Location
  • Seychelles

Pricing

Price Details
The volunteer contribution includes all food and accommodation; airport transfers; all training materials, technical dive and science equipment; discounted PADI Open Water Courses, locally arranged prior to the expedition: PADI Advanced Open Water Course with all materials included, PADI Coral Reef Researcher speciality, and heavily discounted further dive training options up to PADI Divemaster.
Jul 13, 2020
Jan 17, 2023
73 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

As a country supporting 115 islands, Seychelles is ecologically diverse. Home to area-unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems, you’ll find over a quarter of the land under protection. This is an opportunity for you to contribute towards sustainable development projects in marine, animal, and environmental conservation.

Gain practical skills and experience by; researching coral reef recovery and climate change, working with lemon sharks and turtles to learn a range of safeguarding techniques, and collecting important data for government run sustainable initiatives. Each program has set objectives that are measured against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Connect with the local community and international volunteers alike, learning about different cultures. Make new friends, encounter the rare and giant Aldabra tortoise, or travel to nearby islands.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Live and volunteer on an archipelago of 115 islands, connecting with local communities and international volunteers.
  • Learn about ethical volunteering and actively contribute towards long-term UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Increase your conservation skill-set, and gain your PADI divers and PADI Coral Reef Research qualifications.
  • Travel to UNESCO world heritage sites, swim in supreme tropical waters identifying native aquatic sea-life.
  • Experience a different way of life immersed in local communities, learning about the culture and customs.

Popular Programs

Volunteers on a boat in the Seychelles

This is an expedition to gain a range of skills and qualifications in marine conservation, such as species identification skills, your PADI divers and research qualifications, and coral reef surveying techniques, all while contributing towards sustainable development objectives. As Mahe is a central location, you can easily travel to and explore other islands in the Seychelles.

Sea turtle swimming in the Seychelles

Travel to Curieuse, an island surrounded by the Curieuse Marine National Park, where you can join in their conservation activities to protect green sea turtle hatchlings, study the hawksbill sea turtle’s nesting behavior, and collect data on sickle fin lemon sharks for an active catch-and-release project. In your free time, you could explore nearby islands, snorkel in warm clear waters, hike to access panoramic views, and meet people of varying nationalities.

Interns swimming during the sunset in the Seychelles

Gain your PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver certificates as you learn to monitor techniques, and how to identify coral species and assist with their recovery. As you will spend a large portion of time diving in the supreme clear waters, you have an opportunity to see an array of native aquatic sea-life up close.

Sea turtle on the beach in the Seychelles

This program takes place in Curieuse, a remote national park. This is a unique opportunity to stay on the island while working alongside experienced conservationists. Contribute towards the lemon shark catch-and-release project, and collect data on hawksbill and green sea turtles while assisting in their protection.

Sea turtle swimming in the Seychelles

Contribute directly to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land, while staying on Curieuse, a small granitic island known for its giant Aldabra tortoise inhabitants. You will be a part of the conservation and population analysis of these rare species, as well as assist in ongoing flora and fauna studies. Learn hands-on sustainable skills to propel you into your future career.

Program Reviews

4.78 Rating
based on 46 reviews
  • 5 rating 84.78%
  • 4 rating 13.04%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 2.17%
  • Impact 4.75
  • Support 4.8
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.65
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 46 reviews
Default avatar
Claire
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

GVI Curieuse Seychelles (Oct-Dec) 10 weeks

I chose to do a GVI program because I had just finished a MSc in Marine Conservation and wanted to get more in field experience. I did the Curieuse, Seychelles Program for 10 weeks (Oct-Dec) and it was amazing! It took me about a week to adjust to living in such different conditions than I was used to but by the end I didn't want to go back to living in my house again and wished I could stay for longer. The accommodation was the old leper colony female dormitories and the only people on the island were us and the rangers who stayed on the other side of the island. And of course there were tourists that came for day trips. The staff there were amazing and really helped you feel welcome on the island along with the two dogs that lived on base. I feel that I have definitely learned and experienced so many things that will help me in my future career. Some of these were working in hot and tiring conditions as a part of a team, being around people 24/7, and adapting to limited equipment in sometimes stressful moments. But this trip was so amazing that I would love to go back again to see the sharks, turtles and tortoises that we surveyed everyday, and exploring the other islands in the Seychelles again. I have also made some lifelong friends from this trip and am waiting to save up and go on another GVI program around the world

4 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Claire!

Thank you so much for your review! A big congratulations on completing your MSc in Marine Conservation! I'm so glad that you adjusted so well and felt welcomed by the staff. Thank you for all your hard work throughout the program, I hope that you come back soon especially to see and explore even further!

All the best,
Tiffany (GVI Outreach Team)

Default avatar
Mia
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Volunteering in the Seychelles

My time in the Seychelles was the best of my life so far. It was my first time travelling alone and so far away from my home. At first I was worried about getting there and what activities I would be doing and conditions I would be living in. I met my group in the airport and we were immediately picked up by the driver and taken to where we needed to be which was very helpful. My first look on base was exactly what I expected it to be, very basic. I was however surprised by how nice the bathrooms were and found the lack of hot water did not bother me. The staff were very friendly and I felt very welcome. What I did find to be a struggle in the coming weeks was the food situation. We mostly ate rice, pasta and vegetables and by the end I was sick of the plain-ish food (especially red peppers). We were treated to some chips and burgers occasionally - those were my favourite nights and on 2 evenings we ordered pizza in from the nearest town which was very enjoyable. I wish I had brought more snacks with me since I was always hungry after the dives.

My time scuba diving was extremely enjoyable and productive. We dove 2 times a day for five days a week. For the first week we completed our advanced open water course. After that we moved on to the marine research part, doing point-outs for our specific area of learning to practice our observation skills. I personally did fish 1 which was reef fish. We were taught by a series of PowerPoints and scouring through books to identify which types of fish we had seen during our previous dive- this was very efficient and a fun way to learn. By the end of the course I had learnt around 50 fish plus other incidentals and was able to identify them during our surveys in the last week. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the marine animals and me and my friends came up with fun ways to revise and test each other. Some of my favourite sightings were nudibranchs, turtles, eels and rays. I also did other surveys such as seagrass surveys, coral surveys and nudibranch surveys. The coral one was interesting as we had a numbered colour palette and picking out random bits of coral, compared its colour to the palette for the closest match.

During the weekdays we had free time in the evenings and the volunteers often organised fun activities such as movie nights, table tennis tournaments, football on the beach and coconut hunts (which was my favourite although I did get a lot of mosquito bites wandering around the jungle). We also did a few cards games which got very competitive.
On weekends we left base to explore the island and others surrounding it. Most weekends we stayed in mahe and a group of us just booked hotel rooms. In our free time we liked to relax at the beach, wander around the local area, eat out in restaurants etc. My favourite activity was the three bothers hike trail. It took us over an hour to get to the very top and it was not an easy journey either, the majority of it was spent on hands and knees scaling up boulders and over huge tree roots but it was worth it as the view was incredible at the top. We could see so much of the island and could watch as aeroplanes landed in the airport: it blew my mind being so high that even the aeroplanes were lower than us. If I remember rightly we were 2220ft from sea level, it was just such an amazing experience. On another weekend we went via boat to another island where we cycled the whole island, visited various beaches and enjoyed a couple nights in the reggae bar. On another occasion a couple of us even organised a night dive which was so much fun, we saw the likes of lobsters and huge white sea snakes. If I turned off my torch and waved my hand around I could see the glow of the bioluminescence which was surreal. I would have liked to do more night dives and hope to do so I’m the future.

Overall my time in the Seychelles was just incredible and I have made life long friends all across the globe. I feel much more confident in travelling now and my ability to overcome any worries. It has inspired me to carry on and study marine biology in the future and I would definitely like to do another course similar to this with GVI again. A wonderful experience.

Pros
  • Friends for life
  • Confidence to travel
  • Learning about marine life
Cons
  • Food on base
  • Early starts
  • Daily chores
15 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Mia,

Thank you so much for such a wonderful review! It sounds like you had a phenomenal time in Mahe. Seeing the glow of the bioluminescence at night sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience - how incredible! I'm also so thrilled to hear this program has inspired you to go on and study marine biology. We'd love to have you on another program in future, and possibly even join the staff team when you are qualified!

Amanda
Head of Alumni Services (Global)

Default avatar
Clara
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I’ve had an amazing time

I am really enjoying my time in the Seychelles, Curieuse Island with GVI. I’ve had the opportunity to do lots of exciting things. I have seen turtles nesting, baby turtles making there way to the sea for the first time, stroked a lot of giant tortoises and held a baby lemon shark, all while collecting data in a beautiful location. The base is right on the beach, so every morning the first thing you see is the ocean and the last thing you hear at night are the waves on the beach. We also share base Obama, the giant tortoises, who really loves bananas.

Pros
  • Making Memories
  • Amazing Views
  • Meeting new people
10 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Clara,

I'm so glad to hear you had such a great time with us on our program in Curieuse! How special that you were able to make an impact while watching baby turtles begin their lives! We'd love to see you on another program in future. All the best!

Default avatar
Shannon
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome! Would do again

From the moment I arrived the group and staff was very welcoming and helped with all our questions! The work is great and you get to do a lot of different things. The walks to the beaches are amazing especially the view points. So far the best thing on curieus island is the sharking this is where you catch lemon sharks! The bbq nights are amazing and you definitely learn how to cool here! You also get a lot of opportunities to do extra stuff at the weekends like going to praslin for the day. !!!

Pros
  • Amazing experience
  • New friends
  • Cooling skillss
9 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for this review! I'm so pleased to hear you found the staff welcoming and that you enjoyed working with the Lemon Sharks so much! We'd love to have you on another GVI program again sometime soon.

Default avatar
Bridget
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The wonders of Curieuse Island!

The staff at the GVI base on Curieuse were so welcoming right from the start that we all immediately felt at home. The communal living style we quickly adopted on base meant we all made such good friends in days which completely transformed the whole experience. The days were full of hiking, completing tortoise surveys, beach profiles and mangrove monitoring, then the late afternoons and evening were spent relaxing on the beach, cooking, playing volleyball, or learning how to open coconuts. My favourite memory is of the first morning, were we hiked through the mangroves, still completely in awe of the amazing scenery around us, only to stumble across at least 20 giant tortoises going about their daily life- incredible! I had also never had the chance to go snorkelling before, so the opportunity to do so in the Indian Ocean with such a huge diversity of coral and fish was amazing. Another highlight is spending days monitoring the beaches for turtle activity, then having the afternoon to relax on the beach, go swimming, play capture the flag and end with a BBQ in the evening. I could not recommend this experience highly enough and it is something I will never forget. Bring on the next GVI adventure!

Pros
  • Meet so many amazing people
  • Experience a whole new range of wildlife, from record breaking coco de mer to, if you're lucky, beautiful green turtles
  • Getting to learn more about the oceans from first hand experience
11 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi Bridget,

Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave us such a fantastic review! I'm so glad to hear you were able to make such special memories. Stumbling across 20 giant tortoises must have been quite something! We'd love to host you on another program soon. All the best.

Default avatar
Christian
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable time in Seychelles

Seychelles was incredible, the scenes were that out of a movie and the people made the memories, I genuinely couldn't change a thing because I don't know what could beat it.
The number of times I thought to myself, "how is this real" would be surprising, but that's exactly how it felt, I was swimming in coral reeds on the other side of the world, identifying fish and helping make a difference, and that feeling will be difficult to match. Seychelles made one of the best months of my life and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to go.

Pros
  • Friends
  • Experiences
  • Fun
Cons
  • Price
15 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi there,

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review! I'm thrilled to hear you had one of the best months of your life with us in Seychelles and that you wouldn't change a thing. We'd love to have you back in the future!

Default avatar
Dominic
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering with GVI on the Seychelles

Staff members are very nice. It takes a bit of time to get used to the base and your daily schedule but once you get used to it you will have a wonderful time. You get introduced to a life of a marine biologist who has to take care of his/her diving equipment which includes filling up your tanks by yourself. The weekends off are a great opportunity to discover the rest of the main island (Mahé) but you can also discover other islands (I went to Praslin and La Digue with the other volunteers on base). Speaking of other volunteers, during these 4 weeks I got to meet some incredible people. Working together from Monday to Friday and then having a nice weekend really helps making friends.
To conclude, I definitely do not regret signing up for this experience and encourage everyone reading this to do it too!!

Pros
  • You get to make very good friends
  • You dive a lot
Cons
  • Try to avoid monsoon season if you do not like rain :)
14 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Dominic,

Thank you for this lovely detailed review.

We are so glad to hear that your experience on base was memorable and that our staff made you feel welcome! It sounds like you made the most out of every day and we are so glad to hear you made beautiful connections while contributing such great efforts.

We would love to see you back on base soon.

Default avatar
Travis
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Marine Conservation in the Seychelles

This program was full of once in a life time experiences, from swimming with turtles, sharks and whale sharks. The conservation work done by this program has had a meaningful and long lasting effect around the Seychelles protected area and is seeing a recovery. The Dive opportunities are some of the best in the world, and will stay with me for life. There is also plenty of socialising opportunities on the weekends when you can explore the surrounding islands and experience the unique local culture.

Pros
  • amazing Diving
  • new friends
  • swimming with a whale shark
Cons
  • it rains a lot
  • lots of mosquitoes
14 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Travis,

Thank you for taking the time to leave this great review!

GVI values hearing about your experience, and we are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your time with us. It is so lovely that you made great connections and discovered the beauty that this world has to offer.

We look forward to welcoming you back on base (with open arms) and continuing to make an impact. Please keep on spreading your love for GVI.

Questions & Answers

For the Marine Conservation Expedition on Mahé, all volunteers require a current PADI Open Water. No additional skills are required, but it certainly helps if you’re already familiar with diving safety protocol and marine / boating experience. You will study either fish, coral or invertebrates and be taught survey methodology. Writing on a slate underwater would be a good activity to practice...