Volunteer Experience | Environmental & Wildlife

Cambodia: Mangrove Conservation

Kampot, Cambodia

Description

Location: Kampot, Cambodia

Duration: Minimum 1 week, maximum 6 months commitment

Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday

Cost: €455 Euros per week – see Costs section for further details

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

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

Benefits:

  • Environmental placement in working alongside local staff in the Cambodian Mangroves.
  • Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
  • Opportunity to experience the Cambodian environmental sector and increase your field skills
Costs Explained

Introduction

The province of Kampot is slowly evolving into one of Cambodia’s most popular destinations for both domestic and international tourists. Located in the south-eastern part of the country, you will find an abundance of natural attractions here. The French architectural legacy is still visible in many parts of this sleepy town. It is often regarded as a place that truly reflects rural Cambodia. With its slow pace, hassle-free and vibrant environment, coupled with its beautiful landscape, Kampot offers a truly memorable experience. Of the town’s 2,500 inhabitants, over 80% are directly dependent of the region’s ancient fishing community. A vital requirement for this is the management of the mangrove plantation. Unfortunately, in recent years, several mangrove sites have been removed from the riverbanks. Instead, many locals prefer salt plantations, since they yield a greater short-term profit. This has led to a severe increase in illegal fishing within the province.

This specially devised project combines the two most important factors essential for the development and prosperity of the under-developed town. Primarily, the project focuses on the conservation of the mangrove plantation, a fundamental ingredient for the eco-system of today and of future generations. Furthermore, you will contribute towards the sustained development of the local community, in the form of teaching English as well as several other community based projects.

With this authentic taste of Cambodian rural culture, you will gain a truly unforgettable and life-changing experience, through your accommodation, the food and the daily interaction with the locals. You will also get to learn old-fashioned fishing techniques passed down through the generations and so much more.

Daily Life

Day One

To ease you into the local culture, your week will begin with an orientation of the town’s local facilities. This will be guided by our carefully selected English-speaking local co-ordinator who will provide 24-hour support throughout your stay. You will be shown where to find ATM’s, shops and anything else you might need during your stay.

Your local guide will then give you a presentation of the full history of the town, followed by an explanation of the current environmental. You will then be taken directly to a mangrove plantation site to observe first-hand how mangroves are grown and what is required for this.

The day will end with a walk around the local village, where you will also meet students whom you will be responsible for teaching throughout the week.

Day Two

Today you will begin to play your part in the plantation of the mangroves. You will go on a river cruise together with the local coordinator and other volunteers. The destination is a fully operational mangrove nursery, where you will be fixing and repairing young mangroves. 

This will be a rather tiring and exhausting day so you will be taken home for a hours rest in the afternoon. Then, when your energy levels are fully restored, you will go to the local village to teach English for one hour.

Day Three

Today you will go to a new piece of land, where you will be able to plant mangrove seedlings and create your own piece of history! The day will begin with learning the process of planting, which is much more than just placing a seed into the ground.

After this you will meet local fisherman, who will teach you old-fashioned, environmentally conscious fishing methods.

In the afternoon you will again work at the school, however today you are encouraged to play sports or do another activity with the children. We do stress that this is voluntary and teaching English is still an option if you so wish.

Day Four

Today is when you’ll discover the full scope of the town’s natural resources, as you and your fellow participants will be taken on a full countryside tour. The highlight of this is undeniably the pepper plantations, which is one of Cambodia’s finest and noblest resources that can be found in many Cambodian dishes.

In the evening you will be taken back to the mangrove site. However, this time you will not be working, but enjoying the fruits of you labour with a BBQ where you can relax and enjoy the local landscape and absorb the beautiful scenery from our specially designed riverside huts.

Day Five

Today will perhaps have a different flavour and emphasis in comparison to the others. In the morning you will go to see the village’s organic farm where you will be encouraged to take part in the work and learn their unique techniques.

This will be followed by an afternoon spent with some of the poorest families in the town. It is quite a challenging experience, but by this time you should be immersed enough in the local culture to handle this. It will not just be communication with the families, you will also be asked to help out with their building projects, namely helping to build wooden homes.

Days Six And Seven

We know that as a volunteer, you often have limited time away, and often like to use weekend as a time to explore on your own. Whilst we fully embrace this, in our experience participants are often so captivated by their experiences that we offer an optional itinerary for the weekend (at no extra cost).

On weekends we mainly focus on the poor and underdeveloped members of the Kampot community. We offer distribution of second-hand clothes to the local community and encourage you to participate in this. We provide these clothes, though this does not mean you cannot bring your own clothes from home if you’d like to contribute. The saying “one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure” will be fully comprehended with the smile you will be greeted with for doing this. 

If you still have sufficient energy we also run our teaching programme on Saturdays, but it will not be frowned upon if you choose this day to rest.

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

Upon arrival you will be met at the airport by a project representative and taken to the project HQ.

You will be staying in single gender rooms with a maximum capacity of 4 per room. They are equipped with a fan, a cold shower and wifi.

Laundry facilities are limited, so you should expect to wash your clothes by hand during parts of your trip. However, there are some places in the town where you can do laundry for a small cost. All our visitors are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint; especially water, paper and electricity. You’ll be expected to clean up after yourself, and play your part in keeping the accommodation neat and organised.

There are bikes available at no extra cost, which you can use to explore the area during your free time.

All your meals are included during your stay; they’ll be traditional Cambodian food, including plenty of rice dishes. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please let us know before you arrive, and we’ll ensure there is plenty for you to eat.

Fundraising Help

Requirements

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Passion and enthusiasm for working in environmental conservation, lots of energy and creativity – and not scared to get your hands dirty!
  • No previous skills are necessary, however you will need to speak English at a native or near-native level.
  • Minimum 1 week commitment – 30+ hours a week
  • Necessary vaccinations.
  • Necessary flight & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance. Please see our info pages for more information and to get a quote.
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Extra Activities

Those looking to get off the beaten track should read our Top 5 Things to do in Cambodia. Sandwiched between the more touristy Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is a traveler’s hidden treasure. Explore ancient Buddhist temples and bustling outdoor markets, or simply relax with an all inclusive yoga retreat. Cambodia is waiting for you.

Visit Temples

Some people only go to Cambodia to see the amazing temples scattered around the country. Step into these holy places and experience where the ancient monks once lived. Or explore modern ones where they still live today! The most famous one is Angkor Wat, which is close to Siem Reap. Angkor Wat ruins are approximately 900 years old, and are part of an entire park that you could get lost in for hours. Two more beautiful temples that we recommend in Siem Reap are Angkor Thom and Ba Yon Temple. There you will see colossal carvings of Bodhisattva’s, elephants and intricate demons and gods. Just make sure that you don’t walk into the wrong room with shoes on!

Visit The Killing Fields

You might not want to bring the kids here, but if you want to dive into Cambodia’s past you must see the Killing Fields. This memorial in Phnom Penh commemorates a very dark part of Cambodia’s history. These unfortunate mass graves were a product of the Cambodian Genocide in the 70’s. This happened during the reign of Khmer Rouge, who murdered close to two million people. The grave is a sight that you will never forget. This is a terribly tragic, yet intriguing, window to the Cambodian culture that tourists should pay homage to.

Go to a Cambodian Market

Asian outdoor markets are often quite the eye-opener to Western visitors. Fresh vegetables, living fish and souvenirs all in one bustling place. Shop like a local but still get souvenirs, and finish the experience with some homemade noodles. We recommend The Central Market and the Night Market in Phnom Penh. Any of the markets near Angkor Wat in Siem Reap are great. You can even sometimes find tours to take you to all of them if you can’t decide on only one!

Phnom Penh Royal Palace

This entire compound is a feast for the eyes. The stunning architecture replicates the Buddhist temples you’ll see all around Asia. With glimmering golden towers contrasting white walls and expansive courtyards and walkways, you are sure to be in awe. Here you will get a full understanding of the grandeur of the royal Cambodian ancestors.

Do a Yoga Retreat

When your feet are tired from temple-hopping, finish your stay in with a relaxing yoga retreat. Cambodia has hundreds of affordable, secluded and spiritually gratifying yoga experiences. Wake up to the sound of gongs, chant your heart out and truly relax and experience real yoga. You can stay anywhere from a few days to a few months, and all yogi levels can find the right retreat for their needs.

Costs

€455 Euros per week

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

Private rooms are available for an additional €100 per week.

What’s not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and 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