Projects Abroad | Media & Journalism

Costa Rica: Wildlife Photography & Conservation Awareness

Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Description

Location: Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Duration: 1-12 weeks commitment.

Start Dates: Weekly project starts on a Saturday.

Price: from £1,945 for 1 week. Check the Prices tab for further information.

Includes: All food, accommodation, airport pickup, pre-departure orientation and training, and all project related activities.

Does not include: Flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations.

Highlights:

  • Develop your wildlife photography skills in a living, transformative environment.
  • Contribute to conservation efforts in a Costa Rican national park in an area not open to tourists.
  • Gain an understanding of a unique coastal rainforest ecosystem in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.
  • Learning more about bird species, sea turtles, monkeys, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Visit an incredibly jaguar-dense area and one of the only locations in the world where jaguars are known to prey on adult sea turtles.
  • Gaining practical conservation research experience.
  • Explore nearby parks and take part in adventure activities during your free time.
  • Make new friends from all over the world who share your passion for conservation.
Costs Explained

Introduction

Develop your wildlife photography skills in a Costa Rican jungle environment. Gain an in-depth understanding into the ecology and unique species, like jaguars and green sea turtles, that call Tortuguero National Park home while contributing to their preservation. Take note of bird, reptile and amphibian species, among others, while on a forest trail hike or while canoeing down the many canals in this protected area.

All conservation work is done at the invitation and in partnership with leading local and international conservation organisations like the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), Panthera, Coastal Jaguar Conservation, and the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Daily Life

Develop your wildlife photography skills in a Costa Rican jungle environment. Gain an in-depth understanding into the ecology and unique species, like jaguars and green sea turtles, that call Tortuguero National Park home while contributing to their preservation. Take note of bird, reptile and amphibian species, among others, while on a forest trail hike or while canoeing down the many canals in this protected area. The focus on wildlife photography is integrated into the day to day wildlife conservation activities.

You can expect to get involved in:

  • Jaguars feeding behaviour and population studies including a 15 mile survey on the beach (once a week) to monitor the number of predated sea turtles and the use of camera traps to ID jaguars and monitor their feeding patterns. Seasonal Feb to Nov.
  • Also scats (faeces) gathering in order to study and genetic studies.
  • Marine turtle (seasonal end of march to October) conservation using a international protocol to ID nesting greens, leatherbacks (March to June) and some hawksbills.
  • Tropical species surveying and identification techniques which will be comprised of surveys in the forest focusing on the whole biodiversity of the area (amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles).
  • Data recording and Input, volunteers will assist in inputting the data collected on surveys into the projects databases.
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Travel & Accommodation

Accommodation & Food:

You will be living with the other volunteers in shared accommodation. You will  have a shared (same gender) room with an en-suite bathroom. Participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. A large balcony and big patio in the garden is used as communal space for relaxing and socialising.

All meals are provided on project. Participants take it in turns to prepare meals for the group as a whole, which is all part of living on a GVI base. All dietary requirements can be accommodated. 

The base is remote and only accessible by boat, the base runs on solar panels but if weather is bad then sometimes it is not enough to charge everybody’s phones & cameras, so volunteers need to be prepared to have little or no charge on their devices should the weather be bad.

There is no electricity in the volunteer huts. It is very important that you bring backpack style bags as you will need to carry your own luggage to base.

Health & Hygiene:

The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols.

Travel:

Local field staff are a great source of information for sightseeing activities. Weekends are free for you to explore the beautiful sight, the possibilities are endless! 

Fundraising Help

Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Be keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Minimum 2 weeks commitment
  • CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
  • Signed medical form
  • Good English skills
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Placement Support Package.

You will need to apply at least 6 weeks in advance in order to have enough time to apply for the relevant permits to work in the National Park.

Premium Support Upgrade

Prices

  • 1 week – £1,945
  • 2 weeks – £2,295
  • 3 weeks – £2,595
  • 4 weeks – £2,845
  • 5 weeks – £3,195
  • 6 weeks – £3,445
  • 7 weeks – £3,795
  • 8 weeks – £4,045
  • 9 weeks – £4,345
  • 10 weeks – £4,645
  • 11 weeks – £4,945
  • 12 weeks – £5,195

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com

** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 20% deposit.

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes;

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Online program training before program start date:
    • Pre-Departure Orientation (1 Hour)
    • Program Specific Training (1-5 Hours)
    • OPTIONAL: Wildlife Conservation Online Course (10-15 Hours)

What’s not included:

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate


Past Participants Say

Thijs Claes
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I had planned to visit and experience the famed wildlife of Costa Rica. Little did I know I embarked on a two and a half year long lasting adventure. I returned culturally enriched, with hundreds of amazing wildlife experiences, professional qualifications and a brighter future. The atmosphere in Jalova has been more stimulating and educationally m...
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