Location: Caqalai Island, Fiji
Duration: 2-12 weeks commitment
Start Dates: Weekly project starts on a Saturday.
Price: from £2,645 for 2 weeks. 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.
- Contribute to coral reef recovery research, learn about threats to coral reefs, and contribute to protecting Fiji’s marine resources.
- Complete GVI & PADI’s unique qualification, the PADI Coral Reef Research Speciality.
- Submerge yourself in the warm turquoise waters of the South Pacific and witnessing the spectacle of underwater life in this tropical region while honing your diving skills.
- Stay, for the entire duration of your program, on the tiny, picturesque island of Caqalai, only 14 acres in size.
- Live and work with a team of marine conservation and diving experts as well as international participants from all over the world.
- Immerse yourself in the Fijian way of life, learning about Fijian customs, traditional ceremonies, and the local language.
Caqalai Island plays host to a diverse mix of marine conservation projects, which participants will experience while living an island-style, communal environment with fellow participants and GVI staff. The island is on the edge of an expansive reef system, which provides volunteers and interns with the opportunity to see extensive and exclusive underwater life, generating a vastly in-depth, explorative experience as a whole.
This project gives volunteers around the world an opportunity to contribute to key marine conservation objectives identified by local Fijian organisations. International volunteers do not have to have previous experience, simply a keen interest in marine conservation, snorkeling, and diving. Extensive training is provided by our team of scientists, research divers, dive instructors, and local Fijians.
Receive the Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality segment of the PADI Divemaster course. This unique offering by GVI & PADI teaches you about best practices when conducting underwater coral reef surveys. This is offered to participants staying for 2 weeks or longer.
We has partnered with local NGOs and organizations in order to identify the best ways to assist the community to conserve and protect their marine resources. The following research priorities have been identified:
- Data collection on targeted fish and reef species
- Habitat mapping for coral reefs and marine environments
- Development of an environmental education and awareness program for local schools and communities.
- Development of terrestrial and marine environmental best practice on Caqalai Island
- Supporting various community development initiatives on neighboring islands
Learn about threats facing corals worldwide and specifically in Fiji. Assist with marine conservation initiatives, like surveying corals for recovery after previous coral bleaching events and tropical storms, assisting with beach or ocean floor plastic pollution clean ups, and environmental education with the local community.
- Marine expedition volunteers will also have the chance to assist in the delivering lessons focused on environmental awareness in two schools on Moturiki Island.
- Non-divers can join the Expeditions for 8 weeks or more and gain their Open Water, Advanced Open water and Coral Reef Research Diver certifications. 4 week vols will gain their Advanced Open Water certification.
- The project runs Monday to Friday and days are busy with presentations, dive training, point out snorkels and dives, and data collection snorkels and dives, running alongside the daily chores required to keep the base operational. Once volunteers have completed their training in their allocated area, they are welcome to become survey ready in another – should time allow.
Travel & Accommodation
Accommodation & Food:
Dorm style rooms with shared bathroom facilities and communal relaxation and social areas. Basic flush toilets and cold-water showers are available. Participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. Groundwater is pumped for other ablutions. Careful water conservation is necessary, and water may be rationed during droughts.
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 will be catered for accordingly.
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.
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!
- Minimum age 18
- Be keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project
- Ability to work within a team environment
- Minimum 4 weeks commitment
- CRB Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
- Signed medical form
- PADI 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.
- 2 weeks – £2,645
- 4 weeks – £3,395
- 6 weeks – £4,145
- 8 weeks – £4,895
- 10 weeks – £5,645
- 12 weeks – £6,395
* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 20% deposit.
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: Marine Conservation Online Course (10-15 Hours)
What’s not included:
- Additional drinks and gratuities
- Extra local excursions
- 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