Discover the beautiful Maldives by volunteering with sea turtles at the
Olive Ridley Project Marine Turtle Rescue Centre in Baa Atoll
Love sea turtles? Always dreamt of visiting the paradise that is Maldives?
Here is your chance to make your dream come true and work hands on with these magnificent creatures!
Join us for 2, 3 or 4 weeks of volunteering with sea turtles at the ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort in Baa Atoll. We promise you an unforgettable experience! You will help our veterinarian care for the turtle patients at the rescue centre, learn lots about sea turtles, marine conservation and marine life in general, and make many new friends – humans as well as reptiles. All this whilst staying on the tropical island of Dhuni Kolhu and exploring the stunning land- and seascapes of Maldives.
Volunteering with sea turtles and the ORP in the Maldives is open to anybody who would like to experience sea turtle conservation first hand. However, we do ask that volunteers are 18+, able swimmers and have a passion for sea turtles. This volunteering program ideally suits those wanting to learn more about sea turtle medicine and first aid, and to experience what it takes to work with these charismatic animals in the wild. We can accommodate 2 volunteers at the time and the work will be very hands on. To cover the expenses for you stay, we ask for a very reasonable donation to the Olive Ridley Project.
Maldives and Baa Atoll
The Republic of Maldives is a nation of coral islands situated in the Indian Ocean. The country spans roughly 90,000 square kilometers divided into twenty-six atolls with approximately 1190 islands. It is the smallest Asian country by both land area and population (with just fewer than 400,000 people!). Maldives is famous for its sandy white beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs and colorful marine life, and is truly magical, both over and under water.
The Marine Turtle Rescue Center is situated on Dhuni Kolhu island in Baa Atoll, a 30 minute sea plane ride north of Male, the capital of the Maldives. Baa Atoll consists of 75 islands, only 13 of which are inhabited. 13 additional islands are operated as island resorts. Baa atoll is rich in biodiversity with plenty of sea turtles, manta rays, hard and soft coral, and a huge variety of reef fish species.
Why volunteer with sea turtles?
Sea turtles face many threats to their survival and, as a result, six of the seven species of sea turtles are classified as threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). One species, the Flatback, is not listed due to insufficient data. Five types of sea turtles can be found in the Indian Ocean.
In the last three years, over 300 sea turtles have been reported entangled in ghost gear (abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear) in the Maldives. The majority of these entangled turtles were Olive Ridley; however, Green, Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles were also reported.
The Marine Turtle Rescue Centre provides medical treatment to sea turtles found ensnared and injured across the Maldives. As part of our team you will work with a veterinarian and a full time intern. You will help rescue and treat injured sea turtles, with the aim to return as many turtles as possible back to the wild.
Why volunteer with the Olive Ridley Project?
The Olive Ridley Project (UK registered charity No. 1165905) was established in 2013 to actively fight ghost nets in the Indian Ocean. We physically remove ghost nets, promote recycling of end-of-life fishing nets, offer marine and turtle conservation education programs, carry out research, and provide appropriate care, protection, treatment and security for turtles found entangled and injured. You can read more about the Olive Ridley Project here.
The Marine Turtle Rescue Centre opened in February 2017. It is a unique centre in the Maldives as we employ a full-time veterinarian! Through internship placements we also work with Maldivian nationals, who assist our vet in the daily operations at the centre. Volunteers are essential in the everyday running of our rescue centre, and we would therefore very much like to welcome you to our team. It is your contribution that enables our staff to continue to provide medical care for these threatened animals.
What does volunteering with sea turtles and ORP involve?
As a volunteer you will assist staff with all aspects of turtle rescue and rehabilitation, including treating wounds, helping with routine medical exams, observing surgeries, diet preparation, and feeding. Take a tour of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre with our vet.
In addition, volunteers will be helping with data collection during field trips to local reefs and neighbouring islands. This may include taking turtle photos for the Photo-ID program, measuring foraging turtles, and recording sightings information and ghost net measurements.
Volunteers might also be asked to contribute to our blog and social media channels, assist with educational tours of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre for resort guests, education outreach, and night time patrols for nesting turtles and potential nest relocation.
How much does it cost to volunteer with ORP?
In order to sustain the running of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, we ask for a donation to cover your expenses for volunteering with sea turtles and help fund the operation of the rescue centre:
2 Weeks: $1235 per person
3 Weeks: $1835 per person
4 Weeks: $2035 per person
Your donation will cover:
- Return domestic flights from Male to the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre. (The rescue centre is in Baa atoll and a domestic flight is necessary to get to there. The views are incredible so have your camera ready!)
- Accommodation for the duration of your stay at Dhuni Kolhu
- All meals for the duration of your stay at Dhuni Kolhu
- ORP t-shirt (1 per person)
In addition to covering your costs, your donation will help us fund internships aimed at Maldivian nationals; fuel costs for transporting injured sea turtles to the rescue centre from all over Maldives; and operational costs of the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre.
Please note that your donation does not include:
- International flights to and from Male
- Accommodation in Male, should you require.
Ready for an experience of a life time, volunteering with sea turtles in the Maldives?
Here is what you need to do:
Download the ORP Volunteer Information Pack to find out all you need to know about the ORP Volunteering Program.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
Check available dates for your chance to be volunteering with sea turtles in the Maldives in the calendar below.
Available dates for volunteering with sea turtles and ORP in the Maldives 2017-2018
|Program||Status||Duration - |
|Duration - |
|Group 3 2017||1 Place Left||2 Weeks||13 Nights||30th July 2017||12th August 2017|
|Group 3 2017||1 Place Left||2 Weeks||13 Nights||13th August 2017||26th August 2017|
|Group 3 2017||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||30th July 2017||19th August 2017|
|Group 3 2017||2 Places Available||4 Weeks||27 Nights||30th July 2017||26th August 2017|
|Group 4 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||27th August 2017||9th September 2017|
|Group 4 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||10th September 2017||23rd September 2017|
|Group 4 2017||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||27th August 2017||16th September 2017|
|Group 4 2017||2 Places Available||4 Weeks||27 Nights||27th August 2017||23rd September 2017|
|Group 5 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||24th September 2017||7th October 2017|
|Group 5 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||8th October 2017||21st October 2017|
|Group 5 2017||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||24th September 2017||14th October 2017|
|Group 5 2017||2 Places Available||4 Weeks||27 Nights||24th September 2017||21st October 2017|
|Group 6 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||22nd October 2017||4th November 2017|
|Group 6 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||5th November 2017||18th November 2017|
|Group 6 2017||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||22nd October 2017||11th November 2017|
|Group 6 2017||2 Places Available||4 Weeks||27 Nights||22nd October 2017||18th November 2017|
|Group 7 2017||1 Place Left||2 Weeks||13 Nights||19th November 2017||2nd December 2017|
|Group 7 2017||Fully Booked||2 Weeks||13 Nights||3rd December 2017||16th December 2017|
|Group 7 2017||1 Place Left||3 Weeks||20 Nights||19th November 2017||9th December 2017|
|Group 7 2017||1 Place Left||4 Weeks||27 Nights||19th November 2017||16th December 2017|
|Group 8 2017||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||17th December 2017||30th December 2017|
|MTRC Group 1 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||7th January 2018||20th January 2018|
|MTRC Group 1 2018||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||7th January 2018||27th January 2018|
|MTRC Group 1 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||21st January 2018||3rd February 2017|
|MTRC Group 2 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||11th February 2018||24th February 2019|
|MTRC Group 2 2018||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||11th February 2018||3rd March 2018|
|MTRC Group 2 2018||1 Place Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||25th February 2018||10th March 2018|
|MTRC Group 3 2018||1 Place Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||18th March 2018||31st March 2018|
|MTRC Group 3 2018||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||18th March 2018||7th April 2018|
|MTRC Group 3 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||1st April 2018||14th April 2018|
|MTRC Group 4 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||22nd April 2018||5th May 2018|
|MTRC Group 4 2018||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||22nd April 2018||12th May 2018|
|MTRC Group 4 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||6th May 2018||19th May 2018|
|MTRC Group 5 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||27th May 2018||9th June 2018|
|MTRC Group 5 2018||2 Places Available||3 Weeks||20 Nights||27th May 2018||16th June 2018|
|MTRC Group 5 2018||2 Places Available||2 Weeks||13 Nights||10th June 2018||23rd June 2018|