Projects Abroad | Media & Journalism

Costa Rica: Wildlife Photography & Conservation Awareness

Tortguero National Park, Costa Rica

Description

Location: Tortguero National Park, Costa Rica

Duration: 2-12 weeks commitment

Start Dates: Project starts on a Saturday with set start dates throughout the year. Check with us when applying.

Cost: from £1,495 for 2 weeks. Check the Costs tab for further information.

Includes: All food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations

Benefits:

  • 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.

Approximate schedule – Wake up 5/6am, 1st survey 6-10am, lunch, 2nd survey 1-4pm, dinner, bed by 9pm. Nighttime turtle patrols are 8/9pm-2am (they would have the morning off the following day!). You will go out on 1 or 2 surveys per day and get training on all species and surveys.

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Travel & Accom.

Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) rooms with a private bathroom. Large bedrooms with 6-10 people in each room. There is running water available for cooking and showers. Flush toilet facilities are available, and you will share house duties, including cleaning and other chores. large balcony and big patio in the garden which is used as communal space.

Food is very basic, and most volunteers will prepare their own breakfasts, usually toast and cereals, and packed lunches to eat at the project site. You will be split into teams to prepare the evening meal on a rotational basis, which is loads of fun, but also encourages team building. All dietary requirements will be catered for accordingly.

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.

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.

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Costs

Duration Price
2 weeks £1,495
4 weeks £1,995
6 weeks £2,495
8 weeks £3,045
10 weeks £3,545
12 weeks £4,095

* 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;

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation
  • In-country support
  • All project activities.
What’s not included:
  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations

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