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Cape Verde Turtle Conservation

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Cape Verde Turtle Conservation

Visit the far flung islands of Cape Verde and contribute to the conservation and protection of some of the world's most enchanting inhabitants of the ocean.

Prices from US$1,445

The Cape Verde islands lie like an exquisite jewel necklace scattered in the endless blue of the vast Atlantic Ocean. Positioned off the coast of Western Africa, their culture is a heady mix of Brazilian and Senegalese influences; you will find the hypnotising rhythm of South America infiltrating the French colonial and Moorish elements, inspired by Dakar's ancient mystique. The waters that surround this serene island archipelago are abundant in marine life, including six of the seven sea turtle species. These placid creatures have followed ocean currents to the shores of the islands for more than 150 million years, the females seeking out the safety of the beaches to lay their precious cargo of eggs in a carefully dug nest. Tragically, however, in recent decades thousands of these mothers to be have been slaughtered before they are able to lay, literally crawling into the arms of the poachers. This vital project seeks to provide an action group to patrol beaches, rescue injured turtles, monitor numbers and much more. Travel to Cape Verde for an amazing conservation experience and discover an island idyll that is one of Africa's best kept secrets!



  • Make lifelong friendships
  • Work with the rare & beautiful sea turtle
  • Discover a hidden pocket of splendour


  • Please check availability when applying for this project!


Location Cape Verde
Activities Contributing ecological & other information to the national environmental databases
Identification & population assessments of the different species
Establishing the location of & excavating nests
Rescuing & rehabilitating injured or sick hatchlings
Day & night beach patrols to prevent the poaching of eggs
Transport Pick-up from the airport
Transport to the project site
Accommodation Beach camp


Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
In-country Food
Local orientation and training
Project equipment & materials
Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
Airport pick-up
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup



A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Cape Verde's pristine beaches are fringed by the tempting waters of the Atlantic Ocean which provide a home for an incredible array of marine flora and fauna. Explore its shallows to see clown fish, starry triggerfish, barrier reef anemone fish and eagle rays, amongst many more. Venture to deeper waters by taking a boat trip or scuba dive and see marlin, dolphins and maybe even catch a glimpse of a blue whale. By spending time in this exotic paradise, you will begin to appreciate how precious and valuable these ecosystems are.

The unregulated use of marine habitats is the biggest threat to species and habitats. Six of the world's seven species of sea turtle, all highly endangered, nest along the coastline and have suffered massive overexploitation for eggs, meat and shells. The threat to these beautiful creatures comes from a variety of sources; the extensive and unplanned development of tourism, the unsustainable harvesting of turtle feeding grounds and the polluting and bleaching of the coral reefs. However, the continued exploitation of both turtle meat and eggs for sale on the illegal market remains the single biggest threat – surveys have revealed that egg collection rates have been unsustainably high for at least the last 30 years. Action must be taken to initiate and facilitate the implementation of sustainable marine turtle conservation strategies through education, research and community participation. As a volunteer you will be an integral part of this process, as well as taking practical action to track and protect the turtle populations, all this along with having an unforgettable travel experience.

Your environmental education and awareness-raising work will focus on encouraging indigenous people away from harmful practices such as harvesting turtles and encourage marginalised communities to recognise that rational use of these coastal resources are key to their preservation for the future. You will live the Cape Verde lifestyle, camping on beach survey sites and tasting the best in native local cooking. We try and ensure that in every way possible our project work is sympathetic to the lives of local community members.


Your work on the project will take place mainly from dusk until dawn. It will include a wide range of activities that all contribute to the successful monitoring and protection of six species of sea turtle – leatherback, green, olive ridley, kemp's ridley, loggerhead and hawksbill. The site has been selected for its suitability and high biodiversity value.

The activities that you are participating in include;

  • contributing ecological and other information to the national environmental databases
  • identification and population assessments of the different species
  • establishing the location of and excavating nests
  • rescuing and rehabilitating injured or sick hatchlings
  • day and night beach patrols to prevent the poaching of eggs

Depending on when you join you may find yourself working alongside other committed and highly motivated volunteers who all share a passion for travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your project staff will be experienced and friendly individuals dedicated to turtle preservation.

If this is your first time doing conservation work, don't worry! It will only take a short while for you to feel totally at home on camp and confident with the conservation work. Although the work is intense you'll find that living in such a beautiful and inaccessible environment alongside friends who share your passion for turtle conservation will be the experience of a lifetime!


You will fly into Boavista airport where you will be met on arrival.  From here you will be escorted to your project site on Boavista Island.


Whilst you are on this project you will enjoy authentic beach camp life as you stay in shared tents on the shore. There are washing facilities and a washing machine is available.


Camp food is delicious, simple and nutritious and consists largely of rice, vegetables, beans and noodles, all of which are purchased locally in order to help support the local economy. If you try local restaurants or cafés, popular local dishes include melon with local cheese, salted goat meat, or the famous diable dentro, which translates as "pastry with the devil inside", and is pastry filled with tuna, onions and tomatoes.


Once on site, you will be within walking distance of your work site – the beach!

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

Highly recommended  | 17 Nov 2019
I loved everything about this project - from the beach camp to the survey work, environmental edu...

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Cape Verde is a wonderful archipelago to explore because of its unusual combination of Latin American and African culture. Discover each island's unique identity as you enjoy your spare time in this beguiling tropical haven. Santiago and Praia are home to diverse and dynamic nightlife, and other attractions include crumbling castles and ancient citadels lingering from the days of Portuguese settlers. On some of the smaller islands, discover tiny fishing villages clinging to the rocky Atlantic coastline and try some of the fiery but delicious local rum or "grog" as it is known. Make sure you visit the fine white sanded beaches of Sal, and the contrasting ebony sanded beaches of Sao Nicolau. Also available in Cape Verde is of course a huge range of sea-based sports, including wreck diving where you can venture into the skeletons of ships that were lost to the treacherous Atlantic Ocean. At certain times of year you may be lucky enough to enjoy the Sao Vicente carnival, which is world renowned. But don't worry if you miss it – there is fabulous live music in every little café and bar in Cape Verde!


4 weeks US$1,445


June to October. Volunteers welcome any time



You can join this project for a minimum of 4 weeks


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)


  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation and training
  • Project equipment & materials
  • Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
  • Airport pick-up
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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