Oyster Reviews: Volunteer with bears in Romania

Find out what Oyster volunteers have said in these reviews of our project volunteering with bears in Romania:

Three bears stand in a line at the bear sanctuary in Romania“Make sure you spend time just sitting and watching the bears as you’ll always be rewarded with some kind of antics or other. Make sure you look for all the other animals too, the goats, wolves, donkeys, horses, deer and dogs all have their own personalities and are really interesting/entertaining. The highlight is undoubtedly having the opportunity to observe the bears at such close quarteres, and being part of their ongoing well being by preparing food for them.”

Sara, 1 week August 2018

A volunteer watches the bears at the bear sanctuary in Romania“This experience far exceeded my expectations. It was an eye opening in regards to the food waste created, to overuse of single use plastics and packaging, to humans’ horrid treatment of our fellow beings. These were all things that are obvious to me in daily living but I am more encouraged to bring it to the attention of others so that they too may think about it more and perhaps donate, volunteer and/ or change a habit or two to make an impact.”

Gretchen, 2 weeks August 2018

bears“The Oyster representative in Romania was excellent and made sure I was very comfortable, the staff online were great and made all the information I needed clear and easy to access. The accommodations were much better than I expected, the sanctuary itself was beautiful and there was much more to do in Brasov town than I expected.”

Reece, 2 weeks July 2018


“Such a worthwhile and fulfilling experience, I really felt like our work helped the sanctuary and that we were appreciated for the work we did. Everybody should give back and volunteer somewhere like this at least once in their life.”

Sean, 2 weeks July 2018

A bear relaxes at the sanctuary in Romania. The sanctuary is very green and leafy - a perfect haven for these rescued bears

“I am having a fabulous time. I can’t believe it has already been a week and I only have another week to go. Razvan has been a tremendous help- knowledgeable, kind, attentive and supportive and he has made a massive impact on how I have viewed the project. Our driver Marian has also been great and smiles tolerantly whenever I greet him in Romanian. I can’t fault Oyster- you certainly cover every aspect of the trip and I wouldn’t hesitate in traveling with you again”

Judy Blythe, 2 weeks June 2018

A bear at the sanctuary in Romania“Things are going well and I am enjoying it here very much! The bears are incredible, and Razvan has been a wonderful host. I actually wanted to thank you because as I’ve been here I’ve realized that talking with you about the project gave me a very accurate idea of what things would be like. I feel like the experience I hoped to have is the one I am having. ”

Christy Turner, 2 weeks June 2018

A bear enjoys splashing in the pool at the bear sanctuary“We felt so well looked after. Transport was easy to and from the airport (which I’m sure many people worry about)! We never felt like a burden to Razvan our rep, he was so welcoming and friendly. I knew if I had any questions pre-trip Anne would be there to answer them, and during/post trip she has provided excellent customer care. I recommend the company to friends and family.”

Caitlin Walker, 2 weeks May 2018

blog“Communication with Oyster is very efficient and I always receive prompt replies to queries etc. I have been on the Romanian bear project 3 times now and whilst my Romanian is slightly better now, having the support of Razvan & Marian was invaluable. They are friendly, professional and make a real effort to ensure the volunteers have a great time – a true credit to Oyster”

Estelle Barnes, 6 weeks May 2018

A bear scratches his ear at the sanctuary in Romania“It’s amazing out here. ..the accommodation is fab, way way better than we imagined. Razvan is so kind, funny and accommodating (he won’t let us do anything without letting him know first!) He makes us feel safe and he looks out for us…. and as for the sanctuary – its’ a wonderful place, so humbling to be part of it. We already feel settled here and are getting into a routine!!”

Diane Peach, 2 weeks May 2018

A bear at the Romania bear sanctuary enjoys being able to climb trees and live a life of freedom“The Oyster team was prompt in responding to queries and the online My Oyster account was a great resource. Razvan was excellent and helped everything go smoothly whilst in Romania. Highlights were the personal orientation, getting to know the stories and background of the animals and being able to observe the animals during work time. Being allowed the extra opportunities such as the feeding tour and photography platform was great, as was exploring Brasov in free time and the included weekend trip. I think it’s great there are two causes being addressed here – obviously the animal rescue but also the reduction of food waste.”

Alyssa Glover, 1 week December 2017

Brasov looks beautiful at Christmas, and our volunteers love the Christmas markets, skiing, ice skating and mulled wine“Romania has been a wonderful experience, and I’m so sad that today was my last day! The sanctuary was incredible, seeing all those bears and helping to care for them meant so much. The staff were lovely though quite shy! They warmed up after a few attempts 😀 Thanks for all your help in getting me here, I truly appreciate it.”

Paige Bentley, 2 weeks December 2017

Two bears fighting in water in Brasov Romania“Thank you for an amazing experience. Seeing the bears and the wolves and meeting new people, seeing the scenery and going to the castles were all amazing. I cant wait until I next do one of your projects.”

Alex Warburton, 1 week August 2017

Romanian bear in Brasov“Thank you so much. You have been such a great help and made me feel confident and made me feel that I’m well prepared and able to do this alone knowing that there is such a great team of people around me to help and support me. Again thank you so much for your time and patience. The whole week was absolutely wonderful, and you and your team made it so easy from start to finish. Who knows, maybe it’s the beginning of many experiences like this!!”

Angie Nunn, 1 week August 2017

Romania bear hiding around a tree“As my first solo traveling experience, I have really enjoyed it! I’ve really got off the beaten track, met some lovely and some challenging people along the way, the staff and the bears have been a pleasure to work with! This experience has made me more independent and confident in myself!”

Shavy Peynado, 12 week April 2017

Bears in Romanian sanctuary“I am finally back at work after a fantastic 3 weeks away.  Loved my time at the sanctuary.  The bears are just so chilled although there are some snippets of their time in captivity when they start “performing” just because humans are close by.  Ina was a good example when she would just stop what she was doing and pace in circles.  Broke my heart.  A real highlight and a challenge for both of us was to clear the shed of all food prep which we managed twice and seeing as there should have been 4 of us but there was only 2 that was some achievement! Loved the town of Brasov – it was so quaint and life in general over there is so much more relaxed than NZ.”

Kerrin Brown, 2 week May 2017

Volunteering with bears in Romania“I had the opportunity to meet Max, and many other bears who had been rescued from a life a misery, as a volunteer at the sanctuary.  Through Oyster Worldwide, I took my oldest daughter and her boyfriend to Romania for 10 days.  We spent six hours per day at the sancutary preparing the food for over 90 bears and our evenings and weekends exploring the beautiful country of Romania.  Oyster, with a Romanian representative, took care of everything.  We shared an apartment with two lovely English ladies, we had a driver to take us back and forth from town to sanctuary, we wanted for nothing.  The best part, though, was our access to the bears.  In between loads of dairy and fruits and veggies that needed to be sorted, we spent hours observing the bears. We took tours of the sanctuary, we met the owners, we worked with the staff.

I have returned home now and though they say home is where the heart is, a piece of my heart was left in Romania.  I miss the “cuckoo! cuckoo!” of birds, the steep mountain terrain, the friends I made in country.  I miss the language and the food.  But, most of all, I miss the bears.  Rolling bears, sleeping bears, bears in trees, bear cubs.  Bears who all have a second lease on life.  Bears who wouldn’t live in this beautiful sanctuary without the efforts of Cristina and Roger Lapis, the Romanian government, the wonderful souls who work a the sanctuary, and volunteers like myself.”

Jessica Nielsen, 1 week May 2017

romania bears“I love the sanctuary. I look forward to driving in each morning with the bears and wolves coming out to greet you. The dogs have been great companions too and I will be extremely sad to leave them.

Aside from that, Brasov and Transylvania are beautiful. I have thoroughly explored both. The apartment is in an amazing location, so central to everything and my housemates are absolute gems. Couldn’t have asked for better people to share my time with here.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Florin, Flavia, her husband Alex and of course, Razvan for taking excellent care of me and being so obliging and considerate.”

Caitlin Martin, 2 weeks January 2017

review“I absolutely loved my time there. Razvan is amazing at what he does and I love the program that is set up there. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Brasov is such an amazing city as well. Overall, between sight-seeing, history learning, and the volunteer programmes put in place, it was so wonderful.”

Jami Mackey, 4 weeks October 2016

web“I thoroughly enjoyed the time at the bear sanctuary and Romania itself. The place seems very well run and was an eye opener seeing the amount of food that is delivered and needs to be sorted each day.”

Susan Woods, 1 week October 2016

web“I had an amazing time. Razvan was very helpful and contactable throughout the whole experience. The staff in the sanctuary are very friendly. I enjoyed the relaxed feeling of the sanctuary. It was nice to have the dogs and goats there also, who like to interact with you. If I could, I would definitely have adopted one of the dogs (Shadow), but unfortunately I can’t. The whole experience was overwhelming and a definite must for animal lovers. It is the perfect life to be surrounded by all the animals. To be so close to the bears and watching them in their safe surroundings, and to see how much the staff love and care for these animals, is definitely worth the whole experience. If I had holidays left at work I would have loved to have stayed longer. Thank you so much for all your support and giving me the chance to have this wonderful experience.”

Louise Jones, 2 weeks September 2016

web“The first week has flown by and the second week is too! Both placements have been amazing and I have had the chance to see the real Romania rather than what the tourists see. It has definitely been an eye opener and a brilliant experience!
Rasvan has been incredibly kind throughout the trip, always making sure that we are ok wherever we are, especially when organising the weekend trips. Cannot fault anything!”

Frankie Hastings, 3 weeks September 2016

Romania bears

“The whole experience was memorable….t

he town of Brasov was charming with symphony concerts, Opera and folk

dancing in the town square, the excursions organised by Oyster were very interesting and gave a good overview of the area, but of course the highlight was the Bear Sanctuary. We were made to feel valued and welcome and being so close to the bears and going out with the keepers/staff gave us a view that the average visitor doesn’t experience. Also Razvan, Oyster’s representative, made us feel secure and was always available to advise and answer any questions no matter how trivial. This experience was 11 out of 10…the trip of a lifetime. I can’t begin to thank Oyster or Razvan, our contact in Romania, for giving me this opportunity – it will live in my heart for the rest of my days.”

Ferida Reid, 2 weeks August 2016

Hannah Sharpe“I am having such an amazing time here at the bear sanctuary! It is wonderful to be able to see the bears living happily in the sanctuary and being able to help with the day-to-day runnings. All the other volunteers, sanctuary workers, and of course Razvan, are really lovely, and I am really looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Hannah Sharpe, 3 weeks August 2016

20160818_123152“I have really enjoyed the trip and it’s been one of the best things I have ever done to be honest. From the sanctuary, to the accommodation, to the excursions and the company, it has been fantastic! I am seriously considering returning next year or maybe doing one of the other welfare projects! ”

Jonathan Keefe, 2 weeks August 2016


Faye Woodall 1“I found the whole set up in Romania to be very supportive and it had a nice family feel with the other volunteers. I enjoyed feeling like I was doing something worthwhile that could help the animals or other workers at the sanctuary.”

Faye Woodall, 2 weeks July 2016

“Things are really good here thank you. Razvan and the sanctuary staff have taken very 10869618_905794059438259_8109031574902575718_ogood care of me and it’s been great so far. Really loving every moment, the bears are adorable. Thank you so much for all of your help prior to my arrival, it really prepared me for everything so I knew just what to expect.”


“I had a fantastic time on the project and really enjoyed every moment. It was such an incredible experience, and having the chance to get so close to the bears and seeing how they are fed and cared for and how the sanctuary works was so rewarding. I can’t thank Oyster enough for the opportunity! I am really missing the project already, I got far too used to staring at bears everyday and being outside in the lovely fresh air.”

Louise Smith, 3 weeks June 2016

304523_2420806559934_1244541422_33165010_2945619_n“I was truly overwhelmed by the whole experience. It really did feel like a holiday even though I was working at the bear sanctuary, which is a most beautiful place to be. I felt sad leaving it each day. Brasov is full of streets for you to just meander and take in at a leisurely pace. The walks up the hillsides to see the spectacular views are a must. The cafes are so different and you will just want to try them all. The people are so friendly and the food is exceptionally good value. Everyone who works for you out there is fabulous.”

Rowena Dark, 2 weeks April 2016

web“I have to say that I am very impressed with Oyster and how well you and Razvan took care of me and the other volunteers during my stay. You really made the experience incredibly easy and stress-free, from all the pre-joining information which made packing a breeze, to being picked up at the airport, to Razvan ensuring we had a full orientation of the sanctuary and Brasov. I wouldn’t recommend changing a thing; the process is brilliant. As a result, I had one of my best vacations ever. So, thank you.”

Lori Fonger, 2 weeks April 2016

webvv“I can’t believe how quickly the past 2 months has gone! My time overseas was absolutely amazing, I still can’t manage to tell people about it without getting emotional. I never could’ve imagined how much fun it would be living with other volunteers and becoming such close friends with so many of them in such a relatively short period of time. As Razvan would say, they all really did have hearts of gold! I loved the experience of altering my lifestyle in many ways, including my eating (and drinking) habits, my spending/shopping habits, my sleeping pattern, and even working to incorporate some Romanian into my general vocabulary. Looking back, I still can’t believe the amount of experience and memories I managed to fit into that 2 month period, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Also, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the bears, and my life on the project, from the moment I got in the car to go back to the airport. I can’t thank you enough for encouraging me to stay for 2 months rather than 1!”

Matilda Seddon, 8 weeks February 2016

webI fell in love with the sanctuary. How well the bears were kept, and the care of all the animals there, was lovely. It was very moving to see the bears in this lovely sanctuary and to feel that you have been a part of it. I would like to say a massive thank you to Anne, Razvan and the team, everyone very friendly, helpful, approachable and lovely. I had a fantastic week.

Nikki Cole, 1 week March 2016

web“I loved seeing the bears interact with one another in a natural habitat. I really enjoyed being outside and taking it all in. I have always loved bears, but for me it was not only a lifelong dream, but also educational. It made me understand more and also be more informed. I wish I had more time there. I would recommend people to do at least two weeks. The ten days I had was not enough.”

Melinda Millermon, 10 days February 2016

web“I’m absolutely loving working at the bear sanctuary and seeing the bears every day! I’m also settling into the lifestyle here really well; I’m picking up some of the language and learning to find my way around town. I’d also really like to thank you for encouraging me not to shorten my trip from 2 months to 1 month. I’m honestly so happy here and so glad that I’ve chosen this program.”

Matilda Seddon, 8 weeks February 2016


“Everything’s great! The sanctuary’s awesome and my mind is blown by the amount of snow we just got. I’ve never seen snow like that in my life. The bears are beautiful and adorable and I’ve made friends with most of the dogs. Razvan of course is fantastic and super helpful. I went to Bran last weekend and am probably going to Peles and skiing next weekend.”

“I had such an incredible time these last few weeks! I absolutely loved the bear sanctuary and had a great time living in Brasov and going on the weekend trips. You’ve been unbelievably helpful. Romania overall managed to exceed my high expectations.”

Hayley Rylander, 3 weeks January 2016

Sanctuary volunteering“My time was really great. I was a little overwhelmed at first. I had missed my flight going from Turkey to Romania. When I finally did get there the airline lost my luggage. I was without my things until Monday night. Razvan was awesome getting my things back for me and was so incredibly helpful. The sanctuary is so beautiful. It is huge and I quickly got in shape walking around that place. There was the language barrier, but Razvan made it so much easier because I could just call him and he would ask the workers what they wanted me to do. What was really nice though was that I would frequently get two hours at the end of the day to walk around and watch the bears and take pictures which was so incredible. I am so glad I did this project and would definitely do it again in the future.”

Julia Minter, 2 weeks October 2015

IMG_2747“My trip to Romania was an absolutely amazing experience, and the bear sanctuary was such a beautiful, peaceful place. I am definitely missing my life on the project; it was such a complete break of routine, doing something different and so worthwhile, working with great people and wonderful animals – the time just flew by every day. Razvan was a brilliant host, he goes well above and beyond the call of duty and was always available to help. Thanks again for all help with arranging my trip, it was so well organised from start to finish, and I am certainly spreading the word around about the Oyster experience!”

Rosemary Hindley, 2 weeks September 2015

Dog shelter volunteering“The trip was absolutely brilliant. Razvan was wonderfully helpful. The bear sanctuary is an absolutely amazing. The work they do is incredible. We actually switched to the dog shelter though after two days. We painted dog houses to weather-proof them in time for the colder temperatures due this weekend.”

Shannon Clarke, 1 week September 2015


“The sanctuary was a truly amazing place in a beautiful location – peaceful, spacious, well kept & the bears appeared content in an environment that must be the next best thing to being in the wild. Razvan, the Oyster rep in Romania, was first class and made everything so easy, and there was more to do in Brasov than I expected.”

Angela Ransome, 1 week September 2015

Sanctuary volunteering“I really enjoyed my 3 weeks. The bear sanctuary was an amazing place and I’m missing it already. I loved being able to see the bears every day around the sanctuary. Razvan was really great too and made me feel so much more relaxed and secure, as well as being a great laugh. I will definitely look at other Oyster projects for next year :)”

Jenny Marsh, 3 weeks July 2015

Bear volunteering“Romania has been the best trip ever and I am definitely coming back next year!! Razvan has been the best, he showed me around and really made me feel welcome. The staff at the bear sanctuary are great. Romania is stunning and has great views, I would highly recommend this to anyone :)”

Elise Edmonds, 4 weeks July 2015

Bear sanctuary volunteering“Volunteering with bears in Romania is brill. The support all the way is excellent and we would definitely recommend Oyster. We are already planning next year to come back! Compliments to all for arranging. Razvan is great and nothing too much trouble.”

Simon and Deborah Jones, 2 weeks July 2015

Volunteer in Romania“I have had the most amazing time. Razvan did everything in his power to help me learn about the animals in the sanctuary as well as at the dog shelter. He even got me to work alongside the vet at the shelter, which I was absolutely amazed by since I got to help with castrations. My next study will be veterinarian assistant for which I will consider doing my internship at the shelter in Brasov.”

Elisah Dankaarts, 6 weeks June 2015

Volunteering with bears“I had such a nice time in Brasov and in the sanctuary. It is such a lovely place and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for all your help, special thanks for Razvan too!”

Gisela Jaehnel, 2 weeks June 2015

Bear conservation“I really enjoyed my two weeks in Romania. Highlights were definitely watching the bears and seeing how well they looked considering what hard lives some of them had had. The trip was well organised and trouble free with lots of bears to watch.”

Desna Mcall, 2 weeks May 2015

Beautiful bear“I had a fantastic time in Romania. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I want to do it all over again next year. Razvan was great; really helpful and very inspirational. I really miss the bears very much and roll on next year!”

Gillian Lowen, 2 weeks May 2015

Bear volunteering“The whole experience was great, from logistics (all smooth), to Razvan’s brilliant hosting, the perfect flat and location, good company in my co-volunteer and last but not least, the amazing sanctuary, bears and staff. You are truly making a difference and positively contributing to supporting the work of a wonderful cause that fights against terrible cruelty and offers great hope for future welfare, and a change in culture over time, as the sanctuary becomes an educator of how life should be for the bears. Thank you so much for opening this door for me in Romania, Anne. I will certainly maintain support for that project and will keep in touch.”

Simon Northrop, 2 weeks May 2015

Susan Petty - volunteer with bears in Romania“The sanctuary itself is wonderful for the animals. Razvan is great – does everything humanly possible to make volunteers happy. The apartment was super cosy in the snow! Bring a good attitude, as the work is not glamorous, and the rewards are personal.”

Susan Petty, 1 week April 2015

Bear volunteering“Incredible experience, was literally better than I could have imagined. Spending time with the bears was truly incredible. It was amazing to see how they spend their time and monitor their behaviour. You get a lot of time with the animals as well, which is great. The country and sanctuary are amazing places, so do as much as you can!”

David White, 10 days March 2015

Bear sanctuary volunteering“Romania was really great, everything went pretty smoothly and I was lucky enough to have really nice and diverse flat mates. I enjoyed working on the sanctuary just as much as I enjoyed the weekends, in which we did all sorts.”

Theo Halpern, 3 weeks November 2014

Volunteer with bears“I had a fabulous trip. The bear sanctuary was very interesting and I was impressed with what I saw. Being around bears every day was definitely wonderful. I am very impressed with Oyster through this trip, and the fact that you support the sanctuary and have Razvan working for you. I will certainly recommend your organisation and see if there are future trips you offer that I would be interested in. Thank you for all of your assistance.”

Esther Ostrower, 2 weeks September 2014

Volunteer with bears in Romania“I loved my time in Romania! If I had more leave I would have loved to be there a bit longer and next time would love to do it with a friend. The bear sanctuary was amazing and so well run. Everyone made a really big effort to talk to me and include me. All the staff were so nice and the sanctuary is really beautiful.”

Hannah Bryant, 1 week September 2014

Volunteer with bears in Romania“My time was amazing, truth be told I don’t even really know how to put it into words, except that I am so glad I did it. It exceeded all expectations I had! I just want to say thank you to everyone at Oyster, you and Razvan especially, you guys do such an awesome job letting everyone have these amazing experiences! 🙂 I will be definitely recommending Oyster. My brother is only 13 and is already set on going to Africa for the big cats in 5 years!”

Shelby Cary, 4 weeks July 2014

Volunteer with bears in Romania“I had a great time in Romania. The days at the sanctuary were pretty relaxed, yet busy, and I spent most of the 4 weeks working in the little observatory. I did get a lot of free time to wander around the place and see the bears. Being around the bears all day was an awesome experience.”

Carl Lofthagen, 4 weeks March 2014

Volunteer with bears in Romania“The people that stayed with me in the apartment were amazing. I didn’t expect to come away from this trip making such good friends that I will keep in touch with. The amount of bears I got to see and be with everyday was a real highlight.”

Lucy-Rose Steggles, 2 weeks November 2013

Volunteer with bears“Everything was very well organized, Razvan made sure that everyone felt comfortable and that we had everything we needed. Getting to see so many bears every day was super awesome! Razvan was the biggest highlight of my trip. He also made it possible for me to adopt a dog. People should do this programme if they are really passionate about helping animals in need. Brasov is also such a cool place to live!”

Alexandra Simis, 12 weeks October 2013

Volunteer with bears in Romania“The top highlight would be watching the bears play in the water, eat, and just enjoy the fact that they now lead a happy life, thanks to those who have rescued them and look after them. It was fantastic and I didn’t want to leave. I would definitely would like to go back again and stay longer! Everyone was wonderful, including the all support from Oyster Worldwide.”

Mandy Hathway, 2 weeks October 2013

“Any animal lover would love spending time at the sanctuary. It is also good to experience living in a different country, especially one you would not normally think of going to for a holiday. Spending time watching the bears was definitely the highlight for me. It was also good visiting new places in and around Brasov.”

Caroline Benn, 3 weeks September 2013

“It waOyster reviews: volunteering with bears in Romanias the best three weeks I’ve had for a long time. The sanctuary is just amazing and the bears are just stunning. It was a brilliant experience. Thank you so much for all you have done and helping me get out there, I can’t wait to do more!”

Jack Laird, 3 weeks August 2013

“This trip wasVolunteer with bears in Romania excellent, it far exceeded my expectations. Expect the unexpected was the best bit of advice! It was very hard physically and emotionally, but rewarding. It was a great opportunity to find out about the conservation and animal welfare situation in Romania first-hand.”

Natalia Doran, 2 weeks, August 2013

Oyster Reviews: volunteering with bears in Romania“I had the most fantastic time in Romania and am very keen to come back!”

Penny Coulson, 5 weeks, July 2013

Volunteer with bears in Romania“I thoroughly enjoyed this and wish I had gone for longer. I wouldn’t hesitate to return or recommend it to others. I met some fabulous people, both volunteers and Oyster staff who looked after us brilliantly, both in Romania and pre-travel/remotely whilst there. It was great to be with like-minded people and I have made some good friends.”

Sarah Burman, 2 weeks June 2013


Oyster Reviews: volunteering with bears in Romania“I had the most fantastic time in Romania and am very keen to come back!”

Penny Coulson, 5 weeks, July 2013

Oyster Reviews: volunteering with bears in Romania“My trip to Romania was excellent, it far exceeded my expectations. It is a great chance for animal lovers to see bears and wolves. This trip is also a great chance to meet good, like-minded people to share the experience with. It is something quite special. I wish I had stayed for longer! If you are keen to stay for a long time, I would recommend splitting time between the bear sanctuary and the childcare project.”

Natalie Brown, 2 weeks June 2013

“My time Voluneer with bears in Romaniawith the bears is honestly probably the highlight of my life, at least up to this point. I would advise you to stay as long as you possibly can, always have a camera, and take things slow because that’s how you happen upon some great photo moments. It was the best trip I have ever taken and I am seriously considering doing another one with Oyster. Thank you for giving me my dream trip :)”

Brooke Raney, 3 weeks June 2013

“Many people avolunteer with bears in Romaniare very cut off from the natural world, and this is one way to get closer to it; the volunteer help is clearly appreciated. Don’t expect the work itself to be ‘rewarding’ as it’s very routine- the reward is in spending time at the sanctuary and in Romania. Real highlights are spending every day outdoors in a beautiful place; being able to observe the bears in the sanctuary and ‘get to know’ a few of them.”

Linda Gardiner, 3 weeks April 2013

“The trip was amazHelp bears like Sammy to enjoy life in the wilding. I loved the bears, and the people at the sanctuary were very welcoming. Everyone I met was friendly and helpful. I can think of nothing negative to say other than It was far too short. I could still very happily be sitting chatting to bears whilst working in the sunshine. I would recommend this to anyone, especially someone like me who was travelling alone for the first time.”

Jackie Bell, 2 weeks September 2012

“Every day was even more exciting than the last, because each day meant something new to learn and love. The Romanian people are lovely and love you for loving their precious country and animals. It was something very special that completely reinvigorated my soul and made me feel a part of something bigger and better than the daily grind. I am starting to save for my next journey back there soon.”

Hans Berents, 3 weeks June 2012

“It was great, seeing the bears everyday, just watching them in a natural state, interacting with one another, and taking photos of them. It was brilliant. It was great. I went for three weeks and loved it there. I could have done so much more in terms of visiting the area but failed to capitalise on the opportunity. I suppose that is a reason to go back.”

Wulfric Willis, 3 weeks April 2012

Bear conservation in Romania“Well I loved it so much I went back again! My original attraction was volunteer work with bears but this Romanian experience is so much more…the scenery is stunning, the sanctuary staff are hard working and friendly and last, but not least, Razvan is an absolute star, who will ensure you have many great memories of Romania. This isn’t just a gap year activity, this should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list'”!

Estelle Barnes, 6 weeks March 2012


The most memorable part of the trip was, of course, watching the bears every day and living in beautiful Brasov.  Two weeks was the perfect amount of time to volunteer. I feel as though I contributed to the work at the sanctuary, even if it meant that I was relieving the full-time staff to work on more important things. I had a great time and will really miss the bears and staff, and will return home with some wonderful memories.”

Jack Dunstan, 2 weeks November 2011

“Bears anBear volunteers Romaniad Romania were brilliant. We had a fantastic time and enjoyed our time at the sanctuary. We had some fantastic interaction with the bears and it was great watching the younger bears play fighting – although it didn’t always seem like play!!! Romania was great – lots to see and do and some very nice people. Thank you for everything!”

Martin and Marion Sausins, 2 weeks October 2011

“I just wanVolunteer at a bear sanctuary in Romaniated to thank you personally for all your help and support during my trip! It proved to be such an exciting month! It was such a great experience seeing two young, playful bears move from quarantine into their new enclosures! The trip as a whole was so much fun. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to do something meaningful in such a great place with a company so dedicated!”

Zantel le Grange, 4 weeks September 2011

Bear volunteer Romania“I have just returned from 2 weeks working in a Bear Sanctuary in Romania, and it was an amazing experience. Every day we received a welcoming committee of the very friendly sanctuary dogs. Then you see the bears. There are many things I shall miss: the lovely scenery, friendly people, good food but most of all the bears. I would recommend this programme to anyone, any age. You won’t regret it.”

Lynn Stephenson, 2 weeks September 2011

Oyster bears volunteer Romania“I’m having a pretty great time. The bears are great. The food is amazing and it’s summer here so I’m also getting a sweet tan. I hang out with bears every day – it’s hard for that to be anything but awesome!”

Rob Hill, 3 months, July 2010

Volunteer with bears in Romania“The three months that I spent in Romania were three of the best months of my life. Spending my days within mere metres of the bears, watching them cavort around the sanctuary, play fighting with each other, was an absolute highlight. I also had the pleasure of being there at the same time as the WSPA film crew, so helped out with the filming of a donations advert. Romania is incredibly beautiful.”

Anne Smellie, 3 months August 2009

Romania bears volunteer“The sanctuary is an incredible place to work and the people there are so lovely. It is set in beautiful countryside overlooked by mountains and is a wonderful, tranquil place. It is fantastic and very moving to see these beautiful animals back in the wild, living happy lives in a natural environment. My advice is to come here with an open mind and an open heart and you will have the experience of a lifetime.”

Anna McDermott, 3 months September 2007

For more information on this project, check out the bear sanctuary volunteering page of the Oyster Worldwide website

One Response to “Oyster Reviews: Volunteer with bears in Romania”

  1. De azi, petrec un weekend romanesc la Bran cu J’Info Tours

    […] Am studiat putin si am aflat, atat de la Natasha, cat si de pe net, ca LiBearty este un sanctuar privat unde sunt adusi ursuleti orfani sau cei recuperati din diverse gradini zoologice cu conditii proaste, sau de la ursarii de pe marginea drumului. Aici, ursii sunt readusi intr-un cadru natural, ingrijiti si iubiti… nu numai de ingrijitorii de la LiBearty, ci si de voluntarii adusi din Oyster, care au numai cuvinte frumoase cu privire la experienta lor la Zarnesti si in Romania. […]


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