Experiential/Responsible Tourism Program
Elephant & Leopard Research and Wildlife Conservation Excursion.


Eco Team has established its volunteer service programmes with the collaboration with Turtle Conservation Project (TCP) in order to increase the working capacity of the TCP and to allow communication links between people of various backgrounds who are able to provide new input and suggest new ideas and concepts to aid and improve the overall future success of the project and its respective programs.



We have been working with volunteers since 2000 and they have helped us immensely in fulfilling our conservation goals and objectives. Our strong community and government institution ties, logistical capabilities and experience in in-situ research also enables us to effectively partner with trained individuals and groups from universities and conservation groups in conducting research and community development programs.



There are several sites that you may be living depending on the placement. These include:


Kosgoda is a beach resort located about 72 km away from Colombo on A2 road. The major income of these villagers are the Sea Fishing and production of items such as mats from coir, turtle hatcheries for tourism and guiding tourists  are the other ways of earning money. All five species of sea turtles found in Sri Lanka are known to nest in the Kosgoda area, on the south coast of the island. The four- kilometer stretch of beach situated from the northern end of Kosgoda lagoon to the rocky outcrop south of the Victor Haselblad hatchery has been identified as the best turtle beach in the area.


Despite its natural beauty, the western peninsular area of KALPITIYA in the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka is remarkably untouched by tourism.  But for those lucky enough to visit, there's a plethora of things to see and do!  With the small close-knit fishing community dominating the lives of the local people, visitors can get a real insight into working life away from the city.  After watching the night fishing boats return in the morning, a visit to one of the fish markets offers the opportunity tochoose the evening meal direct from the fresh catch!  The Dutch Fort and St Peter's Kerk church in the town itself are interesting examples of Sri Lanka's rich history and colonial past.  Leisurely boat rides up the lagoon and canoe trips down the river are a pleasant way of exploring the coastline, whilst 4WD jeep rides along the deserted sand dunes between the ocean and the lagoon offer a unique way of watching the colourful evening sunsets.


This small fishing village is located about10 km east of the south coast town of Tangalla. Rekawa is one of the well known turtle conservation project in the World. Five species of marine turtles visit the shores to lay and nest their eggs and the Rekawa village has managed to turn what was once a mass poaching of eggs into a profitable turtle watching programme. Rekawa is a very picturesque village on the south coast of Sri Lanka. The nearby beach is one of Sri Lanka's most important green turtle rookeries. Oliveridley and leatherback turtles also nest there, as well as the occasional hawksbill and Loggerhead turtle.


In Situ Research and Conservation Programme

The TCP initiated a new turtle conservation project in Kosgoda (Southwest coast) & Rekawa (South Coast) of Sri Lanka. You will work in conjunction with the local community members to encourage a safe nesting beach for the 5 species that nest there. Research assistants are required to work demanding shifts, night or day, on the beach. In addition you will be expected to be involved in the standard research and data collection as well as any new research endeavors that we wish to initiate. Previous marine turtle experience is preferable though not essential as volunteers will be provided training by a qualified professional where required.

Mangrove Growth and Replenishment Programme

The Community Environmental Education Trainers (CEET’s) trained by TCP, have established mangrove nurseris in Rekawa, Kosgoda and Kalpitiya. The main goal of this program is to reforest the locally degraded mangrove through seedlings generated in the nurseries. The second goal is to develop sustainable methods of mangrove utilization for local people. The nurseries currently houses approximately 10000 young plants of species Rhizophora mucronata. Once the young plants take root and are strong enough (after approx. 3 months) they are replanted in a number of selected sites in which the existing mangroves have been destroyed principally by human interference.

Model Medicinal Gardens

The CEET’s have also established model medicinal gardens in the Rekawa School and in the Principal’s garden. The aim of establishing these gardens was for dual purposes: promoting increased awareness of the medicinal uses of local plants and secondly, the exploration and development of the possibilities for income generation through the sale of fruit and medicinal plants themselves or the products they produce.

Volunteers interested in workingwithin this realm of the TCP will be encouraged to assist with the growth, distribution and educational potential of the plants grown within the garden as well as exploring income development opportunities. A third garden is currently being established at Panadura Temple. Volunteers are in the process of transplanting seedlings and established plants to the garden, and monitoring their growth.

Turtle Night Watch Programme

The Turtle Nest Protectors at the Rekawa Rookery rely heavily on tourist donations to make up their salaries. Eco-tourism provides both vital income as well as promoting conservation awareness. Volunteers who have previous marketing experience would be valued in developing this area further (experience preferred but not essential).
Volunteers are required to work on Eco-Tourism at the new site, Kosgoda. Here the volunteers have to support the program from the beginning and will involve aspects of leaflet and advertising design, liaising with local hotels and guesthouses and conducting presentations and talks to tourists at these hotels. Volunteers may also be involved in the English classes and “turtle work” if they desire.

Teaching English

The TCP has been offering English classes to Rekawa villagers since January of 1994 and there continues to be a great demand for it, especially from the community members who are employed by the TCP within research and conservation activities. These classes also serve to help improve employment prospects of other participating community members in non-resource dependant jobs and therefore reduce community dependency on environmental exploitation. Classes are also an important means to further conservation awareness. Basic communications skills and every day conversational English is the focus.
Volunteers may also participate in English classes at Panadura Temple, if they are working at the Panadura site. Here we offer free, after-school English lessons to schoolchildren. This is simply a community-based project rather than Turtle orientated.


Should any students (at any educational level) wish to take the opportunity to undertake their own research for school/university modules, we at TCP provide all the opportunity and as much help and advice as possible. All that we ask is that you use any spare time you may have to help on any our projects. We request that any data or information collected as part of the individual research be made available for our records, to help in further research we may undertake. We also ask to be sent a copy of any reports produced to keep among our records. None of our voluntary programs are rigid; volunteers can choose an individual program or participate in different ones to gain maximum experience.


The Eco Team would prefer volunteers who would like to volunteer for at least 6 months, although shorter and longer terms are also available. We believes that volunteers should stay no less than 3 months, which we believe is the minimal amount of time needed to enable the volunteer gain sufficient experience and for TCP and to gain the best help for its programs.





Accommodation is provided by us and covered by the cost. Your accommodation will be in basic guest houses. Rural areas may have more basic accommodation, for example in Rekawa conditions are rustic with no electricity (kerosene lamps in the evening), outdoor bathing facilities and a squat toilet. We will provide all bed linen and mosquito nets. Volunteers wishing to travel throughout Sri Lanka may also wish to bring their own nets too.


Meals are also included in the cost and are prepared by a local family, either where you are living or close by. They usually consist of the local diet of rice, fish, and curried native vegetables (pumpkin, breadfruit, potatoes, okra and beans etc). The food, though very tasty, is usually heavily spiced with chilies, making it hot (the local norm); however arrangements can be made to reduce the chili content. Western food is available at any nearby guesthouses/hotels.



Duration of Stay

Rate per person
For Groups

1 Month

US $ 550

3 Months

US $ 1650

More than 03 Months

Contact Us

These costs are subject to change. Coast will be finalized once the volunteer interest has been confirmed.
All costs must to be paid in full two months prior to arrival.



Tours and excursions to the closer sites such as Sinharaja World Heritage Site, Udawalawa National Park, Bundala & Yala National Parks could be arranged at an extra cost. Even we could provide overnight camping in above locations except Yala National Park.



  • Accommodation and Food as mentioned above.
  • Transportation in public transportation throughout the project.
  • All visa fees.
  • All Sri Lanka government taxes.

The cost of the program does not include:

  • Air Fare.
  • Any personal effects not mentioned.

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