What our volunteers say…
The Big Five project in Africa, was an experience of a life time!
The time I spend in Africa has been really wonderful in very many ways. The project is managed by deeply motivated and dedicated people. They have so much knowledge of the wildlife and are really keen on learning you as much as you can absorb. We had some great experiences; cheetah’s chasing down a wildebeest, sleeping out underneath the beautiful African sky, observing all different kind of wildlife such as lions, hyena’s, elephants, giraffe, zebra’s, leopard… The volunteers staying there were also in mind and heart beautiful. And then working together and having these experiences together really can create a tight bond. I would not have wanted to miss this!
The Great Barrier Reef Turtle Rehabilitation was the time of my life!
Simply the greatest thing I have ever done!! The fellow volunteers were all really friendly and I met new people at the rehab centre every day. I loved feeding all the turtles, cleaning the tanks and giving the turtles a scratch! After all the turtles were fed and tanks cleaned, I enjoyed snorkelling around the island where I saw beautiful marine life which included the green sea turtles! One of the many highlights of volunteering at the rehab centre was participating in the release of 2 sea turtles at the beach, an amazing experience which really showed what volunteering really does. So if you are thinking of volunteering, please do! And if you do, please say hi to all the turtles for me, have fun!!
I would definitely recommend the Endangered Species Conservation project!
For me as a vet overseas this experience was totally amazing. The staff involve you from the first day on all the procedures with the animals ad give you support and a lot of love. They were amazing with me and I felt as a member of the big family of the local host organization from the first moment. You will learn how to grow marsupials and birds, you will improve your medical skills and also, your interpersonal skills. The staff is always worried about how do you feel in the centre and they do everything they can to make you feel like at home. No bad words for anyone o any situation. You are going to work with wildlife in they environment and that is just AMAZING.
I want to go back to the Marine Conservation in the Philippines now!
This place was wonderful! Not only was the work very thorough and rewarding, but the atmosphere of the place, and the people working there were all amazing and welcoming. Every day was an accomplishment, and no two days were the same. From working with and helping the community, to diving in over a dozen stunning locations, to just good quality fun with other volunteers at camp, I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to make a difference and make lifelong friends in the process.
The Big Five project in Africa was more than I could imagine!
In January this year i had the privilege of spending 2 amazing weeks in Africa. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to truly be a part of an organization that places caring for the environment and wildlife at the forefront of everything they do & every decision they make. The days include 2 6-8 hour monitoring drives around a huge reserve where you experience seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. The awesome landscapes of the park itself are images that will never leave my mind. The conservation work you take part in during these drives, includes fencing trees, removing alien plant or metal scraps, fill you with a sense of pride. Not only are you looking after the beautiful park but also doing your part towards creating a healthier and more sustainable environment for the wild animals to live in.
A big thank you Koos, Sabrina, and the team for effort to make the volunteers feel welcomed, supported and valued, and for dedicating so much of their lives to the cause. Every drive is a different learning opportunity and the other volunteers make it even more exciting and fun. During the stay you are given the chance to sign up to go on a microlight flight around the reserve and monitor the park in the air. For small fee, i cannot recommend this experience enough. On my last evening at the organization, Koo’s made time to take us up on the micro light during sunset where we say a huge herd of elephants and rhinos. It was the experience of a lifetime and i am determined to go back!
The Marine Conservation project was simply incredible!
I had no prior experience with marine conservation or diving before coming to MCP. I absolutely loved my role as a volunteer. The staff is amazing, competent, supportive, inspiring, generous and kind. They help you with whatever you need and they try to make sure you get the best experience you can. I found the tasks as a volunteer important and relevant to the work they do as a organization. You always feel like you contribute. Accommodation is simple but you have everything you need. And one thing also worth mentioning is the fantastic, positive and inspiring atmosphere at MCP. From the amazing cook to the owners and the rest of the volunteers. You really feel like you belong. The dive-sites are beautiful and I’m certain that most people will leave with a new-found love and appreciation for the beautiful underwater world.
The Wallaby, Kangaroo & Possum Care in Australia, Oh my god!
I was there on placement and had the most amazing time- We learnt so much about turtles and got lots of hands-on experience feeding and scrubbing them. Everyone is so passionate and dedicated to these animals and it really shows in the way the facility is maintained. Thank you so much to the team for allowing us this opportunity.
I love this project and the people at the Elephant Conservation in Sri Lanka!
I spent 2 weeks in Sri Lanka doing the Elephant programme and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The setup there is great, so that not only the programmes are enjoyable and interesting but your time outside of projects are aided by the tuk-tuk transportation, the fantastic coordinators and staff in and out of the houses and the weekend trips. The range of trips available and the weekly beach parties made a volunteering seem less like work and more like a fun-filled holiday. The build up to the departure date was very well structured as well, the detailed handbooks and incredible customer service when it came to communication via the websites chat system made and problems or questions easy as anything to sort out. Plan My Gap Year were also one of the cheapest companies I could find that offer what they do at such a good quality. I would 100% recommend this company for anyone looking to travel but also do some good! The places that you visit and the things that you do are amazing, but the people you meet living in the hostel accommodation is just the cherry on-top!
The Sea Turtle Conservation in Maldives was an experience of a lifetime.
Expect the unexpected they said and that’s what I did and what I got was way more than I’d have ever expected. Straight from my pre departure guidance till reaching the gorgeous island of Naifaru. I’ve learnt so much on this trip, stuff about the sea life that I never knew before. Why and how we care for the beautiful Green Sea turtles. Getting up every day to feed those babies and watching them playing with water and creating bubbles through their noses and catching them, it was just adorable. Going on excursion trips to uninhabited Islands and snorkelling with these amazing bunch of people. Snorkelling is something I had never done before but it was like a dream. The sea life is full of pleasant surprises and it’s very picturesque.
Our team of marine biologists were some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. The tireless efforts Bryony and Alice put in to make you feel at home, whilst at the same time educating you, is commendable. Overall it was an experience of a lifetime. I’ll miss the happy faces, the jokes, breakfast at Lushia’s, the marine center, playing heads up and cheers to the governor… and listening to blues while night fishing, even though I didn’t catch a single fish.
I could not ask for more from the Elephant Conservation Thailand project.
I went to volunteer with the Elephant Sanctuary in a Karen Tribe village for 1 week and had such a great time. Kerri, Sombat and Talia are the staff who you will spend the most time with and they are around 24/7 to help or answer any questions you have. It is like having a little family that you are welcomed into as we eat together sharing different food, hike together at the pace of the slowest person and hang out at base together doing activities in the evenings. The elephants are magnificent! They are gentle giants with the mental capability of being the genius’ of the animal kingdom. Everyday I got to assist carrying out data on the elephants and fed them bananas; some are more playful with humans than others and most days we got lots of interaction and camera footage. They are so intelligent and fun loving but you do need to remember they are semi captive animals who are exhibiting wild behaviours and need to time to roam and forage alone as is natural for them. The elephants have their own personal mahout (a person who oversees their journey throughout the day to keep them out of trouble and in good health). Sombat is one of the mahouts; he assists on hikes to the elephants as he can track where they are in the forest. The hikes can be physically demanding but if you have the right clothes, footwear and willpower it is easily doable every day.
I came in monsoon season and found the heat was far more than I was used to at home so would advise plenty of water and sun cream if you are travelling in the dry season. The activities in the evenings are very varied, some things you can pay extra for such as basket weaving, Thai massage, cooking classes and Muay Thai lessons. Other activities you are involved in are to improve the local community such as; gardening at base (they have a new vegetable patch), teaching English to nursery children and school children and litter picking. Kerri gives Karen/Pakinyaw lessons as this is the tribal language which is super helpful to try and communicate with your home stays. The two phrases I have used and heard constantly are Da Blue (hello, goodbye and thank you) and oh ah ah (eat more!).
Although I have enjoyed all of the activities, my favourite has been teaching English to the Mahouts one-to-one at base. The mahouts were quite modest and do actually enjoy learning, but they just need a little prompting as they are shy. The lessons have all been really fun, me and Bow (the mahout I was teaching) spent a lot of time laughing with each other at my poor Pakinyaw and the odd word he pronounced wrong. On the whole though I was impressed at how good their English is. I have a lot of souvenirs to take home with me! I recommend buying the woven clothes and bags from the women in the village as well as making bamboo cups, spoons and wooden slingshots with the assistance from the mahouts who are all experts with a machete. If you have time, you should try the basket weaving class, it was great fun! I will never forget the unbelievable and authentic experience I have had with the Elephant Sanctuary!
I fell in love with the animals at the Rehab & Rainforest Conservation project in Ecuador!
ARRC in Ecuador is an amazing place where you might feel ever more at home than where you live. Louisa and Frank are very cool and chill “boss”, working for the animal is never a burden, even when it’s pouring rain, living in the Jungle is a crazy experience which I crave for living again… I really advice to anyone who likes animals and adventure to go AND to donate 🙂 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 [/av_testimonial_single] [av_testimonial_single src='374' name='Erica Brooks' subtitle='USA' link='http://' linktext='' av_uid='av-7ecxev'] The Coral Farming Assistant in Cambodia really opened up my eyes…WoW Learning the coral propagation technique that Save Cambodia Marine Life employs was fantastic. Pedro is so knowledgeable and passionate about the future of this island’s coral health. I’m confident his creativity will ensure its success. The time spent at the nursery was pure bliss - easy, relaxing diving, caring for coral and interacting with the fish that are happy to see the divers! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how fantastic the food is there as well. One tip: bring earplugs for the sleeping quarters. [/av_testimonial_single] [av_testimonial_single src='374' name='Louise Russell' subtitle='UK' link='http://' linktext='' av_uid='av-5acy1j'] I never experienced anything like the Marine Research & Conservation project, South Africa. I spent 3 weeks in South Africa, i wanted to get close to marine life and learn more about them. First of all the area Plett Bay is stunning, the organisers are so helpful and friendly, i got to see humpback whales, dolphins, seals, went on fab hikes and walks. We went snorkelling and visited a beautiful area to fish for the aquarium. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who loves the Sea. [/av_testimonial_single] [av_testimonial_single src='374' name='Jenny P' subtitle='UK' link='http://' linktext='' av_uid='av-4grhk7'] I just love visiting Rainforest Bat Rehabilitation in Australia! It is set in beautiful surroundings and the bats are adorable. The staffs work so hard dedicating their time to rescuing, helping bats and educating humans that bats are essential to our ecology and we can live in harmony with these lovely misunderstood creatures. [/av_testimonial_single] [av_testimonial_single src='374' name='Stephanie' subtitle='France' link='http://' linktext='' av_uid='av-2i9c3r'] The Endangered Species Conservation Care was a great experience! For me as a vet overseas this experience was totally amazing. The staff involve you from the first day on all the procedures with the animals ad give you support and a lot of love. They were amazing with me and I felt as a member of the big family of the local host organization from the first moment. You will learn how to grow marsupials and birds, you will improve your medical skills and also, your interpersonal skills. The staff is always worried about how do you feel in the centre and they do everything they can to make you feel like at home. No bad words for anyone o any situation. You are going to work with wildlife in they environment and that is just AMAZING. [/av_testimonial_single] [/av_testimonials] [/av_section][av_heading heading='Check out these projects!' tag='h3' link_apply='' link='manually,http://' link_target='' style='' size='' subheading_active='' subheading_size='15' margin='' margin_sync='true' padding='10' color='' custom_font='' av-medium-font-size-title='' av-small-font-size-title='' av-mini-font-size-title='' av-medium-font-size='' av-small-font-size='' av-mini-font-size='' av_uid='av-jz4p0sen' custom_class='' admin_preview_bg=''][/av_heading] [av_productslider categories='43' columns='4' items='4' wc_prod_visible='' wc_prod_hidden='' wc_prod_featured='' wc_prod_additional_filter='' offset='0' sort='0' prod_order='' autoplay='no' interval='5' av_uid='av-jz4ox719' custom_class='']