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Environmental Conservation in Sri Lanka

Volunteer at an amazing environmental project

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Group Size: Max 12

Trip code: SLEC

Duration: 1-8 weeks

Free weekends to explore
Get involved in various environmental projects
Accommodation & transport included

Make a real difference on this incredible eco-project in Southern Sri Lanka. Spend between 1 and 8 weeks (or longer) staying in a lively volunteer house, helping with a range of initiatives that combat climate change and reduce pollution. You’ll get involved with building artificial reefs, planting mangroves, river clean-ups, organic farming, beach clean-ups, community education, building eco bricks and more! Weekends are for exploring gorgeous Galle (just 15 minutes away) and lazing on white-sand beaches. It’s the perfect way to have an amazing experience, while giving back.  

Trip highlights

  • Build artificial coral reefs and help with mangrove reforestation
  • Clear plastic pollution from beautiful beaches and rural rivers
  • Deliver recycling education to the local community
  • Stay in a vibrant volunteer house with swimming pool and gardens
  • Spend your weekends exploring historic Galle and the south coast’s golden beaches
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What's included
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner every day
  • Accommodation in the volunteer house
  • Airport transfers
  • Project coordinator
  • Experienced local team
  • Training programme
  • Orientation tour around Galle
  • Local transport to daily activities
  • Use of the facilities at the volunteer house
  • Weekly yoga class on rooftop terrace
  • Weekly movie night
  • Monthly bike tour of local villages
  • Monthly garden BBQ
  • 24 hour emergency helpline
What's not included
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Optional activities
  • Flights
Further trip information

Spend between 1 and 8 weeks working on a range of initiatives on an amazing eco project in southern Sri Lanka. The project is all about fighting climate change and addressing pollution and features a range of important initiatives designed to address key environmental issues affecting the local area.

Where will I stay?

You’ll stay in a volunteer house looking out over the turquoise ocean, with historic Galle just 15 minutes up the road. The house has a private garden, swimming pool and lots of shared communal space.

When will I be working?

Work is Monday to Friday (with weekends free to explore Galle, southern Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches, and to join optional activities and excursions).

What will my duties include?

You’ll be involved with all kinds of important environmental work in the local area, including:

  • Helping with mangrove reforestation – planting seeds, caring for baby mangroves
  • Delivering recycling education to local communities, schools and businesses
  • Making and donating eco bricks to the local community
  • Organic farming – planting seeds, making compost, looking after crops
  • Building and placing artificial coral reefs
  • Beach clean-ups – clearing pollution from beaches in the Galle and Unawatuna areas
  • River clean-ups – clearing pollution from the Ging Ganga River in 2-man canoes

What support will I be given?

On arrival you’ll be given a detailed orientation and training programme, including health and safety training, culture training and an area orientation tour around Galle. You’ll be supported throughout your stay by the project coordinator and experienced local team, who will provide project-specific training and guide you day-by-day on all activities.

How will I get around?

Local transportation to and from the project is included every day, as are airport transfers (as long as you’re arriving within the allocated window – see arrival information for more details). At the weekends you’ll have to arrange your own transport, although the local team can help with that.  

Included Activities

As well as your volunteering duties you can also take part in a number of activites which may occur whilst you are at the project, such as:

  • Weekly yoga class from an experienced yoga teacher
  • Weekly movie night on large screen projector
  • Monthly guided bike tour around the local paddyfields and countryside
  • Monthly special Sri Lanka BBQ dinner
  • Monthly cultural visit to Buddhist temple

*Please note: Some activities on this itinerary will depend on seasonal conditions. We’ll do everything we can to advise you of changes to this itinerary wherever possible.

Booking options

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Arrival information

Arrive on day 1 of your programme (which will be a Saturday) in Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. One of the local team will meet you from the airport and transfer you to the volunteer house. Your flight will need to arrive between 7am and 5pm to receive your transfer.

On the final day of your stay (also a Saturday), a return airport transfer is included if your flight leaves between 10am and 8pm. If you’re travelling outside these times, your transfer is not included, but an alternative can easily be arranged at an additional cost. Just ask your team leader. Your travel adviser can organise additional nights of accommodation if you’re staying on in Sri Lanka.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation

You’ll stay in a shared volunteer house for the duration of the programme, The house is in southern Sri Lanka in the Galle district. It’s right by the beach, looking out over the sparkling Indian Ocean and historic Galle is just a 15-minute drive away.

There are 11 en-suite bedrooms in the house, each of which accommodates a maximum of 6 people per room (although most rooms only take 4). Rooms are single sex and if you’d like a private room, upgrades may be available (at an extra cost – speak to your travel adviser).

There’s plenty of space in the house, with 3 kitchens, 3 common areas and a dining area. Outside there’s a private garden and a swimming pool. The house is covered by CCTV and is located in a safe and quiet residential neighbourhood

Hot water and wifi are included but you’ll need to pay an additional fee for air conditioning and laundry facilities.

The house is split over 4 floors and has 3 kitchens, 3 common areas, a dining area, private outdoor garden and swimming pool. The house has CCTV and an in house night time security guard. The house has hot water and wifi included. Airconditioning and laundry facilities are available at an extra charge (payable locally).

Meals

You’ll be provided with three freshly cooked Sri Lankan meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) every day that you’re on the programme. Typical foods include red rice and sambol, bread and fruits, rice and curry and rotis. Western dishes will also be served such as pasta, soups, wraps and salads. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

Minimum age & eligibility

You’ll need to be a minimum of 18 years old to participate on this programme. You don’t need any prior experience or qualifications to participate. All that’s needed is a desire to make a difference and a willingness to work and learn.

You’ll need to get permission to travel before arrival. You can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) through the official Sri Lankan ETA website. You’ll need to have at least 6 months on your passport remaining from your date of entry into Sri Lanka.

Please note: Visa requirements are subject to change so make sure you check before you travel.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Healthcare
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.