work with a variety of plants and wildlife 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 sicklefin 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 and assist in our annual census of the island’s Aldabra giant tortoise population, while keeping tabs on the growth rates of hatchlings and juvenile tortoises in the nursery.
If you are looking to learn more about conservation, contribute to a meaningful project and spend some time in an incredible location, you don’t have to look any further. Please note that our monitoring program and work schedules change seasonally; and projects are available based on the time of year you visit.
- Watch as a female hawksbill turtle crawls out of the sea to lay her eggs
- Help sea turtle hatchlings in their first journey to the sea
- Release a baby shark after collecting valuable measurements
- Take a minute to unwind in the company of the island’s gentle giant tortoises
- Relax with a swim in the Indian Ocean at the end of a hard days work
- Snorkel in crystal clear waters alongside coral, fish, turtles, eagle-rays, reef sharks, and spot dolphins from the boat
- Hike to the top of Mount Curieuse for a stunning panorama
- Experience breathtaking sunsets, make lifelong friends and have an amazing and unique adventure amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
“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.” – Eilidh Johnston (United Kingdom).
Our Award-winning Partner
Conservation Careers has teamed up with an award-winning, mission-driven organisation with a team of passionate experts across the globe who will make your experience a truly unforgettable one.
Founded in 1998, they run programs in 21 locations, in 13 countries around the world, each aligned to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the objectives of local partners. They welcome participants from all around the world and help facilitate their development into global citizens. This is how they achieve their mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Their commitment to running high-quality sustainable development and experiential education programs has earned them recognition from numerous organizations such as Panthera, the Seychelles Parks & Gardens Authority, as well as Stanford, NYU, Duke, and Ohio State.
If you register your interest below, you’ll put you in touch with our partner to take the booking and to plan your trip!
To see all our Conservation Careers Internship opportunities, please click here.
Location and Life on Base
Accommodation is in shared dorm rooms. There is cold running water available for showers and bottled water available for drinking. Bathroom facilities are shared, and participants also share base duties, including cleaning and other chores, which is all part of the experience.
Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. 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.
You will have access to long-distance communications whilst on the program, but make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Local SIM cards and pay-as-you-go credit can be bought in Seychelles and the signal is good in most areas.
Most of the year the climate in Seychelles is relatively agreeable for the tropics, although it can be very hot in the sun out on fieldwork. There are essentially two main seasons. The Southeast Monsoon season from around May to August is cooler with a steady breeze and little rain. 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, perfect for those boat trips and swimming in the calm water. It is rarely cold, although during the monsoon seasons it’s probably worth bringing a light jacket or cardigan for occasional use.
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
The primary local partner on this programme is the Seychelles National Parks Authority. Data collected from your efforts is passed to the Seychelles Ministry of Environment and participating NGOs to be used in creating local conservation policies and is shared worldwide with other conservation teams and efforts. To do this we work on various environmental conservation initiatives, such as safeguarding sea turtles, surveying Coco de Mer nut production, mangrove mapping, Giant Tortoise population censuses, and sicklefin lemon shark monitoring.
This is to offer support to our local partners, assist in the conservation of these islands flora and fauna, and to address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as #14 – Life Below Water, #15 – Life On Land, #4 – Quality Education and #17- Partnerships For Goals
1. Increase scientific knowledge and baseline data on the health of ecosystems on Curieuse Island,
2. Increase awareness of our Seychelles projects and the ecological value of the Curieuse Island National Parks in-country,
3. Build local capacity to support long-term conservation of biodiversity and sustainable community development in Seychelles,
4. Continue to minimize our environmental impact on Curieuse Island and raise awareness of environmental issues amongst volunteers and visitors.
Joining a program not only allows participants to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer.
Long term field staff are a great source of advice, and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. Many decide to travel before or after their experience (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program. Please note that the below suggestions are not included in the program fee, and are for the individual to organise at their own expense.
Victoria is only an hour from our base in Baie Ternay Marine National Park. Learn more about the particular blend of cultures that have shaped the Seychelles over the centuries. Visit Hindu temples built adjacent to Catholic cathedrals and sample dishes with both French and Indian influences.
Inner Island Hopping
From the capital of Victoria, you can catch a ferry to many of the other inner islands like Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity, and Sister. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai National Park, a verdant palm forest thought by early explorers to be the original ‘Garden of Eden’ and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Praslin, and nearby Curieuse, are some of the only Seychellois islands home to the famous Coco de Mer palm whose seed is the largest known on earth. The island is home to the endangered Seychelles Black Parrot as well as many other endemic plants and animals. While in Praslin you could even visit our island and coastal conservation base on nearby Curieuse island. La Digue is the picture perfect tropical island, with several quaint guest houses and arguably the most beautiful beach in the world, Anse Source d’Argent.
Hiking and climbing
The inner islands of the Seychelles, where you will be staying while on this project, are made of granite which means there are many opportunities for climbing available. Visit Morne Seychellois National Park to hike or climb the highest peak in the Seychelles.
Other than diving there are many other water sports in the Seychelles, like surfing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, and of course simply swimming in the ocean or relaxing on the beach.
Beau Vallon Bay
The most popular tourist spot on the main island of the Seychelles, Beau Vallon offers a massive stretch of beach lined with shops and restaurants.
Cap Matoopa hike
Cap Matoopa is the name of the highest point next to our base, and offers spectacular views of Cap Ternay bay. Trek the jungle encrusted granite climb to the top to be rewarded with a magical Indian Ocean vista like no other.
The dives we conduct on the project have a strict research focus. However there are plenty of opportunities to go for a recreational dive in your free time.
Other African Nations
Kenya and Tanzania are also only about three hour flight away, and both feature amazing wildlife, exciting adventure activities, and unique cultural diversity to explore. If you are willing to commit to further travel you could also explore destinations like South Africa, Ghana, Malawi, or Morocco.
The only location in the world to spot lemurs in the wild is only a three hour flight away from the Seychelles.
Outer Island Visits
The outer coral islands like Desroche, Bird, Dennis, Farquhar, and the Amirantes group, are further away, but well worth the trip. These locations are much more remote and have been barely marked by civilisation. As such they are in a pristine condition rarely found anywhere in the world today. The opportunity to see unique marine and bird life is unprecedented.
Engaging intimately with a new context teaches not only global awareness but adaptability and critical thinking, skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and is also one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many activities you can get involved with in your free time, or before and after your program. On our community programs the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore diverse and eclectic topics like Theravada Buddhism in Laos or how plastic pollution and climate change affects Indian Ocean coral.
This island conservation program in the Seychelles is based on the island of Curieuse, which itself and its surrounding waters are a national park, managed by our principal in-country partner, Seychelles National Parks Authority. On Curieuse you can experience true island culture, as Curieuse has very few inhabitants compared to most of the other larger islands, making its natural habitat very well-preserved. This beautiful coastal area consists of unique habitats including mangroves wetlands, seagrass beds, and coral reefs.
The Seychelles is a tropical archipelago off the East Coast of Africa, consisting of 100 islands. The main, or so-called inner islands, are made of granite. Researchers believe that they use to form part of the Indian subcontinent. The granite attracted corals and most of the outer islands of the Seychelles are based on coral. The islands are famous for their unique biodiversity and are home to literally thousands of unique land and underwater species. The waters of the Indian Ocean are a haven for coral conservation efforts making the Seychelles a sought-after diving destination.
There are festivals throughout the year, the most notable being the Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria in February, which celebrates the cultures that helped shape the Seychelles. There is also the La Digue Festival in mid-August and the Creole Festival in October, and for those interested in the natural world, there is the SUBIOS Underwater Festival on Mahe’s main beach in October, celebrating underwater conservation.
Seychellois Creole is spoken by the majority of the native Seychellois, roughly 95% of the populations, but as the island country was a British colony, English is the language officially used in government and business dealings. French is also spoken on the islands, by a minority.
During your program, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience tailor-made adventure and wellness activities. These have been specially designed to further immerse you in the diversity and richness of the habitats and cultures around you.
Exclusive local experiences:
- Learn to cook Seychellois Creole cuisine
- Experience traditional moutya dancing on the beach
- Stargaze and learn the southern constellations
- Hike to the top of Mount Curieuse
- Stand up paddleboard at sunrise
- Visit Vallée de Mai in Praslin National Park
- Spend the day at a secluded beach
- Sleep under the stars on Mount Curieuse
BONUS! Conservation Career Kick-Starter online training programme (worth £295)
Do you want to spend your career helping wildlife to flourish, but are feeling a little lost, confused or disillusioned?
Start your career in wildlife conservation with a unique programme of training, support community & jobs from Conservation Careers!
The Conservation Career Kick-Starter is a proven step-by-step system to get clear, get ready, and get hired as a professional conservationist.
Whether you’re at university and planning your next steps, a graduate in the job hunt or working in an unrelated job but interested to switch into conservation, this course is designed to help you.
After going through the course, you’ll have created a personal career plan which will give you confidence in your job hunt and will make everything quicker, simpler and more fun!
All you need to do is register your interest in the project below, and if you choose to make a booking we’ll save a place for you on the Kick-Starter when you get back from your placement.
Included with the Kick-Starter is a year’s full-access to the world’s biggest conservation job board with over 15,000 jobs, plus access to our private online support community, CC Pro.
Duration, dates & cost
- 1 week – £2,345
- 2 weeks – £2,695
- 3 weeks – £3,045
- 4 weeks – £3,445
- 5 weeks – £3,795
- 6 weeks – £4,195
- 7 weeks – £4,895
- 8 weeks – £5,245
- 9 weeks – £5,595
- 10 weeks – £5,945
- 11 weeks – £5,945
- 12 weeks – £6,295
Start dates are as follows:
- 24-hour emergency phone
- 24-hour in-country support
- Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- All necessary project equipment and materials
- All necessary project training by experienced staff
- First Aid & CPR training
- Live and work in a protected reserve
- Location orientation
- Long term experienced staff
- Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
- Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
- Welcome meeting
Increasing Employability: Pre Departure Program Training:
Our programs are not only life-changing experiences but are also designed to help participants increase their employability. We have developed a curriculum to be completed prior to arrival in the country in order to ensure that more time is dedicated to program work once you commence your volunteer program.
Eight weeks prior to your start date, you will complete the following online courses in preparation for your in-country program:
PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION (1 hour)
PROGRAM SPECIFIC TRAINING (1 – 5 hours)
OPTIONAL: MARINE CONSERVATION COURSE (10 – 15 hours)
In order to obtain a certificate for the Marine Conservation course which is endorsed by the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, you will need to complete quizzes & assignments and will be given 4 weeks post program to submit your work.
If you are looking to travel in less than 8 weeks from now, you will still complete the course however this will be done in country and all content will need to be downloaded before arrival.
Health & Hygiene:
The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols.
What’s Not Included
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Airport transfers
- Extra local excursions
- International and domestic airport taxes
- Medical and travel insurance
- Personal kit
- Police or background check (where necessary)
- Visa costs