Travel to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean as a a member of an expedition and work on critical marine conservation projects amongst the beautiful islands of the Seychelles.
You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the local government on coral reef research, invertebrate surveys and turtle breeding areas.
Learning how to identify fish and coral in the Indian Ocean; visiting and diving amongst tropical islands; taking your PADI Advanced and PADI Coral Reef Research Diver courses, taking other extra dive courses at discounted rates with local dive shops, enjoying fun-dives and searching for the incredible ‘mega-fauna’ in the area, such as sharks, rays, and dolphins; developing the techniques you need to survey coral reefs, exploring different dive sites, visiting breeding areas for the hawksbill and green turtle; having an amazing and unique adventure amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Scuba Diving Requirements
You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent. For non-divers wishing to attend, we can recommend local dive centers that will help you qualify before your intended start date.
"I had a brilliant time, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and I loved all the diving/Coco de Mer surveys and 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. The GVI experience has made me reconsider what I want from life."
These updates cover all programs in this location
A lot of volunteers decide to go to La Digue or Praslin for the weekend, however Katinka, Jakob and I (Roos) had decided to rent a car and explore Mahé instead.
Depending on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct underwater surveys after completion of your training. Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal or environmental education sessions, depending on local and project needs. You will also be required to complete base duties.
At the end of each day you will eat, relax and socialise with the rest of the team as you recount your sightings from below the surface. Life on the base will be simple island living, sleeping in basic dormitory style accommodation with shared bathrooms as well as sharing cooking and cleaning duties around base.
Weekends will be yours to explore the beautiful surrounding area and islands as you immerse yourself in the Creole culture of the Seychelles.
What's Not Included
The aims and efforts of the expedition have been agreed upon in conjunction with the Seychelles National Parks Authority, local government agencies and non-governmental organisations to include:
- Coral reef monitoring and recovery research
- Invertebrate and fish surveys
- Sea Turtle research
- Development of an environmental education and awareness program
You should keep in mind that projects conducted are dependent on the season and the priorities always remain
with our local working partners.
How this project makes a difference:
With substantial contributions from our partners, we are the leading marine data collection organisation
in the Seychelles.
Much of this data is used by other organisations
in the Seychelles. For example, the Seychelles government relies on this data to show an accurate picture of the overall health of the local coral reefs when setting and creating new management policies.
What's Not Included
Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Seychelles!
Included Side Trips
During the expedition, we will usually organise a hike up Cap Matoopa for you to explore the surrounding area after all your hard work on surveys. The last days of an expedition are usually dedicated to taking volunteers to their favourite dive sites to dive just for fun, having completed all the survey work.
Optional Side Trips
On the weekends many volunteers head to Beau Vallon Bay for a well-earned break. The bay is the main tourist area of Mahe with a lovely long beach, hotels and guest houses, shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. The dive shops in the area offer many options for all diving needs.
Most people would agree that sitting at The Coral Strand Hotel bar with a cool drink and watching the sun set behind Silhouette Island is an experience not to be missed. Volunteers may have the opportunity to visit the islands of Praslin and La Digue. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai (a world heritage site) thought by early explorers to be the original “Garden of Eden”, that is home of the famous Coco de Mer palm tree that produces the huge double nut famous for its provocative shape. La Digue is the picture perfect tropical island, small and intimate with quaint guest houses and arguably the most beautiful beach in the world - Anse Source d’Argent.
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, the smallest capital city in the world. Volunteers often visit to catch up at internet cafes, do a little shopping, or visit the market to soak up the local atmosphere.
Public transport is cheap and frequent and all parts of Mahe can be explored easily by catching a bus. Many volunteers spend happy times bouncing around the island roads on buses taking in the beautiful scenery whilst enjoying the company of locals going about their daily business.
Further Travelling Opportunities
With 115 islands in the Seychelles group stretching over 800 miles, the possibilities of exploring this tropical paradise are endless. The inner-islands, situated closer to Mahe are easily accessible by fast ferry. Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity and Sister, to name a few, all have their own unique charms with hotels and guest houses within most people’s price range.
The outer islands such as Desroche, Bird, Dennis, Farquar and the Amirantes group are harder to get to and can only be reached by small plane or charter yacht. Most have small exclusive resorts which can be extremely expensive, but the marine environment and bird life at these outposts of civilization have been barely marked by the hand of man, and as such are in a pristine condition rarely found anywhere in the world today.
Meet Amy, our passionate wildlife lover and science officer here in the Seychelles. With a university degree in Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology, she brings some valuable knowledge to the project.
During her studies Amy also managed to do some summer volunteering at small wildlife sanctuaries in the UK. She has been involved with GVI since 2013 when she took part in a 6 month conservation internship in Costa Rica with GVI Jalova. Following this, in 2014/2015 she spent a year working for GVI Chiang Mai in Thailand at our Elephant Reintroduction Project.
What is her favourite part about working for GVI? "The number of amazing experiences that being part of a GVI project allows you to have, the amount of amazing animal encounters I have had and the amazing friends I have made from all over the world."
Meet Peter, our Science Officer in Seychelles. Peter previously volunteered with GVI in Costa Rica and has extensive experience working with and researching green turtles in Canada, USA and Taiwan.
This well-travelled nature lover has also created a short nature documentary related to turtle conservation. He holds a Master of Science in Marine Biology and can speak a total of four languages!
"I was first attracted to GVI by the exciting research being conducted on Curieuse, as well as the chance to work for an organisation that aids and empowers local communities in the management of their marine resources."
Meet Lee, known as Hankypank, our Science Officer in the Seychelles. Lee has a Bachelor of Science Zoology from James Cook University in Australia and a Masters degree in Ecology from the University of Life Sciences in Norway. He spent the last 5 years working as a Marine Biologist / Environmental Consultant in Norway. Much of his time was spent mapping newly discovered deep-sea coral reefs and sponge beds off the Norwegian coastline in order to protect them from oil and gas exploration.
He wanted to work with passionate people who are professionals in the field of conservation. "I also wanted the opportunity to travel to an amazing location somewhere on the other side of the world. GVI provided this and has such an outstanding reputation so I made it my number one choice as an organisation to work for."
Meet Chris, our Country Director for Seychelles. Chris first joined GVI back in 2009 as Field Staff on a Marine Conservation Expedition in Mexico before transferring to Seychelles a year later.
Chris says there have been numerous highlights to working for GVI, not least the opportunity to encounter some amazing creatures, including whale sharks, giant tortoises and nesting turtles. The most satisfaction though has been seeing the Seychelles programmes develop and diversify over the years. Today GVI Seychelles projects are conducting research and collecting critical data on numerous species within a variety of habitats; an achievement that would not be possible without the volunteers.
Chris’ favourite part of the job is its unpredictability from one day to the next. Whether it is meeting with project partners and government ministers, or standing knee deep in murky water attempting to catch a lemon shark, no two days are ever the same!
Mariliana had been in the GVI family for nearly two years before joining the Seychelles team, having previously held the role of Base Manager for the Costa Rica Jalova wildlife projects. But it was no surprise when she applied to come back to the Seychelles to get back into marine conservation work. Mariliana started her ocean career with a Masters of Science in Biological Science, later becoming a PADI dive instructor, underwater videographer, and dive centre manager for many years.
She has also been a professional traveller for nearly three decades, spending long periods of time in Indonesia, Egypt, Seychelles, Costa Rica, Mexico, and many other countries. Now that she’s back in the Seychelles for the third time, she can’t wait to lead a team of conservationists in one of her favourite countries.
Director of Programs
Meet Danny, our Director of Programs. Although he’s based in Playa del Carmen, Danny oversees the development and running of all of our field operations. He started out with GVI as our Country Director in Mexico and quickly became an invaluable part of the team.
Although being Director of Programs is a pretty demanding job, Danny manages to find time to do the other things he loves in-between. He’s an avid photographer and is always training for a triathlon or ironman.
What’s Danny’s favourite aspect of his job? “Starting new projects – we get lots of request for assistance and it’s difficult to decide when funds are limited. The evaluation process and those initial talks with local partners are very interesting. Seeing projects grow from an idea to full programs is very exciting. I also love the relationships you create with local organisations, they become friends and we jointly work to achieve the project aims.”
Alan joined GVI as the Curieuse Island Terrestrial Conservation Project Science Officer in April 2014. Since completing his degree in Aquatic Bioscience at Glasgow University in Scotland he has spent several years living and working in field stations in a variety of science, management and technical roles in Scotland, the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands. He has always had a passion for tropical island field projects, so following a five year spell as a Park Ranger back home the Curieuse base was an excellent step to take.
Alan loves the challenge of island life, and the more remote the better. When not out in the field he can commonly be found up a ladder, in a water tank or somewhere in the workshop! He also gets a lot of satisfaction out of getting to know the constant stream of new volunteers and sharing his fascination with them of all that Curieuse has to offer, on camp, on the terrestrial surveys, and in and on the water.