If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects – volunteering holidays are for you.
1 Combine safari with community Experience the best that Kenya has to offer with a Kenya Life programme organized by Responsible Travel. Holidaymakers have the opportunity to make a real difference through sustainable, life-changing project work that improves the lives of rural communities and protects fragile wildlife habitats. For the more adventurous, there are mountains to be trekked or diving trips in the Indian Ocean. From £595 for 7 days. Price includes accommodation, transport, meals and activities. Suitable for children aged five and over.
2 Protect the marine environment Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for glorious beaches and adventure activities but you can experience more by getting involved. Join a project that gives you the chance to enjoy areas of unspoilt coastline whilst helping to protect the precious marine environment. Turtle populations are under threat from natural predation and human interference; egg poaching, industrial fishing and the demand for shell products are all factors leading to the decline. Volunteers help with monitoring and research. From £677 for 7 days. Suitable for families. Includes food and accommodation.
3 Research in the jungle Learn about the rainforest whilst working on a research and conservation project in the Peruvian Amazon. The placement starts in the ancient Inca capital city of Cusco. Volunteers will help with projects such as the study of the endangered Blue Headed Macaw, monitoring and documenting local flora and helping local communities with reforestation projects. Housed in a lodge which has been verified by the Rainforest Alliance for its high standards of sustainability, families stay in open plan rooms with splendid views into the rainforest. From £995 for 14 days. Suitable for children aged six and over.
4 Work with villagers Stay at Camp Tanga, Tanzania, a rustic bush camp, for the action-packed family programme. Set in the heart of a small rural African community along the Indian Ocean coast, families work alongside welcoming villagers on a range of school and community projects. This trip also includes a chance to go on safari. From £985 for 14 days. Suitable for children aged five and over.
5 Care for neglected horses Located on the African Eastern Cape, a horse rehabilitation centre was set up in 2000 and it now saves many animals from abuse and neglect. With over 40 horses to care for, assistance and funding is needed to lessen the load and to enable the work to continue. As well as the rehabilitation side of the project, holidaymakers will also be able to ride on the beaches of the Indian Ocean with the chance of spotting whales and dolphins. From £599 for 7 days. Suitable for children aged 12 and over.
6 Teach at an orphanage Teach schoolchildren in the beautiful mountain city of Pokhara, Nepal. Help is needed in the street children’s centre, local schools, orphanage and women’s refuge. Child care volunteers join in the day to day activities of the orphanage and care centre. This includes playing games, teaching some lessons and helping out with meal times. Those who are keen to have a rural experience can stay in Bhalam village, which is on the outskirts of Pokhara and is accessed by a long suspension bridge. It is a relaxed, friendly village in the foothills of the Himalayas with a slower pace of life. From £695 for 14 days. Suitable for children aged 11 and over.
7 Play games with local children Peru has become famous for its amazing historic sites and stunning landscapes, but it is still a very poor country. The orphanage project in Arequipa (also known as the “Ciudad Blanca” - White City, because of its white volcanic stone) needs assistance with the day-to-day activities. This involves playing games, teaching some lessons and helping out with meal times. It is a lively city to enjoy and is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru including the world’s deepest canyons. Colca Canyon, home to the majestic condor, is a must see for visitors. From £575 for 4 weeks. Suitable for children aged 11 and over.
8 Teach English lessons Teach English to primary school children, aged from four to 12 years old, on the stunning tropical island of Koh Phangan, off the South East Coast of Thailand. A normal week will involve around eight hours of teaching duties. The volunteer’s role is to focus on improving speaking and listening skills and building the children’s confidence to communicate with foreigners. This means lots of fun and interaction, including games, art, songs and other creative activities. From £1095 for 4 weeks which includes a two day teacher training course (TEFL). Suitable for children aged six and over.
9 Promote storytelling in Ecuador This unique volunteer project aims to improve literacy rates in Ecuador. Join a group of up to 12 travelling around local schools and communities promoting reading and story-telling. Working in small groups, teachers (who need at least GCSE level Spanish) will spend time with the children, encouraging them to read and develop literacy skills. From £685 for 14 days. Price includes 14 nights accommodation, all breakfasts and transportation on project. Suitable for children aged 12 and over.
10 Build energy efficient stoves Learn Spanish and experience a new culture near Antigua, Guatemala, as volunteer families assist with the construction of energy efficient stoves for locals. To improve communication, twenty hours of one-on-one Spanish classes are included in the price of the holiday. Expect both classroombased learning and visits, such as a local coffee plantation, macadamia farm, ruins and a trip to the colourful markets. A half-day guided adventure, which could be biking, rockclimbing or hiking, is also part of the package. Parents and children stay in semi basic, but comfortable, accommodation with a local family. Children will be given responsibilities depending on age - maybe helping look after the smaller children or babies. From £915 for 7 days. Suitable for children aged 12 and over.
Check out responsibletravel.com for more information and other exciting ethical experiences worldwide.