5 of the best conservation holidays

Published on: Monday, July 20, 2015
5 of the best conservation holidays - 10 best conservation holidays


From monitoring wolves in the Carpathian Mountains to waxing historic floors, options abound for benevolent travellers.

1. Monitoring wolves, Slovakia

Picking up wolf poo is just one of the highlights of this eco-expedition, which takes participants to the snow-capped Carpathian Mountains to monitor lynx, wolf and bear populations.

Based in a cosy chalet, volunteers will work with scientists to track the carnivores and may even be involved in capturing and radio-collaring them. It’s great fun and all for a worthy cause: the ultimate aim is to deepen our understanding of the creatures and create a sustainable future for them.

Cost: £1,490 (excluding flights)
Expedition length: 7 days
More information: www.biosphere-expeditions.org

2. Rehabilitating wild animals, Bolivia

As well as lobbying the government to get tough on wildlife trafficking, the venerable Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) in Bolivia works tirelessly to rehabilitate wild animals, including big cats, which have been confiscated from markets or illegally kept as pets.

Operating in three centres across the country, the CIWY are always looking for volunteers. The schedule is gruelling, but it’s also extremely rewarding: as well as working with some incredible animals, participants can explore parts of Bolivia most tourists never get to see.

Cost: various (excluding flights)
Expedition length: From 8 days
Further information: www.intiwarayassi.org

3. Treating injured birds, Greece

Located on the picturesque Paros Island in Greece, the admirable Aegean Wildlife Hospital is a non-profit organisation set up to rehabilitate birds and other animals that have been harmed by illegal hunters.

Volunteers can stay for as long as they like here, helping care for the sick and injured animals, which include pelicans, flamingos and kingfishers. Spend your days off exploring the island’s rugged coast, sandy coves and whitewashed fishing villages.

Cost: N/A
Expedition length: Unlimited
Further information: aegean-wildlife.parosweb.com

4. Researching coral reefs, Malaysia

Dive on previously unexplored coral reefs and help scientists develop a better understanding of these endangered ecosystems, by signing up to this research expedition to Tioman Island, Malaysia.

The idea of the trip is to gather more information about coral reefs, which scientists will present to governments in the hope of securing better protection for the world’s reefs. It’s hard work, but the rewards are great and the diving second to none. You must be a fully qualified diver to take part in this expedition.

Cost: £1,590 (excluding flights)
Expedition length: 8 days
Further information: www.biosphere-expeditions.org

5. National Trust, UK

The National Trust UK runs a series of working holidays from clearing coastal areas, planting trees to waxing floors in historic buildings. The work can be hard, but participants will gain from working with knowledgable volunteers and usually enjoy a day of guided tour during the working holiday.

Cost: varies (excluding flights)
Expedition length: varies
Further information: www.biosphere-expeditions.org