Volunteer Projects

Volunteer Position with Sea Turtles

Cabo Verde

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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! We only take a limited number of volunteers each season and we are looking for people who want to do something really worthwhile during their free time and who are prepared for some challenging, but very fulfilling work. Volunteers are a critical part of our turtle protection team with their enthusiasm and energy has been helping us to save many turtles. 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 relocation and excavation of nests. You may also get involved with other aspects of the outreach activities and assisting other local community focused charities with small projects. With this experience you’ll learn about turtle conservation techniques and will have the opportunity to make a real difference to the survival of marine turtles. Volunteers are based in field camps (with rest periods in apartments in Santa Maria). Volunteers work six days each week and will have 1 day/night off to explore the island, enjoy diving, surfing and other water sports, or just lay on the beach and relax! Living under these conditions can be challenging, extremely tiring and stressful, and will include work both at night and during the day. A good level of fitness and physical and mental energy is required as patrols are long (possibly all night), conducted on foot and may be as long as 15km. Shift patterns vary but you will have 1 day of rest per week.


  • Desire to participate in conservation
  • At least 18 years old
  • Understand written and spoken English
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • High level of energy and flexibility
  • Able to cope with physically challenging conditions (camping, long walks, late nights, hot weather, insects)
  • Ability to work and live with people of different backgrounds and nationalities

Projeto Biodiversidade

Project title
Volunteer Position with Sea Turtles

Project location
Santa Maria, Sal, Cape Verde

Albert Taxonera

30th June - 20th October every year

Understand written and spoken English. Portuguese is very useful

Who can volunteer?
Adults of both sexes 18+

3 weeks minimum

Volunteers 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 are provided in the camp. Volunteer contributions also provide critical funds needed to support basic but essential needs of the project, allowing us to patrol the beaches more effectively, and ultimately protect more turtles. One week - €250; two weeks - €315; three weeks - €375; and 50€ for each additional week.


How to apply
Complete the online form on our website and we will get in contact with you. Feel free to email me if you have any questions or require further information.

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4 Star Rating

'Really Good Time'

I had a brilliant time, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and I loved all the turtle walks. There was so much variety and a lot to learn - I would definitely go back. This experience has made me change my career to what I love and I’m currently now looking for marine research/science work throughout the world. It was hard work as you had to walk long hours during the night but it was worth it. The food wasn't really good but you can never have it all.

Anna Olomí Pallàs

4 Star Rating

'Very enriching experience, 3 weeks volunteering in Sal Island, Cabo Verde'

The volunteering consisted of patrolling the beaches during the night, protecting sea turtles from hunters, and improving the ecosystems of the island during the day by cleaning debris from the beaches and dunes. Meanwhile, we collected scientific data, helped in tagging turtles and relocating nests and dealt with the population in the island promoting environmental education. The conditions are hard as you patrol during night, you must be physically strong to walk during long periods of time on sand, sleep few hours and be easy going to adapt to the conditions in the camp. The food was always enough but many times repetitive and could be improved as the gastronomy in the island can be rich. However, staying in such a beautiful place and working with the team, who love what they are doing and are really friendly and always willing to teach and help you is a very enriching experience. Watching sea turtles coming out of the water is an unforgettable experience. Camping on those incredibly natural beaches with the company of members of the group, many of them locals, and who have so much experience in the field is really interesting. During the day, sometimes it gets really hot but there’s always something to do in the camp, from volleyball to swimming at the beach. You can also use your free days to visit the island of Sal, which has really wild areas and awesome beaches and diving spots. To sum up, I have to say it was a really good experience I totally recommend if you are easy going, enjoy nature and sea life and are interested in conservation.


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    • Head torches with red filters
    • Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries
    • GPS equipment
    • Unlocked mobile phones
    • English/Portuguese dictionaries and language text books
    • Educational games (that don't require language)
    • Footballs (not inflated)