The Splendors of the Sea

Lemon Shark and Turtle Conservation in the Seychelles

Help to conserve three of the Seychelles' most important marine species, the sicklefin lemon shark, the hawksbill and the green turtle.

Durations:  1 - 12 weeks

Program information

Spend time on the stunning island of Curieuse while you contribute to vital conservation efforts to preserve some of the islands most important species. Work towards ensuring the long term survival of both the sicklefin lemon shark as well as the hawksbill and green turtles. Enjoy living at a remote research station on one of the world’s most beautiful islands.

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Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Learn to cook Seychellois Creole cuisine

Experience traditional moutya dancing on the beach

Stargaze and learn the southern constellations

Hike to the top of Mount Curieuse

Stand up paddleboard at sunrise

Visit Vallée de Mai in Praslin National Park

Spend the day at a secluded beach

Sleep under the stars on Mount Curieuse

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
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Emily Cowie

11 Aug, 2021
My time on Curieuse was an incredible experience I will never forget. From waking up for early morning sharking or watching the sunset on the beach in front of the base, every day there was something new to see. There is a lot more interaction with the animals than a lot of programmes and you really get involved with the surveys. The feeling I had the first time I saw a turtle laying her eggs was like nothing I’d felt before and I’d recommend this programme to anyone! There were a few issues pre departure that came up due to COVID but they were all sorted before I left and once I was there everything was great! And the GVI staff on the base were wonderful

Vanessa Gouldsmith

15 Aug, 2018
Curieuse is an unusual and interesting island and so deserves to get its Biosphere status. Although my time was outside the main turtle and shark monitoring season it was great to get a taste of a diverse range of projects, all helping to contribute to the datasets that will hopefully go on to allow the island to get extra protection. Yes the base camp is most definitely basic, a ‘refurbished’ ex- leper colony, but you quickly adjust to that and the routine – and if you want field camp experience you will gain it here. The staff were brilliant, welcoming and caring and have some great group games in their arsenal and along with ‘Exploding Kittens’, Morgan makes a wicked chocolate brownie – so evenings are never dull. Mornings began with chores, in themselves team building, and then a welcome breakfast cooked by the duty duo. Before trekking off to one of the beautiful beaches to look for turtle nesting activity, beach profile, or clean (sadly plastic is washed up daily here too) – or you could be heading into the interior to measure Coco de Mer. Then of course there are the Giant Tortoise and the programme to measure their growth, which includes all - from hatchlings to ancients - and they are a joy. Loving nothing more than a neck scratch, and seem to extend them as far as possible to let you do this . We also went out into the lagoon just beyond the mangrove swamps every week to continue the juvenile Lemon Shark monitoring programme – standing thigh (waist if you are shorty like me) deep in warm water watching the dusk fall and the stars come out with fruit bats circling to find a good roost was interesting – and to actually catch a shark amazing. I was lucky enough to be on a project with people from all over the world, Columbia to Germany, America to Australian, Ireland to UK and it was fabulous to learn about others journeys and motivations. Despite a range of ages and backgrounds everyone gelled, and the way tasks were scheduled allowed a good team spirit to form between us all, with impromptu exercise routines and a yoga class thrown into the mix. However, it was also easy to have ‘me’ time if you wanted. The nearest beach, Anse St Jose, was lovely, and once the daily tourists are gone you can wonder along its shore and truly breathe. As the island is uninhabited you know you are safe to go there after dark too, and you can walk in the surf with the bioluminescent making the water sparkle around your feet. Weekly snorkelling trips added another dimension and I was fortunate to see Hawksbill Turtles, Lion Fish, Black Tip Sharks, and shoals of Squid amongst a myriad of other species. One group even got to see a Whale Shark – oh so lucky! I went on the programme to fulfil a long held wish to do volunteer conservation work and because it fits with my Coastal Zone Management Masters. However, I was nervous as most of the programmes seem to be aimed at university gap yearers or graduates – GVI programmes are great because they welcomed mature people, like myself, and whilst the majority were 19-25 on my project, there were a good mix of other ages and that did really help the group success. Everyone, staff and volunteers, supported each other and shared knowledge and experience so that everything from base jobs to scientific study worked well for all. My top tip – good footwear the treks are rugged. Be open minded and prepared to muck in – and make the most of every opportunity. My thanks go to the staff for their dedication and passion to the project and to the volunteers I shared it with – I think I was blessed to have been there with such an amazing group of people. Vanessa Gouldsmith Curieuse – Seychelles Island Conservation Project.

Sam Kearns

06 Dec, 2016
I had such a great time on Curieuse! The staff were so friendly and welcoming and we had volunteers from all over the world. Base life is basic but it’s so worth it to share an island with more giant tortoises than people! In my short 2 week stay I managed to take part in 3 sharking surveys where the sickle fin lemon sharks are captured, scanned for any tags (tagged if none found), weighed, measured, photographed and released. You get to touch baby sharks! So awesome! But also awesome to know that many of these sharks are recaptured so data can be collected on growth over time. We also did at least one turtle survey per day as turtle activity is high at this time of year; measuring tracks, recording body pits/nests/egg chambers (if found) and if you’re lucky you’ll see a mum turtle come up and lay her eggs, measure and tag her!

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