Affordable Wildlife and Animal Care Projects with IVHQ

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There's no shortage of help needed in IVHQ's Wildlife and Animal care projects, where volunteers have the opportunity to support turtle conservation efforts around the world, improve and protect the habitats of wildlife in Africa and Asia, or provide assistance in animal shelters in South and Central America.

Volunteers who choose to focus on habitat conservation, will learn wildlife conservation techniques while maintaining natural landscapes, as well as studying and monitoring native and endangered animals. While those that choose to work in an animal shelter assist local organizations in caring, feeding and playing with animals while maintaining and cleaning animal shelters and facilities.

Below are a list of countries that IVHQ offer affordable Wildlife and Animal Care volunteer projects.

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Register this month for any IVHQ volunteer program and get free access to the Certificate In International Volunteering online course from the Global Travel Academy. More than 35 IVHQ programs have already reopened with additional health and safety measures in place + with IVHQ's flexible booking, it's free to change your dates, volunteer program or destination if your plans change.

Questions & Answers


9.86 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
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  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
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Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Victoria Falls

The accommodation was amazing for a volunteer house, you got your own room and would share a bathroom between 2-3. The rooms had fans in case it got too hot, although I found I didnt need to use mine. Your rooms and bathrooms would be cleaned everyday and laundry was done for free every Thursday if you wanted it. The food was AMAZING, the chef made his own bread which was delicious! There was a lot of variety and you could go into town and buy food to keep in the fridges if you wanted your own food. There was also free wifi.
Justine is the person who runs the programme and she helps organise weekend activities and any taxis into town. Booking activities through her can get you up to 10% off the normal prices.
The work you do can involve removing pest crops, maintaining roads, litter picking, planting trees at the local school and animal surveying and monitoring as well as many other things. I was lucky enough to be there for a rhino relocation project, whereby a young male rhino was sedated and moved to an enclosure for its own safety as the dominant male would try and kill it due to competition for females. They also took us to see Victoria Falls and showed us the local town.
My tips would be make sure you have a sleeping bag, walking boots, gardening gloves, binoculars, plenty of money for activities at the weekend and if you're going in the summer months take warm clothes as it was very cold at night!
I would 100% recommend this programme to anyone who has a passion for conservation and the environment and wants to be pushed out of their comfort zone.

What would you improve about this program?
There aren't many ways to improve this project as I enjoyed it so much, however I would say there was a lot of free time that we could have been doing other jobs, but this time allowed you to get to know the other volunteers.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Bethany, Thanks for taking the time to share a little about your experience volunteering on the Victoria Falls program. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the food, accommodation, local support and volunteer work – the rhino relocation looks like an incredible experience. Thanks for your practical advice for future participants and for being a great volunteer!
Claire – IVHQ Victoria Falls Program Manager

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Yes, I recommend this program

Fun, eduactional time of your life!

There is nothing like being on a Costa Rican beach at night, with millions of stars shining over you. Well with the Turtle conservation project you get this every night while you have the once in a lifetime experience of working with Turtles. You'll have "pinch me" moments on a daily basis!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Layla, thanks for sharing a little from your trip to Costa Rica. Sounds amazing!! Thanks for being an IVHQer :-)

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Yes, I recommend this program

Life in Bali

Volunteering in Bali was something that I never imagined myself doing in a million years, especially doing work with turtles! As an animal lover and an individual filled with wanderlust this was ideal for me!

Despite having previously volunteered before, IVHQ bali stood out from the rest with a very unique approach. Not only did they aim for you to make a difference, but they also wanted YOU to experience Bali as much as possible. Orientation week allowed everyone to see Bali in its true form and make friends along the way! However, it did not end here.

Volunteering on the island of Nusa Penida made the experience even more unique. Staying on an island with the friendliest locals possible made every bit of work seem worthwhile. The staff put their heart and soul into everything that they done which inspired everyone to give it their all. Never have I met such caring people who were willing to dedicate their lives to helping such beautiful animals, the turtles.

Even though the work required when caring for the turtles may not have seemed alot, the feeling of helping such helpless animals was amazing. Releasing turtles back in to the wild really made the whole trip seem worthwhile.

I would recommend Bali to anyone who loves animals and wants to make a difference.

What would you improve about this program?
Personally, as an individual with an open mind I loved every moment of my 3 weeks in Bali. However, I feel that more could have been done to ensure that everyone continued to mingle and didn't stick to just one 'group' of friends
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Samantha, Thanks for sharing a little from your volunteer experience in Bali. It sounds like you had a rewarding and unique experience. You had the perfect attitude toward the project to make the most of the program! Thanks for being an IVHQer - we hope you can join us again one day :-)

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Yes, I recommend this program

An unforgettable journey.

"My thoughts"
What are my thoughts? What am I thinking really?
Before writing this review I look back at everything I went through, from day one until my last day and now from where I stand.
I remember being so scared but at the same time so excited, I remember thinking "what am I doing? Am I ready for this? Am I where i'm supposed to be?"
Turns out that I was, my entire experience was at the right place at the right time.
When I say "I remember", I make it sound as if this was a long time ago but actually, this was three weeks ago. The thing is that in this incredible place, days feel like years but the weeks go by so fast.

"Don't sugarcoat it", they said.

Well my first day at Ostional was alright, the people were welcoming,
the place was really really hot and I was so tired that I didn't know how my body could still manage to be awake. My thoughts the day after while at work were "Will I make it through without giving up before the program ends?". I knew I wanted to stay, I knew I wanted to do this, but most importantly I knew I had to be patient and let my body and mind adapt to my new surroundings.
To my surprise, after going through all this impatient thoughts, everything in my mind was wiped off when I saw the first turtle I had ever seen. It was as if I had been renewed and suddenly, in my third day there, I already felt like time was running and I did not want to leave this place anytime soon.
I was very lucky, from day one I got to see many turtles and work with approximately 260 turtles in an arribada that brought around 13,000 turtles to shore.

About my homestay: At the beginning we all feel out of place I guess, and that is completely normal since you arrive to an unknown place and get to be in a different home apart from your own. The good news is that after a few days I could easily call it home as well and feel relieved whenever I came tired from a long, exhausting day.

Recomendations: The instructions and recomendations given by IVHQ before departure were accurate so I would just say: pay attention to them and don't miss a thing!!! Luckily I had everything I needed because of it. (Dark and light clothes, bug repellant, hiking shoes, RAIN COAT, sunglasses, etc.)

My one and only personal recomendation is PATIENCE!
If you are missing home, if you feel out of place, if you still haven't adapted just be patient and positive since the experience you will have will be worth all fears and will surpass the expectations you had and will also make you want to stay way longer!

What else can I say? One must pay attention to what thoughts were then and what they are now, as they evolved quickly from "What am I doing?" To "What else have I been missing?!" and allowed me to have unforgettable trip. I feared, I laughed, I traveled, I LEARNED and now I miss and I regret not staying enough time! I need to start planning my way back to these turtles!

What would you improve about this program?
I would probably add one day a week to have dinner or lunch at the station with the homestay volunteers and station volunteers to socialize and also because the station food was better and more nutritional that in the homestays.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Monica. Thanks for the review and telling us about your volunteer trip! It does sound like you had a magical experience and learnt a lot from your experience. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ and we hope to see you on another of our programs soon.

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Yes, I recommend this program

An experience I'll never forget!

I spent three weeks at Nakavango, and as soon as I arrived the staff and other volunteers were so welcoming and made me feel right at home. During the week we worked really hard, but it almost didn't seem like work because we were all having so much fun at the same time. During my stay the activities I chose to do on the weekends were white water rafting, bungee jumping, Sunset River Cruise, and then I went to Botswana for the day. Without Justine, I doubt that I would have been able to do all of these things, because she sets everything up so its really simple to get everywhere you need to be. I cannot express how thankful I am for the time I had at Nakavango, the people I met, and all of the adventures.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly, I do not have a single complaint about the program. It exceeded my expectations tremendously.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey there Kaylee! It sounds like you have had a really positive and fun experience Volunteering! Thanks for the great review and for being an IVHQer - we hope that you can join us on another program in the future!

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Yes, I recommend this program

April 2015 - I didn't want to leave!

I would wake up each morning excited for the day to begin. Game drives, projects, laughter, wildlife, the staff and food are fantastic. The lodging accommodations felt like a home away from home. We would do on morning walks, tracking animal footprints, building soil erosion barriers from materials we found, we had access to the Senior Ecologist to ask him directly questions about the Reserve and the Reserve's mission. We were active every day but time to rest/recharge in the afternoons. Nights were spent as a group and we had so much fun on the weekends doing day trips, adventure excursions. I personally did horseback riding, went to Botswana Chobe National Park, did a pontoon safari, went to play 9 rounds of golf and danced at Shoestrings. I went on this trip by myself but never once did I feel alone. The scenery and wildlife are plentiful. There is something for everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
Really I wouldn't change anything. My experience was a balance of hard work, meaningful work and time to relax & get to know the other volunteers. I learned a lot about the ecosystem in Zimbabwe as well as cultural insights from the daily conversations with the other volunteers from around the world.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi there Kelly! It's awesome to read that you had such an exciting and meaningful experience on your IVHQ Volunteer Program. Thanks for being an IVHQer - we hope that you can join us on another program in the future!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful Animal Kingdom

Spent a short but utterly incredible time at the Victoria Falls IVHQ placement. It was absolutely magical to be sleeping in a (gated) accommodation just steps from the wild animals we were protecting - zebras and waterbuck that would just graze just outside the fence beside the private pool. The food was also tasty, and the kitchen staff were very accommodating with my vegetarian needs. The day trips were fantastic, and included visiting a school with the most joyful children, as well as taking trips into the private game reserve in our 'backyard' to collect data on the local animals, and take precautionary tasks to help ensure the wellbeing of these beautiful animals. On my short trip, we saw giraffes, elephants, rhinos, and countless zebras, waterbuck, impalas, etc. The group I was with were all young and full of life, and really great people to be around. The staff were also very helpful and accommodating. Some extra-curricular activities included taking a helicopter tour over Victoria Falls, cooling off in the pool, visiting the local bar, zip-lining through baboon-inhabited trees, and stargazing into one of the most exquisite skies I've ever seen. This trip was an absolute pleasure, and I'd recommend this place to anyone.

What would you improve about this program?
It's hard to think of much that I didn't love about my stay here to be honest. The heat was one of the rough parts, but of course that wasn't the program's fault - and they even had the pool to help with that. Score!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Andrew! Thanks for the review and recommendation. Sounds like you have had an awe-inspiring experience in Victoria Falls. Thanks for Volunteering with IVHQ - we hope that you join another of our programs one day in the future!