Guest Post: Top Wildlife Voluntary Schemes around the Globe

Guest Post: Top Wildlife Voluntary Schemes around the Globe

Many of us have dreams of jetting off to exotic locations and becoming a volunteer abroad, but few get to actually fulfil these ambitions. Those who do though might feel inspired by what will be revealed in this blog – the top destinations around the world for wildlife voluntary schemes.

Once you have decided you want to do something valuable with your time – whether you are having a career break, you’re retiring or you’re waiting to start university – the next thing to do is choose what type of volunteer programmes you want to get involved in.

Animal lovers will no doubt jump at the chance to help endangered species around the world – and here are some of the places that need your help most.


China is one of the most the popular destinations to visit among those who want to help some of the world’s rarest species. The reason why is hardly surprising though; after all, who wouldn’t want to help protect Giant Pandas in the wild?

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According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there were less than 1,600 giant pandas left in their natural habitat in 2004, making it one of the globe’s most threatened creatures.

The WWF blames the diminishing forests in south-west China as the cause of their low numbers, together with the threat of poachers. This is why your presence in China, helping to rehabilitate orphaned or injured pandas, could help boost the population of these gentle giants.


While you might have gone to bed as a child snuggling up to a cuddly panda bear, it is unlikely you were doing the same with a stuffed toy whale shark – but that doesn’t mean these huge fish don’t need your help in much the same way.

So, for an experience that is sure to be out of this world, why not think about heading to Mozambique and spending a few weeks monitoring the condition of the marine life in the area, which will help protect the whale shark population here?

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A trip to Mozambique won’t just give you a chance to come face to face with these colossal creatures – and measuring up to 45 ft in length, they really are colossal – but you can also see loggerhead turtles, dolphins and manta rays, making it a wildlife enthusiast’s dream!


Another great location to spend time in is Malaysia, particularly if you’re a fan of primates, as the south-east Asian country has one of the greatest populations of orangutans in the world.

Having said this, the numbers of these flame-coloured apes are declining fast, which could encourage you to make the trip to Sabah in Borneo as soon as possible.

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Here, you will be able to work closely with Orangutans in a rehabilitation centre, where they are looked after before being released back into their natural habitat.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is well-known for its abundance of tropical animals, but one species that needs help from volunteers is the sloth.

The slow-moving creature is under threat from deforestation, with their homes regularly being destroyed, while many young sloths are left orphaned as a result of the cutting down of trees.

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Time spent in Costa Rica (aside from when you hit the white sandy beaches) will be helping at a sloth sanctuary where many of the creatures are taken care of. You will feed and exercise the animals, clean out their cages and monitor their behaviour.

Not only will this be a rewarding experience, but it is likely to be the only time you ever get close to this rarely-seen creature in your lifetime – which is surely something to write to your friends at home about!

Have you ever volunteered abroad? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Write to Us now with your stories and photos…!

Inspired Breaks offers a range of gap years for grown ups and provides travel advice and support for anyone thinking of taking a career break or just looking for a more inspired way to use their annual leave.


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  1. June 08, 22:41 #1 Aisleen Author

    Hey Mary, For some reason your msg went into our spam! grr. Whale sharks would be awesome – hope you get to do it!! 🙂

  2. May 10, 23:23 #2 Mary @ Green Global Travel

    We would love to do any one of these opportunities! We’re hoping to work with Whale Sharks next year.

  3. March 18, 12:45 #3 Aisleen Author

    Hi Diana, thanks for your comment! – yes would love to help spread the word. We saw some of your volunteering photos on your blog actually – absolutely beautiful creatures aren’t they! And so gentle. Feel free to send us some info and we’ll post it up! 🙂

  4. March 16, 20:51 #4 dtravelsround

    I spent a week volunteering in Thailand with elephants abused from the touring and illegal logging industries. Would be happy to share some photos, etc. about my time there and help get the word out about proper activities to enjoy elephants.