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Rimbun Dahan Turtle Project
Be a Turtle Volunteer and Work at one of Malaysia's Vital Sea Turtle Hatcheries
  • Open March – September
  • Sea Turtles | Hatchery | Awareness
  • Flexible Length Programs
  • Prices Start from £250



Help the Turtle Hatchery on the Beach

The beaches near to Cherating and Kemaman, are popular tourist destinations. Also, they are home to some of the largest nesting sea turtle colonies in Peninsular Malaysia. In fact over 1000 nests per year are being laid at Pantai Mat Nik alone. You can help contribute to this worthy cause and help the turtle hatchery on the beach at Rimbun Dahan.

Meet Sea Turtle Hero Pak Su

This programme supports the work of turtle ‘godfather’ Pak Su and his hatchery at Rimbun Dahan. You will help manage the hatchery. And, you will educate tourists about ethical sea turtle watching. This programme is great for all budding young marine conservation enthusiasts.

A Note from Dan

“We have known the amazing work of Pak Su since 2009. He is a living legend for sea turtles and normally the first name off your tongue when you speak about sea turtle conservation in Malaysia. Pak Su humbly does what he can as a tour guide and conservationist to help save our penyu (sea turtle in Malay).

Pricing for International Volunteers 2018

1 week £250
2 weeks £450
3 weeks £620

Pricing for Malaysian Volunteers 2018

1 week MYR 900
2 weeks MYR 1,755
3 weeks MYR 2,210
4 weeks MYR 2,600

Includes: Food, accommodation with shared bathroom, pick up from Chukai Bus station – Kemaman, minimum 5 overnight turtle watches per week, cooking facilities, all volunteer activities.

Excludes: Travel to/from Chukai Bus Station, insurance, visa costs, flight fares, food/activities not included in the project.

Price includes 6% GST Government Tax

International prices are calculated and converted from Malaysian Ringgit so are subject to change 

Start dates for 2018

All Arrivals are on a Monday, departures are on a Sunday

Every Monday from 5th March until Sunday 2nd December 2018.

Example Schedule

Morning: Volunteers arrive at the Chukai Bus Staion, Kemaman.
Bus transfer to the accommodation.
Afternoon: Briefing and orientation.
Project overview and code of conduct, a tour around the resort and hatchery and water confidence session (learning the dos and don’ts of snorkelling).
Evening: Dinner and turtle watch.

Daily routine
AM – Mainly rest time with some collection and burying of eggs into the hatchery
1pm – Lunch
2pm – Hatchery duties, awareness board making, educational talks to guests, jungle treks etc
5pm – Free time
6.30pm – Dinner
7pm – Start of turtle watch patrols
4am – Finishing of patrols

Departure day, check out time is 12 PM. You can take a bus back to KL or northwards towards the lovely Perhentian Islands/Terengganu.


Turtle watch
You will help Pak Su to educate tourists at Mat Nik Beach nearby to ensure minimal disturbance of the sea turtles. You will brief them about turtles and the do’s and dont’s of turtle watch. You will also help to collect non-invasive photos of nesting sea turtles. The photos that you collect will help our researchers establish nesting patterns of sea turtles in Malaysia.

The scutes (scales) on the flippers and the side of a green turtles face are unique to each individual. In collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, we collect photos of the sea turtles on nesting beaches and at sea whilst snorkelling in Perhentian and Mat Nik Beach. With each photo we also collect data on location, time, date, sex etc. We then use software to identify each photo against a database of previously identified individuals. If new turtles are discovered then you get to name them. The information that this research gathers is vital for conservation measures as we will be able to identify population numbers of male and female turtles, identify hotspots where conservation efforts need to be focused and also movement patterns of the turtles.

Rimbun Dahan Hatchery
In addition to your work on Mat Nik Beach you will manage the Rimbun Dahan turtle hatchery. The hatchery is on a non-protected beach. Therefore, the villagers often collect turtles eggs; selling some for consumption and selling the rest to Pak Su at Rimbun Dahan hatchery. The hatchery is really important as without it all the eggs would be sold for consumption. You will help to collect and count the eggs and then bury them inside the hatchery. You will also help to care for a disabled sea turtle that was not released as it is not able to survive in the wild. The turtle is now the mascot of Rimbun Dahan hatchery.


The turtle hatchery is located on the East coast of Malaysia at Pantai Chendor Pahang, just North of Cherating. The hatchery is surrounded by beautiful beaches and off course sea turtles. You will be staying in a 5 star resort called the Kasturi, opened in 2017. Your shared rooms are based in the staff quarters and are still a high quality.


Food is available at the staff canteen which serves a buffet of local food.


4 Easy Steps to Book Your Turtle Adventure:

1) Contact us here with your initial inquiry – tell us about yourself and the project you would like to join.

2) You will receive an e-mail with more information and the application form to complete and send back.

3) On receipt of your application we will confirm your reservation and inform you how to make your deposit payment. Your reservation will be held for 2 weeks, after which it will be cancelled automatically if no deposit is received.

4) Full payment is required no later than 1 month before departure. You may pay online by credit card or a direct transfer to our account.

Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for us to process your application and payment.

It’s that Simple!! Once your deposit has been paid you will receive our ‘Know before you go’ guide, which is packed full of useful information about your project and general tips to prepare you for volunteering.

  1. What are the requirements to join this program?
    Volunteers must be over 18 or 16/17 with a parental consent form.You will need to have a positive attitude, participate in all volunteer activities and respect the local village culture and traditions.

  2. How do I get to Chukai Bus Station from Kuala Lumpur?
    The best way is to take a 9.30am Transnational Bus from TBS (KL) to Kemaman.
    Get off the bus at Chukai Bus station and then you will be greeted at the station and driven to your accommodation.

  3. Do I need any turtle or conservation experience/knowledge?
    No experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm for turtles. Pak Su will teach you all the necessary techniques and tell you everything you need to know about turtle conservation.

  4. Is this program suitable for families with young children?
    Families with young children (6 and above) can participate.

  5. How long is the typical volunteer working day?
    The volunteering activities run from lunch until early morning (3-4am). For volunteers staying longer than one week, Sundays are usually free days.

  6. I want to do more to help the turtles! What else can I get involved in?
    There is plenty you can do! We have mini projects that we can allocate you to complete in your free time. It could be making and developing our handicraft products using waste found on the beach, such as sea glass. Or helping improve our awareness campaigns, or conducting tourist questionnaires and talks at resorts.

    For Qs related to insurance, visas, vaccinations or payment check out the General FAQs page and for more specific payment Qs have a look at the Terms & Conditions page
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