Volunteer in Seychelles

Work towards conserving important island habitats.

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the islands of Seychelles offer you plenty of picturesque beaches and balmy seas to dive in, as well as unique marine conservation opportunities – whether you want to learn how to identify tropical fish, help sea turtles nest, or swim through colourful canopies of coral.


Volunteer in the Seychelles with GVI and discover a country famed for its endemic flora and fauna, unspoiled beaches and beautiful coral reefs! With a range of marine conservation programs to choose from, you can gain your PADI Divemaster, join an internship program, gain some work experience or simply give back to the environment. Our Seychelles hub offers a variety of options to help you make a genuine difference during your volunteering holiday, gap year or career break.

Seychelles may seem like a far-off tropical getaway, but it has strong connections to Africa. Situated 1,500 km east of the African continent, Seychelles is considered part of the African region, and has a lot of cultural, linguistic and historical similarities with its neighbouring countries. The plants and animals that call these islands home can also be found in Africa and Madagascar, which shows how deeply connected the region is.

Volunteer opportunities in Africa offer an abundance of wildlife to experience and interesting cultures to explore. If you volunteer in Africa, you will get a chance to make a difference in either Madagascar, South Africa or Seychelles – the beautiful island country surrounded by the Indian Ocean.

Our programs

Marine Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles
Island Conservation Expedition to the Seychelles
Island Biodiversity Surveying Citizen Science Project in Seychelles
Research Fellowship
Wildlife conservation research fellowship in Seychelles
Marine Conservation Internship in Seychelles
Island Conservation Internship in Seychelles
Professional Apprenticeship
PADI Divemaster and Marine Conservation Apprenticeship in Seychelles
Research Fellowship
Marine conservation research fellowship in Seychelles
Climate Change and Coral Bleaching in Seychelles
Island Nations Climate Change and Biodiversity Volunteer in Seychelles
Coral Reef Ecology and Conservation Internship in Seychelles
Professional Apprenticeship
PADI Divemaster and Marine Conservation Apprenticeship in the Indian Ocean
Included in your program, at no extra cost

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

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to cook traditional Seychellois Creole dishes
Learn to cook traditional Seychellois Creole dishes
Visit the Mission Ruins at Venn's Town
Visit the Mission Ruins at Venn's Town
Paddleboard across the bay
Paddleboard across the bay
Hike through lush forests and across rocky plateaus
Hike through lush forests and across rocky plateaus
Explore the ocean after dark with a night dive
Explore the ocean after dark with a night dive
Discover rare and endemic species of plants
Discover rare and endemic species of plants
Swim at a secret beach
Swim at a secret beach
Go fishing with local fishers
Go fishing with local fishers

Where does GVI work in Seychelles?

Our hub is located on the island of Mahe, situated in the Cap Ternay region which borders the Morne Seychellois National Park and the Baie Ternay Marine Protected Area.

From here we run a number of marine conservation projects with a focus on protecting biodiversity through restoring habitats and monitoring the health of coral reefs and endangered species. Based in a marine protected area filled with an abundance of marine life, such as tropical fish, rays, dolphins and sharks, you’ll spend your days scuba-diving while contributing to marine research and conservation initiatives. You’ll also have the chance to gain advanced diving qualifications, including your PADI Advanced Open Water and the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty.

What kind of volunteer opportunities does GVI offer in Seychelles?

GVI offers a range of opportunities for volunteering in Seychelles. On our climate change and coral bleaching program, you’ll assist researchers in monitoring specific dive sites for coral reef recovery, participate in coral rehabilitation initiatives, and learn about coral bleaching and efforts to limit its damage. Participants on our marine conservation expedition program contribute to marine species research, conservation-related surveys, data collection for the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority and local government, marine plastic pollution cleanups, and environmental education awareness. 

Along with our volunteer programs, GVI also offers the following internship, apprenticeship and research fellowship programs in Seychelles:


What to expect when you volunteer in Seychelles

GVI Seychelles alum Leigh-Anne Webster wrote about her experience volunteering in Seychelles. If you’re wondering what life on a volunteer program in Seychelles looks like, read on!

About Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 tropical islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 1,500 kilometres off East Africa. Seychelles is the tropical island paradise many dream of, with its dramatic lush green landscape, a vibrant culture, and a rich flora and fauna both above and below the water. 

The capital of Victoria is your main centre point on the island of Mahe, and you can easily explore this beautiful island by public transport or private vehicle.

Diving in Seychelles

The abundance of wildlife and ecological diversity is phenomenal, which makes a conservation volunteering adventure in Seychelles ideal. This also makes scuba-diving in Seychelles one of many great choices of activities – you can do this during your volunteering project or in your free time! Some of the best diving in Seychelles is around the main island at Baie Ternay Marine National Park.

GVI’s partner in Seychelles

Baie Ternay Marine National Park is one of the primary areas that has been affected by coral bleaching over the years. This site is protected by the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (SPGA), one of GVI’s partners in conservation in Seychelles. It is currently undergoing strong rehabilitation efforts to try to rebuild and regrow a healthier, thriving marine environment.

Hub info

When you volunteer in Seychelles, you’ll be based at GVI’s hub in Cap Ternay – which is located on the main Island of Mahe, close to the Baie Ternay Marine National Park. This is where you’ll work on projects related to volunteering in marine conservation in Seychelles, and can gain your PADI Advanced Open Water all the way up to your Divemaster!

If you’re looking to jump into the conservation industry, this the perfect opportunity to begin your journey.

What to expect

Life on base is exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. This is a normal feeling – you have just arrived at your new home for the next while!

You will arrive at Cap Ternay base in what looks to be a completely isolated area surrounded by jungle and green palm trees – this area is not really open to the public, but you might encounter the occasional tourist.

On arrival you’ll have a meeting with the other volunteers and staff members. They’ll show you around and allow you to take in the tropical atmosphere before getting started on the exciting work you will be doing over the coming week or months!

Accommodation on base

Rooms on base are basic dormitory style (mixed males and females). There are three dorm rooms for volunteers on Cap Ternay, each with around 10 single beds. There are male and female bathrooms with cold water showers, which believe it or not is very much welcomed after a hot day in this tropical climate!

The hub is very active on environmental awareness (as is most of Seychelles). Keeping up with the recycling is part of daily duties that every volunteer will partake in, this is usually split into groups and duties will consist of kitchen duties, grounds duties, tank duties, boat duties etc.

Life on base

Base life is a very relaxed environment. In your free time you can hang around relaxing and reading in a hammock, or you can take a walk to the beach or to the nearby resort. Daylight hours are pretty minimal in Seychelles with it being so close to the equator, but after a long day of scuba-diving or carrying out on-land field work, studying or maybe taking a stroll up the local Mount Matoopa, an early night is really appreciated.

Your work week will typically run from Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as your weekends. Working days are typically from 6am till around 4pm, dependent on current studies and weather conditions. We end off the working week with a BBQ night – which is a great way to break the ice and get to know everybody. 

Food on base is varied but mostly vegetarian. Meals are usually rice or pasta based, and meat is usually offered as a treat once a week. Breakfast consists of porridge oats and fresh fruit. Other foods and drinks available are fruit, tea, coffee and water which is drinkable from the tap on base. There are shops available for those extra little treats you require.

Weekends are your free time

Spend it with a backpack on, exploring the island searching for hidden beaches and spotting giant tortoises along the way. There is even a small mountain to climb! The closest island to base is Praslin which is around 10 minutes away via boat. From here you can also catch a ferry to explore nearby islands, such as La Digue to learn more about the Seychellois culture and enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Most people get around on push bikes, so you can hop on your bike and explore Grand Anse – voted by CNN as the best beach in the world – or visit one of the most photographed beaches in the world, Anse Source d’Argent. You can also visit Veuve Nature Reserve home to the rare and endemic black paradise flycatcher bird. No matter which island you chose to spend your weekend on, you’ll be guaranteed beautiful beaches and incredible tropical wildlife!

Local costs

Costs in Seychelles can vary. The local currency is the Seychellois rupee, but they do accept US dollars and euros if you forget to change your money. We always recommend using the local currency. Cash machines are widely used in most areas on the main island.

Local produce in Seychelles is mostly excellent value for money. If you are looking for food or beverages, your best place to go would be the local markets – these are usually held weekly and found in the capital of Victoria. Supermarkets can be extremely overpriced on certain items, especially if they are imported.

Transport in and around Mahe Island is cheap – the bus fare is reasonably priced and probably the most cost effective way of getting around the island. Car hire is also available at relatively low prices, but transport to the outer islands can be very expensive.

Off-base accommodation

Seychelles has many varieties of accommodation to choose from, some of which start at a very reasonable price. They vary from basic chalets on the beach to the top exclusive five-star resorts. If you are looking for good value accommodation, be sure to book well in advance. Here are a couple that are very popular and good value in Beau Vallon, which is the main tourist area. Beau Vallon is also the GVI drop off/pick up point so a convenient place to stay before or after your trip.

  • Georgina’s Cottage: This is right on the beach and a great walking distance of restaurants and shops. Great service and great hosts!
  • Beau Vallon Bungalows: This is also in very close proximity to Georgina’s Cottage, great walking distance of all amenities.


Highlights/top tips

  • Scuba-diving and snorkelling. Some of my own personal highlights from my volunteer work were scuba-diving and snorkelling. I would strongly recommend snorkelling while you’re in Seychelles as the crystal blue waters are exactly as you see in the pictures! Diving is not the cheapest but it’s reasonable – do your own research on top dive destinations and dive schools. If you choose to do a project with GVI, your hub manager should be able to suggest who is good to go with. My personal suggestion would be the Underwater Centre in Beau Vallon, but you also have many more to choose from in this area.
  • Beautiful beaches! Baie Ternay Marine National Park is one of the best, and Police Bay and Port Launay are just a few of the many beautiful beaches on the main island. To drive around the whole island would take 2–3 hours. It can be easily done and you will see most of the coastline. For the outer islands, Bird Island, La Digue and Praslin are some of my top choices. Praslin is famed for its spectacular coco de mer forest, and this in itself is probably worth the visit.
  • Trekking through forests, seeing spectacular viewpoints, visiting tea plantations, going to local markets, enjoying Seychellois culture at local festivals and many more, but I will leave some to the imagination! The rest is up to you and how you create your own adventure while volunteering in Seychelles!


Useful information

While you’re in Seychelles, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Health: I suggest travelling a couple of days before and after the project has finished because jet lag and heat can be tough, especially in certain seasons. It is hot all year round so look after your health, especially when diving. Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated more than usual.
  • Daylight hours: When you volunteer in Seychelles with, try not to be out after dark. Although Seychelles is mostly a very safe place, it’s not worth the risk of being out alone at night by yourself so rather travel in a group. 
  • Bugs: Insects are a part of this tropical climate, so make sure you bring your mosquito net and insect repellent. Remember nothing DEET-based – only natural products such as citronella are allowed.
  • Mobile use abroad: Seychelles have cheap and reliable pay-as-you-go SIM cards which are the most cost-effective way to stay in touch while you are away, but make sure your phone is unlocked. Alternatively you can buy a cheap phone to use if you are staying on the island for a couple of months or more. These are best purchased in Victoria before arriving on base. You can also find them in some shops in Beau Vallon.


Join us!

Overall, Seychelles is a spectacular place to visit. To be able to do a volunteer program, internship or work placement here is an opportunity not many will have. We will give you support and guidance all the way through your program – we’re happy to help however we can. The work the teams have carried out over the years has made a dramatic impact, and the goal is to keep this going for many more years to come. We just need more people like you who are willing to help! There isn’t a better place to do something so meaningful than in the tropical paradise that is Seychelles.