In a team of research workers and other volunteers you will take part in fascinating projects for the preservation and protection of this unique natural environment, based in this extraordinary island kingdom which is teeming with natural habitats for an overwhelming abundance of plants and animals. North Island is a picturesque corner of the world in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where impressive rock formations with lush vegetation rise steeply out of the sea and are surrounded by maybe the most beautiful beaches on earth.
The Seychelles are in every respect a special place, where one can live in close harmony with nature, far from the rest of the world. Numerous creatures find a haven here in complete seclusion and isolation, which is why this practically unspoiled paradise is home to one of the highest number of species on our planet. Let the free and easy life-style of the Seychellois – the inhabitants of the Seychelles – stimulate you in this tropical climate and immerse yourself in a world full of uplifting moments.
After your arrival at the Seychelles International Airport of Mahé you will be taken to North Island by the staff boat on Monday morning. In case your flight arrives on Sunday you need to stay at a hostel in Mahé for one night.
A passionate team of experienced workers and researchers has devoted itself to protecting the natural environment of the Seychelles. As a volunteer, you will be fully integrated into their activities, made easier by their infectious ideology and their committed way of tackling their task. You will be part of a project that will continue to be a success story thanks in part to your efforts.
The concept is perfectly named “Noah’s Ark” and its ambitious target is to return the island ecosystem to its original state through renaturalisation measures. This includes the monitoring of and data collection on existing species, both on land and in the surrounding waters. This process has enabled the successful reintroduction of tortoise species which are native to Seychelles, such as the Aldabra Giant Tortoise, the Green Sea Turtle, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle, rare land and sea birds such as the wedge-tailed shearwater or the white-tailed tropicbird and many endemic plant species.
The fascinating philosophy of this conservation project will become a lifestyle for you and accompany you long after you have left North Island.
Important note: Participants will be issued uniform to wear while working on the island – the only clothes you need to bring are for personal use (during off-time and if you would like to travel to the mainland). The staff uniform is compulsory at all times, unless in the staff village or on the staff beach.
Your base is North Island. Within the framework of the conservation project you will work mainly in the natural environment and the marine coastal area. You will live near the staff village, located in the heart of the island. Together with other volunteers you will share a volunteer house. Each house has two mixed-gender twin rooms, a shared bathroom and a lounge. Participants eat together in the staff canteen; all meals are provided (3 basic meals a day). Four times a week before dinner participants will be able to purchase snacks from the staff shop. Apart from the accommodation there are numerous places on the island where you can meet others and spend your time. The Environment Office has Internet access (WiFi), but only for email purposes.
Everybody interested in volunteering abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.
Life on North Island takes place mainly out in the open and you hardly feel the need for leisure activities when working as a volunteer in this incredibly beautiful landscape. The island offers unlimited opportunities for retreating to magic spots where you can enjoy being far away from the rest of the world in your spare time, either in solitude or with others. Participants can expect to work 6 days a week, with a rest day on Fridays. North Island equipment such as surfboards, paddleboards and kayaks are available for use every day after 4 pm, so there are plenty of opportunities to have fun! The sea provides excellent conditions for surfing, kayaking, swimming or fishing. Just off the north coast lies an extensive coral reef with a breathtaking underwater world which is ideal for snorkelling or diving.
The Seychelles lie off the east coast of Africa and are home to a variety of endemic and unusual animal and plant species. Intensive coconut plantations had a serious impact on the natural environment and put native species under pressure until the 70s. A decision was made in the 90s to restore the original ecosystem of North Island (Île de Nord) and elsewhere. The nature conservation organisations responsible for doing so are combining nature conservation with ecotourism in order to finance the renaturation measures. This led to the launch of a number of nature and species conservation projects, in which volunteers work hand-in-hand with locals to protect the natural environment of the Seychelles.