"Work with meaningful conservation efforts and get the chance to swim with the world's biggest fish and the shark community!"
You should have seen the one that got away… Learn about the largest fish in the sea, the magnificent whale shark, whilst volunteering in the idyllic surroundings of Dhigurah Island in the Maldives. Develop your sea legs whilst on the lookout for these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Once spotted, that’s where the aquatic adventure begins. Grab a pen and notepad (waterproof of course) and enter the crystal clear waters to measure the whale sharks from head to tail via photo ID and written logs - don’t worry, these fellas won’t bite! If that wasn’t enough, get to know the Maldives' other famous marine inhabitants, including elegant manta rays and whitetip reef sharks.
This project is formed with a not-for-profit charity, offering volunteers the chance to conduct whale shark research and conservation in conjunction with developing community-building initiatives. Your home whilst volunteering on the project will be Dhigurah Island - a small and friendly island that will welcome you with open arms into their community. During your free time take the opportunity to visit a local house to taste local cuisine, go on a fishing trip or shop for traditional arts and crafts. For those who simply can’t get enough of water activities take a dip, whether snorkelling or on a scuba dive to marvel at tropical fish and colourful coral.
This project aims to not only preserve and protect whale sharks, but also increase local communities’ involvement in their conservation. The whale shark research programme’s mission is to increase and understand knowledge of whale shark activity within the Maldives in order to develop a sustainable conservation strategy. By encouraging community and stakeholder participation the project hopes to be able to leverage scientific research to safeguard the marine ecosystem in the Maldives. Even in paradise, rubbish unfortunately is still a major problem in the Maldives, both on land and in sea. Volunteers on this project contribute to regular beach sweeps and clean ups so that marine wildlife can thrive in an environment free from the hazards and dangers caused by rubbish. As well as taking part in the physical work, volunteers have the opportunity to learn from regular talks from local fishermen and students about the importance of whale shark conservation. When you leave, take with you your newly found knowledge of conservation to spread the word back home about the importance of looking after the Earth’s marine species and environment.
The adventure begins! Fly into Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (it’s best to book the early morning or afternoon flight in order to make the domestic flight transfer to Maamigili Island). Upon your arrival staff from the project will meet, greet and take you via speedboat to Dhigurah Island - your home for the next two weeks!
Once you have settled into the guesthouse and met the other volunteers you will be given an initial briefing on the project. Activities will depend on the weather conditions on the day, but the aim is to get you out in the water as soon as possible to meet the famous locals... You will have some free time on day 6 from midday to check out the local area - sample some local food, go shopping, or book in a snorkel or scuba dive.
A day of rest from project work; make the most of the activities on offer, whether you choose to explore the Dhigurah Island’s beaches, go snorkelling or swimming, or simply relax in the beautiful surroundings.
Refreshed from a quick break you will now spend the next 6 days working on the project. This gives you plenty of time to get really involved in the marine research, as well as plenty of quality swimming time with these beautiful giants.
Today is the last day of what hopefully has been an incredible experience working and learning about whale shark conservation. Volunteers can fly back to Male International airport to take a return flight home or continue onwards to the next adventure.
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to enquire about full project dates, availability and costs
- To secure a place on this project a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
- Three meals per day
- Daily return boat transfers to and from the project site
- All project activities
- International and domestic flights
- Travel insurance
- Soft drinks and extra snacks
- Any extra activities undertaken on your days off (for example scuba diving which is around $100/£80 per dive)
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' up above to chat to the operator directly!
Area & Location
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