Top 8 Wildlife Volunteer Holidays for Real Animal Lovers

It may sometimes come as a shock for many animal lovers the very large number of animals in need of help in the world. And the threats are always created by us, the humans. Animals are either poached or simply hunted down senselessly, they are used in zoos and in violent means of entertainment or they are driven out of their habitats. These animals have found shelter in many sanctuaries where people have dedicated their time and money to keeping them safe. But more is still needed. So, this year, instead of lounging on the beach, why not take a holiday that will mean something to you and to others?

The Elephant Nature Park in Thailand

There are many things you can do to help the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. The best of them is to lend a hand. The place is located in Chiang Mai, a province in Northern Thailand and it is home to dozens of distressed elephants and other animals such as dogs, cats, buffaloes. It was founded in the 1990s and it has taken on the mission of educating and of raising awareness about the importance of treating these animals with dignity and care. By the way, did you know that there are only 30,000 Asian elephants left on the planet?

Lion Park in South Africa

How better to get a taste of the wildlife in South Africa if not by volunteering at a lion park? You could go on a safari, but this experience is prone to whimsy and it is brief. By comparison, you could spend a couple of weeks tending to lion cubs, a chance you would not likely get anywhere else. The volunteer program is open to everyone and we guarantee that there is always a lot to do around these places.

The Libearty Zarnesti Bear Sanctuary in Romania

95 bears have been rescued from miserable lives of being kept in inhumane conditions and are now living peacefully in the Zarnesti bear sanctuary. The place was built in 2005 and it follows strict specifications of European law regarding the care and conditions offered to animals in such situations. It is a good place to learn a lot about the European brown bear in its own habitat, as well as to learn about the effects of animal captivity.

Na’an Ku Se Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

Will you be getting your hands dirty? You should hope so. Will you be spending your days in the sound of roaring lions and among animals you could only see on TV or behind the grey bars of a zoo? You bet! Will you be making friends among people who love animals and are just as involved as you are? Sure! So what else is there to say about the Na’an Ku Se Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia? Oh, that it also has a great medical volunteering program for training veterinaries.

Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Reserve in Costa Rica

This is a collection of rainforests and wetland habitats with the full and beautiful flora and fauna of Costa Rica. As a volunteer here, you would assist the park rangers and would lend a hand when it comes to tourist management. Trail management and clean up would be among the main tasks and it would ensure a safe space for the animals in their natural habitat. As a volunteer, you would also be making sure that the visitors do not leave their mark on the place too much by straying off the paths or by doing things that are forbidden in the park.

Xi’an Panda Center, China

Why did we not mention this sooner? Because we knew you would all go flocking there and because there are other animals in need of help, too. Anyway, if you have a thing for the cute and silly pandas, the Xi’an Panda Center is the place to go. There is also the choice of the Chengdu base that is closer to their natural habitat.

Eco centre Caput Insulae Beli, on the island of Cres in Croatia

We have included in our list a place for the bird lovers. And this is it. In Croatia you can volunteer and help care for sick, injured vultures and other species of birds. It is all done in the Rehabilitation Center for White Headed Vultures.

Return to Freedom, Horses, USA

And we could not have a full list without some of the most majestic animals on Earth, the beautiful horses. This place, the Return to Freedom horse Sanctuary in California, heavily relies on volunteer work, roughly around 3,000 hours of work a year being done by volunteers to be more precise.
There is so much work to do and so little time for all of us. So it could be both fun as well as useful if you dedicate your holiday time. You will certainly enjoy the time spent with the animals, you will learn a lot about the place you visit. No matter where you come from you will still find a place that is exotic with such a wide list of choices. And you will feel good about finally contributing with something, like you always said you wanted to do. So pick a destination and jump aboard the holiday volunteering train to whichever destination calls out to you. The animals will appreciate it!
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Take a look at these amazing holiday volunteering destinations. You have 8 options with different types of animals, in different areas of the world and with all kinds of fun and useful activities for you to do.