Volunteer Research Project with Sea Turtles in Malaysia

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About

Lang Tengah Turtle Watch is a small-scale conservation organisation, based on a small island off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, neighboring the world-famous Perhentian Islands. Volunteers join our intimate team living in the rustic jungle camp, nestled behind the coconut-fringed sands of secluded Turtle Bay. We all cook, eat, sleep, work and play together. Participants can expect to engage in activities such as inspections of Sea Turtle nests to assess their health, patrolling and relocation of nests to Turtle Bay by night (divided into shifts between 9pm-6am).

On top of turtles, we have shark monitoring, coral restoration and recycling projects you will get involved with, as well as local community development initiatives.

To unwind, we like nothing better than to throw ourselves off the sea cliffs overlooking Redang island, go on jungle treks, snorkeling trips, kayak around the island, or, if you prefer, snooze to the sound of waves on the serene Turtle Bay.

Questions & Answers

Dear Pia, Thank you for your question. The turtle nesting season in Malaysia runs from March to September every year. The eggs take around 2 months (60 days) to incubate, after which they emerge from the nest en masse and head out to the ocean. This means that we have hatchlings emerging at our project site from May until the end of October every year. Of course, however, this is nature and so we...
Hi Jonah! The minimum age requirement is 17 years of age. Thanks!

Reviews

96%
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 8.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Sharlene
10/10

WOW WOW

Where do I start on this amazing project? It was everything and much more for me. From the moment I arrived I knew I was where I needed to be. The location of Turtle Bay (the main nesting beach) and the bush camp only 5 metres from the beach in the Jungle blew my mind.
Yes the camp was rustic no power, running toilets and showers and food supplies that had to last 8-10 days but for me that was perfect I wanted to get back to the simple life, and I couldn’t have been happier.
The attitude of the camp from KL Camp Manager, Research Assistants, Interns and Volunteers were inspiring. We all pulled our weight, cooked amazing meals, did our daily chores without a single complaint and supported each other no matter what.
Each evening we patrolled 2 beaches Turtle Bay and Lang Sari – I loved being on the beach at night it was warm, relaxing, safe and when you got to see a turtle nesting that was your highlight and participating in that activity was mind-blowing.
Daily we learned about turtles and other marine life. We had so much fun snorkeling 2-3 times a day this was amazing, and I didn’t expect to see what I did from snorkeling. Lots of jungle adventures, cliff jumping, beach volleyball, sunrise and sunsets, relaxing at the local beach bar, and lots of fun with everyone in camp. It was an awesome atmosphere. I meet some amazing people who have become new friends.
If you want an adventure, want to participate in a volunteer project which is hands-on but still very respectful of not interfering with the sea turtles this is it. I think it is great value for money and personally, I will be back. I had 1 month, and I was very very sad to leave my friends, my turtles, and the island life.
Put this one on your bucket list and don’t let age stop you, everyone is welcome and welcomed.
A big thumbs up from me and I’m still smiling.

Yes, I recommend this program
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james
10/10

Must go experience in a beautiful place!

This was my first time volunteering on a turtle conservation project and it was incredible. From the moment you arrive to a secluded beach and then walk into the simple yet welcoming and stunning camp this is an experience I will never forget. The camp is basic jungle living but I knew this already and what I was expecting, and it allows to you move away from modern life and get back to nature and really 'live' in your surroundings. There were pristine warm waters all around with beautiful corals and marine life, a lovely beach and lots of places to explore.
Throughout my four weeks here I learnt a lot about turtle conservation as well as many others aspects of marine conservation and wildlife. Turtles came to nest on the beach regularly throughout my stay and to see these amazing creatures in the wild was a humbling experience and gave a great sense of satisfaction that a project like this is working and really helping. We also had two nest hatchings in my time, watching as hundreds of baby turtles made their way to the sea and start their life.
Patrolling at night to ensure poachers are kept away and to look for turtles landing on the beaches was tiring but totally worth it for the reasons mentioned above. I had four weeks of learning new things, getting a better understanding of conservation work, seeing some incredible natural sites and living/working with a great bunch of staff and other volunteers in an environment and camp that takes you back to nature and reminds you of all the good things in this world. - I would recommend this to anyone!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Lotus
10/10

Everyone is jealous

This program is fantastic. I looked around for a long time trying to find a program where I felt that what was being asked and what was being offered was actually worth it. This program puts you right in the middle of nature and you are truly valuable and needed for the turtles. Everything you do is for the betterment of the turtles and the environment. I found that lots of programs offer things that aren't completely genuine. Lang Tengah had me at the description. The whole spot is outdoors, you live according nature, the camp has little to no environmental impact, you can hear the ocean, smell the sea and really get in touch with the turtles and the place. Everyone plays a vital part in the patrols, nest checks and general maintenance of the camp. Everyone there is kind, helpful and there for the right reasons, to help the turtles. It makes for a bunch of really lovely people. Your role is clear and what is expected of you is explained from the beginning. They help you build up to doing things with and for the turtles as your volunteer time goes on and this made me feel really helpful and competent. I went from knowing nothing to explaining things to the new volunteers. The island is beautiful, the sunsets are stunning and the nature is breathtaking. I loved mt time at Lang Tengah, so much so that I extended my stay.

Yes, I recommend this program
Lisa
10/10

Unique experience living simply on a beautiful island

I arrived off the boat to be greeted by a handful of smiling faces and what looked like an untouched beach paradise. However a crawl through the greenery ahead lead to a modest little opening for the camp. The setting could not have been more peaceful. Our days consisted of a check up on the turtle nests and nights spent monitoring the beaches for turtles while gazing at the stars and having a memorable conversation with a new friend. During the nest checks we we able to dig up the turtle eggs (or babies!) and inspect their condition. Occasionally during the night watch, a green turtle would come on shore to lay her eggs. I even got to witness a baby turtle nest emerge into the sea from start to finish! During time not working with the turtles was spent snorkeling, swimming, cooking, reading, laying on the beach, badminton, volleyball, and watching the sunrise/sunsets. We washed our clothes the ol fashion way, fetched water from the well, slept in an open air shelter on cots, and got our energy from the sun - all this blended into a memorable week of simple living with the earth and connecting with people. This really stuck with me and left me wanting more... so I just had to stay longer!

Yes, I recommend this program
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PS
9/10

Conservation holiday in paradise island!!

I was a volunteer with LTTW from June - July 2016, and I had the best time of my life there, meeting amazing people and contributing to the course of conservation. It is evident that the director and staffs at LTTW had worked remarkably hard to make this project a huge success today.

LTTW camp is set-up amidst a lush coastal vegetation, surrounded by myriad of local wildlife. Bucket showers, open-air sleeping hut, camp fires.... we recycle all rubbish and compost our food scraps to reduce environmental stress. As volunteers, we worked together to run the rustic jungle camp, rotating our duties and ensuring that everything was in place. We fell asleep under the starry sky to the melodies of nature, and awaken to the gentle sound of waves.

The main duty of volunteers is to assist in conservation work. In the morning, we conduct scheduled nest checks and post-hatch inspection. At night, we patrol the beaches in shifts from 9pm - 6am in the morning, looking for nesting turtles and relocating the nests to safety. It was a truly miraculous experience to be able to witness the whole nesting process; and the sight of baby turtles scurrying back to sea was almost spiritual that it brought tears to my eye.

During the day, we spent our time cliff jumping, jungle trekking, and snorkelling among the magnificent tropical reefs in the pristine, turquoise water of South China Sea. It is totally fine if you are not a good swimmer, as there is always an option of chilling by the beach, enjoying the sea breeze while taking in the marvelous view of the island.

One thing that I treasure the most was the simple, yet sincere friendship forged with fellow volunteers and island locals. We were always looking out for each other, being there for our friends in times of need.

All the unique encounters and unforgettable experience weaved into a fabric of wonderful memories that I will carry throughout my life. It was so difficult to leave!!

If you are a nature enthusiast, fancy of meeting new people and interested to contribute to the course of conservation, this project is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for you!!

Yes, I recommend this program
Matthew
9/10

My experience at LTTW from a first time volunteer's point of view

I heard about LTTW from a friend and at that point of time I was looking for an experience traveling abroad alone for a first time with a budget of about Rm 2500. I've heard about great experiences from my friend and decided to check LTTW out. I was pleased to find out that cost for this experience would be very much lower than my initial budget although it isn't an experience abroad.

So off I went for LTTW on a journey to find myself somewhere in September 2016. Boy did I get a handful of first-time experiences. First time seeing a turtle's egg live, first time cliff jumping, first time traveling on my own, first time seeing a whale shark! As well as my first time getting lost in a jungle alone. This experience has definitely opened my eyes to the severity of turtle egg poaching as well as the pollution that surrounds the declining numbers of sea turtles.

A huge plus point for this experience is that you do not need any prior conservational experience or even experience with turtles to join this program. Everything is taught from scratch and the whole program is open to almost everyone and anyone above the age of 18. This trip definitely taught me a whole lot.

I was given so much exposure with the LTTW experience. Coming out of the program, you would realize how fortunate you are to be a part of a project so much larger than yourself. You meet amazing people and you learn so much. I definitely would recommend first time volunteers to give this experience a try.

Yes, I recommend this program
Abdul
10/10

Best experience of my life

I spent three weeks at the camp, and everyday was packed with activities. I learned a lot about sea turtles and how important it is to conserve them. This will be a great place to learn more about sea turtles because we get to see and learn the conservation process of turtle eggs, hatchlings and adult turtles. The camp is beautiful and well preserved. I met a lot of great people on the island and from all over the world ! It was a truly amazing experience, because not only I learned a lot about sea turtles, but also I acquired some life skills that will definitely help me in the future

Yes, I recommend this program
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Zaim
9/10

A Great Sense Of Achievement...

As i finished my schooling years in Kuala Lumpur, I wanted to take full advantage of the time i had left before i continued my studies overseas...

At 17 years of age i came across an ad for the Lang Tengah Turtle Watch project and became their youngest volunteer. On first glance, Lang Tengah is a small but beautiful island with cotton white beaches and clear waters as well as accommodating locals.

The camp was small but cozy as well as focused on being environmentally friendly as possible with limited use of electricity and running water. This felt awkward at first but instantly became a cool experience as i achieved the a distinctive feeling of leaving my comfort zone and being one with nature as well as cracking out of my sheltered city life "shell"

The LTTW team achieves their goals through thorough night patrols on the beaches, analysis of tracks and protection of turtle eggs. These task and responsibilities are assigned to volunteers and are sometimes strenuous but at the end becomes very rewarding when you get to experience first hand, a female turtle laying her eggs. The opportunity to witness the miracle of nature...

The Social environment plays a huge part in the project as you get to work and interact with other volunteers of different backgrounds and makes the experience much more enjoyable, making you feel like you're part of a family.

LTTW sticks to a vegetarian cuisine, most of these dishes are delicious and very authentic. Definitely succeeds in living up to the standards of the well known Malaysian taste.

You'll be able to tell that the LTTW project is run by passionate, intelligent, hard working people. Experienced environmentalist who genuinely want to make the world a better place and you'll no doubt feel a sense of accomplishment by being apart of it...

Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

Meet the Alumni

Meet the Staff

About Lang Tengah Turtle Watch

The Lang Tengah Turtle Watch is looking for research volunteers to help with their sea turtle conservation efforts off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Volunteers join nightly patrols around the island's beaches in search of nesting mother...