As a volunteer in this project you get the chance to actively contribute to species conservation by dedicating yourself to vulnerable whale sharks in the Maldives. During the project you will live and work on a research vessel, roaming the turquoise waters off the Maldivian coast. You will gain a fascinating insight into the natural paradise of the Maldives as part of an international conservation team – and return home with unforgettable memories and valuable experience.


The Maldivian waters are an excellent habitat for the largest fish on earth: the whale shark. The island country in the Indian Ocean is almost the only place on the planet where they can be observed year-round. Finning, pollution affecting the natural ecosystems of the coral reef, accidents involving boats and uncontrolled tourism: As these gentle giants face a growing number of threats, they are now considered a vulnerable species.

As a volunteer you will be significantly involved into the project. From your base on MV Felicity, you and your team will take daily survey trips out on the so-called dhoni along the famous South Ari Marine Protected Area. At least four days per week will be spent on the dhoni, looking out for whale sharks. You and your volunteer team will be responsible for checking population levels, taking ID shots and measuring the animals. Whale sharks pose no danger to humans!

In addition to monitoring activities, you will also get to grips with data entry. All the information that you have gathered during the dhoni excursions will be entered into a database at the end of the day.

Become a volunteer, learn about species conservation and contribute to a special project in one of the most stunning places on earth!


During your time in the project, you will be accommodated on a spacious research vessel, sharing a cabin with another person. Each cabin has its own bathroom. You will be served your daily meals on the vessel. One day per week is off: You can use this time to relax on one of the heavenly beaches, to go snorkeling or diving, or to get to know the other volunteers.

About us

NATUCATE is a German agency, specialized in voluntary work, field guide training, nature-oriented educational courses and internships with a focus on nature and species conservation as well as animal protection. Moreover, we create and organize individual sabbaticals; commitment for nature conservation and personal development being in the centre. Sustainable and responsible traveling, so-called ecotourism, as well as nature and adventure travel are further areas of expertise.

Our projects, courses and tours, fulfilling high sustainability standards, enable people – from graduates to best agers – to make an active contribution to protecting and conserving endangered species and ecosystems and, at the same time, to broaden their personal horizon. 


“Swimming together with the largest fish on earth is beyond stunning! Observing these peaceful giants is just breathtaking!” (Carina, 30 years)

Dates, Services, Cost

Follow the link below to learn about upcoming start dates.


  • Placement in the project
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
  • Assistance with booking flights
  • Pre-departure information pack
  • Island Arrival Tax
  • Green Tax
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Accommodation during the project (research vessel)
  • All meals during the project
  • English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
  • 24/7 support throughout the project


  • 11 days: 2.800 EUR
  • 14 days: 2.400 EUR

Find out more and apply here