Multiple Locations +6
  • Thailand
  • Costa Rica
  • South Africa
  • Seychelles
  • Greece
  • Madagascar
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Year Round
Travel Type
Family Older Travelers Solo Women


What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Nov 03, 2023
Mar 05, 2024
31 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Picture this: experiencing the Big Five in South Africa up close, diving into diverse fauna and flora in Mexico, bonding with elephants in Thailand, and safeguarding endangered lemurs in Madagascar. In Costa Rica, you'll unravel the secrets of rich biodiversity and explore the vibrant birdlife.

But it's not just about adventure; it's about making a real impact. You'll be part of a passionate team striving to achieve short-, mid- and long-term goals aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

This journey isn't just about conservation; it's about gaining hands-on experience, learning from FGASA qualified guides, mastering remote camera trapping, discovering natural medicinal remedies for elephants, and building shelters for turtle nests and hatchlings. Are you ready to make a difference? Join us on this incredible adventure!

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Learn conservation skills directly from experts in the field, while contributing to short-, mid- and long-term objectives to reach the UN SDGs.
  • Travel to Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America or Europe, and learn how to volunteer ethically and make a sustainable impact in your chosen project.
  • Meet participants from other parts of the world, and start becoming a global citizen with a greater understanding of different social and conservation issues.
  • Go on hikes, snorkel and dive in warm tropical waters, or travel to nearby waterfalls and cities in your free time.
  • Start to learn a new language and gain a deeper understanding of local community members’ cultural practices.

Popular Programs

Volunteer and trees

Experience northern Thailand's stunning mountains and forests while helping protect the local gibbon population. Learn about these amazing long-armed primates by assisting conservationists in tracking, photographing, and documenting their behavior. Immerse yourself in the local Karen community's culture in your free time.

Volunteers and elephants

Join us in South Africa's private game reserve. Live alongside a dedicated international research team and actively participate in wildlife conservation. You'll help track and identify predators, like lions and cheetahs, and megaherbivores, like elephants and rhinos. Enjoy the full safari experience and witness incredible wildlife moments.

Volunteer and trees

Join us in Madagascar's unique ecosystem to protect endangered lemurs and their habitat. Trek through ancient rainforests day and night, conduct lemur population censuses, and survey for tiny frogs and chameleons. Contribute to regrowing indigenous tree species and conduct year-round biodiversity surveys.

Participants and trees

Join our Costa Rica expedition in the Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve on the Caribbean coast. Contribute to rainforest conservation by hiking jungle trails, monitoring sea turtles, checking camera traps for jaguars, and surveying aquatic bird species. Gain valuable skills, experience biodiversity, and immerse yourself in Affrocaribbean culture.

Participants in the jungle with elephants

Embark on a transformative journey in Thailand's Chiang Mai province, where you'll volunteer with elephants transitioning from the tourism industry to a more natural life in the forests. Learn about elephant behavior, work with mahouts, and support the local community while immersing yourself in Northern Thailand's lush mountain forests.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.7
  • Value 4.85
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing GVI experience

The entire experience that GVI provided was amazing. It started with me being picked up by taxi from a long journey on the aeroplane, which was incredibly exciting. I am very privileged to be able to have gone on this trip and experience everything that I did. From tropical and close to extinct animals like the green macaw, to lovely exotic fruits and foods, I was enamoured by every second spent in Costa Rica. We started our week as the itinerary detailed. We learned how to make tamales, went swimming in the lagoon and made a bench out of ecobricks. At night we went on turtle patrols from 8pm - midnight to make sure poachers stayed away from turtle nests. One of the most amazing moments I experienced was when we saw a turtle laying eggs in the night. The sand was also magical as it seemed to glow, quite literally, underneath our feet as we walked, as a result of the live microcreatures in the sand. We also went to Sepeque where we interacted and stayed with a local Bribri tribe who showed us their way of life and hunting. On the return from this lovely community, we went on a day long hike through the beautiful rainforest where we say camens, iguanas, sloths and many many ants. In reflection, as I was dropped off at the airport, I was sad to see it all go and return to the boring UK. But I took comfort in the memories that I made and friends that I got to keep. Overall a 5/5 would recommend experience. Super!

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest moment was when we played swimming tag in the lagoon
  • Humid weather
  • Yummy food
  • Early starts
  • Away from civilisation
112 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hi there Alex

Thank you so much for your review on your time in Costa Rica! We are so thrilled that you had such a fulfilling and exciting time!
It is great to hear how you experienced so much that this base has to offer!

Hope to hear from you again soon - perhaps at another base?

All the best
Katherine (GVI Outreach Team)

Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I have just finished an amazing few weeks with GVI in Thailand, volunteering on their coastal conservation project. It's hard to explain just how fantastic the experience has been from beginning to end.

It has been wonderful to experience a different side to Thailand, which has felt much more authentic than just traipsing around all the typical tourist haunts, and to know that you are making a genuine difference to the community you are working in while you are there. As a volunteer with GVI you have so many more opportunities than a "regular" tourist, from helping out at a nearby turtle conservation centre to teaching in a local school (and with plenty of time for sight-seeing at the weekends, too!).

One thing that really impressed me was GVI's commitment to having a real impact, focussing on several of the UN's sustainable development goals which are applicable to the region. It's tempting to think that, as a short-term volunteer only there for a few weeks, you can't make a big impact, but GVI give you the opportunity to be part of something larger than yourself, so you know that the work you are doing will be continued by the staff, interns, and future volunteers long after you have moved on.

Possibly the best thing about volunteering with GVI was the people I met while I was there - staff, interns and other volunteers alike, I got to know some of the most inspiring, passionate and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, who happily shared their time, energy and expertise with those of us who have plenty of enthusiasm, but little knowledge of the conservation issues in the region.

It's been a truly amazing experience that I can't recommend highly enough!

What would you improve about this program?
In terms of the actual experience in country, I don't think it could be much better. However, the information provided in advance could have been a little clearer in some respects, especially for those of us who have never been to this part of the world, or been on a volunteering experience before.
160 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Emma, thanks for your wonderful review! I'm so glad to hear that you had such an amazing time and could see so easily the huge positive impact you're making whilst on base.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

2 weeks was not enough

So I went to Phang Nga for 2 weeks and I wish i'd been able to spend longer there. I loved every minute, the staff and volunteers were all such wonderful people. I especially loved working with the turtles and learning lots about them. The whole set up of the project was extremely organised and I always felt confident in what was expected of me and the tasks we were going to. I can't recommend GVI enough, as it's the second project I have done with them. They are so organised and clear about what will be happening on project. As with all things some activities were weather dependent and we were always informed when possible if things were going to change. GVI had built up a fantastic relationship with the surrounding village and the Navy base which we volunteered at.

I cannot recommend this project enough it was the most enjoyable time I had in Thailand and I wish I had done the project for longer!

What would you improve about this program?
this programme was so much fun with just the right amount of training. I wouldn't change anything except for I would have stayed longer.
175 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Billie-Jo, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Yes, I recommend this program

The best 3 weeks!

I spent three weeks in Phang Nga and it was the best of my life, originally i was only meant to do 2 weeks but extended as i loved it so much. I was very nervous to begin going by myself, even with the good words of the team i spoke to before it is scary going somewhere new! as soon as i was picked up by the GVI team I knew it was going to be amazing! The other people volunteering were so lovely, the team were so nice and only had good words to speak about GVI. Everyone i was with was so wonderful and I can honestly say i have made friends for life, living with and spending all day with people is just amazing! The whole GVI team were amazing too. Doing conservation i spent a lot of time with Rachel and Luis who were wonderful! they love conservation so much and seeing their passion made you enjoy it even more! the living conditions also were good. I expected very basic but we had 6 bed dorms, which was very fun being able to live with people, we also had a common area with a kitchen with a kettle toaster cereal for us to eat, then sofas with a laptop and projector so we could watch films and there was wifi which was nice as it is handy to be able to keep in touch with people especially at the beginning when you are still nervous. We lived in a small village and it was nice being part of the community. On the weekend we went on trips with everyone where we all got to know each other better and it was so much fun! i would highly recommend this to anyone it was the best trip ever and i wish i was there longer.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can say there is nothing i can say needs improving i had the best time!
166 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey Rowan, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Up close to the animals!

Every day on the expedition there was something new and exciting to discover. Studying the predator/prey ratios of the animals living on the reserve and taking data on their daily habits was like living in a Nationa Geographic special. We started early and finished late every day, but the work was worthwhile and we felt as though we were contributing to the long term impact of the area. There was also time for teaching the African schoolchildren how to use newly donated computers. The looks of wonder on their faces was priceless. I was amazed at how close we were able to get to animals most people only see on TV, but I always felt our safety was GVI's first priority. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything and hopefully someday I'll be able to return to do it again!

161 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Wildlife Opportunity!

Working with this program was an amazing experience. We spent our time every day working closely with the wildlife. I felt like we were on safari everyday while doing research on predator/prey ratio studies.

Life on the reserve was primitive, yet very comfortable.

162 people found this review helpful.
Response from GVI

Hey, thanks for your review! I'm thrilled to hear you had such a positive experience with us and enjoyed your time on base as much as you did. We'd love to have you back on base sometime soon!

Questions & Answers