Located at the heart of the Indian Ocean, the islands of the Maldives are an excellent habitat for the largest fish on earth: the whale shark. The Maldives is almost the only place on earth where they can be observed year round. They face a growing number of threats and are now considered a vulnerable species: Finning, pollution affecting the natural ecosystems of the coral reef, accidents involving boats and uncontrolled tourism are the four main dangers facing the whale shark around the world.
You will be significantly involved in the whale shark conservation project. You will spend at least four days a week on a boat called the Dhoni looking out for whale sharks with other volunteers. Your group will be responsible for checking population levels, taking photos and measuring the whale sharks. Whale sharks may look intimidating, but they pose no danger to humans! In addition to monitoring the animals, you will also get to grips with data entry. The information that you gather on your excursions have to be sorted and entered into a database. The project also involves working with locals on the island. You will exchange knowledge and stories, and will gather information which is vital for the work of the project. You will occasionally do activities with the local school children, or give presentations about whale sharks.
You will have one day off per week during the project. Spend your free time relaxing on Dhigurah's heavenly beach, go snorkelling or diving, or get to know the island, the locals and other volunteers.
The accommodation is on the island of Dhigurah, close to the main village. You will share a room with another person in the guest house. You will be put with someone of your own gender whenever possible. Each room has its own bathroom. The guest house has room for up to eight volunteers. You will be served meals in the restaurant. Some of these can be pretty spicy, but milder alternatives are also available. The guest house also has Wi-Fi.
• Placement in the project
• Assistance with travel arrangements
• Assistance with selecting travel insurance
• Assistance with booking flights
• Pre-departure information pack
• Domestic flight from Malé International Airport
• Island Arrival Tax
• Green Tax
• Airport pick up and drop off
• Accommodation during the project
• All meals during the project
• English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
• 24/7 support throughout the project
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