Whale Shark Conservation in the Maldives

Company : The Great Projects
Location : Maldives
Duration: 2 weeks to 4 weeks
Approx Costs: 1500 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

Help in marine conservation of the world's largest fish - the magnificent whale shark!

Situated in the stunning island paradise of Dhigurah Island in the Maldives, this is a fantastic project offering volunteers the chance to get up close and personal with the world's largest fish – the magnificent whale shark.

Volunteers here will spend much of their time out at sea, keeping their eyes peeled for the distinctive shapes of these graceful giants. Once spotted, volunteers will then get the chance to enter the water with these magnificent creatures, measuring the sharks from head to tail and recording data via photo ID and written logs.


Day 1
Arrival into Male's Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (preferably in the early morning or early afternoon to make the transfer). From here there is a domestic flight to Maamigili Island. Upon arrival at Maagmigili, volunteers are met by staff from the project accommodation, and then accompanied via speedboat to Dhigurah Island.

Day 2-6
After an initial briefing on the first day, project work begins. Volunteers head out to sea keeping their eyes peeled for the world’s biggest fish! Activities will depend on the day and on weather conditions out at sea. On day 6(Fridays) volunteers are free from midday onwards.

Day 7
Today is a day off from project work, and there are the options to scuba dive or snorkel out on Dhigurah Island, or just kick back and relax!

Day 8-13
After a day off these next 6 days are spent with you continuing with the project work. Marine research of whale sharks will remain a key part of the work during this period - plenty more time in the water with these gentle giants then!

Day 14
Unfortunately, today is your final day on this incredible once in a lifetime experience. Volunteers will fly back to Male in order to catch their return flight home or continue with onward travel.

Project Activities

On this project you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.

Marine Research
This is the principal activity volunteers will be involved in. You will be able to spend all day out at sea trying to spot inconspicuous shapes of the graceful whale shark. You will also log any sightings of other marine animals including turtles, dolphins, reef sharks and even manta rays! When the whale shark is spotted you will be able to get into the water diving with whale sharks to take photos, measure and sex these fascinating creatures.

Data Entry
You will need to collate all of the collected data and Maldives whale shark encounters that are logged whilst out at sea. After this data has been extrapolated, you will then input this into an extensive database which will help to log and identify the individual sharks.

Local Community Work
Your role whilst on Dhigurah Island, aside from helping to identify the individual whale sharks, is also to improve the local communities' knowledge and understanding of these beautiful creatures and the marine protected area in which they reside.

Scuba Diving
As a volunteer on this project, there will be a chance to explore surroundings and involved in a range of activities offered which include scuba diving and snorkelling. Please note that these activities will NOT be included within the price of the project. Scuba diving in the Maldives is around U$100 per dive, so make sure that you have enough funds to cover this should you want to dive.

Beach Clean
Ups Rubbish is a major problem in the Maldives, so volunteers will be involved with regular beach sweeps. This makes a big difference to everybody on the island, so there will often be half day beach cleans.

Start Dates

Set dates - please enquire for details.

Costs / Benefits

Prices from £1,603

What's included in the price of the project?
• Accommodation
• Three Meals Per Day
• Daily Return Boat Transfers to and from the project site
• All project activities

What's not included?
• International and Domestic Flights
• Travel Insurance
• Soft Drinks and Extra Snacks
• Any extra activities undertaken on your days off (for example scuba diving which is around U$100 per dive).

You will need to take a domestic flight from Malé to Maamigili Island, where you will be transferred via speedboat to the project base in Dhigurah Island. This flight is not included in the price of the project, but the necessary speedboat transfers are included in the price of the flight which is around £250.


The project involves a lot of open ocean swimming, so you will have to be fit enough (and a strong enough swimmer) to cope with this! Those that struggle with swimming are not advised to join this project - we advise that you must be able to swim around 200 metres comfortably in order to join this project. You will also be diving with whale sharks on this project so you must be comfortable holding your breath underwater.
No specific skills or experience are required, only a positive attitude, an ability to work in a team, and a strong set of swimming skills!

Booking / Enquiry

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