Get covered to work with turtles!

26 June 2019

Travel Insurance Travel News Travel Tips Working Holiday Worldwide Travel

We’ve noticed that a high proportion of travellers heading away from the UK to do either paid or voluntary work with wild animals, are going to be working with sea turtles. Sea turtles have been in the spotlight of late, with the environmental focus on protecting our marine environments and the creatures that live there, from a growing number of threats, one of which is the unacceptable amount of plastics and general litter found in our oceans.

The popularity of David Attenborough’s BBC series Blue Planet 1 and 2 has also done much to highlight the creatures’ plight, as all of the 7 species of sea-turtle are listed as either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

There are a few reasons that sea turtles are currently at particular risk: 

  • Hatching survival rates are low, due to a high number of predators both on land and at sea.
  • Human activity such as hunting them for turtle soup and polluting the oceans are causing further problems.
  • Climate change is also an issue – as the temperature of the sand where a mother lays her eggs, will determine the sex of the hatchling. There needs to be a good mix of males and females in order for more baby turtles to be born in the future. 
  • Turtles can only reproduce from the age of around 25 years old

The fact that turtles are currently in the predicament of falling numbers and deteriorating habitat, means that (thankfully) there are lots of initiatives around the world aimed at helping to protect them and boost their numbers, which means there are numerous volunteering opportunities available for travellers who want to help make a difference and enjoy a beautiful beach holiday in an idyllic location at the same time. As turtles are widespread, there are many places that you can choose to travel to, including Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and the Great Barrier Reef. Volunteering to help in this way, will allow you to take part in a variety of helpful and enriching experiences, including:

  • Collecting and protecting eggs
  • Doing a night patrol on the beach
  • Releasing baby turtles into the ocean

The duties of your volunteering role, whether any additional activities are included, and what (if any) accommodation and food is provided will vary by where you decide to go. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if volunteering at a turtle sanctuary would be ideal for you:

  • Some of the work can be physically demanding, as you may be asked to clean tanks, walk along sandy beaches (possibly at night) checking on the turtles and their eggs, and there may be other manual tasks involved.
  • Many of the important beaches in turtle conservation are in fairly remote locations, and the standard of accommodation can vary, so make sure you find out what amenities are nearby and just how ‘back to basics’ you’ll be going!
  • Make sure you take a look at post-trip reviews from other travellers who have taken part in any projects you’re considering, as projects can vary in terms of their cost to be involved in, and the effectiveness of their impact on local turtle conservation.

We’re sure that if you ‘take the plunge’ and sign up for this kind of voluntary programme, it will be a truly enriching and once-in-a-lifetime experience to be actively involved with the fight to save these very special creatures.


Our Working Holiday policy has been developed to offer flexible cover for travellers heading away from the UK to do voluntary or paid work as part or all of their trip. We can cover a wide range of roles (including working with sea-turtles). Take a look at the policy, the Work Packs and the policy benefits here .

If you’d like us to provide a quote, you can get one on the Working Holiday page, give us a ring in our UK office on 01424 223964 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or complete a quote request form and we’ll email you a quote over. Don’t hesitate to get in touch, with any questions about a Working Holiday policy or any of our policies.


Related posts