Volunteer Abroad FAQ Volunteering Seychelles

Tropical Island Conservation and Ecology

Prior to departure to the Seychelles

Do I need specific requirements or abilities to apply for this project?

You should be over 18, have sufficient English skills and be a safe swimmer to apply for this project. We need a doctor’s certificate confirming your state of health and physical fitness, since you will undertake long walks in extreme temperatures. Furthermore, you might need a Visa for your volunteering work. Depending on the duration of your stay and your destination the requirements might vary. You might check out the foreign department’s website for the Visa standards or ask the NATUCATE team directly.

Which services does the price include?

We will save you a place on the project and support you during preparation and organization. We will help you arrange your flight and Visa arrangements. Besides our support the price includes your accommodation, three meals daily, transfers during the project and working equipment. Flights and transfer to the harbor is not included.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

Even though there are no poisonous animals or insect on the island a certain kind of attentiveness is always advisable. You will need a travel insurance to start your volunteering work with NATUCATE. We can provide you with all the necessary information. In general you need to talk to your doctor and make sure you are vaccinated against Morbilli, Mumps and Rubella. We advise you to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, Polio and Tetanus. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should check out the homepage of the foreign department and inform yourself beforehand about possible risks.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

You don’t need to bring special equipment. Still you should be prepared for any kind of weather conditions. You need hiking boots, trekking clothes and headgear. We also suggest you to pack sunscreen and a water bottle. Furthermore you need a backpack, rain jacket and insect repellent. You might also want to pack some swimwear for your free time.

Arrival in the Seychelles

How do I arrive at my destination, do I have to organize it myself?

We will help you plan your arrival, but cannot execute the booking. You have to book the flight yourself. The North Island ferry will collect you from the Mahé Harbor at 08:00 on a Monday morning. This means that you either need to book a flight that arrives very early on Monday morning or one that arrives on the Sunday (or even Saturday if you prefer) before your ferry trip to North Island. We will send you a list of possible guest houses to stay at if you need to.

During the project in the Seychelles

What is the project’s procedure?

You will be working on North Island and spend a lot of time outdoors. You will be working at the beach, in the ocean, in the forest or at the research bureau.

What is my main function? Can I choose my tasks and will I be working independently?

You will work on different types of environmental task. For example, you will mark and monitor Green and Hawksbill Sea Turtle populations. This includes daily beach patrol and nights patrol as well as hatched turtles nest excavations. Furthermore you will also be marking and monitoring the Aldabra Giant Tortoise population. You will find record them via GPS locations and monitor Aldabra Giant Tortoise baby growth rates within a baby tortoise pen. Besides that your task will also include the rehabilitation of the endemic vegetation of North Island.

How big is the group?

The group usually consists of up to five volunteer workers.

Life on site in the Seychelles

What is the accommodation like?

You will live in a shared house and sleep in twin rooms that you share with other participants. The house consists of two bedrooms, one lounge and one bathroom. This means that volunteers will have to share a bathroom among four people. The house is not air-conditioned, but there are standing fans in each bedroom. Since you will live on a tropical island there will of course be insects including mosquitos, spider, beetles and more. They may occasionally come into the house as well. Volunteers need to take responsibility for cleaning the house on their own.

Is it possible to get placed with a partner or friend?

It is possible to get placed with your friend, but always depend on the current booking occupancy. Let us know if you want to get placed with a partner before applying.

How is the food provided?

Participants eat together in staff canteen – all meals provided (3 basic meals a day). Four times a week before dinner (on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday), participants will be able to purchase snacks (soft drinks, sweets and beer) from the staff shop. There is clean drinking water available on the island – bring 2 water bottles with you, which you can fill whenever you need to, in the canteen or at the research office.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

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.

How are working hours and free time divided?

Generally you will be working six days a week. There will be a lunch break and work ends every day around 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

How can I spend my free time?

You can spend your free time however you want. You can visit the village or rent kayaks, boats or surfing gear. The beach invites for a nice relaxing sunbath or long swim. You can also go for a little walk and experience the nature around.

Do I have a contact person on site?

On site you will be working with a team of volunteers and project leaders. The supervisors will be responsible for you and may help you with your problems.

What expenses do I have to expect during the project? Can I withdraw cash on site and do I have to pay in local currency?

In general you don’t need a lot of money during the project. You might spend money for additional snacks, beverages or free time activities as well as extra transfers outside of the project. The currency is the Seychelles Rupee. You can exchange and withdraw money easily at the airport. There are ATMs in the bigger cities. Inform yourself about the current exchange rate before leaving your country.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

Wi-Fi is available in the Environment Office all the time; the staff uses 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.

What’s the weather like?

Seychelles is an ideal destination all year-round, as it is always warm and temperatures don’t reach cold or hot extremes. Temperatures rarely drop below 24 °C and don’t rise much higher than 32 °C. It is generally cooler when the north-west trade winds blow during the month of November to March. The sea is generally calm and the weather warm and humid. A larger amount of annual rainfall occurs during the months of December to February. In these months you can be surprised by short burst of rain. During these months it is also fairly cloudy. The weather is hottest from December to April and the humidity reaches over 80 %. The months of May to October bring drier, cooler weather.

Is there an alcohol prohibition?

There are certain rules about bringing alcohol into Seychelles. You may take one bottle of high percentage alcohols OR alternatively two bottles of wine. Everything above that will be taken by the security. You can buy beer and cider at the supermarkets.

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