Island Turtle Conservation



Adventure from £0.00 (Excluding flights)

Volunteer on Malaysia’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Help us conserve Sea Turtles on the tropical island paradise, the Perhentian Islands. You too can play your part to help preserve the number one beach location in Malaysia, as named by CNN in 2013. These beaches are well worth a visit and deserve to be maintained for future generations to enjoy. Through our Turtle and Island project you will join hands with researchers and the local government to help conserve sea turtles in the Perhentian Islands. Your time will be split into two, the village and the turtle beach. When you are in the village you will help our researchers to collect scientific data by literally snorkelling and snapping photos of turtles. The photos will be used to identify individual turtles and their movements around the islands which will help decision makers to develop a sea turtle management plan for the islands. You will also get a chance to experience the Malaysian hospitality and enjoy village life. When you are based at the Turtle Beach you will enjoy the rustic beach life, chilling in hammocks in the morning, afternoon snorkel surveys and night patrols under the stars and moon helping mother sea turtles lay their eggs and sending off hatchlings on their lifetime voyage. And of course, you will have time off to enjoy these beautiful, paradise islands.


Snorkel Photo ID Session
The scutes (scales) on the flippers and the side of a green turtles face are unique to each individual. In collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Cambridge University, UK, we collect photos of the sea turtles on nesting beaches and at sea whilst snorkelling. With each photo we also collect extra data such as location, time, date, male/female etc. We then use the software developed by Cambridge University to identify each photo against a database of previously identified individuals. If new turtles are discovered then you get to name your new turtle. The information that this research gathers is vital for conservation measures as we will be able to identify population numbers of male and female turtles, identify hotspots where conservation efforts need to be focused and also movement patterns of the turtles. The data will then be used by decision makers to design the Marine Park Zonation Plan.

Turtle watch
You will help to collect non-invasive photos of nesting sea turtles at beaches around the Perhentian Islands. The photos that you collect will help our researchers to establish nesting patterns of sea turtles in the Perhentian Islands. Additionally, unfortunately poachers still occasionally collect eggs from the beaches around the islands. The government staff travel around the islands but they are sometimes too late and poachers have already taken the eggs. Your role is to guard the beach and when a turtle comes to nest inform the government official who will then collect the eggs and safely protect them in their official hatchery. We established a similar programme at another turtle nesting beach in the islands and just the presence of people on the beaches often deterred poachers from landing on the beach. The initial project with Bubbles is still ongoing, so your presence will ensure more that 2 turtle nesting beaches are protected in the Perhentian islands.

If you would prefer less free time in your program, we are happy to share many of our mini projects with you. So if you want to be involved in these activities which are not included in your program, feel free to speak to us and we can allocate you a mini project for you to complete in your free time whilst at the project. Examples will be making and developing our handicraft products using waste found on the beach such as sea glass, help to improve our awareness campaign or conduct tourist questionnaire and talks at resorts around the islands.

Adventure includes:

  • Mixed sex Dormitory accommodation.
  • Meals
  • Marine park fee
  • Return Ferry from Kuala Besut to Perhentian Islands
  • Minimum 3 overnight turtle watches per week.
  • Daily Photo ID sessions with our researchers

Doesn't include

  • Flights
  • Transport to/from Kuala Besut
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal expenses


You will be staying in a traditional Malay house in the middle of the one and only village on the smaller of the Perhentian Islands – Perhentian Kecil. Your stay in this adorable little village everyone will welcome you with open arms. Here you will have the unique opportunity to experience Malay culture, try the most delicious Malay food, hang out with the ladies and play with the kids (if you want).

When you go to the turtle beach, things get a bit more rustic. What more to wish for than sleeping under the stars with the sound of the ocean in the background. If you don’t want to sleep on the beach itself, you can dream away in a hammock or get comfortable in our beach hut. The beach hut is very simple but sand free and has air mattresses.


Day 1: Monday

Morning: Volunteers arrive at Safe Park Holidays office, Kuala Besut jetty. Boat transfer to the village (Kampung Pulau Perhentian). Afternoon: briefing and orientation, project overview, village tour,water confidence session (learn the do’s and don’ts of snorkellingplus how to wear the life jacket &snorkel gear).Evening:marine presentation & rest.

Day 2: Tuesday

Morning: learning session for all –with presentations about sea turtles, you will all be set your own subject about sea turtles and their conservationto later share with the group. Afternoon: learn about the sea turtle ID research for your first photo snapping snorkel of the nearby sea grass bed where the green turtles mostly hang out during the day. Evening:Malay Dinner

Day 3: Wednesday

Morning: Awareness activityAfternoon:snorkel Photo ID SessionEvening:turtle watch on rota (3 teams rotate with 1 team on duty and 2 off)

Day 4 - 6: Thursday - Saturday

Live at the turtle nesting beach. The beach is paradise by day snorkel and talk to tourists and by night guard nesting sea turtles and freshly hatched turtles. This pattern continues for a 1week cycle.

Day 7: Sunday

Departure day, check out time is 12 PM;however you can take a boat back to the mainland at 8 AM, 12 PM or 4 PM.


Making a booking

If you want to reserve your place on a trip we ask you to place a deposit of £0 to secure your place. Should you wish to discuss your trip with us, please either email or call 0203 394 0050.



Monday 2nd Oct 2017 - Sunday 15th Oct 2017 £699.00
Travellers: Book/Reserve
Monday 3rd Sep 2018 - Monday 17th Sep 2018 £821.00
Travellers: Book/Reserve

Or contact us to tailor make this trip