Marine Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles
Get your PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty qualifications as a member of an expedition team working on critical marine conservation projects. Your participation in marine species research will contribute towards providing data to the local government on various conservation initiatives. Partnerships such as this are vital in showing the interconnectedness between social and environmental issues and how they affect community development and conservation efforts in the pristine islands of Seychelles.
About the organisation
At GVI, we have been connecting thousands of change-makers, like you, with impactful environmental projects in some of the most vulnerable habitats all over the world, for over two decades. We offer an extensive range of nature conservation programs through which people from all walks of life can volunteer, intern and study. Our programs are led by our partners who are local to the communities we’re based in, and focused on making a data-driven, sustainable impact. With GVI, you get access to real-life practical experience to kick-off or advance your career. We also offer immersive social development programs in communities and cultures all over the world.
We know that creating lifelong connections with like-minded global change-makers is important to you. That’s why we go to great lengths to set the scene for you – so you can enjoy the most memorable experiences together. Just ask our alumni. You’ll see that we’re serious about ethics and sustainability – we partner with expert locally-led organisations and align ourselves to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Over the years, we have been moved, educated and impelled by our many conservation partners. Our work with them has won numerous awards and has been featured across global media. Whilst you’re immersed in the abundant ecosystems of our locations, we don’t want you to worry about a thing. That’s why our team offers support every step of the way, taking care of the admin, logistics and health and safety on your behalf. You’re in good hands.
With the climate crisis intensifying, GVI is more determined than ever to follow our mission. By joining a GVI program, you’re not only contributing to positive change on the planet, but also within yourself. This we can guarantee: you will never be the same again.
About the programme
Travel to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean as a member of an expedition and work on critical marine conservation projects amongst the beautiful islands of Seychelles.
You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (formerly Seychelles National Marine Park Authority – SNPA) and local government on coral reef, fish and invertebrate research and assist with the development of environmental education awareness. You might also undertake marine plastic pollution clean-ups both on the land around the base, our neighbouring beaches and across our adopted dive sites.
You’ll spend a large part of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent before joining the program. For non-divers wishing to attend, we can recommend local dive centres that will help you qualify before your intended start date. Receive the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty segment of the PADI Divemaster course. This unique offering by GVI & PADI teaches you about best practices when conducting underwater coral reef surveys. This is offered to participants staying for longer than 2 weeks on the program.
- Learning how to identify fish, coral or invertebrates in the Indian Ocean.
- Earning your PADI Advanced Open Water certificate.
- Complete GVI & PADI’s unique qualification, the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty.
- Exploring different dive sites around the tropical island of Mahe, searching for ‘mega-fauna’ in the area, such as sharks, rays, and dolphins and learning more about the wider ecosystem.
- Developing the techniques needed to survey coral reefs.
- Participation in local ecosystem surveying including seagrass monitoring, mangrove species identification and nudibranch diversity checks.
A short three-minute walk from the beach, our base in Baie Ternay Marine National Park is located in a picturesque location with tropical weather. With a thirty-minute walk to the nearest village and shop, our base is in a protected and secluded area. It almost feels like we have a private beach all to ourselves (the road ends at the base). The variety of marine life makes this an amazing location – you can see a plethora of life around the island and in the sea.
Originally a school, the building has been transformed into an environmentally aware research base with classrooms for presentations, a library containing marine identification books and resources, and a recreation room to relax in after a day of diving. There are also giant hammocks (for more relaxation) and a large grassy area for volleyball. We also have party and BBQ themed nights, and enjoy film and documentary nights in the rec room cinema. Outside in the seating area, participants like to sit and play cards, or just enjoy the weather. Life on base is much like a big family and we share cooking, cleaning, and dive operation duties on a rotation basis.
Those who’ve completed their intensive survey and dive training can look forward to short boat trips to the dive sites. Depending on the weather conditions and schedule for the week, dives take place once or twice daily, five days a week. On other days, you’ll either conduct marine debris surveys or environmental education sessions including awareness raising with the local community members, depending on the needs of the project at the time. Staff will often deliver presentations throughout the week, with study time included in the daily schedule. Days start early, with boat preparations or training, and end with dinner, followed by an evening debrief where we share with the group all the exciting things we have seen, and go through the schedule for the next day. After this, it’s time to relax, take in the beautiful sunset, and share stories. There are also a number of base dogs (who love lots of attention) to keep you company.
Being an eco-minded base, there is a recycling area on base, and planters for growing local endemic plant species, which utilise the harvested rainwater. It’s great when participants bring their own ideas and get involved with more eco-friendly practices, such as ecobricking and non-recycling storage methods.
2 – 12 weeks.
Costs and pre-requisites
Starting from 2 weeks – £3,245.
No prior knowledge or experience is required – our trained field team will provide you with all the training you need when you join your project. Some of our diving programs require participants to be PADI Open Water certified prior to joining, please contact your enrolment manager for more information. There is no age limit to join our projects and in fact, our oldest participant to date was 80! Our projects do have a minimum age of 18, with the exception of our under 18 projects that are specifically designed for 15-17 year olds and our family programs for 14+ when accompanied by a guardian.
- 24-hour emergency desk
- 24-hour in-country support
- Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
- All project equipment
- Food (except on long-term internship placements
- Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
How to apply
To find out more and apply, please visit the GVI website: Marine Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles | GVI Planet