I don’t have experience with sea turtles or research, is this project for me?
Experience is not necessary. We make sure that you understand our methodology in the training sessions, in addition to explaining everything in the field. Our work with these endangered sea turtles is taken seriously, which is why our training sessions are so important to attend.
Will I have time to do things on my own?
Volunteers will have plenty of time to explore the island or simply relax on the beach. Each volunteer will have one day off every other week. Additionally, some free time will be available each day with some occasional afternoons off.
What do I need to bring?
A complete packing list of items we recommend packing will be included in the information packet that is emailed to you once you have applied.
What is included in the volunteer cost?
The cost of the project includes the accommodation cost (each volunteer will have their own bed in a shared a room), crockery, cookware, use of bicycles to get around the area, a researcher t-shirt, all necessary field training, field leader support available at all times, Kefalonia airport or bus station pickup and drop on your start and end date. The cost does not include travel to Kefalonia or food.
How are meals organized?
We organize a vegetarian food share, where each volunteer deposits a set amount of money (~30€) towards groceries for a week. Groceries on the island can be expensive because they are shipped from the mainland, so communal meals help lower this cost.
Please note: participation in the food share is optional and is done solely for the benefit of the volunteers. Without the food share, one should estimate around 40-60€ per week.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept money orders, or Visa/MC/Amex/Discover credit cards. All credit card payments are processed online through PayPal using a secure server.
Why are there set arrival dates?
Upon your arrival, there will be several important training sessions that will allow you to become familiar with our methodology, and teach you about the endangered sea turtles we work so hard to protect. This ensures that you will be well-prepared to survey the nesting beaches, monitor the sea turtles in the harbour and answer basic questions the public may have while you are on surveys.
What is the nearest Airport or can I take a bus from Athens?
The Cephalonia International Airport (EFL) is the only airport in Kefalonia and located just 20 minutes from Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia. With prior arrangements, Wildlife Sense will be available to transport you on your project start and end dates from and to your arriving and departing flights at this airport.
If you fly into Athens International Airport (ATH), as another option, there is a KTEL bus to Argostoli available from the Athens Kifisou bus station. The bus ride normally takes around 6-7hrs and costs ~40€ one way (this includes the ferry ticket). To get to the Kifisou bus station from the Athens airport simply get on the X93 bus available from the airport. Once you arrive at the Argostoli bus station, we will pick you up and take you to the project.
When should I arrive and depart?
It is best to arrive on your start date and leave on your end date. We ask you to arrive before 5pm, although if there is a flight that is less expensive, it is fine to arrive a bit later in the day. The first training session begins on the evening of your start date.
Can I come a few days early or stay a few days longer?
To avoid high fares, some volunteers have flown in a few days early and/or stayed a few days longer. During this time they either enjoyed traveling around the area before/after the project or stay nearby to spend time with the volunteers who weren't on shift. If you arrive early or stay late, you are not likely to participate on shifts. Please note that those that chose to come early or stay longer are responsible for paying for their accommodation until their volunteer session begins or after their session is over. Additionally, keep in mind that if you do decide to arrive or leave on a day that is not a start or end date we will not be able to give you a ride to/from the airport or bus station and you'll have to take a taxi. The taxis are very easy to get because you'll be at either the bus station or the airport where there are taxi stations. The taxi should cost around 15-20 euros.
I want to stay longer than one 2 week session, is this possible?
The minimum stay is 2 weeks, one session, but we welcome you to stay longer if you'd like. Staying longer will allow you to be more accustomed to the research we do and give you more time to explore or relax on this beautiful island. You will find that time flies and many feel two weeks just isn't long enough.
How much money should I bring and in what form?
If you are not taking part in communal meals, you may require up to 50€ a week for provisions. There are plenty of fresh fruit/vegetable markets and super markets on the island to purchase groceries. Tavernas are throughout the towns, and there are a few restaurants near the accommodations. Frequenting these places may increase your meal budget. Personal expenses vary per person and are hard to estimate.
It is best to bring a bank card and withdrawal from one of the many cash machines (ATMs) in the town. There is a small fee charged by the bank for the withdrawal, but it is easier than changing traveler’s checks.
I am not from an EU member state. Do I need a visa to travel to Greece?
Please check the list of visa requirement by country to see if you need a visa to travel to Greece. If you already have a visa for another country of the Schengen area, you can also travel to Greece for the period of that visa. Please note that the UK is not a member of the Schengen area. If you have a student visa to the UK, you will need to issue a Schengen travel visa for Greece. You can issue a visa for Greece at the Greek Consulate of your country of residence if you have already lived there for three months or more, or at the Greek Consulate at your home country. For the UK, check the relevant page of the Greek Consulate in London.