Multiple Locations +11
  • Costa Rica
  • Romania
  • South Africa
  • Borneo
  • New Zealand
  • Ecuador
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Namibia
  • Portugal
  • Sri Lanka
1 to 12 weeks
General grants/scholarships, Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Age Min.
Short Term Spring Break Summer Winter Year Round
Guesthouse Hostel Lodge
Small Group (1-15)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
Price Details
Projects range for 1- 12 weeks and prices vary - see projects for specific details
What's Included
Some Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Some Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 01, 2024
Nov 22, 2021
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Unleash your passion for wildlife and nature with our Animal Welfare and Conservation Volunteer Programs. Turtles, primates, elephants, marine life or horses; you name it, we've got it! Dive into impactful projects where your dedication transforms into meaningful change. Join a global community committed to safeguarding the environment and animal well-being. Gain hands-on experience, forge connections, and become a catalyst for conservation. Your journey begins here, making a lasting impact on our planet. Embrace the opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future – start your adventure with us today!

Video and Photos



Oyster Worldwide is passionate about the importance of responsible travel. We want our projects to fit in with the local way of life, without having a negative impact on the environment, culture or economy. This means that we will only send participants to places where there is a real need and where we have been asked to work. Once there, they should fit in with the community, respecting their way of life and supporting, rather than taking, local jobs.
Find out more here: https://www.oysterworldwide.com/about-us/our-policies/responsible-travel-policy/

Program Highlights

  • Guardianship Role: Become a guardian for extraordinary creatures through our projects
  • Versatile Wildlife Engagement: Experience hands-on and hands-off wildlife observation and research, delve into marine studies, explore rainforests, deserts, and big game reserves — elevate yourself through a diverse spectrum of environments
  • Sustainable Solutions: Collaborate to create sustainable solutions for animal protection and harmonious coexistence
  • All-Inclusive Experience: Enjoy food, accommodation, and all activities included in your volunteering journey
  • Global Diversity: Choose from over 35 diverse projects spanning various continents and contexts

Popular Programs

Animal Welfare

Awaken to the undeniable impact of human actions on our world. With a growing global awareness of the environment and animal treatment, Oyster has meticulously selected remarkable projects worldwide. Join us in making a significant difference in animal welfare and protection, as we navigate the globe to offer you meaningful opportunities to contribute to a better world for animals.

Environmental Conservation Volunteering

As global awareness of environmental issues and the repercussions of human actions grows, concerns escalate about single-use plastic, ocean conditions, and the diminishing rainforest, critical for the world's orangutans. Oyster has extensively traveled to handpick extraordinary projects, providing you with the opportunity to actively contribute and make a difference. Join us in addressing these concerns and play a role in creating a positive impact on the planet.

Marine Conservation

Dive into the challenges of our marine world – from plastic pollution and coral bleaching to sea life entangled in trawlers. Oyster has globally scouted incredible projects actively working to preserve our planet's marine environment. Be a part of this crucial adventure with us and contribute to the protection and restoration of our precious oceans. Join Oyster in making a positive impact on our marine world!


Experience a profound change by volunteering abroad with elephants. Whether you prefer hands-on work or aiding their conservation in the wild, observing these gentle giants is an unparalleled encounter. Connect with these majestic creatures, contribute to their well-being, and create lasting memories. Join us for a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of elephants while enjoying an unforgettable experience.

Bears in Borneo

Contribute to the vital mission of saving the native Borneo sun bear from extinction.With relentless efforts, the center focuses on key conservation initiatives, including the reintroduction of bears into the wild to prevent their extinction. Beyond combatting the threats posed by the pet trade, the sun bears also confront habitat destruction and illegal hunting for meat and bile. Your support plays a crucial role in ensuring the survival.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

4.91 Rating
based on 47 reviews
  • 5 rating 91.49%
  • 4 rating 8.51%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 47 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Bear Experience

A hands on experience working at the bear sanctuary including bear food prep & any other basic manual jobs that need to be done.
Be prepared to get mucky & just embrace it all.
You have privileged access to all areas in the sanctuary, that paying visitors dont get to see, enabling plenty of time to watch the bears doing bear things, which is so rewarding.
The bears' stories are so sad so it is such a pleasure to see them enjoying their new lives doing bear things amongst trees, grass & pools

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Baby bear just chilling right at the top of a tree
97 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at Riverside

This experience was absolutely life changing. I realized exactly what the baboons and vervet monkey took to just survive. The owners , Bob Nd Lynne, I cannot day enough. Even though very demanding ( at times did not think I could make it, but it was so rewarding and I learned strength I never knew I had. The poverty and government are devastating and the fact I felt I made a difference changed my life. I met friends I will keep for life and actually plan on going back next year. If it wasn’t for. Anne Smellie with Oyster I would not have had this experience. Thank you for all.

What would you improve about this program?
At least one day off as volunteers get burned out and then we are not help to anyone much less the monkeys. Changing jobs daily because it becomes monotonous and boring.
144 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Brilliant Bear’s

If you have an interest in Bear’s this is one of the most amazing trips you will go on in Romania. You get to meet over 100 bears & work with them. You will also get to meet other animals there as well. You will stay in the beautiful town of Brasov where there is so much sightseeing you can do & so many different places to visit.
It is a very beautiful & amazing place to visit. Oyster worldwide were an amazing company to go with as they support you right from the very moment you book, they can organise your flights as well as lots of other things. They are there for you throughout your trip & support you on your return home. The one thing I would say is just go with an open mind & don’t put any expectations on the trip, just go with & have the most amazing adventure of a lifetime.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Flying there. I am afraid of flying, but I got on the plane on my own & did it.
112 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Molly’s experience of a lifetime in Thailand!

What an absolutely remarkable time I had at WFFT in Thailand. It was truly life changing, from the friends I made to the fond love I grew for elephants. Not only was it hands on and physically demanding, the intellectual staff educated us on the laws surrounding animal cruelty and the awful trauma that elephants go through when used for tourism, of which I was ignorant of prior to my trip.

Daily tasks were assigned to us, and we worked with different elephants each day which was really exciting, as all of them are so different. They all have great personalities, from sassy to gentle. The day started at 6.30am, finishing at 5pm with a breakfast and lunch break in between lasting an hour each. Although the work was tough it was so amazing to be surrounded by the beautiful elephants, and it was truly surreal, especially when walking and showering them. We had one day off per week, which was lovely to relax (as it was well needed) and also it gave us a chance to visit the local town or get a taxi out a little further to explore Thailand even more. WFFT also organised evening trips such as evening markets or bat caves for after dinner, which was also lovely.

It was truly so wonderful! The other volunteers were lovely and the staff always were enthusiastic and happy to help. I would recommend this trip to everyone, as it is really worth doing! I came to WFFT mainly for my Gold duke of Edinburgh award, and the staff sign the paperwork for you on site which was super handy. I was also lucky enough to go with my sister, but it would also be a great experience alone, as many other volunteers came alone. You meet people so easily and quickly.

Thank you Georgie from oyster worldwide for guiding me every step of the way. You were amazing and so helpful, a true asset to the oyster worldwide team! Also, thank you WFFT, what an amazing sanctuary, I will be back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure you bring lots of clothes you are happy to get dirty and potentially leave out there! I would defiantly advise good quality flip flops and sturdy trainers (preferably breathable, as it is super hot)

Also, be careful as the sanctuary is on temple grounds so no crop tops, or short shorts. It’s important to follow the rules, out of respect for the culture.
98 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Wish I'd have stayed longer!

I really enjoyed my experience with Oyster Worldwide. I'd never booked a volunteering project on my own, so I was grateful at how friendly, welcoming and helpful the team were. They were regularly in contact and redirected me to someone who could help with booking flights when I was struggling to find a good one. I booked for a week at an animal sanctuary and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Oyster provided airport transfers, which made the whole thing a lot less scary! I'd never been to the country before or travelled alone, so this was very reassuring.

When I arrived at my accommodation, a guide was there to greet me. He had also brought me a welcome meal, which I greatly appreciated as it was really late by the time I'd arrived, meaning there was no time for me to do any shopping. Essentials were provided in the apartment. These included: washing up liquid, toilet roll, hand wash, towels and washing powder. I thought that this was an unexpected but nice touch, as I ideally didn't want to waste money on buying these things if I was only there for a week. The accommodation was really safe, quiet and comfortable. A few other volunteers shared with me, which was nice for the social aspect. I was also given the opportunity to go visit some iconic places whilst I was there, one of which transport was provided by Oyster.

After the weekend, I began my experience at the sanctuary. Oyster arranged for a driver to pick us up and bring us back to the accommodation every day. We started work at 9am and finished around half 2 in the afternoon. One volunteer would be in charge of a phone given to us by the guide, which he used to stay in contact with us whilst we were at the sanctuary. If there was ever a problem, the guide sorted it out immediately.

Whilst I would've liked to spend more time at the sanctuary, what work we did do was rewarding and fun. The sanctuary allowed us to embark on the feeding tour too, which was amazing. We got to see a lot of what the tourists didn't, which felt special and worth every penny. My only regret is that I didn't stay longer!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have stayed for at least 2 weeks. I think that when you go for a week you just start to settle into a routine and then have to leave straight away almost. With 2 weeks, you get to know the animals more, become more efficient at the jobs in the sanctuary, can explore more and have more time to visit the tourist attractions.
112 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I volunteered at the brown bear sanctuary in Romania for a week in May 2019. The sanctuary is set in an amazing rural location in the mountains and has a welcoming dog brigade. I was impressed with the conditions provided at the sanctuary. My most memorable highlight of the project was observing the pleasure on the bears faces as they enjoyed taking a therapeutic dip in the water.
Most of the volunteer work involves food preparation and it can be monotonous at times but it can also be fun and it is important to the bears since bears need a lot of food.
We were able to observe the bear feeding process on the last day and it was an amazing experience to watch the bears come out of the forest for the food and to see the bears enjoying the food we have prepared.
Brasov is a lovely town in a central location and the standard of accommodation provided by the project was excellent.

What was your funniest moment?
Observing brown bears taking a dip in the water and seeing the pleasure on their faces as they enjoyed the therapeutic effects of the water.
102 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

trip of a lifetime

Yanacocha has captured my heart with both the staff and animals playing a huge role in my experience. The other volunteers are friends I will have for life, 4 weeks living together and working in such a unique and amazing environment bonds you in a way nothing else can. We were given experiences that others can only dream of; releasing a huge boa among other animals back into the amazon rain forest after assisting with its rehabilitation in the park is definitely a highlight. Feeding the animals was always entertaining especially when the monkeys couldn't decide if it was more important for them to get cuddles from the volunteers or eat the fresh fruit we were giving them. You won't be disappointed if you chose to volunteer at this park, I already want to go back.

What would you improve about this program?
When I stayed there we had no hot water for showers although the park owners constantly had repair people out trying to fix the issue
98 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience with the Big 5 Conservation Program in SA

In December 2018 I had the pleasure to spend 2 weeks on a Big 5 Conservation program in South Africa.
I can honestly say, the weeks I spent there were some of the best weeks in my life - thanks to the place and the people there. The nature and wildlife are great. I can only recommend this trip to all nature lovers. The work you do is varied and rewarding. Sometimes, regarding the weather in the summer months, you feel exhausted from previous days, but – and I very appreciated this attitude – nobody is forced to work and you can stay back and relax enjoying the beautiful place. The volunteers feel free to go on the activities.
Personally, I tried to participate in every activity as it makes fun to work with all the people together and you learn a lot from the rangers. (Almost all the work is conducted in the nature inside the reserve and many times you go on a game drive)
When I left, I left not only this beautiful place and the (great !! and helpful) stuff there but also many new friends from all around the world. This experience was really amazing!

Oysters Worldwide provided great support and did a great job. I was feeling more than very well prepared before leaving. I received all necessary information and prompt responses for all questions I had. They kept in touch with me during and after the trip to ensure that everything’s fine. So overall, I had the feeling that they really care about you and that you get the most out of your trip.
A big thank to Oysters for providing me this unique opportunity.

After this great experience I want to continue with travelling and volunteering around the world and now I first check if Oyster offers something I'm looking for.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready. Be prepared. Take everything easy. Be open-minded :-) !
108 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers