Volunteering opportunities in Gunjur

Always wanted to do something meaningful on your travel? Are you an animal lover? Do you have any knowledge about sea turtle protection or would you like to learn about it and give back while staying in The Gambia? If yes, we offer an amazing opportunity to volunteer in a turtle protection project in Gunjur.

We welcome you to join the turtle project in Gunjur as a volunteer and help make an impact on the conservation of the country’s beautiful sea turtles. This will surely be one of your most unique and unforgettable lifetime experience. You can volunteer from a minimum of 1 week to 5 weeks or more.

Recently, a new hatchery was constructed at Gunjur beach. Sea Turtle hatcheries are used when natural nesting conditions are threatened by predation, heavy poaching, or shrinking nesting locations. Hatcheries are not a zoo, wildlife sanctuaries, or a rescue centre, they are built to help restore declining sea turtle population through local-led volunteers efforts.

Sea turtle hatcheries off the coast of Gunjur is run by conservation volunteers who are using their field conservation knowledge to promote turtle conservation in The Gambia. Yes, we share the valid concerns that handling eggs, using tanks, incubating eggs at the incorrect temperature, nests dug at the wrong depth and sand being too wet or too dry can all impact the success rates of the hatcheries. In this regard, the success rates are lower than if the eggs had been left in situ.

Ideally, we would prefer to promote sea turtle initiatives that preserve eggs in situ and promote the conservation of habitats. However, considering the trend of anthropogenic factors and contemporary environmental issues in The Gambia, establishing an effectively run sea turtle hatchery is needed than ever before.

Establishing a turtle hatchery is our last resort – alongside other conservation measures to help restore the sea turtle population in The Gambia. Sea turtle hatcheries require extensive labour and fund to be successful. We thank donors and volunteers for their immense contributions towards building this hatchery in Gunjur.

The overall aim to offer volunteering opportunities is to monitor sea turtle activity and conserve the local nesting sites in Gunjur, The Gambia. Conservation activities here are carried out by a team of dedicated local staff and international volunteers for more than 10 years.

One of the most important activities undertaken by volunteers is the maintenance of the hatchery. Within the sanctuary, collected and rescued eggs can hatch safely away from predators in the haven of the specially constructed hatchery, before being released into the sea at night.

Sadly, due to the natural threats they face, very few turtles survive through to adulthood, and as turtles are only able to reproduce from the age of around 25, this understandably poses an issue for the rate of turtle reproduction. For this exact reason, every nesting site, every egg, every hatchling and every turtle is crucial to the survival of the species, and maximising survival is what the staff and volunteers at the project strive to achieve!

The success of this project relies upon the involvement of truly dedicated people, and you, like every volunteer or member of staff, can help play an integral role here.

Volunteering in Gunjur

1 week stay
130 FROM
  • Volunteer Pass
  • 1 week accommodation:
    Eco Lodge / Homestay
  • Breakfast / 3 meals per day

Volunteering in Gunjur

2 week stay
275 FROM
  • Volunteer Pass
  • 2 week accommodation:
    Eco Lodge / Homestay
  • Breakfast / 3 meals per day

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Why is volunteering the right choice for you?

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