Marine Conservation Volunteering

Our Seychelles volunteer project focuses on three key aspects: Endangered Species monitoring, Marine Conservation and Ecosystem Restoration. For a unique ecotourism experience which allows you to give something back by supporting a dedicated conservation research and volunteer team on a private tropical island paradise, come and support those volunteering in the Seychelles. Ecotourists live and experience land and marine conservation life on the exclusive North Island in the Seychelles – considered by many to be the most beautiful archipelago in the world with its luminous white beaches, granite outcrops and azure oceans.

Everything you need to know

Our Seychelles volunteer project focuses on three key aspects: Endangered Species monitoring, Marine Conservation and Ecosystem Restoration. For a unique ecotourism experience which allows you to give something back by supporting a dedicated conservation research and volunteer team on a private tropical island paradise, come and support those volunteering in the Seychelles. Ecotourists live and experience land and marine conservation life on the exclusive North Island in the Seychelles – considered by many to be the most beautiful archipelago in the world with its luminous white beaches, granite outcrops and azure oceans.

Prices in:
EUR

Price

2500

Duration

4 - 8 weeks

type

Volunteer

Requirements

Ages: 21 - 60

Overview

This unique island and marine conservation experience allows you to accompany scientists and Seychelles volunteers while focusing on Endangered Species Monitoring, Marine Conservation and Ecosystem Restoration. The project seeks those with a keen interest in tropical island conservation and ecology. Currently no more than 4 participants join a dedicated conservation and research team on a private island and get involved in all the activities of the Environmental Department and conservation volunteers – from field work to data entry.

North Island represents a Noah’s Ark – a sanctuary where natural wildlife habitats are being rehabilitated and where critically endangered Seychelles fauna and flora are being reintroduced by conservationists and volunteers – providing a haven to regenerate. It is very seldom that the opportunity arises to make such a significant and positive impact on island habitat conservation and wetland restoration in a region. North Island was recognized for its island and marine conservation work by being awarded as the National Geographic World Legacy Awards winner for Conserving the Natural World.

ISLAND AND MARINE CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES

Activities include morning beach patrols to search for evidence of nesting sea turtles, assisting with the removal of coconut saplings and other invasive species, planting indigenous/endemic plants, collecting seeds, monitoring the White Eye population, Giant Aldabra Tortoise population and Hawksbill Sea Turtle population, taking care of babies if necessary, Terrapin trapping, and conducting snorkeling photo surveys in support of marine conservation. While conducting these activities with research staff and volunteers, participants gain a better understanding of the environment and the challenges faced by island conservation initiatives around the world.

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Seychelles conservation ecotourists can expect to be active 6 days a week with a rest day on Fridays. You will stay in a traditional 2 bedroom stone cottage between the palm trees and close to the beach. There are plenty of opportunities to mix with and learn from the full-time staff and volunteers after-hours as well as partake in fun activities such as swimming, surfing, enjoying sun-downers, paddle-boarding or kayaking – all available every day after 4pm at the dedicated staff beach. Or you may choose to explore more of the Seychelles between island and marine conservation activities on this beautiful private island!

Join our award-winning ecotourism experience

What will an Island Volunteer Experience at our North Island Project?

We seek participants with a keen interest in ecosystem restoration, island conservation, habitat preservation, marine conservation and ecology. Participants on our North Island project need to be quick learners and able to remain independent in the field after only a few days’ induction. At certain times of the year be prepared for high temperatures of 28 – 32o C, with high humidity. You must be in good physical condition and able to walk up to 5km per day on deep sands and hilly terrain, and have a good sense of observing animals and birds. Participants should be self-disciplined, responsible, enthusiastic, patient and able to get along well with others.

North Island Sea Turtle Conservation Work
North Island Sea Turtle Conservation Work
North Island Sea Turtle Conservation Work
North Island Sea Turtle Conservation Work
North Island Sea Turtle Conservation Work

Island Conservation Tasks at North Island

Marking and monitoring of Green (Chelonia midas) and Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) populations.

  • Daily beach patrols including night patrols (tagging of individuals when needed)
  • Hatched turtle nest excavations – shell counts of old nests (when needed)

Marking and monitoring of the Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) population.

  • Finding and recording GPS locations of tortoise locations for territory identification and movement patterns across the island.
  • Monitoring baby Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) growth rates within a baby tortoise pen.

Rehabilitation of the endemic vegetation of North Island, particularly the Takamaka forest.

Wildlife at North Island Seychelles
Wildlife at North Island Seychelles
Wildlife at North Island Seychelles
Seychelles White-Eye
Wildlife at North Island Seychelles

Vegetation Rehabilitation Work

  1. Coconut seedling removal in rehabilitated areas
  2. Cultivating of seedlings in the tree nursery
  3. Planting of indigenous trees in rehabilitated areas
  4. Alien vegetation removal, focusing on the 3 hills on the island
  5. Marsh vegetation clearing (dry season only)
  • Marking and re-capturing the Seychelles Black Mud turtle (Pelusios subniger parietalis) population to obtain population estimates.
  • Locating and recording the GPS location of White-tailed Tropicbird nests
  • Conducting bird counts around the island and monitoring migrant bird species
  • Snorkelling along the coral reefs of the island in order to compile a photographic ID database of corals and fish occurring on the reefs and monitoring changes in coral.
  • Monitoring beach movement patterns on the three beaches of the island by means of photographs and by using Abney levels.
  • Collecting and digitizing the oceanic trash that washes onto the beaches of North Island. This data is entered into an online database managed by The Ocean Conservancy to assess trends in global trash movements around the world’s oceans.
  • Digitalize the field fauna and flora database of North Island.

Other Island Activities & Leisure Time at North Island

The assigned staff beach on North Island provides the perfect opportunity to go swimming, snorkeling or even a sun-downer after work in the afternoons. North Island equipment such as surfboards, paddle-boards and kayaks are available for use every day after 4pm, so there are plenty of opportunities to have fun!

Participants can expect to be active 6 days a week, with a rest day on Fridays.You can choose to spend your rest day on North Island, or you can accumulate your rest days to leave the island 3 days early at the end of your time on the project to visit other islands. This way you can explore the Seychelles while you contribute towards island and marine conservation, on a beautiful private island!

Important note !

North Island is one of the world’s most exclusive resorts where guests pay a high fee for privacy. With this in mind you will not be able to use the guest beaches for relaxation purposes and will not be able to make use of the guest facilities on the beaches (sun loungers etc.)

You will be required to wear the official island conservation uniform at all time, which will be provided to you on arrival. While the staff uniforms may not be particularly flattering or perfectly-fitting, they are functional, and it will be compulsory to wear them at all times while working and moving around the island. Please note that you will also not be able to eat in the guest restaurant.

SEYCHELLES NORTH ISLAND CLIMATE

Seychelles is an ideal destination all year-round, as it is always warm and does not reach extremes of heat or cold. The temperature rarely drops below 24°C or rises above 32°C. It is generally cooler when the north-west trade winds blow during the months of November to March. The sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid, with average winds of 15 – 22 kilometers per hour.

A larger amount of the annual rainfall falls during the months of December to February, compared to other months. This generally occurs in short bursts rather than prolonged rain. It is also fairly cloudy at times during those months. The weather is hottest from December to April, and the humidity is high – often 80% or higher. The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather, and livelier seas and winds of 19 -37 kilometers per hour are common.

North Island Seychelles
North Island Seychelles
North Island Seychelles
North Island Seychelles
North Island Seychelles

ECOTOURISM & ISLAND ACCOMMODATION

Four ecotourism participants will live in a shared-accommodation house and will have opportunities to mix with conservation staff after hours, if they so choose. The house consists of 2 bedrooms, 1 lounge and 1 bathroom. The house has air-conditioning in the shared lounge and standing fans in each room. There are mosquito nets provided in the bedrooms within the Eco-tourist house.

As a tropical island, there will of course be insects including mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, beetles etc. They may occasionally come into the house as well. Eco-tourists need to take responsibility for cleaning the house as well as promote sustainable tourism practices wherever possible.

Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
North Island Ecotourist House
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles
Platte Island Accommodation Seychelles

MEALS

Participants eat together in staff canteen – all meals provided (3 meals a day).

Breakfast usually includes a variety of cereals, eggs (either scrambled, fried or boiled), baked beans, a meat item (sausage or bacon etc.), porridge, and bread and jams, spreads etc.

Lunch and Dinner are buffet style with staples such as fish, rice and lentils provided every day. A second meat option is provided at every meal together with vegetables and various salads. Local and international cuisine is cooked.

The staff shop is open 4 times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 6-7pm. Items for sale include ice-cream, juices, wine, beer, cigarettes, various snacks and toiletries. Alcohol is for sale on all days, with a maximum of 4 alcoholic beverages per person per shop day.

There is clean drinking water available on the island and a water cooler with purified water is provided in the Eco-tourist house.

*Vegetarians do need to bring supplements to add to their meals to ensure a balanced diet – the island does not cater well for vegetarians or vegans. Supplements could include nuts, snack bars or any other snacks which have high protein content, or a protein shake.

North Island Food and Canteen
North Island Food and Canteen
North Island Food and Canteen
North Island Food and Canteen
North Island Food and Canteen

INTERNET ACCESS

WiFi is available in the Environment Office all the time; the staff use it for work and it is not password protected, so participants are welcome to use it. We merely ask that participants do not abuse it by downloading movies, being on Facebook all the time etc. There is mobile phone coverage on North Island – Cable & Wireless. This is the only Seychelles provider which works on North Island.

The main island of Mahé, is home to the Seychelles International Airport. All travellers need to use the Seychelles Travel Portal, named "Seychelles Travel Authorization" (either via the mobile app or the website), to gain entry into the Seychelles.

North Island will provide a proof of accommodation letter for the duration of the Eco-tourist’s stay on North Island. Eco-tourists will need to arrange their own accommodation bookings if overnighting on Mahé Island prior to their Monday arrival.

North Island will arrange and pay for a taxi to take you from the airport to your accommodation on Mahé Island, as long as it is within 10km from the Airport, in the direction of Victoria (where the Marine Charter Harbour is located).


ARRIVAL

The staff boat which will take you from Mahé Island to North Island, is the North Island staff boat "Elle", which leaves from the Marine Charter Harbour in Victoria) at 08:30 AM on a Monday morning, and takes approximately 1 hour to reach North Island. This boat is free of charge, and we will make sure your name is placed on the list for the boat.

Mondays: Staff Boat leaves Mahé (departing from Marine Charter Harbour in Victoria), at 08:30 AM

Fridays: Staff Boat will return to Mahé (arriving to Marine Charter Harbour in Victoria), at 17:00 PM

For Arrival you either need to book a flight that arrives at Seychelles International Airport very early on the Monday morning, OR, one that arrives on the Sunday, and overnight.

On Monday make sure to wear shorts and easily removable shoes, because the passengers disembark onto the beach at North Island via a Zodiac (inflatable boat).

When you arrive on North Island, your luggage will be placed into a rat-proof trailer and taken to the Rat Room for inspection. A security officer will inspect your luggage, after which you will go to the Eco-tourist House to settle in.


OVERNIGHTING OPTIONS

Here are two popular, recommended overnight options that are situated close to the Marine Charter Harbour (where the staff boat leaves from to take you to North Island).

Hilltop Boutique Hotel - Serret Road, St Louis, Victoria.

The Ridge Residence - La Louise.

CAUTION: Beau Vallon and De Quincy, although not far from Victoria, adds anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of extra driving due to roads and traffic. There is only 1 road to and from Beau Vallon, over a very large mountain, thus the traffic is terrible. A taxi transfer to these areas is also double the cost of a taxi to Victoria.

If you book accommodation in Beau Vallon, or De Quincy, YOU will responsible for covering the cost of the taxi transfers to and from that accommodation. Participants may NOT book any accommodation on the Western side of the Island, since this causes significant traffic delays, and you will miss the boat.


DEPARTURE

On Friday the staff boat will take you from North Island back to Mahé Island, arriving at the Marine Charter Harbour (in Victoria) at 17:00 PM

Eco-tourists are permitted to travel further around the Seychelles after they have left North Island, if they so wish.

EUR
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2025

Location

North Island in the Seychelles is a tropical island paradise - a rare sanctuary for those seeking land and marine conservation activities a gorgeous, unspoiled tropical haven. More importantly it is a Noah’s Ark: a sanctuary where natural habitats are being rehabilitated and where critically endangered Seychelles fauna and flora are being reintroduced and given a place to regenerate. It is very seldom that the opportunity arises to make such a significant and positive impact on a region, a specific area, its wildlife and surrounding environment.