On My Travel Bucketlist – Volunteering With Wildlife

A while ago, when I was working as a Travel Agent, I learned about i-to-i volunteering. They are a company who specialize in volunteer programs, who are globally recognized and have fantastic feedback about them. I have heard so many companies scamming people – including an instance that happened to a friend of mine – so I think it is REALLY important to find a trusted company who are passionate about their projects, who will look after you and make sure you are in a safe environment.

Volunteering isn’t always cheap – but the fee that you pay i-to-i for their programs goes to good use. Over half of it goes towards your accommodation/food/transport while you are there, and the rest going into marketing/administration (which of course is required to run a successful company) and support of their travel experts/24 hour emergency support team.

There are many volunteering trips they run that I would love to be a part of – so I thought I would share a few of their wildlife ones as inspiration!

1/ Live with lion cubs in South Africa

 

lion cub

Highlights:

  • Feeding and caring for lion cubs
  • Helping to look after other the animals at the reserve
  • Living in and enjoying life an incredible wildlife reserve
  • Participating in game drives on the reserve

Activities:

 Playing, bathing, feeding and caring for the cubs, preparing food for the bigger cubs, raking and cleaning enclosures, mending and painting fences
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2/ Panda conservation near Xi’an, China

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Panda 4
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Highlights:

  • Spending time with Giant Pandas – there are only 1000 left!
  • Experiencing China – a huge and mind-blowing country
  • Learning some Chinese

Activities:

Various types of work with different kinds of animals, including helping with feeding and facilities maintenance. It is important to note that this project does not involve any hands on work with the pandas – they are not raised to tolerate human contact, so they will attack you!
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3/ Elephant conservation and research in Sri Lanka

 

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Highlights:
  • Monitoring wild elephants from a tree house
  • Learning all about field work and research techniques
  • Recording information on leopard signs and activities
  • Working with the local community to investigate & help reduce conflict between humans and animals
  • Helping to increase public awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant

Activities:

Various, including monitoring and observing elephants, recording information on leopard signs and activities, sample collection and analysis, human conflict interviews and field surveys

You can find all these projects and more at:

http://www.i-to-i.com/volunteer-projects

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