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Cambodia Marine Conservation and Diving

Cambodia Marine Conservation and Diving

Live in a local island community, learn to scuba dive, and take part in marine research and conservation as well as community development and education.

Prices from $1,395

Cambodian history is so unique and exotic that people from all around the world visited it in order to discover its astonishing combination of dramatic landscapes, captivating cultural and historical heritage. Cambodians still face significant challenges as the population grows and society diversifies: lack of basic services such as education, infrastructure and healthcare, along with limited job prospects are common difficulties managed by Khmer people.

As you explore the exotic seascape around the island you will be getting involved in a real, ongoing conservation project. You will be helping to discover and chart the health of the coral, record populations of fish, and other marine life such as seahorses, and survey the huge diversity of inter-tidal animals - from tiny hermit crabs to pastel-hued anemones. On shore you'll learn about the activities of the traditional island fishermen, as well as discovering and reporting which marine organisms are being sustainably harvested and which are being dangerously depleted.




  • Contribute to the monitoring & conservation marine wildlife in Asia
  • Coral nursery maintenance
  • Beach and reef cleanups


  • Intermediate level of English
  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Cover letter


Location Cambodia
Activities Beach clean-ups
Scuba diving
Data Collection
Snorkel & Fish variation surveys
Coral damage mapping
Environmental awareness raising
Teaching in the local village
Transport Airport pick-up available at additional cost
Accommodation Volunteer house


Before you go Pre-departure support
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)
In-country Food
Local orientation
Project training (not including SCUBA)
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


The Cambodia Marine Conservation & Diving project aims to better understand the conservation status of Koh Rong Samloem, both marine and terrestrial, and to assist in raising awareness within local communities about environmental conservation issues. This will hopefully enable communities to lead the conservation and management of the ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend.

Activities will vary depending on the time of year and current priorities, but you could also be conducting snorkel surveys of reef areas, including mapping the health of the reefs. We also identify patterns of resource use, and work with the local community to support environmentally responsible and sustainable development.

The island itself is little studied, but with recent Government backing to promote conservation and research, the local people are keen to be involved in protecting their biodiversity, making this a perfect location for both research and practical conservation activities. You will have the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of conservation and community development initiatives, contributing towards the future protection of this incredible island and its people.


The project incorporates a number of different elements, all of which combine to not only give you an insight into the workings of the local community and economy, but also lend a hand in protecting rapidly diminishing species. The aim is to provide local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of key marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Throughout your time on the island, between the fish ID lectures and daily island life, you will have the opportunity to get involved within a wide range of activities to support the goals of the project which may include beach clean-ups, snorkel surveys and coral damage mapping.

To gather the research data you will be snorkelling the reefs to locate and map them and to study their various wildlife communities. You will also explore and record the organisms that inhabit the inter-tidal zones and the island's inland areas. To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques which may include: underwater census of reef and commercial fish, and assessment of coral cover to determine the extent of coral damage in shallow water areas. You might record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine and terrestrial life. You may even get to study the impact of fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of global warming on marine communities.

To participate in the scuba diving project work you will need to be qualified to Advanced Open Water or equivalent, with training available in-country at the project site. Please see the extended project cost information for prices for dive training in the warm tropical seas of Cambodia! Once you are a trained diver you will start to take part in our variety of marine conservation programs. A key marine life survey is our seahorse survey which is conducted at a local site. The collected data is provided to the Cambodian Government, aiming to enhance the establishment of a Marine Protected Area in the local Koh Rong archipelago.


We recommend that you arrive in Phnom Penh on Saturday or Sunday morning, before making your way to Sihanoukville for the night. This will mean you'll be able to take the Monday morning ferry to the island. Your Volunteer Coordinator will be able to provide you with advice as to how to make your own way to the Sihanoukville.


Volunteers stay in the volunteer house on the office site of our local partner organisation. There are shared living spaces, tea and coffee facilities and drinking water available and laundry services can be arranged for a small cost.


You will receive three meals a day, consisting of basic local Khmer cuisine, and vegetarian diets can be catered for. This gives you the chance to try out dishes such as delicately spiced curries, fresh local market produce, and delicious meat, fish and vegetables. Bottled water will also be provided.

The best way to describe the Frontier Cambodia marine project is unforgettably unique. When arriv...

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  Warm tropical wishes from Camp Dong Charran in Cambodia for the New Year! Celebra...

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It had started. When we arrived we were given an overview of the aims of the research of the Camb...

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I can't speak highly enough of this project. The staff are excellent, the facilities are exce...

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I really enjoyed my week on Koh Smach, so much so I wished I had stayed longer. The staff here on...

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MY TIME ON KOAH RUNG  | 3 Sep 2016
My time on Koah Rung has come to an end and I would like to thank you for giving me the opportuni...

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Living on a pier  | 18 Aug 2016
Having had the great privilege of being the first ever volunteers to set foot on Koh Rong Island,...

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My month on the island  | 30 Jul 2016
I’d done a bit of diving before – just my PADI Open Water last year – and I was...

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Going Native in Cambodia  | 21 Jul 2016
This project is a whole lot more than just marine conservation. It has every aspect of volun...

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"We have to go back...!"  | 5 May 2016
I spent three months in Cambodia at the start of 2016 and spent six weeks volunteering with Front...

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In your free time you are spoilt for choice with activities to enjoy. You can swim in sparkling waters, snorkel along the reefs, hire a boat to visit one of the uninhabited neighbouring islands, or play sports with the local children on the beach. On mainland Cambodia, explore the mystical world of the temples of the Khmer Empire, where you will be inspired by the beautiful unspoiled monuments, the magical atmosphere, and the charming monkeys tumbling amongst the ruins. Take a road trip through the rice paddy fields, and catch a glimpse of the age old farming techniques that are still in use, with one of the extensive bird sanctuaries or fishing villages as your final destination.
Please be aware that the costs of any additional activities are not covered by your project contribution.


2 weeks $1,395

3 weeks $1,595

4 weeks $2,095

Extra week $495

OW+AOW $995

PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water training $986
PADI Advanced Open Water training $586


Project start day is every Monday. Please arrive in Phnom Penh on the Saturday or Sunday before your project start date to be able to catch the ferry to the project site on Monday.


From 2 to 10 weeks.


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)


  • Three meals a day
  • Accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training (not including PADI training)
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


Nearest airport(s): Phnom Penh (PNH)



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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