Volunteering with us not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.
Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with us. Our field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Seychelles!
Included Side Trips
During the expedition, we will usually organise a hike up Cap Matoopa for you to explore the surrounding area after all your hard work on surveys. The last days of an expedition are usually dedicated to taking volunteers to their favourite dive sites to dive just for fun, having completed all the survey work.
Optional Side Trips
On the weekends many volunteers head to Beau Vallon Bay for a well-earned break. The bay is the main tourist area of Mahe with a lovely long beach, hotels and guest houses, shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. The dive shops in the area offer many options for all diving needs.
Most people would agree that sitting at The Coral Strand Hotel bar with a cool drink and watching the sun set behind Silhouette Island is an experience not to be missed. Volunteers may have the opportunity to visit the islands of Praslin and La Digue. Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai (a world heritage site) thought by early explorers to be the original “Garden of Eden”, that is home of the famous Coco de Mer palm tree that produces the huge double nut famous for its provocative shape. La Digue is the picture perfect tropical island, small and intimate with quaint guest houses and arguably the most beautiful beach in the world - Anse Source d’Argent.
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles, the smallest capital city in the world. Volunteers often visit to catch up at internet cafes, do a little shopping, or visit the market to soak up the local atmosphere.
Public transport is cheap and frequent and all parts of Mahe can be explored easily by catching a bus. Many volunteers spend happy times bouncing around the island roads on buses taking in the beautiful scenery whilst enjoying the company of locals going about their daily business.
Accommodation is in shared (mixed gender) dorm rooms (up to 10 people). The tap water is safe for drinking on the expedition base and there is cold running water available. Bathroom facilities are shared but split-sex, and participants also share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. Refridgeration is available for communal food only. You need to bring your own mosquito net and bedding for example a thin sleeping bag liner.
If you need to stay additional nights before or after your project you need to book these separately, ask your travel consultant for help.
Most volunteers arrange international flights to the Seychelles' main international airport on Mahé Island, arriving on or before the expedition start date. It is highly recommended that you arrive at least a day or two earlier if possible, to recover from jetlag and acclimatise. Most people stay in the village of Beau Vallon which is right on the beach and the main centre for tourism in Mahé with restaurants and shops close by. Note if you plan to stay on other parts of the island, you will be required to make your own way to one of the pick-up points. There will be one airport pick-up the day before the start of the expedition at 07:30, which will drop off in Beau Vallon. On the morning of the expedition the pick-up point will be at the car park behind the Pearl Noire restaurant in Beau Vallon at 09:30. Please ensure our field staff are aware of your arrival plans.
You can depart any time on the final day, as the base is just one hour away from the airport. A transfer is provided at 08:00 to Cap Ternay or Beau Vallon. If you have a flight before 08:00, a taxi will be organised and paid for locally, all other transfers are at your own cost.
Meals while on project are included. Participants take turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is basic but nutritious, and primarily vegetarian with optional fish or meat available no more than once or twice a week. Breakfast could be porridge with fresh fruit, or occassionally pancakes or cereal, lunch and evening meals may include pasta, beans, rice, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, etc.
Dive Equipment Rental
If you are renting dive equipment locally, pick it up before meeting the team at the pick-up point on Saturday (project start date) and transferring to the project.
You will have access to long distance communications whilst on the program, but make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Participants typically use internet cafes to keep in touch, with access to internet about once a week. Local SIM cards and pay-as-you-go credit can be bought affordably in the Seychelles and the signal is good in most areas. Contact your mobile/cell phone provider for more information before travelling.