4 Week Sri Lanka Wildlife & Conservation Experience

Starting in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy, you will explore the lush green hills and learn about the local culture. For the last 3 weeks you have a choice between volunteering at the elephant or turtle program and enjoying a beach week or mind and body week. This will be an adventurous 4 weeks!

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WHY
we need you in Sri Lanka

  • Around 45% of the popualtion in Sri Lanka live on less than $5 a day.
  • Many poor families lack access to quality education, leading to higher levels of unemployment.
  • Poverty is seen in in affluent areas as well as in rural areas. 85% of poor families live in rural areas.
  • Around 21% of the popualtion in Sri Lanka is malnourished, with 17.3% of children having stunted growth.
  • Women are usually not financially independant from their husbands, their main roles being to look after the family, clean and cook.

markets in Sri lanka

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WHAT
Does Sri Lanka Experience Involve?

  • Explore some of Sri Lanka’s highlights, before or after your project
  • Work on our turtle conservation project right on the beach!
  • Take part in kayaking, rafting, trekking, swimming in waterfalls, temple visits, cultural dance shows and much more!
  • Visit the famous Sigiriya Rock, and watch the sunrise over Pidurangala

beach Ambalangoda - Sri Lanka

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Organisation & Charity
  • Over 30 Years Expertise Globally
  • Low Program Fees – From US$295
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee – Multiple Countries

Project Description

  PROJECT NAME: 4 WEEK WILDLIFE & CONSERVATION EXPERIENCE

LOCATION: KANDY, HILL COUNTRY & AMBALANGODA

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)

  ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)

  MIN DURATION: 4 WEEKS

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A

group of IVI volunteers on beach in Sri Lanka
dhambula rock sri lanka
IVI group in front of sigiriya rock
group on 4 week experience with IVI volunteers
group on Sri Lanka experience
turtle conservation on 4 week experience
big turtle on Sri Lanka experience
volleyball net on beach in Ambalangoda
temple in Sri Lanka
IVI volunteers in Sri lanka
Srilanka turtle conservation
volunteer tours asia
practice yoga abroad
Cultural dance show
fields in Sri Lanka

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Overview

Prepare for a 4 week adventure of travelling around beautiful Sri Lanka, visiting popular attractions, experiencing once in a lifetime experiences, admiring stunning views and discovering the local culture. We visit the highlights of the country and you even get to choose how you spend your time here!

The first week is mandatory and will introduce you to Sri Lankan culture, traditions, cuisine and local language. During your second and third weeks, you have the choice between a trekking week, a mind and body week, or the elephant experience program. During your fourth week, you have a choice between enjoying a beach week or a week working at our turtle conservation program in Ambalangoda (check the schedule in the FAQ dropdown section below).

Location

Kandy, is an amazing destination high up in the hills approx 3 hours drive from Colombo with incredible views, dense forests and a buzzy atmosphere with locals and tourists. Kandy is the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and is famous for it’s culture and temples such as Temple of the Tooth and plenty of others. The city has bustling markets with all kinds of interesting and diverse goods and services from unique handicrafts, exotic foods, arts, music and dance. Kandy has a really cool vibe and is somewhere you can happily explore for an extended period of time.

Ambalangoda, the beach town close to Galle in the southern province is a known as a Buddhist city and is a working class area not known for tourism despite having beautiful beaches! Plantations of low country tea, cocount, cinnamon and rubber are common. The area is also known for puppet shows, moonstone, antique furniture and devil dancing. This town is where you can participate in the turtle conservation project and beach week.

Project Tasks

  • To explore the highlights of Sri Lanka 
  • Take part in our wildlife conservation projects
  • Learn more about the local culture

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is included for the duration of your volunteer program. The volunteer houses in Kandy & Ambalangoda are conveniently located around a 15 min walk to the nearest supermarket and ATM. The house in Ambalangoda is right by the beach! You’ll share rooms with 4-10 other volunteers of the same gender with a shared toilet per room. A fridge, safety deposit boxes, lockable rooms, hot showers, bed linen and fan are included with volunteers expected to bring their own towel. Laundry facilities are available at a small fee. The centres do not have Wi-Fi. Most volunteers will purchase a local data plan and connect this to their personal devices.

3 meals per day are provided during weekdays and 2 meals per day on weekends. Safe filtered drinking water is provided along with tea and coffee. You can expect meals with rice, coconut, spices, roti, lots of vegetables & sparing amounts of meat. 

stairs to the ground floor from outside (Kandy)
Kandy Accomodation
Side view of the house (Kandy)
Kandy Accomodation
bunk beds
Kandy Accomodation
shower
Kandy Accomodation
Ground floor living area (Kandy)
Kandy Accomodation
_at the front gate (Kandy)
Kandy Accomodation
accomodation in Amblangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation
accomodation in Amblangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation
accomodation in Amblangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation
accomodation in Amblangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation
accomodation in Amblangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation
eating dinner at accomodation in Amabalangoda
Ambalangoda Accomodation

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fees

Experience
Projects

– 4 Week Wildlife & Conservation


All prices in USD

  • 1 Month – $1495

Vol House

What’s Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

– US$275 application fee applies in addition to program fees
– Application fee is one off per person (unlimited placements)
Click Here to convert the below prices to your local currency
– Discounts may apply if travelling in a pair or group!
– All credit card /international fees included in below pricing! 🙂

Testimonials…

“My part as a participant was to help teach life skills or some academic lessons in the mornings, feed lunch to some of the more severely physically disabled, and partake in a hands on fun game in the afternoon that varied by day.”
Michelle
MichelleSri Lanka Special Needs Project
“The highlight of Sri Lanka was definitely the team; the drivers, coordinators, managers, chef, cleaners – everyone was so helpful and lovely. Everything felt very well organised and I felt very comfortable to talk about anything with them.”
Heidi
HeidiSri Lanka Kindergarten Project
“Being with those women and girls made my heart feel full and I went home with a new understanding of what love and hope mean to me. I encourage anyone who has a sort of travel bug eating at them to come here! It will be an experience you’ll never forget for all the laughter, friendship and beauty!”
Arden
ArdenSri Lanka Special Needs Project
“I did two weeks of temple renovation which was great and the food was so good. Between these two weeks I went to Yala park where I saw leopards, elephants, buffalos, peacocks and crocodiles.”
Mary Victoria
Mary VictoriaSri Lanka Temple Restoration Project
“The Community Project was by far the most meaningful to us both as the help is really needed and is also appreciated by both the workers and the girls. The day begins at 8.45 am with the meditation until 9, then we split into separate groups for classes and this really gives you a chance to get to know the girls and their personalities.”
Ella and Daniela
Ella and DanielaSri Lanka Community Project
“The monks were really lovely and I loved teaching them because they were so smart and we could tell that they really wanted to learn. Also they taught us so much and it was really nice to get an insight on the lives of the monks in the temple.”
Millie
MillieSri Lanka Monk Teaching Project
“My favorite thing was that baby turtles hatched while I was there and returning them to the ocean was a life-changing experience I was able to witness twice. Also living and working directly at the beach was the best and most of my free time I was spending there. Ambalangoda is such a nice place and I can’t recommend going there enough!”
Millie
MillieSri Lanka Turtle Conservation Project
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FAQ

4 Week Schedule

Week 1

Monday

  • Welcome meeting, introduction to the projects and collection of documents
  • Language Lesson followed by Lunch
  • Lesson on the local culture, do’s and don’ts, etc
  • Tour around Kandy City
  • Cultural Dance Show

Tuesday

  • Trip to spice and medicinal garden, tea factory, and the gem museum
  • Boat ride at the Kandy Lake

Wednesday

  • Sri Lankan cooking lesson, self-defence class and Buddhism (meditation) lesson

Thursday

  • Early morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth, visit to a batik factory and a wood carving factory

Friday

  • Visit to a temple in a small forest and then a Hindu temple visit
  • Indian lunch in the city and enjoy a soothing ayurvedic massage

Week 2 and Week 3

Monday to Friday

During weeks 2 and 3, you can choose between participating in the Trekking week, Elephant Experience or Body & Mind week.

If you choose trekking:

  • Short introduction into the week’s activities.
  • Climb up the popular Sigiriya Rock (Lion Rock) for a stunning panoramic view
  • A three-temple loop through the scenic local villages to visit three historic temples (over 700 years old)
  • Visit to the oldest tea plantation in Sri Lanka
  • Hike to the Riverstone mountain
  • Travel to the Ambuluwawa Hills for a trek to beautiful views,
  • A trip to the Royal Botanical gardens.

If you choose Body and Mind:

  • Early Morning Yoga on some of the days
  • Breakfast
  • Meditation
  • Varying massages
  • Meditation – Walking meditation
  • Lunch and a relaxed afternoon

If you choose Elephant Experience:

Volunteer at our elephant conservation project. Before the day visitors start pouring in, prepare for an early start to feed and bathe the elephants. Bath time is in the river is a fun experience both for you and the elephants! Join in with the mahouts, who are very friendly and will make sure you have the best experience.

Your work will vary during the afternoon. Sometimes, you will have the opportunity to help children with their studies or head out on an excursion.

The majority of activities you will be doing throughout the day will be:

  • Feeding the elephants
  • Cleaning the elephants
  • Cleaning the elephant enclosures

Week 4

Monday to Friday

This week you also have a choice between 2 activities. You can pick between the Beach week (and exploring the surrounds of Ambalangoda or you can volunteer at our turtle conservation project.

If you choose the beach week:

  • Go on a River Safari, see Sri Lanka’s jungle flora and fauna up close and personal
  • Relax at the beach or organize any activity you would like
  • Explore Ambalangoda’s important temples, visit sleeping the Buddha statue
  • Visit the pretty city of Galle, known for its old fort and stone walls
  • Visit the Tsunami Museum and a natural silk factory.
  • Visit to the Moonstone mine, where you will be shown how they cut and shape the precious stones
  • Take a walk to a waterfall where you can relax and swim in the refreshing water (tea and snacks will be nearby)

If you choose turtle conservation week

Be a part of the Turtle Conservation project by working alongside other volunteers at the local turtle centre. You will be working from 9:30am, helping to feed and clean the turtles and the tanks. From 12:00 to 14:00pm you have a break and then work again from 14:00 until 15:30pm.

The activities may change according to the beach weather conditions at the time and due and to the number of volunteers. This project requires hard work and willingness to help with the cleaning of the turtles, tanks and the conservation centre. It is vital that these incredible animals have clean and hygienic living environments. Your typical daily activities will be:

  • Feeding the turtles (every other day)
  • Cleaning the tanks
  • Cleaning the turtles
  • Cleaning the beach
  • Helping with the weekly release of over 100 baby hatchlings into the ocean (depending on season and the weather).

Is the 4 Week Conservation Experience in Sri Lanka Right for Me?

This is the perfect opportunity to make friends with your fellow volunteers before your project starts, or as a sightseeing experience after your project ends. If you love being outdoors and adventurous, you will love this 4 week adventure. Working on one of our animal conservation projects is also a great way to give back to gain a deeper travel experience!

What’s Included in the Volunteer Fees

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion

What’s Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money

Arrival Information

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Bandaranayake International Airport (CMB). You must arrive between the hours 05:00 to 21:00 on Sunday.

If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.

If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.  

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From the airport to the Kandy accommodation, it takes around 3-4 hours by road and to the Ambalangoda accommodation, around 3 hours.  

What Happens on Weekends?

Here are a few things you can do in Sri Lanka!

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are situated around 5. km to the West of Kandy. Once being only for the Kandyan royalty, they are now open to the public to wander around at their leisure. There’s 60 hectares of beautiful garden to explore, where you will see a huge Javan fig tree, pretty orchids and even monkeys!

Knuckles mountain range

This stunning mountain range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosts many walking trails. You will find small villages, beautiful waterfalls, numerous native wildlife and rice fields. This is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and adventurous hiking trails.

Sigiriya (Lion Rock)

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this ancient rock is situated around 91km North from Kandy and is very popular with tourists, who can climb up to the top for some seriously stunning views. Along the way you will see antient rock carvings and paintings on the walls of this sacred rock. It will take roughly just over an hour to climb up.

Yala National Park

Located on the South coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning park hosts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Not only that, you can also spot elephants, monkeys, birds, buffalo and more. There are numerous tours in Yala, from day tours to over several days of safari.

Adam’s Peak

Around 91km South of Kandy you can climb to the top of this sacred sight, just as the locals do for pilgrimage. It’s a bit of a trek up in the dark but totally worth it to see the sun coming up over the clouds, mountains and lush forest. You will be greeted by stunning views to reward your efforts!

Hortons Plains National Park

You can trek through this beautiful national park to ‘World’s End’, a 9.5km round loop trail, taking around 3 hours. This is a pretty easy walk, but you will be greeted with amazing views out over the countryside and above the clouds! It’s best to visit here early (before 10am) as the clouds can roll in after that and block the incredible views.

Udawatta Kele Reserve

Situated near the Kandy lake, this nature reserve is complete with monkeys and birds- fantastic for wildlife and nature lovers. Here you will find wooded forests, over 400 species of plants and 70 bird species. You can trek through the forest for a relaxing break away from the city.

Tea Plantations

Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are both popular places to visit a tea plantation, for a refreshing taste of some of Sri Lanka’s best fresh tea! Not only do they produce great tea, the landscape is stunningly green, with endless hills rolling off into the distance.

Are There Any Special Requirements?

Additional Requirements

  • Volunteers below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Volunteers above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment

  • Shoes and clothing suitable for hiking
  • Towel
  • Blanket
  • Insect repellent
  • Dry clothes and swimming suits
  • Sun cream

Country Information

With a population of 20 million, the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka, formally known as Ceylon is a tear drop shaped island off the south eastern coast of India. Steeped in over 2000 years of history, the culture is unique to Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.

Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people” is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.  

Sri Lanka has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and given it’s size it’s easy to experience them all in a short period of time. From the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, to the colonial architecture of Colombo, to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, to lush natural forest, picturesque cities, thousand year old temples, and ancient civilation ruins there are really so many reasons to visit this amazing land.  

Climate

Sri lanka has a tropical climate with distinctive wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary and it can get much cooler in the mountains than it can on the beach.

On average temperatures in Sri Lanka vary from 28- 32 degrees, but in the mountain regions this can go to as low as 16 degrees. 

From mid-April to September the Southwest moonsoon rains come, affecting the West, Southwest coastline and the Hill Country. On the East coast, the monsoon rains start from November to March but are not quite as severe. 

December to March are the best months to visit the West or South coastline and the Hill Country. For the East coast or the North, the best time to visit is from April to September. 

What’s the Culture Like in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka and known for it’s export of tea, holistic medicines, cinnamon and gemstones including a unique blend of music, dance and visual arts.

Colinised by the British, Dutch and Portugese, there is a multi-culturalism with distinct Sri Lankan flair that feels similar to India, only a whole lot more chilled out! Sri Lanka is predominently buddhist (approx 80%) with some Hindu, Muslim and Christianity.  

There are many festivals in Sri Lanka. Here are the dates for some of them!

  • January: Duruthu
    Celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dances, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.
  • April 13th or 14th: Avurudda (New Year)
    Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year in Sri Lanka. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).
  • June: Poson Festival
    Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
  • October or November: Diwali (Festival of Lights)
    Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. 

About Involvement Volunteers International

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality. 

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options 

See More

Weekends & Extra Tours

Sigiriya rock is a temple complex, situated inside and around a giant roack. You can climb to the top, seeing statues and carvings along the way, to reach a stunning viewpiont!
Sigiriya Rock
Sigiriya RockSri Lanka
There are plenty of treks you can do around Sri Lanka, to reach some beautiful views. Check out the Hill country for incredible scenery.
Trekking
TrekkingSri Lanka
Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful beaches. You can easily find a secluded beach all to yourself! If you like a bit more atmosphere then the beach at Hiikaduwa is perfect for backpackers with plenty of good nightlife.
The Beach!
The Beach!Sri Lanka
Located on the South coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning park hosts one of the highest leopard densities in the world. Not only that, you can also spot elephants, monkeys, birds, buffalo and more!
Yala National Park
Yala National ParkSri Lanka
From Kandy to Ella is one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. It will take you through beautiful hill country, and you can stop off at Nuwara Eliya along the way!
Train Ride
Train RideSri Lanka
World’s End is situated near Kandy. It’s a fairly easy walk but one which will take you to the most stunning views over the mountains! Adams peak is another good one too!
Worlds End
Worlds EndSri Lanka
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NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info


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