Location
  • Cape Verde
Length
1 to 7 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Timeframe
Summer Winter
Housing
Apartment
Groups
Small Group (1-15)

Pricing

Starting Price
260
Price Details
Volunteer contributions cover accommodation and utilities such as water and electricity. Meals are not provided. Food is not cheap here, but you will be able to save some money by doing communal cooking. 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.

Contributions:
One week 220€ (260 USD approximately)
Two weeks 270€
Three weeks 320€

50€ for each additional week.
What's Included
Accommodation
Jan 28, 2022
Feb 12, 2022
6 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! During the hatching season, volunteers are responsible for the monitoring of Loggerhead nests in the hatchery and on the nesting beaches. The volunteers will monitor the nests overnight, checking for any baby turtles and releasing them. Volunteers also take part in nest excavations and more.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Volunteering period for the hatchling season: August 20th to December 10th
  • Overnight shift in the project hatchery monitoring the nests that are due to hatch and releasing the hatchlings on nearby beaches;
  • Excavation of nests that hatched on the previous night and collection of important scientific data. During those excavations volunteers will also be releasing any hatchlings left inside the nests;
  • Taking part in outreach activities with the local community and tourists, assisting in data entering and processing;
  • 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!

Related Programs

Program Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 12 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 12 reviews
Default avatar
Laurence
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gateway to a fabulous experience

Whether young or older this is a fabulous programme. If you want to mix with a lovely community, work alongside amazing people and experience the wonder of helping beautiful creatures then this is for you. Tough, rewarding and a forever memory. Just be prepared to get stuck in, work as a team and soak up every moment. I had the pleasure of working alongside fellow volunteers who I remain in contact with. We all share the desire to return to the island to meet again. Be prepared to meet people who will make you a better person :)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I’d definitely have looked to try and spend longer on the programme.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Marie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A very great experience

Being in Capo Verde with project biodiversity was a very very great experience. I learned a lot about turtles and share with others volunteers. Can release baby turtles at night and at sunshine was really unbelievable. The association take care of their volunteer, help us to plan our trip, to discover the city, to talk a better english :)
It's a really human and engaged association, if you like turtles, if you want to do something usefull AND really enjoy it, Project Biodiversity is the one to choose !!

What was your funniest moment?
My first night shift. It was dark and i had more than an hundred turtles to release, but with the city lights, all of them don't go immediatly to the ocean. Imagine, me, with my headlamp on the beach, running after dozen turtles to not forget any of them, and, VLAM, big wave on me, my shoes and my pants.
( finally, all of the turtles returned to the sea :)
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Viviane
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

3 weeks of volunteer work turned into a month and a half of true happiness

I planned on doing the volunteer program for 3 weeks, but I loved it so much I eneded up changing my flight twice and stayed for a month and a half!
The work you need to do is not to heavy or dificult, it doesnt take up too much of your day and you get to hold baby turtles evey day!
Sometimes some night-shifts can be tiering, since you sleep at the beach, but when you see, at the end of the shift, how many turtles you helped save, it's extremely gratifying. And with so many exciting things to do in your free time, you'll regain energy in an instant!
In Sal it's always sunny and warm almost all year round and you have a beach 5 min away from you at all times. It truely feels like paradise...
Eating out is quite cheap (around 5€ per meal) and the food tastes amazing. For vegetarians and vegans eating out might be more challenging but you can already see some (but few) options arising around town.

Even though the baby turtles were the cutest creatures ever, for me, as a psychology undergraduate, the highlight were the people. I met such amazing people. Not only the volunteeres I lived and worked with but also the people that work in the Project with us everyday, especially Débora, the volunteer coordinator. Everyone is always nice and ready to help you and support you with anything you might need. So trust that if anything goes south, you'll have people there along side you.

Project Biodiversity truely felt like a second family, and Sal like a second home.
I might just go back next year (or every year, who knows?). Will I see you there? ;)

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Sleep is overrated. Even if you feel tiered after your night shift, use your free time to do as much as you can! There is so much you can do there. Places to see, people to meet, good food to eat.
People ask me how time there felt for me, and my answer is this: 6 weeks felt like 6 months in 6 days. I gained a different love for life, because we did it all. So if you go (and you should go, btw) do it all! You won't regret it ;)
9 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Lukas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best experience in my life

From October to November 2021 I passed three weeks on Sal Island as a volunteer, and to be honest, it was an incredible experience. As a geoscientists I always dreamed of working outside in nature and here I found the best opportunity. On Sal you find the perfect mixture of natural conservation, contact to tourists, spending time at the beach and having a nice and friendly team always around you. Sometimes it can become hard to stay awake the whole night to rescue the turtles, but the next morning you return to your appartment with a smile - always! The island is very safe and the program provides you more than enough time to discover it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be aware about the climate on Sal. Depending on the season you will only need summer clothes, so don't waste too much space of your baggage for warm clothes. However, you will need at least one long pant and a jacket. All of them should be wind profen.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alicia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome volunteering experience during hatchling turtles season

I have done the hatchling season for turtles for 3 weeks (november-december). It was an amazing experience. If you like turtles, sleeping under the stars, discovering people from all over the world, beeing in an island with beautiful beaches : this volunteering is for you and you don't have to wait for doing it !
In addition, Project Biodiversity is a super organization which is taking really care about its island and the environment impact. They have lot of differents programs : birds protection, cleaning beaches, learnings for profesionals...
Also, the team is super kind, open-minded and really fun !
Sal Island is super nice and there is a really good atmospher there. Local people are really kind. So, if you are worry about the safety, you can put this idea out of your head :) And if you have any problems, the project team is always here for helping you.
Thank you for everything, Project Biodiversity... I'm sure this experience was a big step in my life and this is thanks to you :) It could be a pleasure to come back for another volunteering with you !

What was your funniest moment?
See my partner of night shift fighting with crabs in the hatchery with a wood stick and a bucket !
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Nathaly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer with Sea Turtle hatchling season on Sal Island, Cabo Verde

La experiencia trabajando para este voluntariado ha sido de las mejores decisiones que he tomado en el último tiempo. Si eres un amante de la naturaleza, que busca experiencias en pro de la conservación o simplemente disfrutas de estar en ambientes outdoor, totalmente recomiendo participar en cualquiera de las temporadas que ofrece el proyecto.
Para mi ha sido muy hermoso poder involucrarme de manera directa en la protección de especies marinas, poder entender cómo es el ciclo natural de ellas, también, entender cómo es que se pueden llegar a hacer proyectos amigables con el medio ambiente y cómo se está trabajando esto en el resto del mundo, creo fielmente que es el camino que se debe tomar para el futuro en nuestro planeta.
La experiencia de compartir hogar con más voluntarios de todo el mundo ha sido increible, compartir costumbres, risas, comidas ha hecho de esta experiencia aún mejor, he pasado muchos buenos momentos gracias a esto.
Isla de Sal ofrece muchas experiencias increibles, el poder bucear en aguas claras y con tanta diversidad de especies ha hecho aún más gratificante mi estadía en Cabo Verde, hay mucho para disfrutar y hacerlo de manera consiente y responsable con el planeta me ha encantado.
Muchas gracias!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Poder ver cómo es el nacimiento de tortugas marinas ha sido lo más hermoso que he visto en mi vida, nunca imaginé que sería de esa menera y me ha llenado el corazón, sin duda es un momento único y poder presenciarlo ha sido un gran regalo.
12 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Natucci
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer with Sea Turtle hatchling season on Sal Island, Cabo Verde

Such an amazing experience of over 1 month between november and december. Everything was so nice: the people, the apartment, the work and the free time. Releasing the turtle was so magical. It mixes a good cause and incredible souvenirs. I never expected to be that emotional to leave the project. And i am already planning to come another time and experience the nesting season as I missed the opportunity to see an adult turtle on the beach. As, I come at the end of the hatchling season, so I got a lot of free time and I was enjoying the beach and the hot weather whereas in france it was snowing !!!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was never to come alone as it was my first time doing volunteering abroad. I was stressed also because of the covid situation. But all the negative emotions disappeared so quickly after meeting all the other volunteers and the volunteering coordinator that is really there for you. I am so pleased to have experienced volunteering thanks to the project and I will keep the incredible souvenirs.
11 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Julie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteer with Sea Turtle hatchling season on Sal Island, Cabo Verde

My experience within this project was really amazing. I am grateful for how involved i was in the work. Working with babies sea turtles everyday is so cool, especially in the beautiful island and landscapes of Sal. The team was super welcoming, supporting and i have felt confident from the start of my experience. I have been able to visit Sal Island during my free time, and to enjoy the life here with the beach, bars and activities around. I recommend 100% this experience that i will never forget !

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
It was not surprising but new for me to sleep on the beach every 2 or 3 days haha
9 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers