A Guide to Conservation Projects – The Top Destinations

By on March 12, 2016

I love the thought of helping out on a conservation project abroad. Volunteering overseas is hugely rewarding, especially when we take so much pleasure from exploring a country. It’s always great to give something back and help protect the landscape and wildlife for future travellers to enjoy.

If you feel the same as I do and want to know where your time would be greatly appreciated, the good news is there are loads of countries crying out for volunteers. This means you’ll not only meet new people, discover different places and experience various cultures, but you might also pick up a skill. You can then add an impressive section to your CV for when the time comes to go back into the real world and start hunting for a job.

So, where can you volunteer on conversation schemes? Below are the three destinations I think look fantastic.

Kenya

Kenya

The African nation of Kenya is famous for its wildlife, so imagine working closely with them, helping to protect different species? Supporting the Maasai, you will monitor the nation’s big cats and elephants, trying to keep track of population numbers and ensuring their future survival. There are different parts to this scheme which all sound amazing, but one section includes working on the Olowuaru Bush Project in Rombo. You will help locals determine what impact humans have on the lion population, including creating paw print casts to aid research.

If you volunteer on the Olowuaru Elephant Project, you’ll get the exciting opportunity to monitor herd activity between the border with Tanzanian close to Oloibor and the Tsavo East National Park. This is a fairly new scheme, so make sure you’re one of the first to experience it! Additional tasks include recording the number of other large creatures and looking at different families of elephants and how they interact.

China

China Destinations

The Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army are two of the most popular things to see in China. But how about you break the tourism mould and sign yourself up to a conservation project? Of course, you can still visit all the big attractions when in the country, but for something that not many travellers will have done, head to a giant panda conservation project.

This beautiful creature is one of the most endangered on the planet, so your time and effort will be greatly appreciated by those who are trying to protect the giant panda. The scheme is located in Lou Guan Tai town, which lies in the Shaanxi Province. From cleaning the enclosures and feeding the pandas to general maintenance and helping staff with their English, you’ll have plenty to get stuck into.

Ecuador

Ecuador Destinations

Ecuador in South America is certainly a unique place to visit on a gap year. Not only does it boast magnificent Latin American cities such as Quito, but it is also home to amazing wildlife and the spectacular Amazon Rainforest. Volunteer on a rescue project here and you’ll help to protect the country’s animals, which include monkeys, parrots and reptiles.

The rescue centre you’ll be based at helps to rehabilitate animals that have been injured or abused, before releasing them back into the rainforest. I can imagine it being a great feeling when you release a creature back into the wild to know it can now enjoy a normal life.

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to volunteer abroad – which of the above projects have caught your eye?

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