Location
  • Cape Verde
Length
1 to 16 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Apartment Tent
Travel Type
Budget Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
326
Price Details
Volunteer contributions cover accommodation, utilities such as water and electricity, and meals during your working period. Meals are not provided on rest days. Please note that water and basic meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are provided in the camp. Volunteer contributions also provide critical funds needed to support the basic but essential needs of the project, allowing us to patrol the beaches more effectively, and ultimately protect more turtles.

One week 275€ (284 USD approximately)
Two weeks 340€
Three weeks 400€

50€ for each additional week
What's Included
Accommodation Some Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Airport Transfers Equipment SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Dec 17, 2021
Feb 21, 2022
12 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

The islands of Cabo Verde constitute the world’s second most important nesting site for the Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), one of seven marine turtle species found worldwide.
Unfortunately, human exploitation of this species has brought them to the brink of extinction. Poaching along with the fast island development are the main threats to the species in Sal. For the last 10 years, both international volunteers and members of the local community have worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of this species. While the number of turtles killed has drastically reduced, illegal poaching and trafficking persist. Our mission continues in 2022 – hopefully with you as a part of our team!
As a volunteer, your primary role will be to patrol the beaches at night with other assistants in order to deter hunters and ensure the turtle can nest safely. During patrols, you will also assist with important fieldwork activities, including tagging and measuring turtles, and nest managing.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Volunteering period for the nesting season: June 23rd until October 20th
  • As a 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 Cabo Verde.
  • The project encompasses patrolling beaches (night and morning) to monitor nesting and deter hunting, data collection, research, working with tourists and local businesses, operation of hatcheries, and outreach activities and beach clean-ups.
  • Join an international team and enjoy an exchange of cultures while exploring Sal Island. You can take surf lessons, go diving in caves and shipwrecks, experiment the local cusine and music, or just enjoy the beach!
  • If you are looking for your first experience working in conservation, are taking a career break, or just wish to spend your holidays doing something meaningful, this is the opportunity for you!

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Program Reviews

9.89 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 9 reviews
Default avatar
Aidan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The BEST Summer of My Life

The most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, magnificent mama sea turtles every day, jaw-dropping sunrises, the calming sound of ocean waves, an incredibly vibrant and kind group of people, the best summer of my life. This experience was absolutely life changing, and has inspired me to pursue similar conservation jobs working with sea turtles around the world. Not only that, but this experience provided me with some of the best people, many of whom I still talk to on a weekly basis. While this experience is tough at some times, I entirely believe that it is 10000% worth it. I know that I will look back at this experience as one of the best for years to come.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I knew that I would be working with sea turtles, but I did not realize how close we were going to be to them so frequently! Walking down the beach in the dark and seeing a turtle track every 10 feet or so was just astounding. Also learning about the habits and intellectual intuition about the sea turtles was so amazing! They are truly beautiful creatures and I feel so lucky to have seen so many of them in just a few short weeks on Sal Island.
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Cristel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best summer ever!

I volunteered with the project biodiversity for four weeks. It was a hard, but so worth it experience. I learned so much about turtles and myself. I slept under the stars, patrolled whole nights long and met the most amazing people. I saw an animal that I never imagined to see in real life, not only one but so many that I last count on my fist night patrolling.
Not only the turtles where beautiful the people as well. I felt very welcome. When I fist arrived the project explained everything very clearly, they showed me around the town and helped me prepare for my fist week at camp. Also during my stay at the camp they regularly checked if I was okay or if I needed anything.
I definitely got pushed out of my comfort zone, but in good way. The beach where we patrolled are like a dream, clear blue water and white sand. Every morning we would watch the sunrise with a nesting turtle next to us. An experience I would never forget!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future volunteers would be to bring leggings, good shoos for walking is lose sand, a tiny sleeping bag, a big reusable water bottle. Prepare with for being very tired, there is not a lot of time to sleep when you’re watching turtles all night long. Try to nap during the day, if you are able to do that you can make you sleeping schedule work and not feel exhausted all the time.
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Marine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience

I spent 2 months and a half with Project Biodiversity during the nesting season.
I feel really honored to have been part of this amazing experience.
As a volunteer you get the chance to work with professional, learn a lot, and live on a camp with people from different horizon all reunited for the same reason.
In my case I didn’t study anything about biology or conservation so having a direct impact with the sea turtles was a incredible privilege. I can’t be more grateful to have been able to give a little of my contribution.
I can just recommend this association ! The work and commitment they provide is pretty impressive and inspiring.

12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Anysia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A really nice and hardworking team and a true impact on nature !!

I had a short stay in Project Biodiversity team but enough to be able to say that if you're looking for an authentic volunteering experience, meaningful as well as being part of a cool team, do not hesitate to join them ! Work can be hard as you're going to patrol at night and walk for a few kilometers in the sand, but you have direct impact on helping the turtles and being close to these animals and seeing them nesting is a unique experience. Everyone in the staff is really nice and supportive as well as in the volunteering and field assistant team :)

14 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Paul
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Maybe a truly lifechanging travel

I had the privilege of volunteering with the project for 3 weeks in September 2021. The first impression I had and which was confirmed were the incredibly kind people. Not only do they all share the same passion for nature, it is almost impossible to find someone at the camp with whom you cannot have open-minded and wide-ranging conversations.
I can't remember meeting such a diverse yet collaborative group before.
The work with the turtles is physically demanding especially due to the lack of sleep and the rather not so good food, but for those who have an average fitness, a little stamina and belief in the mission, the wonderful and unique experiences of this trip should definitely outweigh it.
One has the privilege of working up close with nesting turtles and hatchlings while contributing to their conservation. On the one hand, by collecting data that will be used for scientific research. on the other hand, by minimizing human impact. It is important to keep hunters in mind, but in my opinion it is very unlikely to encounter them, not to mention to be confronted with them. In addition, the project attaches great importance to the safety of volunteers and staff, which further minimizes unnecessary risks.

So every night patrol was a new adventure, and the great people, well after a few days i would have called a lot of them my friends, made it a even better experience every time.
The volunteers are actually quite important in the project, which without the additional motivated staff would probably have big problems to survive permanently.
So you can look forward to being introduced very quickly to almost all the work and quickly being given more responsibility.

In summary, I can only recommend this opportunity to anyone who can imagine investing a little time and energy.
You will come out of this challenge with a broader understanding and mindset for people, nature and maybe even yourself.

And dont worry if your English isn't perfect, as long as you understand most of it and can express yourself, no one cares about awkward words or grammar.

what are you waiting for?
The world is open to you and maybe this is the first step through the door.

What was your funniest moment?
The best moments were the night walks while waiting for patrols or after them.
The sleepy spirit, coupled with the euphoria of the beauty of the moment brings not only profound and funny moments, but at the same time pure joy of the moment with a friend under the stars, sitting on a picturesque beach in the middle of the night.
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Georgina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing experience

I had the opportunity to volunteer with Project Biodiversity for three weeks this summer and I can tell it has been an amazing experience, one of the bests of my life.

I have had the privilege to learn about marine turtles, local wildlife and so many other things with the best professionals on the island. It was great because we were committed to protecting this unique species, at the same time we were providing our small contribution to the planet. Moreover, I could improve my English skills significantly.

The greatest thing was meeting people from different countries and creating a special bond with them. I felt truly considered and respected all the time and enjoyed every experience with them. I hope to see them soon.

The only thing I would change would be the short time I spent there.

In short, I highly recommend this experience for anyone who is considering joining. You will have the best summer of your life!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing I saw was the turtles' hatchlings. As I came for the nesting season, I didn't think I would be able to see them. It was a great experience and I was even able to spend one night in the hatchery looking after them. They were so cute and I loved how they were struggling to reach the sea.
19 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
GIORGIO
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best volunteering experience

I voluntereed with the project for three weeks during this summer and now I can say that it was the best experience of my life.
I learned a lot about turtles and the relation between us and the nature.
I met fantastic people and thanks to them I felt part of a real team where everyone help each other.
Of course the life it's not easy, you have to walk a lot and you have not so much time to sleep but I can assure you it's worth it!
The feeling you prove to save a turtle, a nest and to know that you are doing the right thing it's impossible to describe, I would do it another 1000 times.
Don't hesitate to join the project, you won't regret it!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was when, after a few days, I received full trust from my teammates. They started giving me more responsibility and everything became more exciting and fun.
14 people found this review helpful.
Silvia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer saving sea turtles

I volunteered with the project for two months during Summer 2018 and it truly was an amazing experience. It was my first time as a volunteer and I can honestly say I’d do it all again. Not only the project is very well managed but most importantly, it truly makes a difference in taking care of the environment and protecting sea turtles.
When I applied I was looking for a way to use my time to do something good and meaningful and I found it: during my time with the project I learned a lot about sea turtles, but also about Cape Verte and about myself. I had the chance to meet great people, to work with both nesting turtles and hatchlings and to explore the island and its most beautiful beaches, to snorkel in my time off and to work under a sky full of so many stars it always took my breath away other than providing with enough light to spot nesting turtles coming out of the water from a distance.
Living on the beach was one of my favourite parts of the whole experience, it was impossible to get bored with so many people around but at the same time I got a lot of time to think and make important decisions.
Working with sea turtles is fascinating, never boring, and can also be a lot of fun! It is physically demanding and requests a lot of walking but it’s definitely worth it. So if you’re looking for an adventure, for a way to make a difference and to learn don’t hesitate and join the project!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just embrace the experience. Embrace everything with a positive an open attitude, take every chance to learn, to explore, to help. Embrace the sand that will end up in your shoes, clothes (yes even in your hair). Be open to get in contact with people from all over the world, speaking different languages and having different cultures and backgrounds, it is one of the best parts of the experience!
On a more practical side, make sure to have really warm clothes for patrols, the wind can get really cold during the night, especially when sitting with a nesting turtle: there is a lot of walking but also a lot of time spent working with these beautiful animals!
20 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers