A turtle research and conservation project on the beautiful Perhentian Islands. Our work is to identify and create a database of how many males, females and sub-adult turtles there are living in the islands and will help us to create a localized sea turtle management plan. Other than that, we go on night patrols at turtle beach to deter poachers and helping mother sea turtles lay eggs safely.
- Help conserve Sea Turtles on a tropical island paradise
- Enjoy afternoon snorkel surveys
- Night patrols under the stars and moon helping mother sea turtles lay their eggs
- Spend your day off lounging on Malaysia’s most beautiful beaches
What to Expect
When you join us you will be helping us to expand our research, as we are one of the first organizations to use photo ID to assess a sea turtle population. You will also join us at night to guard nesting sea turtles and sleeping under the stars. From May onwards the hatchery will start to have hatchlings that you can help to release.
You will be based at two places changing every 3 days. Firstly, in the village where you will conduct the turtle photo ID research, basically snorkeling most of the day looking for turtles! Amazing huh! Then you will spend a few days working at the turtle nesting beach and the turtle hatchery.
ITINERARY (7 days 6 nights)
NOTE: These are the activities that will be conducted whilst on the project; some activities will be swapped as shifts change on a rota basis.
Village (3 nights)
Snorkel Survey Photo ID Session:
We will do Photo ID snorkel survey at Turtle Bay. We go there by kayaking and spend around two hours to do snorkel survey doing Photo ID for sea turtles. This is done by taking photo of the face on left and right side, top head and whole body. Every day, we have two snorkel survey sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It would be best if you know how to swim, however if you cannot, you still can join us if you are okay with snorkeling :-)
Data Analysis of Photo ID:
After our snorkel surveys, the photos taken will be analyzed using special identification software. You will learn how we identify the turtles by using this software and also manual identification. This part is crucial, in order to ID the turtles correctly.
Whilst you are in the village, we will go for a Malay dinner. Malay Dinner will take place at a local house where you will be served with Malay cuisine and hosted by one of the lovely PILA ladies. The best part is, you will learn about Malaysian culture, we teach you how to wear a ‘sarong’ (for the ladies) or a ‘pelikat’ (for the men), how to eat with your hands and how to have a simple conversation with your host.
Kuih Making Session:
‘Kuih’ in Malay means dessert. During this session, you will learn how to make local/traditional kuih. So yummy and a lot of fun!
This is the best activity to discover other sites on the islands. Our snorkel tour will be led by certified eco snorkel boatman who we trained. So, your snorkel trip will be eco-friendly! Discover the most famous snorkel points such as Shark Point, Pantai Teluk Keke, Lighthouse and Coral Garden. Each point has their own attractions and you will definitely enjoy it!
Every week, we will conduct a beach cleanup with our volunteers. Plastics are very harmful to our environment and also for marine life. We will do a cleanup at one of the beaches on the islands or maybe along the pathway around the islands.
Nesting Beach – Pantai 3 Ruang (3 nights)
Turtle Night Patrol:
You will help to collect non-flash photos of nesting sea turtles at Pantai Tiga Ruang. The photos that you collect will help our researchers to establish nesting patterns of sea turtles in the Perhentian Islands. Unfortunately, occasionally poachers still collect eggs from the beaches around the islands. That’s why government staff travel around to patrol, although they are sometimes too late and poachers have already taken the eggs. Your role is to help guard ‘our’ beach. When a turtle comes up to nest, you will inform the Fisheries Department staff who will then collect the eggs and safely protect them in their official hatchery.
Every morning, we will assist the Fisheries Department to do nest check in the hatchery. If you’re lucky you will witness a nest excavation or even rescue hatchlings from ants etc.
- Mixed-dorm accommodation in traditional Malay house
- Marine park fee
- Return ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands
What's Not Included
- International/Domestic Flights
- Travel to and from Kuala Besut
- Travel Insurance
Housing & Meals
While in the village, you will be staying in a traditional Malay house. While at turtle beach, you have the option of sleeping under the stars amongst the sand, relaxing in a hammock, or spending the night in our simple but comfortable beach hut.
Daily meals are provided and allow participants the opportunity to experience Malay culture and cuisine.