• Cape Verde
18 weeks

Program Details

Weekly Hours
Age Min.
  • Relevant qualification


Starting Price
Price Details
Project Biodiversity is based in Santa Maria, a popular tourist destination known for its beaches and water-sports. Participants are based in field camps out of town with self-catering accommodation in Santa Maria provided on rest days. Meals are provided for in camp but are not provided on the days off. Field Assistants will receive a €100/month stipend.

Field Assistants are not required to pay any participation fees but need to cover their flights and insurance personally.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Some Meals
What's Included (Extra)

Main meals are given during the time at the field camp. On days off, participants are expected to cover their own food.

What's Not Included
Some Activities Airfare Some Meals SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 10, 2022
Feb 10, 2022
24 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Project Biodiversity is looking for candidates to join our team as Field Assistants, from June until October, for the 2022 Loggerhead nesting season in Sal Island, Cape Verde. We need passionate, driven individuals who wish to help us protect this incredible species in its native habitat.

Loggerhead nesting season runs from June to October, with hatchlings emerging from mid-August to late December. Throughout the season the team of Project Biodiversity is made up of local and international assistants and volunteers. Our work involves patrolling beaches (night and morning) monitoring nesting and to deter hunting, collecting data, conducting research, collaborating with tourists and local businesses, operating hatcheries, running education and outreach activities and organising beach cleans. Although there is a wide scope of activities within the project, protection of nesting turtles continues to be the main focus and whilst this can be stressful and tiring, it is highly rewarding.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • As critical part of our team, you will have the opportunity to directly contribute to the conservation of this endangered species, and ultimately help build a more sustainable Cape Verde.
  • The project encompasses patrolling beaches to monitor nesting and deter hunting, data collection, research, working with tourists and local businesses, operation of hatcheries and hatchling releases, education and outreach activities and beach clean-ups.
  • Join an international team and enjoy an exchange of cultures while visiting Sal Island. The project staff enjoy discounts in dive centres, surf schools and excursion companies.
  • You will gain valuable experience on sea turtle conservation. Maybe your first step of your new career!
  • Join us from the 8th of June until the 20th of October for the whole nesting season.

Program Reviews

9.33 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Growth 9
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Would recommend

Perfect place and opportunity to get hands on experience with turtles and turtle hatchlings. This programme does not give you a secondary or an assistant role when it comes to collecting data, you come face to face with hundreds of turtles and gather countless data.

Living together with everyone was an amazing experience because you really got to know people really well and be there for their best and worst moments, which created really solid friendships. And you get to work, swim and watch the sunrises together!

What was your funniest moment?
When me and my patrol buddy found a turtle without a butt and had to help her deliver her eggs while guarding her from other turtles who were trying to nest in the same place. We were so confused and had to improvise but it turned out to be a really funny experience
13 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Hard Day's Night

The hours are long, the tents are sandy and the turtles don't even say thank you.

However, the hard work is ultimately rewarding, with the knowledge that this work plays a very important practical role in the conservation of an endangered species.

There is also something to be said for how closely you will actually work with the turtles, providing a very rare opportunity to interact with such amazing animals up close. From measuring and tagging the adults, to releasing hatchlings to the sea.

Camp life itself is a great lesson in recycling and sustainability, with nothing going to waste and fewer home comforts than many are used to.

Days off offer a great opportunity to go diving, snorkelling, sample the night life and perhaps drink a beer or two in the sun.

Definitely worth it.

What would you improve about this program?
The only real improvement I can think of would be communication. Sometimes decisions were made or schedules changed without much advance warning. While this is understandable in some circumstances, it's always nice to have a solid idea of what you need to be doing.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My 2018 Nesting Season

I have been fortunate enough to join resident sea turtle biologist for nesting seasons around the world and this season, experience, was by far my favorite. I came as an experienced sea turtle biologist, with particular interest because I had not work with this species. Carreta Carreta or loggerhead. Even as a semi experienced sea turtle biologist I learned ALOT. it was a great and valuable experience for my future as a conservation biologist. The living situation, I do not want to say was hard but it depends on your type of personality. It was rustic. We slept in tents on the beach but we lucky enough to share a space with a Kite Boarding school. This gave us access to a kitchen and sitting area where during the day we could relax sit and the table, read, play games ect. Since we were on the beach and of course conservationist we tried to preserved resources as much as possible. We were allowed limited amount of bucket fresh water showers and limited access to fresh water to do laundry. Once a week we had a day off and the program was nice enough to rent us an apartment in town . There you could take a fresh water shower, enjoy restaurant food, the town and lay by the pool. For me , a fresh water shower once a week with ocean showers in-between was plenty. Others opted to take some fresh water bucket showers in-between. The season was incredible but prepare to work hard. We are all there for a passion for these animals and conservation and they need our help. There were sleepless night, arduous nights but with the support of my fellow field assistants and staff of the program it was one of the most rewarding expiernces of my life. I will never forget my time in Sal and with Project Biodiversidade.

What would you improve about this program?
There are certain people in higher position that I don't agree should be there. I believe in general teachers and good forms of teaching is under appreciated and some of the teaching staff should not be teachers. In addition I think after proving responsibility we should have more freedom to go into town. Connect with family and loved ones. We did nothing during the day most days and I never understood why it was such a "favor" to go into town outside of our one day off.
16 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers