Created by volunteers, for volunteers
Focused on animals, wildlife and conservation


Community Education


This project is an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre in the Amazon jungle working in partnership with the indigenous Quichuan community. It provides a unique opportunity to actively work in an animal care and rehabilitation program that operates in collaboration with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment.

The centre’s main goal is to rescue wild animals from unhealthy and illegal situations that have been the victims of animal-trafficking or mistreatment and enrich their existence as best they can in captivity.

Open since 2006, the project operates on over 60 private hectares of primary Amazon forest where some of the animals live in excellent enclosures or on islands. Other animals have behavioural enrichment while they are in rehabilitation and can be released into a National Park or an area suitable for their species. The most commonly trafficked groups of animals are primates, birds and reptiles.

Minimum 2 weeks
From $1200 AUD

Ecuador's uniquely diverse coastline makes it a favourable nesting area for sea turtles, and as a result, there are 4 different species of turtles that call it home. These are green turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbills and olive-ridleys.

Despite their beauty and ecological importance, these gentle creatures are critically endangered.  Their nesting sites are being destroyed and over-fishing is depleting the oceans of food that is imperative for their survival.

The project was created in light of the urgent need to obtain information to conserve Ecuador’s ecosystems and marine resources, in particular, sea turtles. 

In addition to turtle conservation, project staff and volunteers work with the community educating people from the surrounding areas about the conservation projects and the importance of respecting the environment.

The project also operates a sea turtle egg hatchery program on one of the islands, the only one of its kind in Ecuador.

Minimum 1 month
From $1300 AUD

The collection of biological data is extremely important to this organisation in light of the urgent need to obtain information to conserve Ecuador’s ecosystems and marine resources, in particular, sea turtles. 

Until very recently it was believed that Hawksbill turtles only nested in the coasts of Central America. However, in 2008 this organisation found that this critically endangered species also nests in the beaches of Ecuador’s Coastline. Since then, with the aid of volunteers, research has been undertaken to learn more about this enigmatic creature and its presence in Ecuador. Other turtles that can be found in the area are green turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbills and olive-ridley turtles.

Despite their beauty and ecological importance, these gentle creatures are critically endangered.  Their nesting sites are being destroyed and over-fishing is depleting the oceans of food that is imperative for their survival.

Minimum 1 month
From $1300 AUD


The Endangered Species Conservation facility manages a number of captive breeding programs and partners with Government authorities, universities and zoological institutions to conduct vital research on Australian wildlife. The facility focuses on threatened species, particularly the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby and Northern and Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats. The facility is the only captive breeding facility for Bridled Nailtail Wallabies in the world.
 
The centre also provides medical care for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife through its rescue and rehabilitation program. Animals are nursed back to health with the goal of being well enough to be released back into the wild. The facility also supports other wildlife carers who assist with this dedicated work.
 
The centre delivers a range of wildlife education programs to enable local community groups, industry bodies, school groups and individuals to be actively involved in the conservation of native animals. The programs highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy natural environment to ensure the well-being of our native species.
 
The facility welcomes students and volunteers from all over the world to learn about Australian wildlife and contribute to the breeding, research and education programs.

2-6 weeks (longer by negotiation)
From $1210 AUD

Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is a conservation area for elephants. It was introduced to create a wildlife corridor for the movement of elephants between Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the north and Shimba Hills National Reserve to the south. Measuring 60,000 acres, elephants use this migratory passageway to access important foliage areas within their natural domain at different times of the year.

The Sanctuary was created to reduce human-elephant conflict arising from the large population of both humans and elephants in the area and to generate benefits for community members through wildlife and habitat conservation. 

The Sanctuary’s objectives are: -

  • To reduce human-elephant conflict within the area.
  • To conserve and protect wildlife.
  • To ensure that communities and individuals who owned land within the Mwaluganje-Shimba Hills National Reserve corridor could benefit from wildlife conservation and Eco-Tourism development.

The volunteer can choose to undertake a program of their choice based on their area of interest.

For more information on Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, visit the MES website www.elesanctuary.org


Included is a 2 night safari to either the Massai Mara National Reserve in a tented camp or the Tsavo National Park in a lodge. You will go on 2 game drives each day and get up close to soe of Africa's most stunning wildlife.

You will also visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan's project where you will see the baby elephant's morning feed and mud/dust bath.  If you adopt an elephant, you can return that evening for the orphan's bedtime where you can chat to the keepers and get to know your adopted elephant.

Minimum 4 weeks
From $1700 AUD

The centre is the only wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in Malawi, promoting wildlife conservation both internationally and within the local communities. They have an extensive community outreach and education program and the centre is open to the public 365 days a year, welcoming hundreds of families and school children every week.

The project is still in the development stages which means volunteers can have a very real influence on the direction they take and there is a great team currently in place. Volunteers often extend their stay because they enjoy it so much and can see the value of their contribution. The centre couldn’t do their work without the support of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who really want to make a difference. It is a ground breaking project and the first People and Wildlife Centre in the world, a pilot project supported by a well-known international wildlife charity which is already being used as a model for other centres in Africa.

Longer placements are available upon request.

2 weeks to 3 months
From $1685 AUD

A non-profit organisation with a no kill policy, the rescue centre is dedicated to reducing the cat population in Playa del Carmen. They achieve this via the TNR (trap spay/neuter and return) program for feral cats and the rescue, treat, spay/neuter and tame program for kittens under 3 months. The centre aims to find a permanent loving home for all rescued kittens in their care.

The centre is also committed to education, which encourages responsible pet ownership and challenges negative associations with feral cats and consequent cruelty.

While the rescue centre’s primary focus is cats, the clinic also provides spay/neuter services for dogs.

Minimum 2 weeks
From $900 AUD

The centre works for the conservation of bats and their habitat as poor public attitudes towards flying foxes and habitat loss are the root causes of many problems facing bat conservation.

They achieve this by:

• rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing hundreds of bats every year
• providing a lifetime sanctuary for bats that are too severely injured to return to the wild or have been retired from zoos
• educating the public about bats through schools and the onsite Visitor Centre
• habitat restoration work at 2 bat colonies
• facilitating research into flying foxes by various universities and government bodies
• advocating for bats.

All four species of Australian flying foxes are in permanent care as well as tube-nosed bats and microbats. A visitor’s centre was opened in 2009 to provide educational programs for a broader community of local residents, students and tourists.  

1 week to 1 month. Longer stays of up to 3 months are on request after a 1 month stay.
From $635 AUD


The Western Cape Big Cat Sanctuary is an environmentally friendly sanctuary which cares for rescued captive-bred big cats. Currently home to lions, tigers, caracals, jackals and a leopard, the sanctuary provides a compassionate and enriching environment for exploited big cats to live out their lives in comfort and safety.
 
With a strong focus on raising awareness of the plight of big cats in Africa, the sanctuary delivers on-site educational programs to sanctuary visitors and provides the opportunity for visitors and volunteers to be involved in creating enrichment toys and activities for the cats. The sanctuary also provides a range of specialist services such as trapped animal relocations, animal communication workshops and big cat facility advice and assistance.

Minimum 2 weeks
From $1800 AUD


Volunteers work within anon-governmental organisation committed to promoting the conservation and sustainable utilisation of marine resources through research, education and outreach enterprises.

This organisation has become recognised for its inclusive and holistic approach to conservation and ecosystem based research and focuses on a variety of initiatives, including an understanding the biology & ecology of sharks, skates & rays for management purposes, cetacean research focusing on southern right whales and the spatio-temporal behaviour of whales & dolphins in the local area, research techniques include photo identification, behavioural coding and environmental monitoring,  the collection of baseline diversity & abundance data from the Bay, a marine debris study and the investigation of the ecological role of mesopredators (medium sized predators including rays, snakes and sharks) in kelp forest ecosystems.

 

Minimum 2 weeks
From $1080 AUD