Volunteer Abroad Volunteering in South Asia

Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka

Prior to departure

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

For participating in the project you need to be at least 18 years old and have sufficient English skills. Moreover you should be in a good physical condition and before participating we need a medical certificate of your good health as the daily work in this tropical environment can be quite exhausting. Besides that you should also enjoy working in a team, be independent and be able to adapt to new situations.

What services are included?

First of all you will save your place in the project with your booking. Moreover we will help you with your choice of travel health insurance, with your flight arrangements and also with planning your overall journey. Your transfer from Colombo to the project site will be organized and fees are included. During the project you will be accommodated in a guesthouse and also three freshly prepared meals a day are included. Moreover you can enjoy refreshments throughout the whole day. You will be instructed by experienced staff members and if you have problems or questions you can always ask our partners at the project site or contact the NATUCATE Team back in Germany. On your way back only the transfer to Kandy is included so you will have to organize and pay for the transfer from Kandy to Colombo by yourself.

Do I need certain medical precautions or requirements?

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 a doctor concerning necessary and optional precautionary measures that you can or should take. If you travel directly from Germany there are no mandatory vaccinations but you should make sure to be vaccinated against Diphtheria, MMR (Morbilli, Mumps, Rubella), Tetanus and Pertussis. Moreover you should talk to a doctor about tropical diseases, appropriate countermeasures and also about additional vaccinations that may be practical during journeys like e.g. Hepatitis A/B, Rabies or Typhus. For current information and warnings regarding your destination you should also check out the homepage of your country's foreign department.

What kind of equipment should I take with me?

In general you do not need to bring special equipment, as it will be provided on the project site. You should consider bringing durable outdoor shoes and clothing, preferably in muted colours that fit into your surroundings. Moreover you should think about precautionary measures concerning mosquito bites like long sleeved shirts, long trousers and a mosquito net. In addition to that you need to bring towels as well as the medication and personal hygiene products you may need. Besides that you only need further equipment if you are planning your own project. In this case you have to plan ahead what you need and provide for it by yourself.


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

In general, the project starts on Monday and as the transfer takes quite a while, you need to arrive at Colombo International Airport at least one day prior to project start. After your arrival you will be welcomed by an associate of our partner who takes you to the hotel you've booked. We recommend that you stay overnight in the Hotel Shalimar in Colombo which is about 20 km from the airport and provides air-conditioned rooms for a reasonable price. On the next morning a staff member will pick you up to bring you to the Fort Railway Station and show you the train that you have to take to Kandy. After the trip of about three hours another staff member will pick you up at the railway station in Kandy and bring you to the bus you need to take to the project site. The bus trip will take another four to five hours. Alternatively you can also book a more expensive private transfer from the airport/the Hotel in Colombo to the project site. Contact us if you are interested.

What happens after my arrival?

After your late arrival on Monday you will attend an orientation meeting. In the late afternoon, after you had some time to refresh and relax, project activities will begin.

During the project

What is the project’s procedure?

During the project you will support the staff members in collecting data concerning the endangered Asian Elephant as well as other animals and the tropical ecosystem near the Wasgamuwa National Park in direct and indirect field research. Moreover a very important part of the project work is the dialog with the population as the habitats of residents and wildlife collide on a regular basis with damages to crop and property as a consequence. For example, you will generate environmental as well as socio-economic data and will participate in debates with the residents to find solutions in the Human-Wildlife-Conflict (especially Human-Elephant-Conflict) and develop programmes for the protection of species. Another part of the project work in general is the environmental education in local schools.

What is the group size like in general?

Generally there are between seven and ten volunteers in the project at the same time. The number of participants may vary during your project time.

Life on site

What is the accommodation like?

You will be accommodated with other volunteers and the staff members in an open and rustic guesthouse. The house is very basic and offers only the most necessary things. It is located on a hill near a lake and the Knuckles mountain range. There are six plain dorm rooms for two to three volunteers each and three bathrooms with washbasin, shower and toilet. Moreover, there is a kitchen, a lounge area and a dining room in the guesthouse. Electric fans, mosquito nets, pillows and clean bed-sheets are provided, but you should remember to bring your own towel. Clothes can be hand-washed in tubs.

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

In general it is possible to be accommodated with a partner or a friend if a room is available at the time. Therefore you should let us know in advance so that your wish can be considered.

How is the food provided?

Every day you can eat three freshly prepared meals with the other volunteers in the dining room. Moreover there will be refreshments and you can drink tea and water throughout the whole day.

Is it possible to receive vegetarian meals?

It is possible to follow a vegetarian diet as most of the dishes are vegetarian anyways. Nevertheless, please inform us beforehand about possible needs and wishes concerning your diet.

How are work time and free time divided?

In general after breakfast you are working from 8.30 am to 6.30 pm during the week. During lunch hours, the hottest time of the day, you will return to the guest house and have time for lunch, personal activities, relaxing and refreshing. On some days activities like birding and bird studies will start before breakfast. After your return in the evening you will have time for dinner, data inputting as well as relaxing. Moreover you can enjoy some social as well as private time. In general weekends are off so you can use the free time for your own activities.

Do I have a contact person on site?

On site you will work with staff members of our project partner so you will always have a contact person who will help you with questions or problems. Moreover you can also contact the NATUCATE team back in Germany.

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?

During the project you will have no further expanses, as food and accommodation are provided. Nevertheless you can plan with expanses in the range of round about 40-80€ a week for excursions, trips, as well as snacks and beverages on your journey. The amount of money you should bring will vary according to your personal wishes and standards. The currency in Sri Lanka is called Sri Lanka Rupee but also Euro, US Dollar and the British Pound are widely accepted. If you want to withdraw cash you should do so in cities like Colombo or Kandy as ATMs are generally not located in remote areas.

How can I contact family and friends at home?

At the project site you will be able to get a signal so you can use your mobile phone to keep in touch with family and friends.

What's the climate like?

As Sri Lanka is located near the equator, temperatures are constantly relatively high at around 30°C throughout the whole year. Moreover Sri Lanka lies within a tropical region so that humidity is in general also quite high. Weather can be quite changeable in times of the monsoon.

Is there a prohibition regarding alcohol?

In general there is no prohibition regarding alcohol, but it is not allowed to consume it during the working week. Therefore the consumption is limited on your free weekends.

Do you have further questions that you did not find here?

Then call us at +49 241-91994357 or send an e-mail to info@natucate.com

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