Thanks to their charm and sympathetic appearances the Giant pandas are one of the world’s most beloved animals. The consequence of this admiration however has left these Giant pandas with little peace to live in. On this project you will get the chance to learn all there is about the Giant pandas while at the same time contributing to the survival of this unique species.
Project fee from EUR 1,200
Your Role as a Volunteer
The organization that we cooperate with in China has more than 20 years of experience in the breeding pandas. The Panda centre operates as a research station, breeding centre, wild life centre, animal hospital, as well as a tourist destination for animal lovers wanting to see the endangered Giant Panda. As a volunteer, you will get a detailed orientation course before you start working with the animals. You will work both independently and also together as a group with the project’s animal keepers. As a volunteer you will prepare food for the pandas and also feed them. Be prepared to carry a lot of bamboo shoots, as one panda eats between 30-40 kg of bamboo a day. Cleaning the panda’s living areas will also be your responsibility, together with other volunteers, making sure that it is clean and tidy both inside and outside. You might also get the opportunity to assist with data collection for the study and care of the panda’s.
The Project’s Mission
The organisation that Volunteer Travels has partnered with has more than 20 years of experience in the care and breeding of panda’s. Your volunteering contributes to the future of this project, and the continuation of their success.
Our project is run in cooperation with our local partner, who has a long experience in receiving volunteers. Thanks to this partnership Volunteer Travels can offer you a well-organized and safe volunteer experience.
How do I book a trip?
You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+46) 08-23 93 00 or by booking through our website www.volunteertravels.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on [email protected]. When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.
Your Everyday Life
On arrival at Chengdu on Sunday, you will be invited for a welcome dinner and short orientation. The following day you will go on a sight-seeing excursion with some of the other volunteers, into Chengdu city. Chengdu is a city with a thousand year’s history and has many sights to offer. Sight-seeing will continue on Tuesday, where you will have a chance to visit the city of Yaán, which is about a three hour bus ride south-east of Chengdu.
The panda centre, Panda Conservation Base, is located high up in the mountains with stunning views, about half an hour outside of Yaán. Once you get to the centre your volunteer work will start. On arrival at the centre you will undergo another orientation where you will find out more detailed information about the centre, their goals, objectives and methods of achieving them.
Accommodation and Food
Volunteers’ accommodation is in a charming, but very simple hotel adjacent to the panda centre. Here you will be sharing a double- or triple- room, each with en-suite toilet and shower. There is a laundry room at the facility. Due to the extremely humid climate in this area we recommend that you take clothing that can dry easily.
All meals are included in the tour price and are served in a restaurant also adjacent to the panda centre. There is also a possibility to buy other simple food close to the restaurant but it is advised that you have bank notes for this, as there is no ATM at the centre or adjacent facilities.
When you’re not working you are free to explore the area on your own or just relax and enjoy life. You will be free during the weekends; we encourage you to take the opportunity to travel around. The closest town, about 16 km away, is Yaán. You can get to Yaán using the centre’s minibus or by taking a local bus. There are ATMs, restaurants and much more available in Yaán. If you are interested to see more of Chengdu, there is a bus leaving every half an hour from Yaán.
Antique yet up-to-the-minute, familiar yet unrecognizable, outwardly urban but quintessentially rural, conservative yet path-breaking, space-age but old-fashioned, China is a land of mesmerising and eye-opening contradictions. China is the world’s fourth largest country by surface area with more than one billion inhabitants. It holds everything from ancient traditions and world famous structures, to a society and economy that is growing at a light speed. Here you can find a mixture of skyscrapers and sheds made of corrugated iron, both connected with never-ending crowds of people on bicycles. Our project is located in the Sichuan province in south China. The Sichuan province gets its name from the four rivers which intercept this province, literally meaning “Four Rivers”. The province’s capital is Chengdu and the project is approximately a three hour bus ride from there, just outside the city Yaán.
Your flight tickets are not included in the tour price. You can book your tickets with a travel agency of your choice. You should book your ticket so that you arrive at Chengdu on Sunday, the day before the start of the project. Your last work day will be Friday after the amount of weeks that you choose to volunteer. If you are planning to go home right after the end of the project, you should book your return ticket for the next day, Saturday or alternatively Sunday. Make a point of checking that the arrival and the departure dates are correct according to your time at the project.
It is the volunteers responsibility to acquire the right visa for the trip. Different visa rules may apply depending on your nationality. Visit the embassy web page of your destination to find out what the visa terms are between your country and that destination.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your insurance covers illness, injury and theft whilst you are volunteering. Most travel agency’s sell a travel insurance that is valid for volunteer work, so be sure to enquire about it when booking your flight tickets. Volunteer Travels does however, supply liability insurance and is included in the price. Liability insurance applies to instances when compensation for damages is demanded of you, as a private person, for unintentionally hurting someone or for unintentionally damaging someone else’s property.
You should contact your nearest vaccination centre for any questions regarding vaccinations for China. Volunteer Travels always recommends vaccinating against Hepatitis A and B when travelling abroad.