Volunteer at a wolf sanctuary in Portugal

“Spend two weeks with Portugalís hidden wolves, helping in their habitat and learning to be one of the pack.”


Volunteer at a wolf sanctuary | Feeding and monitoring wolves | Clearing and planting vegetation | Self-catering accommodation provided on-site | Weekend accommodation in Lisbon

Description of Volunteer at a wolf sanctuary in Portugal

This is your chance to run with the wolves. Iberian wolves used to roam all through Portugalís countryside, but now itís believed that there are only 300 left in the wild. The best chance you have of seeing wolves is by volunteering at a wolf sanctuary. In this sanctuary just outside Lisbon, 10 or so rescued wolves live in 17 hectares of leafy space.

These wolves, delivered to safety from cramped zoos and human hands, will never be released into the wild. Their sanctuary has to be as close to the wild as possible. This means that you wonít be cuddling wolves, but you will be preparing their food and feeding them, which gives you the best chance to see them every day, and monitor them for the sanctuary.

Clearing away alien vegetation and planting native plants instead is vital work in the wolf enclosures. The work is demanding and physical, whether youíre wielding a scythe or weeding the land. In summer, volunteers take night shifts on fire-watch in guard towers above the sanctuary, where the odd howl and yip from the wolves keeps you alert.

You have accommodation for the duration in a shared log cabin, where you can cook together. The weekend before the project starts you can spend some time seeing Lisbon, with accommodation provided in the city. In your free time there are surfing beaches, a national park, and the magical town of Sintra all close at hand.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please enquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
Low carbon:
We are able to advise customers on train travel to Portugal, we can tailor advice for individuals. For Lisbon, there are two options: getting the bus from London to Paris to Lisbon (duration 32 hours) or the train from St Pancras Paris to Paris to Hendaye to Lisbon (duration 24 hours). There is a £50 discount for people that travel overland. The accommodation used on these trips is powered by solar energy. In addition, electric cars and public transport are used during the duration of the project.
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

The project
This project is all about conserving the dwindling population of Iberian wolves. These wolves have been rescued from hunters or from zoos, and will be living their lives out in the sanctuary.

Additionally, part of the volunteer project is to remove alien vegetation from the National Park and the wolf sanctuary itself. This is mainly eucalyptus, which grows very aggressively, killing off native species. This impacts on the survival of the local fauna and flora. Volunteers help to remove eucalyptus and plant native species of plants.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travellers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

The Impacts of this Trip

This holiday's commitment to the local community in Portugal
The project also helps the local economy. Our participants spend money on food and leisure; rent is paid to the local landlord and a local driver is used to help the volunteers to get around. All shopping is done locally in the town, creating jobs and supporting the local economy.

Cultural sensitivity
Our pre-departure briefing includes a special session entitled ĎResponsible Tourismí where we discuss cultural differences and sensitivities as well as advising volunteers on appropriate conduct. People a briefed on what is considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and dressing. It is encouraged that all volunteers learn some Portuguese prior to departure, and they get a helping hand whilst out there as well.

Keeping it local
Where possible, money is invested in the local economy and local staff are employed. We are passionate about supporting the local community, as without them, our projects could not run.


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