Coral reef restoration

Project name:

Tropical Research and Conservation Centre

Project purpose:

Coral reef restoration

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • habitat restoration/management

  • scuba diving

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • cultural integration

  • field research skills

  • gain a qualification or credit

  • remote scenic location

Noteworthy conservation points:


Sheltered tents

When does the project run?


accommodation included, cooking facilities, electricity, food included, refillable drinking water, shower (bucket), shower (cold), (toilet western)

How long can I stay?


Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

TRACC is located on Pom Pom Island off the coast of Borneo; around a 50 minute boat ride from the town of Semporna and is a truly beautiful location to live, work, dive and laugh. It’s a tiny island taking around 20/25 minutes to walk around and the project is surrounded by a growing number of resorts making restoration work ever more important. 

This area of Borneo has been largely effected by bomb fishing which has devastated large parts of the reef at Pom Pom Island as well as turtle and other marine populations. However, there are many great dive sites around the island such as Mandarin Playground and Lobster Wall, but most of your time will be working on the fragmented and bleached areas (obviously). 

Work consists of reef stabilisation, turtle and fish ID surveys, coral biscuit making, work on the coral nursery, removing invasive species and much more. Further work is done in on surrounding islands with beach cleans and work with locals to reduce plastic contamination of which was there in shocking amounts. Much of the restoration efforts are now related to the development and deployment of Artificial Reef Crests (ARC) to stabilise the reef crest and provide a new environment for reef to grow from. These are made from sand, stones, crushed (dead) coral and a cement mix. The deployment dive to fix these in place was one of the best dives I’ve ever had… it was so tough but so interesting and extremely rewarding. 

A typical week consists of 2/3 work dives per day with Sunday fun-day dives at neighbouring islands and Mondays off. You don't have to have any training prior to arrival, with PADI courses taught there for around £160 per course. 

I couldn't give a higher recommendation for TRACC, it was a truly amazing project to be a part of. It's extremely basic living but at the same time everything you could ever ask for. The chefs cook amazing food lunch and dinner and when you're not diving, island life is pretty blissful. Everyone helps out around the camp, building or refurb, but there's also the jungle gym or just some hammocks to chill in.

Reviews & ratings



Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday



It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of

Wild Sun Rescue is an animal rehabilitation center located in the remote and scenic fishing village of Cabuya, Costa Rica. The long-term (12 week) volunteer experience involved getting to do hands-on work with all of the animals that are housed at the center, including howler monkeys, capuchins, opossums, squirrels and raptors. The daily duties included diet prep (mostly chopping and cooking fruits and veggies), enclosure cleaning, facility maintenance (repairing enclosures, building new enclosures and enrichment), and animal handling and medical treatment. It was an experience that I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of--nowhere else in the world would I be able to work with all of these amazing animals, in such a unique and beautiful location. As a wildlife biology intern, I also had the opportunity to create my own research project at the center, supervised and assisted by the internship coordinator.

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