Watamu Sea Turtle Volunteer Project, Kenya



Time Commitment

Part time (10-30 hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)





Join this programme and take part in sea turtle conservation volunteer work involving research and monitoring of nesting turtles, education and outreach as well as turtle rehabilitation all throughout the year in Watamu, Kenya.

The project was featured in the last episode of a 6 part BBC documentary series, Africa, featuring Sir David Attenborough.

You can join for 2 weeks up to 10 weeks all year round.

Individuals, groups and students doing research all welcome.

This project offers the opportunity to volunteer with sea turtles in Kenya and take part in a variety of different sea turtle conservation related projects, as listed below. We are happy to discuss each area of work with you and are also open to your suggestions and welcome students with research ideas.

1. Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteer Work & Research

2. Education & awareness

3. Community development

4. General

You can take part in the Watamu Sea Turtle Watch programme throughout the year as the By-Catch release programme operates the whole time with anywhere between 10 and 90 turtles being released from fishing nets per week. The Rehabilitation centre also operates all year round but is particularly busy during August and November / December. The peak nesting season is from May to August but occasionally we get turtles nesting throughout the year.

As volunteers, you will be supervised on all of the projects by a resident volunteer co-ordinator who will be there to train and guide you throughout your time on the project. You will also receive orientation and proper training at the beginning of the project.

The Watamu Marine Park is part of a United Nations Biosphere Reserve and has been designated as a place of great natural beauty with miles of beautiful beaches and corals rich in marine flora and fauna.

Watamu / Malindi Marine Parks and Reserve (WMMPR) covers an area of 229 km2 and is part of a United Nations Biosphere Reserve, that also includes the Arabuko Sokoke Coastal forest. The WMMPR protected areas consist of two Marine Parks: Malindi in the North, and Watamu in the South. This amounts to approximately 30kms of coastline, with a fringing reef along its entirety, as well as numerous patch reefs. The fringing reef forms several lagoons, some of which are still rich in coral and fish species. The Parks and Reserves provide an important residing and feeding habitat for sea turtles, while the 5km beach within Watamu Marine Park is a key turtle nesting ground in the country.

Watamu Turtle Watch was formed in 1997 to continue and develop the marine turtle conservation efforts of a local naturalist Barbara Simpson, which she had been undertaking in the area since the 1970's. Very quickly they came to realise that the survival of the marine turtles in Watamu was intrinsically linked to the well being of the surrounding marine environment and to the protection of turtles across their migratory range.

Concerned by the widespread degradation of the Kenyan marine environment, and national exploitation of marine turtles, they broadened its conservation efforts to encompass these issues while maintaining a focus of its turtle activities in the Watamu / Malindi area. They work in close co-operation with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Fisheries Department, Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee (KESCOM), of which it is a member.

For more details regarding pricing, scheduling and arrangements, please visit the main project page - http://www.workingabroad.com/projects/kenya-sea-turtle-volunteer

Fee Required


  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available


  • Groups
  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


If you are interested in joining this project, you will need to fill out the online application form (you can also print it out and send it to us by post) – to secure a placement on the project, please complete and submit the form including two references and your deposit of £180. If for some reason, your application is declined, we would reimburse this deposit fully. However for those who are accepted, the full amount needs to be paid two months before departure. Once your place is confirmed, you will receive a pre-departure package with all detailed information on your project, the region, suggested items to bring etc.