Volunteer in Malaysia

Contribute to the protection of endangered sea turtles in Malaysia.

With soft white sands, warm blue waters and lush green jungles, the Perhentian Islands are recognised as some of the most beautiful in Malaysia. Dive into a world of wonder and excitement as you contribute to the conservation of endangered sea turtles in this protected marine reserve. Gain a deeper understanding of marine conservation while championing sustainable tourism and helping  preserve the ocean’s delicate ecosystems.

Overview

It’s hard to capture the beauty of the Perhentian Islands in just one word. “Paradise” is a good place to start. Known for their pristine beaches, picture-perfect sunsets, clear waters teeming with colourful marine life and tropical jungles which are home to exotic animals, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this popular destination.   

Immerse yourself in the local culture as you live among and work with members of the Malay community to protect endangered sea turtles. Here you will find our program partner’s successful hatchery project which has been instrumental in the safeguarding and release of thousands of turtle hatchlings. 

Visit the Fishing Village on Perhentian Kecil where you can indulge in traditional cuisine. Or take a hike to the wind turbines where you will see the islands from a whole new perspective atop a lush hill. 

The crystal clear waters of the Perhentian Islands  present the perfect opportunity for snorkelling and free diving. Jungle trekking is another activity that should be high up on your list – the islands offer several popular paths for visitors to explore.

Our programs

Volunteering
Volunteer with Turtles in Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
Location

The Perhentian Islands are a small group of islands situated in Besut District, Terengganu, Malaysia. There are two main islands, Perehentian Besar (big island) and Perhentian Kecil (small island), with smaller uninhabited islands nearby.  The closest city is Kuala Besut, a hub for island transfers.

The islands form part of the Pulau Redang National Marine Park, whose goal is to protect, conserve and manage the delicate ocean ecosystems and the animals who call it home. 

Beneath the surface of these protected waters lie pristine coral reefs – a playground for diverse marine species like sea turtles, barracudas, clown fish, rays and sharks. 

Stepping away from the beaches, visitors also have access to vast jungles that offer peaceful escapes with possible sightings of exotic animals like the elusive colugas, monitor lizards and monkeys. 

Travelling from one island to the other can easily be done by boat. Each location offers captivating scenery with an abundance of unique activities.

Programs

We offer one GVI program in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. Our turtle conservation program gives participants the opportunity to work closely with sea turtles, observing them and collecting data which will be used to support long-term conservation efforts. 

Participants will take part in a range of activities which includes travelling by kayak to seagrass beds where feeding turtles are photographed in their natural habitat. On Tiga Ruang beach, night patrols will ensure the safety of hatchlings as volunteers collect nesting turtle information, relocate eggs to the hatchery and assist with the release of hatchlings where needed. 

What sets this program apart is the unique opportunity for participants to be completely immersed in local Malay culture. There’s plenty of time to engage with community members, explore surrounding villages and enjoy traditional foods cooked with locally sourced ingredients.

FAQs

What languages are spoken in Malaysia?

The official language in Malaysia is Malaysian Malay. Other languages spoken include English, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Thai and various Chinese dialects.

What is the weather like?

Malaysia is a hot and humid country all year round. The warm seasons start from March and last until September with occasional heavy rain in the evening. Temperatures during the day hover around 30 °C during the day and around 25 °C at night. Monsoon season is usually from late October to early February with daily rain. During peak monsoon season this project will be closed (October-March). 

How can I stay in touch with people back home?

Wi-Fi is only available at the turtle project house/office in the village where the project team is based. You can purchase a local SIM card at the main airport upon arrival or at one of the local outlets. CELCOM or MAXIS-Hotlink have the best coverage for the islands. 

Where can I do my laundry?

There is a washing machine at the project house or a paid laundry service in the village. 

What payment methods are available on the island?

Cash only. There are no ATMs or cards accepted on the island.