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Volunteering with animals holidays and tours, 2014 and 2015

Take a look at our 56 volunteering with animals holidays. These volunteering with animals holidays are all about helping animals that can’t look after themselves. On these holidays you can volunteer with a range of animals from big beasties like bears and elephants, to smaller creatures such as monkeys and turtles. These are hands on holidays, working at animal sanctuaries or rehabilitations centres where neglected animals are cared for. Many have been rescues from poor conditions so be prepared give these animals lots of love and TLC.
Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa
Some of the most exciting conservation work in Africa, from €950 - €1700 (14 days) ex flights
South Africa wildlife reserves conservation expedition
The Big 5 game reserve expedition, from £730 - £2920 (14 days) ex flights
Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa
Work hands on with horses on the South African coast, from £1095 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteering with bears in Romania
Volunteer at a bear sanctuary in the Romanian mountains, from £1145 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa
Volunteer with children and wild animals in South Africa, from £460 - £3390 (7 days) ex flights
Volunteering with bears in Cambodia
Help to care for rescued bears, from £595 (7 days) ex flights
Elephant conservation in Thailand
Volunteering with elephants in Thailand, from £450 (7 days) ex flights
Animal rehabilitation project in South Africa
Hands on rehabilitation work in South Africa, from £995 (14 days) ex flights
South Africa wildlife volunteering holiday
Conservation & animal care in a South African Big 5 Reserve, from £829 (14 days) ex flights
Namibia wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday
Care for rescued animals in Namibia, from £795 - £2395 (14 days) ex flights
Malawi volunteering holiday
Volunteer at Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary, from £1131 - £3588 (14 days) ex flights
Wildlife volunteering in Malawi, with Zambia safari
Experience the wild side of Africa, from £1400 (15 days) ex flights
Botswana wildlife volunteering holiday
Help conserve the incredible wildlife of the Kalahari Bush, from £920 - £1629 (14 days) ex flights
Vervet monkey rehabilitation project in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Rehabilitate & release Vervet Monkeys into the wild, from £695 (7 days) ex flights
Carnivore conservation & research in Namibia
Rehabilitate and release cheetah in the wilds of Namibia, from £845 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica, Pacuare Nature Reserve
1206 nesting giant turtles 1000Ha tropical forest Pacuare, from US $210 (7 days) ex flights
Primate rescue volunteer holiday in South Africa
Providing rescued primates with a better quality of life, from £475 (7 days) ex flights
Volunteering in Thailand, wildlife rescue centre
Care for rescued animals including monkeys and bears, from £549 (7 days) ex flights
Volunteering with rescued chimps in Spain
Volunteer with primates, from €240 - €440 (2 days) ex flights
Thailand elephant conservation holiday
Thailand elephant conservation: a new life for Thai ellies, from £585 (7 days) ex flights
Family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa
Hands-on family volunteering with monkeys in South Africa, from £520 - £620 (7 days) ex flights
Wildlife rescue volunteering in Thailand, Under 18s
Join an Under 18 Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue group trip, from £1295 (14 days) ex flights
Sun Bear Conservation in Borneo
Volunteer with the Sunbear conservation in Borneo, from £1100 - £1760 (4 weeks) ex flights
Volunteer with animals in Thailand
Animal rescue on a tropical island in Thailand, from £495 (14 days) ex flights
Yoga & volunteer with orangutans in Indonesia
Yoga lessons with the Orangutans and Gibbons, from £790 (7 days) ex flights
Chimp & Gorilla conservation in Cameroon
Gorilla & Chimpanzee Conservation in Cameroon, from £2000 - £2650 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa
Volunteer with orphaned animals, from £995 (14 days) ex flights
South Africa conservation project
Work to ease human-animal conflict in beautiful South Africa, from £700 - £2185 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteering holiday in South Africa
Track endangered animals & build a creche for Zulu children, from £2195 (14 days) ex flights
Volunteer with elephants in Cambodia
Work with elephants & build homes for the disadvantaged, from £1191 (14 days) ex flights

139 reviews for Volunteering with animals holidays4 star overall rating

These full and frank independent Volunteering with animals holidays reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Endangered wildlife conservation in South Africa
The most memorable part was all the time we spent in the bush - at least 10h per day. To see the other side of the safari - i.e. not being in a traditional tourist vehicle. (more)Karin van Volen
Amazing!! Words cannot describe this adventure- over 1500 photos taken and a million memories. (more)Emma Clifford
Brilliant experience...We were in a Private Game Reserve with no tourists so it was really peaceful and secluded. The scenery was wonderful and the animals were amazing to see. I was also lucky enough to share my experience with a great bunch of people which made the trip even more memorable (more)Pankaj Bhudia
From €950 - €1700 excluding flights
Volunteering with bears in Romania
Bears! Bears ! Bears!......absolutely amazing to spend time with these wonderful creatures. (more)Sarah Burman
I have volunteered with other organisations in conservation and animal welfare and found in comparison the co-ordination for this was exemplary, the time working was balanced by time I had to wander the sanctuary or explore the surrounding area. Highly recommended! (more)Clanci Ferguson
Amazing! I was taking a year's sabbatical and this trip was the top of my list. It didn't disappoint and should be on every animal lover's 'bucket list'. I went for 6 weeks, returned for another 6 weeks the following year and fully intend to go back as soon as I can! (more)Estelle Barnes
From £1145 excluding flights
Volunteering with bears in Cambodia
I loved every second of my trip - the people, the country, the bears I worked with... (more)Louise Bednarz
Meeting the bears and being able to really make a difference to their day-to-day lives with enrichment, feeding and cleaning; some of the things we were doing (such as enrichment to keep the bears active and happy) wouldn't get done unless we were there to help out! (more)Heather Reynolds
We were so close to the bears and keepers that you feel part of the project rather than just a short stay helper. I think we were really lucky... to have the baby bear (Lola) arrive when we were there too. (more)Anon
From £595 excluding flights
South Africa wildlife reserves conservation expedition
Memorable parts? Monitoring and tracking the wild dogs was a most memorable experience. We'd get up early in the morning and sit in the back of an open jeep and roar off to the last sighting. It was winter. It was cold. It didn't matter as it was a big adventure and the not knowing would we find them or not? Waiting and watching for the next time. Really great fun. Tips? For the winter, take lots of warm clothing layers as you can peel off as the weather warms up. Follow the list... (more)Keith Costelloe
From £730 - £2920 excluding flights
Orangutan volunteering in Borneo and Malaysia
Memorable parts? Helping to catch a Crocodile, and a 13 foot long python that had eaten a monkey.... Definitely not your average holiday, which is nice... Tips? Go with an open mind, and be prepared for some physical work… Local benefits? Yes. Overall rating? Very enjoyable, thanks for having me. (more)John Broome
From £1795 excluding flights
Wildlife conservation holiday in South Africa
Memorable parts? Working with people who are dedicated, informed and enthusiastic about conservation in a practical and realistic way. And of course, seeing the wildlife as they are meant to be. Tips? Be prepared for it to change your views on life. Local benefits? Many local people were employed in the reserve and the studies that were being carried out influenced how the reserve was managed and that benefited the locals. As the research carried out was the same as the normal... (more)Louise Sexton
From £1395 excluding flights
Wildlife volunteering in Malawi, with Zambia safari
My time at there was fantastic - I would recommend the Center in a heartbeat to anyone wishing to have a conservation-oriented holiday. Work is not too difficult on the whole, and you will have enough spare time to develop solid relationships with other volunteers and otherwise enjoy your time. (more)Ben van Haeringen
Working with the young orphaned animals, helping to provide their day-to-day care, was a truly unforgettable experience. Seeing wild Lions, Leopards, Elephants (and many more) up close on safari was fantastic, surpassing all my expectations. (more)Philip Toole
From £1400 excluding flights
South Africa wildlife volunteering holiday
The best part was meeting the elephants and having contact with them. They are such amazing animals and I could spend all day long observing them, which I did even on some of my days off (more)Kim Mackie
An amazing experience that I will never forget and am immensely grateful for! (more)Hugh Quigley
From £829 excluding flights
Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica
This is a really sound conservation project with some clear tangible benefits and as a volunteer you really fee like you're making a difference. Would highly recommend this project to anyone. (more)Katie Wilkinson
I would give the holiday 7/10. It was a very relaxing an beautiful beach and I learnt so much about the culture and turtles. (more)Ellie Hall
5 stars! My best experience abroad in the last 30 years.....Working with sea turtles: seeing turtle nesting and releasing baby hatchlings was absolutely fantastic (more)Daniel Halder
From £677 excluding flights
Volunteering with rescued chimps in Spain
Fantastic. I'm going to return again someday for sure! From the warm and friendly greeting from the team and volunteers to meeting the chimpanzees for the first time. I enjoyed every minute of every task and the local area is also stunning. (more)Helen Mulry
One of my better decisions! Lovely people doing a wonderful job with great animals and I felt very privileged. I want to return! (more)Kathryn Dowling
We learnt so much about primates - how they live, their relationships and hierarchies and how much time, effort and care is required from the wonderful staff, who work there, to ensure the primates now have the lives they deserve...A brilliant experience that I would recommend to all (more)Beth Kilsby-Macnab
From €240 - €440 excluding flights
Malawi volunteering holiday
A great experience. I got to know some local people and volunteers from different countries and I learned about animal conservation and the social/ economic situation in Malawi. (more)Steve Boud
The most memorable part of the holiday has got to be the people. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly throughout my stay. You were made to feel at home as soon as you arrived which is just what you need after a long flight and arriving in a new country! The most exciting part was riding in the local buses, you get to see the city, meet local people and really immerse yourself in Malawi! (more)Emma Daw
It was so good to get the chance to meet so many local people and the most exciting part of the whole thing for me was helping to bring in an orphaned yellow baboon who was being sold on the street, and she was later named after me! (more)Diana Fentiman
From £1131 - £3588 excluding flights
Volunteering in Thailand, wildlife rescue centre
I went to the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Thailand, this was a fantastic project helping animals who had been mostly kept as pets. It’s hard to say what was the most memorable part of this holiday as there was so much variety and different experiences, it’s difficult to decide what was the best part of it. (more)Cathy Bisset
I had so many fantastic experiences, and the centre itself was in an idyllic area, on the grounds of a Buddhist temple. One highlight was spotting wild elephants in a nearby national park, after dark. (more)Olly Carney
From £549 excluding flights
Horse rehabilitation project in South Africa
Memorable parts? Working with experienced people who are always willing to help and teach you Tips? To bring many working pieces of clothes and leave at home fashion dresses Local benefits? Yes Overall rating? Great and fulfilling experience (more)Giorgia Trevisan
From £1095 excluding flights
Volunteer with children & animals in South Africa
It was AMAZING! (more)tracy ciotti
My whole time at the reserve was so incredible with thrills everyday from hurtling along dirt tracks to see elephants, watching porcupines and honey badgers battle right next to camp to the first time you lead a class by yourself. (more)Deirdre McClean
Working with all of the animals and children, and meeting wonderful people were most memorable - the whole experience was memorable and exciting. The trip well and truly exceeded my expectations. I would happily recommend it to anyone. (more)Thérèse Hutchins
From £460 - £3390 excluding flights
Elephant conservation in Thailand
My holiday was the best experience of my life, so much so I wasn't ready to leave and got very upset when the time came to leave. I fell in love my elephant Campion and Boonma and his family welcomed me with open arms. Such good hearted people. The experience with them added to my amazing experience and I would recommend anyone try this experience. I would give this experience 10 out of 10 there was nothing I feel could of been better except for me booking longer! (more)Debbie Field
Thoroughly enjoyed - The baby elephant playing-a real privilege to see! (more)Amanda Patrick
It was the best holiday I have ever experienced. My daughter and I cried when we left the elephant camp on the last day. We built up very strong bonds with our elephants, their owners and thier families. A very happy, emotional experience. We will be going back to visit them all soon. (more)Sarah Middleton
From £450 excluding flights
Volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa
Memorable parts? So many amazing things happened during my stay. My top 3 were: 1) Seeing the cheetahs being fed 2) Helping to rear a meercat baby and Clarke a serval 3) All the jokes and banter between the volunteers Tips? I would recommend bringing some DVDs, although the selection is pretty good already. Additionally make sure you bring warm clothes it gets really really cold at night. Finally make sure you bring a good torch. Overall rating? 9/10 of course there will be... (more)Cecilia Stilwell
From £995 excluding flights
Volunteer with monkeys in South Africa
Being so hands on with the Vervets and baboons was an amazing experience, as was helping to build the release site for the Vervet troop that was about to be set free. (more)Sara Lee
I would recommend this volunteering experience to anyone of a similar mindset who cares about the planet and all the creatures that we share it with. (more)Angela Crossland
From £795 excluding flights
Volunteer at orangutan & wildlife rescue centre in Indonesia
Memorable parts? Defiantly my most memorable part was the interaction with the local people, especially the kid’s classes. The animals were great, however it’s the people that made it special. Tips? If you enjoy a beer after a hard day's work, make sure you organize in advance! You can get beer but it’s in town and about a 15min drive, so suggest being organized. Local benefits? I defiantly feel that we made great progress with the local people. We are still in regular contact... (more)Lauchlan Leishman
From £760 - £1525 excluding flights
Volunteer with elephants in Cambodia
Memorable parts? Working with the children in Siem Reap villages - feeding the Elephants - the cultural visits - seeing the "real Cambodia" Tips? Speak to someone who has done it before for tips on what to take/ expect. Local benefits? Yes - all of these. Overall rating? Amazing experience! We went as a whole family and it something we will never forget. My children well grown ups really - are so enthusiastic they want to return or do something similar next year. (more)andy blades
From £1191 excluding flights
Botswana wildlife volunteering holiday
Memorable parts? Daily close interaction with lions and wild dogs. Close contact with knowledgable and passionate conservationists. Tips? The company I booked with (The Great Projects) were very helpful when spoken to directly. However,they did not give the name of the project (Modisa in Botswana). As such,much of the information they gave to me was inaccurate and caused problems at the start of the trip. Had there been an emergency or had I had a strong view on what I wanted from... (more)Phil Jackson
From £920 - £1629 excluding flights
Namibia wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday
Memorable parts? Being able to be near, feed and touch some majestic animals - lions, cheetahs, baboons. Tips? Be prepared for really hot weather - I sunburned - and get ready to enjoy. Local benefits? I certainly did. I saw how the animals were cared for, how the local people were given employment and knew I was contributing. Overall rating? I had a great holiday - too short - but that was my choice. (more)Catherine Armstrong
From £795 - £2395 excluding flights
Volunteer with animals in the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador
Memorable parts? Getting close to wild animals and being "groomed" by monkeys. Tips? Take really old clothes and be prepared for normal standards of hygiene to go out the window. Local benefits? Yes - the animals but not the local people so much. Overall rating? Good. (more)Angela Loten
From US $840 - US $2840 excluding flights
Animal rehabilitation project in South Africa
Memorable parts? Tips? Local benefits? Overall rating? Poor. Not much meaningful work. It was not well organized in keeping volunteers busy. There were lots of occasions when we ran out of jobs and were told to wander around and look for things to do. Myself and my grandchildren were extremely disappointed. We had a family meeting and left early. Still a bad taste in our mouth. After staying there I felt that the fee charged was excessive. John Brown. (more)John Brown
From £995 excluding flights
Elephant conservation holiday, Thailand
Being with the elephants and their handlers. Having the big bull elephants walk past you, just inches from your face, leaving you to feel completely small and vulnerable as these pre-historic like mammals move by with grace, softness, power and majesty! (more)Georgina Hickman
What a wonderful educational experience and to feel you are putting something back into the preservation of these magnificent creatures. (more)Sharryn Salkilld
A great experience. I haven't travelled alone before but I soon made friends and the staff were great. (more)Paul Gramlick
From £549 excluding flights

Holiday Reviews

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Want to know more about volunteering with animals holidays before you go?

Find out more about volunteering with animals holidays by reading these volunteering articles.

If you’re planning a volunteering trip, whether it’s a 3 month volunteer placement in a remote corner of the world or a weekend somewhere closer to home, it’s always good to know what to expect and the best way to do things. Our friends at people & places have helped us to write this guide on responsible volunteering. Responsible volunteers are more likely to be a positive presence, a source of inspiration and empowerment. Poorly prepared volunteers who impose their own agenda and cultural norms, failing to include local people in decisions, can leave behind more problems than they solve, making life even tougher for economically poor people. Let's start at the beginning – you’re already committed to responsible travel and now you want to volunteer, but how can you be sure of being a responsible volunteer? Read their advice in this volunteering with animals article.
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